Anxiety can make our hearts beat faster, cause our breathing to become shallow and rapid, and cause our minds only to imagine the worst case scenario. But all we want to do is to relax! So how can we do this when our body and mind seem to have their agenda? Whether you suffer full-blown anxiety disorder or are just freaking out over your current situation, there are natural ways you can address it.
Here are five go-to natural alternatives to feelings of anxiety.
Take a Deep Breath
Breath in slowly through your nose, first filling your lower lungs, then your upper lungs. Hold your breath to the count of “five.” Exhale slowly through pursed lips, relaxing the muscles in your face, jaw, shoulders, and stomach. Repeat five times. To keep yourself centered and calm, do this several times a day.
Eat More Foods that Provide Relief
Avocados, eggs, and meat are all packed full of B vitamins that can help ease feelings of anxiety. Blueberries and oranges contain nutrients that can also help to ease stress. Grab a piece of Dark Chocolate every once in a while; it can also help lower your cortisol levels too, which helps to reduce belly fat.
Exercise At Least 30 Mins a Day
Research has shown when our body heats up during exercise it can alter neural circuits controlling cognitive function and mood, including those that affect the neurotransmitters that increase our serotonin levels, known as our happy hormones. If at all possible try to exercise outside; the sun’s rays and the fresh air are an excellent pick-me-up.
Increase Your Magnesium Intake
Magnesium helps to relax the muscles and calm the nervous system. During periods of extreme stress, bump up your magnesium intake. You can do this by eating more foods rich in magnesium like almonds, cashews, leafy greens, and brown rice. For additional support, a magnesium supplement, preferably before bed, may provide optimal results.
Lavender is excellent for supporting mental concentration, easing feelings of stress, calming agitation, and supporting healthy sleep. Diffusing or adding a few drops of lavender to your wrist can assist in easing your anxiety. For a deeper, more satisfying nights sleep, try spaying a little on your pillow before bed. Research also shows that lavender has properties that make it ideal as a natural alternative for anxiety when compared to some anxiety medications.
Before starting any new regimen in place of conventional treatments and therapies, please check with your physician.
Andrea Warren holds a BS in Natural Health Sciences(Naturopathy), is a certified Herbalist and Aromatherapist and a Certified Alternative Health Coach; she is continually expanding her knowledge in all areas of health and wellness. You can find out more about her at Waldorf Salad & Cottage Fries or listen to her weekly podcast Take Back Your Health.