There are proven ways to manage anxiety symptoms without taking medication.
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You’re anxious, worried, freaked. You are worried about money, health, and work. Your heart beats fast, your breathing is rapid and shallow, your mind is seeing doom and you wish that you could just relax…now. You may not wish to take medication, regardless of whether you are suffering from a severe anxiety disorder.
Are you unsure where to start? These are 19 helpful tips, which include the best natural anxiety supplements.
It can be taken as a supplement. It is usually standardized to contain 1.2% of apigenin (an active component) and dried chamomile flower. One study from the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia showed that patients suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), experienced a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms after taking chamomile for eight weeks. This was in comparison to patients who were given a placebo.
L-theanine (or green tee)
- According to Japanese Buddhist monks, they could meditate for hours at a time, being both alert and relaxed. Mark Blumenthal of the American Botanical Council suggests that one reason could be L-theanine in their green tea.
- L-theanine has been shown to reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure. One study found that subjects who were anxious experienced calmer and better focus during tests if they had taken 200 mg of L-theanine before.
- Green tea can provide as much L-theanine as green tea. However, you will need to drink many cups – as few as five or as many as twenty.
It’s true that it is in beer. However, you won’t be able to get the tranquilizing effects of the bitter herb hops from a brew. You can get the sedative compounds in hops in extracts or tinctures, and as aromatherapy in hops pillows.
Blumenthal says that hops are bitter and should not be used in tea unless it’s mixed with mint or chamomile. Hops can be used to promote sleep. Often, it is combined with valerian. Notify your doctor if you’re taking prescription tranquilizers or sedatives.
L-theanine, for example, is a herbal supplement that reduces anxiety but doesn’t make you sleepy. Others are sedatives. Valerian (Valeriana Officinalis), falls squarely into the second category. It is used to treat insomnia. It is a sedative compound that has been approved by the German government as a treatment for sleep problems.
Valerian is a strong, unpleasant odor so it’s best to take it in a capsule or tincture rather than as a tea. It is best to take it at night, not before you head to work. Valerian is often mixed with other sedative herbs like hops, chamomile, and lemon balm.
Lemon balm ( Melissa Officinalis) was named after the Greek word meaning “honeybee” and has been used since at least the Middle Ages to help with sleep and stress reduction. One study found that people who were given standardized lemon balm extracts (600mg) had more alertness and calm than those who were given a placebo.
Although it is generally safe, some studies have shown that too much can make you anxious. Follow the directions and start with the lowest dose. You can buy lemon balm in tea capsules, tinctures, or as a tincture. You can combine it with hops, chamomile, and valerian to calm the nerves.
Sjana Elise has a quick routine that will calm your mind.
The 21-minute cure
Relax almost anywhere.
This herb will not help you fall in love, despite its name. It is a sedative, approved by the German government for nervous restlessness. It can be as effective as prescription medications in reducing anxiety symptoms, according to some studies. It is often used to treat insomnia.
It can cause sleepiness or drowsiness like other sedatives.
Take care not to use passionflower for more than one month.
Lavandula hybrid’s intoxicating aroma lavender could be an “emotional anti-inflammatory”. One study found that patients in Greece who had received lavender oil as a waiting room scent were less anxious. A Florida study found that students who inhaled lavender oil before the exam had less anxiety, although some students claimed it made their minds “fuzzy”.
One German study showed that a lavender pill, which is not available in the U.S., reduced anxiety symptoms in individuals with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). This was in comparison to lorazepam (brand name: Ativan), which is an anti-anxiety medication of the same class as Valium.
Take a deep breath.
Okay, now let’s get it out. Although we don’t recommend that you become blue, yoga breathing has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Andrew Weil, MD introduced the 4-7-8 breathe yoga breathing technique in his 2011 bestseller Spontaneous Happyness.
It works because you can’t simultaneously breathe deeply and worry at the same time. For the 4-7-8 breath, inhale fully through your mouth and then exhale through your nose for four counts. For seven counts, hold your breath. For eight counts, let your breath out slowly through the mouth. Do this at least two times per day.
Fast food: Eat something.
Dr. Ramsey, the co-author of The Happiness Diet, says that almost everyone is more anxious when they’re hungry. An anxiety attack can indicate that your blood sugar has dropped. It is best to have a snack that can sustain you, such as a handful of walnuts or dark chocolate with some water or hot tea.
Dr. Ramsey says that long-term anxiety reduction is a matter of diet. Ramsey’s advice? Eat whole foods, and plant-based meals with carefully chosen meats, and seafood. Include plenty of leafy greens like kale to get folate and other phytonutrients that can help you reduce anxiety.
Start your day with breakfast
Dr. Ramsey advises that you stop starving yourself. Many people suffering from anxiety skip breakfast. People with anxiety disorders should eat eggs. They are full of protein and provide the best source of choline. An increased level of anxiety is associated with low levels of choline.
Salmon is high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the heart, and vitamin D.
Anxiety can lead to a state of mind known as “catastrophic thinking” (or “catastrophizing”) when you are feeling anxious. You start to think about the worst terrible, most horrible, and most unbearable possible things. What if these happen? Dr. Ramsey says, “This could really ruin your life.”
Instead, take some deep breaths and walk around the block. Then, consider how likely it is that this problem will turn into a catastrophe. Is it possible that you will lose your job, never speak to your sister again, or go bankrupt?
Anxiety can make a disastrous outcome less likely than you think. Dr. Ramsey says that few events can change the course of your life.
Enjoy a ‘forest shower’
It is called Shinrinyoku by the Japanese, which means “forest bath”. It’s a walk-in nature, as you and I both know it. Japanese researchers measured body modifications in people who walked for about 20 minutes in beautiful forests, listening to the running water and enjoying the woody smells.
After their walk, the forest bathers experienced lower levels of stress hormones than after an equivalent walk in urban areas.
Meditation for mindfulness
Mindfulness meditation was originally a Buddhist practice but is now a popular therapy for anxiety. Teresa M. Edenfield (Ph.D.), a psychologist at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Durham uses it often to treat anxious patients. She says that mindfulness meditation allows you to feel the essence of every moment, not what you expect or fear.
How do you start? Edenfield suggests that you can begin by “paying attention to what is happening now, intentionally, with curiosity and an effort to observe non-judgmentally.”
Breath and Question
Edenfield suggests that you ask simple questions and practice breathing exercises to stay calm. You can find a comfortable spot, close your eyes and pay attention to how your breath feels as it moves through your body. While focusing on your breath, ask yourself some silent questions.
How warm is the air when it enters your nose and leaves? What does it feel like when your breath leaves your body? How does the air feel when it enters your lungs?
Give yourself credit
- Are you feeling anxious? Congratulations. Edenfield says that you are aware of your emotions and that this awareness is the first step to reducing anxiety.
- You should give yourself credit for being aware of your anxious thoughts and possible body changes. This skill is mindfulness and must be learned. It is crucial to take the next steps in intervening using strategies like positive self-talk, cognitive reframing, mindfulness, relaxation, or strategies that use cognitive reframing.