Natural Remedies for Anxiety

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SUNDE Natural Remedy Heal Anxiety

I remember when my anxiety got the best of me. I remember feeling like I couldn’t breathe, knees weak, and feeling like I couldn’t even think for myself. Not having any medication during that moment made me think about the things I could do so I would stop feeling that way. While there are some things to do in the moment, like breathing, I also wondered how I could lessen my anxiety overall.

Luckily, there are at least 10 natural remedies for anxiety that SUN Behavioral Delaware would like to share with you. But first, let’s define anxiety.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It can be caused by a combination of factors, ranging from genetics (inborn traits) to environmental issues. Some regular triggers of anxiety are the first day at a new job or school, taking a test, or thinking about making an important decision. According to the National Library of Medicine, some of the most common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Restlessness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sweating

While anxiety is a natural part of life, there can still be times when the anxiety is constant. This would be classified as an anxiety disorder. With anxiety disorders, there may be a need for anti-anxiety medication. That said, there are still several natural ways to help with anxiety.

Natural Remedies for Anxiety

The feeling of anxiety is a natural one, but that doesn’t mean it feels good. Even before considering medication, it’s wise to try natural remedies first to help with our anxiety. There are several natural ways to relieve anxiety.

Get Some Good Sleep

Sleep is a natural remedy for many things, and anxiety is one of them. Not having enough sleep will affect your mood and can make you far more susceptible to intrusive thoughts and anxiety, so practicing good “sleep hygiene” is important. According to Harvard Health, practicing good sleep hygiene includes:

  • Not using your phone, tablet, or computer in bed
  • Going to bed and waking up at the same time, even on weekends
  • Keeping naps short – less than an hour
  • Keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet without distractions
  • Getting out of bed and doing something relaxing if you aren’t asleep within 20 minutes

Another practice of good sleep hygiene is limiting caffeine intake, which is our next anxiety remedy.

Limit Caffeine Intake

Caffeine is a natural stimulant, meaning it increases your brain activity. The brain can process this as anxiety, which is why limiting caffeine intake is helpful in reducing anxiety. Research suggests that higher doses of caffeine can worsen anxiety disorders and panic disorders. However, lower doses of caffeine improve motor activity and alertness, so caffeine in moderation can be healthy.

Exercise and Activity

Exercise can help you mentally as well as physically. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), regular exercise can actually mimic the responses that come with anxiety and panic attacks, which allows you to learn how to manage these responses without feeling overwhelmed by them.

Another reason that people who regularly exercise have lower rates of anxiety may be due to the fact that exercise triggers a release of two neurons (chemical messengers): dopamine and serotonin.

Dopamine is the neuron responsible for making us feel good. When you feel good about something, there is a surge of dopamine in your brain. When you have too little dopamine, it is linked to mental illnesses such as depression, while having too much dopamine – dopamine only being focused in one part of the brain – is linked to addiction, binge eating, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Regular exercise leads to higher levels of dopamine within each of the dopamine receptors, which gives you much more energy and joy.

Serotonin is known as the “happy chemical” as it is the neuron that affects mood and happiness. Too little serotonin will result in depression. Combined with the release of dopamine, the serotonin you get from exercise can greatly improve your mood.

Don’t Drink Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant, so it may not make you feel anxious at first. That said, there is a connection between alcohol use and anxiety. Research shows that when we drink alcohol, our levels of serotonin are affected. The feelings of calm and loss of self-restraint will wear off quickly. If one frequently drinks, they may rely on alcohol for relief from anxiety. This quickly will turn into an addiction to alcohol.

Mindfulness Meditation

One of the greatest natural remedies for anxiety is meditation. Mindfulness meditation is the act of being fully present and aware of the present moment. Mindfulness meditation helps us focus on what we are doing in that moment and accepting that moment for what it is. This helps us with observing our own thoughts and feelings as we will be able to look at them as a “thought” as opposed to an “anxious thought.”

Research has shown that mindfulness meditation helps to reduce anxiety and reduce stress. It is also one of the simplest ways that you can reduce anxiety because it is so easy to start. While it takes time to let thoughts pass, it is still something that anyone can do at any time.

Quit Smoking

Much like those who turn to alcohol, many people who smoke turn to cigarettes during stressful times. Just like alcohol, this can make your anxiety worse over time as you can grow dependent on it for your anxiety.

The earlier you start smoking, the greater the risk of an anxiety disorder later in your life, according to research. Research has also shown that 15.1% of Delawarean adults smoked cigarettes in 2021, and 26.6% of Delawarean adults reported anxiety and/or depressive symptoms in 2021. While there isn’t an exact way to determine if these are the same people, smoking cigarettes may be a contributing factor.

