Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults in the United States aged 18 and older. That’s nearly 1 in 5 people! While anxiety is a natural emotion that everyone experiences from time to time, it can become a problem when it starts to interfere with our daily lives. However, there are many ways to reduce anxiety, including medication and non-medication interventions. This blog post will discuss seven natural ways to reduce anxiety.
1) Identify Your Triggers
The first step to reducing anxiety is to identify what triggers your anxiety. Once you know what causes your anxiety, you can start to find ways to avoid or cope with those triggers. Some common triggers for anxiety include:
-Stressful life events (such as a death in the family, divorce, or job loss)
-Traumatic experiences (such as abuse or witnessing a traumatic event)
-Certain medical conditions (such as heart disease, thyroid problems, or chronic pain)
-Substance abuse (including alcohol and drugs)
If you’re not sure what triggers your anxiety, keep a journal for a few weeks and note when you feel anxious and what was going on in your life at that time.
2) Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase anxiety. If you’re struggling with anxiety, avoiding or limiting caffeine is best. This includes coffee, tea, energy drinks, and even chocolate.
While it may be hard to give up your morning cup of coffee, there are plenty of other beverages you can enjoy that don’t contain caffeine. Herbal teas, fruit juices, and water are all good options.
If you do decide to drink caffeinated beverages, do so in moderation and avoid them in the afternoon or evening, so they don’t interfere with your sleep.
3) Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is crucial for our physical and mental health. When we don’t get enough sleep, it can lead to increased anxiety. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping, there are a few things you can try:
– Establish a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
– Create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading or bathing before bed.
– Avoid screens (such as TVs, laptops, and phones) in the hour before bedtime. The light from screens can interfere with our natural sleep cycle.
– Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption, especially in the evening.
– Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.
If you’re still having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. They may be able to prescribe medication or refer you to a sleep specialist.
Exercise is a great way to reduce anxiety. It helps by releasing endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Exercise also distracts us from our anxious thoughts and can help improve our sleep. Of course, you don’t have to go to the gym to get the benefits of exercise. Taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood or playing with your dog are both great options. Even just a few minutes of movement can make a difference. If you’re not used to exercising, start slow and gradually increase the amount and intensity of your workouts over time.
Some great exercises for anxiety include:
- Tai chi
- Bike riding
If you have an anxiety disorder, you must talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program. They can help you create a safe and effective workout plan.
You may also want to consider joining a fitness class or working with a personal trainer, especially if you’re new to exercise. This can help you stay motivated and accountable.
5) Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques can help you cope with anxiety and reduce your symptoms. Some popular relaxation techniques include:
- Deep breathing
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Mindfulness meditation
- Guided imagery
- Yoga Nidra
You can find instructions for these and other relaxation techniques online or in books. In addition, some apps can guide you through the process. Many of these techniques can be done anywhere, at any time.
If you’re unsure where to start, try a few different techniques and see which ones work best. It may take some practice to master them, but once you do, they can effectively reduce anxiety.
6) CBD Oils and Supplements
CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant. It contains high levels of CBD, which is a compound that has been shown to have anti-anxiety effects. CBD oil is available in various forms, including tinctures, capsules, and topical products. It can be taken orally or applied to the skin. You can also read this guide on Smoking CBG. CBG is another compound found in cannabis that has anti-anxiety effects.
Several other supplements have been shown to help with anxiety. These include omega-three fatty acids, magnesium, probiotics, and L-theanine. But, again, you can talk to your doctor about which supplements may be right for you.
Before taking any supplement, it’s important to talk to your doctor first. This is especially true if you’re taking medication for anxiety or have any other health conditions. Some supplements can interact with medications and may not be safe for everyone.
Aromatherapy is another popular natural treatment for anxiety. It involves using essential oils to promote relaxation. Essential oils are concentrated liquids that contain the aromatic compounds of plants. They can be used in various ways, including diffusing them in the air, applying them to the skin, or inhaling them through a vaporizer.
There are many different essential oils that can be used for anxiety, including lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang. You can purchase these oils online or at health food stores. If you’re new to aromatherapy, start with a small bottle of one oil and see how you like it before buying more.
In conclusion, there are a number of natural ways to reduce anxiety. If you’re looking for an alternative to medication, these options may be worth considering. Remember to talk to your doctor before trying any new treatment, especially if you have a medical condition or take medication for anxiety.