Anxiety SUCKS! It’s unpredictable, it’s completely overwhelming, and living with it on a daily basis can be truly difficult.
There are some days that my anxiety completely takes over and I’ll have a full blown anxiety attack. For those of you who are familiar with the symptoms associated with anxiety attacks, then you already know how debilitating they can be.
Whenever I have an anxiety attack I have an overwhelming sense of dread. My throat usually constricts. My mind is racing. And more than anything I am convinced that I’m going to die. I’ve reached the point in the past where I’ve rushed to my local ER only to be told I’m having an anxiety attack and just need to relax.
Anxiety certainly isn’t a delightful disorder to live with on a daily basis but have strength in knowing you are not alone. In this post I’m going to review common symptoms of anxiety, 13 natural cures for anxiety that you can use right away, and my top 3 tips for improving anxiety long term.
Most Common Symptoms Of Anxiety
Anxiety and it’s diverse array of symptoms are different for everyone. However here is a brief list of the most common side effects:
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Digestion Issues
- Mild Chest Pains
- Low Energy
- Muscle Tension
The list goes on and on. The more research I do on anxiety the more I am amazed at how intensely connected the mind is to the body.
13 Natural Cures For Anxiety
Whenever I feel a little anxious or I am in the middle of a full blown anxiety attack, I found that these simple tricks help me to relax almost instantly.
Everyone is different so some of these may tips may be more helpful than others but each have a unique way of helping your mind and body calm down.
1) A Dose of Shinrin-yoku: The Japanese term ‘Shinrin-yoku‘ literally translates to “forest bath”. Japanese researchers have found that a test group who had a 20 minute walk in nature experienced considerably lower levels of stress hormones after their walk when compared with those who did not opt for a forest bath.
2) The 3-2-3 Breath Cure: This technique has helped me tons when I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack. The method is to breath in slowly and deeply for 3 seconds. Then hold in this breath for 2 seconds. And then finally release this breath slowly for another 3 seconds. It’s a great way for me to force my body and mind to hit the pause button for a second and simply focus on my breath.
3) Turn Up The Heat: Research shows that heating up your body can alleviate muscle tension and anxiety. Some options for a quick fix: take a steamy shower, lay out in the sun, sit by a toasty fire or sweat it out in a sauna.
4) Dark Chocolate Nibbles: Occasionally when people have an anxiety attack it can be due to a drop in blood sugar. One of the best things you can do if you are feeling particularly anxious is have a quick, sustainable snack. Dark chocolate has been my go to emergency snack for awhile now and definitely helps soothes my system.
5) The Power of Chamomile: Chamomile tea and even taking a chamomile supplement has been proven to relieve symptoms associated with anxiety.
6) 20 Min Exercise: It might sound counterproductive but exercise can help a ton to ease anxiety. It can be hard to concentrate on physical activity in the midst of heightened anxiety but trust- you won’t regret putting on those tennis shoes! Even a brisk 20 minute walk can do wonders to ease anxiety.
7) Ashwagandha: Taking an ashwagadha supplement can significantly help to reduce anxiety. Not only does it alleviate stress, but it also helps to improve focus, reduce fatigue, and even helps to destroy free radicals.
8) Vitamin B Complex: B vitamins are well known to combat stress and help to stabilize mood. Keeping a vitamin B complex around the house and in a travel bag has helped me tremendously.
9) Lavender Oil: Using a lavender essential oil has been shown to help relax the body and reduce anxiety. Simply inhaling lavender can induce calmness and significantly reduce nervousness. You can use a diffuser or simply use 1-3 drops of oil and rub on palms, temples, neck, and wrists.
10) Mindful Meditation: Practicing a few minutes of mindful meditation can help to naturally slow down your body and thought processes and simply soak in the present moment.
11) Omega 3’s: Popular evidence suggests that omega 3 fatty acids also have beneficial mood boosting qualities. Both walnuts and flax seeds are a wonderful plant-based source of omega 2 fatty acids.
12) 15 Minutes of Sunlight: A healthy dose of vitamin D is a wonderful way to decrease common symptoms of anxiety.
13) Talk It Out: Talking to a close loved one or friend is a great way to ease symptoms instantly. Letting someone know exactly what you’re feeling and simply getting it all out on the table helps me A LOT. When I try to hide my anxiety and pretend that ‘everything’s fine’, my anxiety gets exponentially worse.
Before trying to treat your anxiety all by yourself it is always a good idea to pay a visit to your doctor- especially if you are curious about trying out supplements.
My Top 3 Tips For Improving Anxiety Long-Term
1. A Plant-Based Diet: When I eat super clean and ensure my body is receiving an abundance of plant-based nutrients- my anxiety is almost non-existent. It may sound a little unbelievable but after my first month of eating a whole foods plant-based diet, I barely had any anxiety related symptoms – and I didn’t experience an anxiety attack once in that time frame. You can check out one of my favorite plant-based recipes right here.
2. Detoxify Your Life: Binge drinking and anxiety attacks seem to go hand in hand in my experience. With any horrible hangover I’ve experienced, my anxiety levels were always through the roof. If you want to significantly reduce your anxiety long term then it’s important to rid your lifestyle of excessive drinking, smoking, processed foods, and even toxic people that may be adding to your stress levels.
3. Practice Extreme Self-Care: Treat YO SELF! Make sure to always make time for you. Take steamy stress-relieving salt baths. Give yourself a weekly facial. Take time off if you need it. And above all be greedy with your free time. Make sure to take an occasional relaxing free day and simply do low-stress activities that make you happy.