Practice Deep Breathing

This is one of the most common natural remedies. Often when we are anxious or are in a panic attack, our breathing is shallow and quick. Deep breathing helps your anxiety because when you breathe slowly and deep from your stomach, it signals your nervous system to calm down. While it takes practice, it is very helpful in the long run in regulating your anxiety.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a form of holistic medicine. It employs the use of essential oils – oils created by plant extracts – to promote health of the mind, body, and spirit. Studies have shown that aromatherapy has several health benefits, including:

  • Improved sleep
  • Improved quality of life
  • Relief from anxiety and depression

Certain essential oils that help with anxiety, according to the American Colleges of Healthcare Sciences, include:

  • Lavender
  • Bergamot
  • Clary sage

Drink Chamomile Tea

A very good home remedy is a warm cup of tea. Chamomile tea is a form of calming tea that has been proven to be an effective short-term remedy for anxiety. Chamomile tea also helps with getting good sleep as chamomile has been used to treat insomnia in people. This goes hand in hand with the natural remedy of getting good sleep since it can help you get a better night’s rest.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Your physical health affects your mental health. Certain artificial flavorings and preservatives in processed foods can affect your mood. Some of the lifestyle changes that you can make to help with your anxiety include:

  • Eating complex carbs – Carbohydrates increase the amount of serotonin in your brain. Some foods that have complex carbohydrates are quinoa, oatmeal, and whole-grain breads.
  • Drink lots of water – Dehydration, even mild, can affect your mood significantly.
  • Eat fruits and veggies – Eating healthy overall will be much easier when eating fruits and vegetables.
  • Pack your breakfast with protein – Eating a breakfast packed with protein can keep your blood sugar steady and help you feel full longer so you have energy during the day.

These are some natural remedies that can help you with anxiety, but we also must discuss the difference between natural anxiety and anxiety disorders.

Natural Anxiety vs. Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is a natural response to stress and typically wears off after a triggering event. For example, you may have been anxious about your first day at a new job, but that anxiety went away after that day. What if you’ve been at your job for a year and that feeling of anxiety is still there? You love your job and your coworkers, but you have this unshakable feeling of anxiety every time you clock in. This would be categorized as an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders are marked by someone having frequent and intense anxiety over everyday situations. These feelings interfere with one’s daily life and are hard to control while also being long-lasting. You may avoid places that cause you anxiety or avoid talking about things that give you anxiety. The symptoms of anxiety disorders can heavily impact your relationships, your job performance, and your schoolwork. There are several types of anxiety disorders, but we will go in-depth on two: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorders.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

The most common anxiety disorder in America, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a disorder in which someone will have anxiety about day-to-day activities at an excessive level. People with GAD tend to worry about ordinary issues, such as family, money, and health, to an exhausting degree. While it is natural to be anxious about these things, people with GAD may worry about these things every day for six months or more. Other symptoms of GAD include:

  • Overthinking plans and solutions to all possible worst-case scenarios
  • Perceiving events and situations as threatening, even when they aren’t
  • Indecisiveness and fear of making the wrong decision
  • Inability to relax
  • Inability to let go of a worry

Panic Disorders

Panic disorders cause panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden feelings of dread when there is no danger. The triggers of panic attacks vary from person to person, but they typically stem from anxiety. Symptoms of a panic attack include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heartbeat

How SUN Behavioral Delaware Can Help

SUN Behavioral Delaware offers treatment programs for anxiety. Anxiety disorders are common, as 31.1% of U.S. adults will have an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. It is important to visit your primary care physician to make sure your symptoms of anxiety aren’t from an underlying condition, and if they aren’t, SUN Behavioral Delaware will be here to help you with treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

One of the most well-known forms of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy where patients will tackle inaccurate ways of thinking and replace them with more realistic coping skills. CBT involves changing two patterns: behavioral patterns and thinking patterns. To change behavioral patterns, CBT uses these strategies:

  • Learning to calm and relax one’s body
  • Facing one’s fears instead of avoiding them
  • Role-playing to prepare for certain situations with others

To change thinking patterns, CBT involves:

  • Using problem-solving to cope with stressful situations
  • Gaining a better understanding of other peoples’ motivations and behavior
  • Learning to develop a greater sense of confidence in one’s abilities

Often called the gold standard of therapy, CBT will aim to get to the cause of the anxiety. For example, your therapist may ask what makes you the most anxious and will help you with specific coping skills tailored to your needs. CBT also requires homework, meaning activities done outside of the therapy session. This is necessary because it allows you to get the most out of therapy and actively practice your coping skills.

Remedies for Anxiety at SUN Behavioral Delaware

SUN Behavioral Delaware is here to help you on your journey with anxiety. Our goal is to solve the unmet needs of those who suffer from mental illness. Located in Georgetown, Delaware, we do our best to offer a bright ray of hope to the community. Call (302) 604-5600 to learn about treatment options.

FAQs

How can I treat anxiety naturally?

Mindfulness meditation, staying active, and practicing deep breathing are great ways to naturally treat anxiety. Mindfulness meditation will help you learn how to accept the present moment, deep breathing will slow your nervous system down, and staying active will mimic responses of anxiety and panic disorders, which allows you to learn how to manage these responses without feeling overwhelmed by them.

What is the best natural anxiety reliever?

If you are looking for natural herbs and holistic medicine, then one of the best anxiety relievers is chamomile. Other great natural relievers for anxiety are essential oils such as lavender and bergamot.

What relieves anxiety fast?

One of the best ways to relieve anxiety fast is through deep breathing. Controlling your breath can help you feel much more grounded. While it may not always be instantaneous, it is a great way to gain some relief.

What is a good vitamin for anxiety?

It has been said that vitamin D is the best vitamin for anxiety. One of the easiest ways to get vitamin D is through sunlight, so taking a walk when the sun is out each day is helpful in getting vitamin D.