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Anxious girl

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What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders. In today's society, it is quite common, with almost every person experiencing some mild anxiety at some point in their life.

There are different kinds of anxiety, some being more crippling than others are.  Mild anxiety, which leads to worries and nervousness can be completely normal and even cause a person to increase their motivation.  It is only when the anxiety gets out of control and causes unexpected symptoms that it becomes a serious condition that requires treatment.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

Here is a list of the most common symptoms of anxiety.

  • Irregular breathing, hyperventilation, shortness of breath.
  • Feelings of apprehension, dread, and anticipating the worst
  • Heart palpitations, pounding heart.
  • Feeling like you will faint.
  • Feeling tense, jumpy, irritable.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Feeling overwhelmed.
  • Feeling like losing control.
  • Hot flashes, chills, or sweating.
  • Trembling or shaking.
  • Stomach upset or nausea.
  • Frequent urination or diarrhea.
  • Muscle tension and fatigue.
  • Headaches.
  • Difficulty sleeping.

Common Causes

Here is a list of popular conditions which can cause anxiety.

  • Traumatic life events such as the death of a family member or an accident.
  • Stressful events such as exams and job interviews.
  • Dealing with too much daily stress.
  • Conflicts with family members.
  • Physical and mental exhaustion.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Food allergies.
  • Excess consumption of alcohol and caffeine.
  • Certain medications and illegal drugs.
  • Anemia.
  • Thyroid Problems.

Dealing with Anxiety

Most cases of anxiety are triggered by a stressful lifestyle. Dealing with a lot of stress can take a toll on the human body, making it more important than ever to learn stress reduction techniques.

Here are some sample questions for identifying stressors:

  • Do you make time for fun and relaxation?
  • Are you exercising and eating healthy?
  • Are you taking on too many responsibilities?
  • Do you ask for help when you need it?

Sometimes just adding some fun activities in your life can be enough to overcome anxiety. Other times, it may take a lot more, especially if the anxiety is related to a deficiency of Iron or other essential nutrients. We have listed some of the most common natural remedies for anxiety below.  If you have anxiety, always consult with your doctor before beginning any treatment.

Natural Remedies for Anxiety


1. Heliotherapy, an Ancient Anxiety and Stress Remedy

Benefits of The Sun

The sun is the main source of energy for all living organisms, including humans. The ancients venerated the sun as a god and used its beneficial energy to maintain strong health, boost immunity and fight disease. A sun cure helps increase the body's healing and regenerating power, making it one of the best therapies for anxiety.

The ideal place to enjoy the sun is on a tropic beach, but similar results can also be achieved by sunbathing in other places that are more accessible. Here are some ideas.

  • At the park.
  • At the swimming pool.
  • On a grass patch in your backyard.
  • On your balcony.

The sun's rays trigger an increase in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for balancing the emotional system. Once the emotional system is in balance, our body can begin to feel relaxed again.

Directions

  • Sunbathe daily for 7 to 14 days.
  • Start with 30 minutes each day in the morning and increase the exposure time gradually each day.
  • The best hours for sunbathing are from sunrise to 11am and from 4pm until sunset.
  • Avoid sunbathing between 11am and 4pm.
  • Wear a natural Zinc based sunscreen and avoid chemical sunscreens.

If done on a continued basis, sun exposure can not only heal anxiety but also provides multiple other health benefits.

Tip

If you are sunbathing near an ocean or a saltwater lake, regular swimming in salt water will enhance the healing effects.

2. Nature Walks, an Efficient Remedy for Anxiety

Woman walking in nature with her dog

If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature's way.

Aristotle

Walking among nature is a free and fun way to release stress and anxiety. Best of all, it can be done almost anywhere and at any time of the year. Surrounded by the natural calm and beauty of the environment, the mind and body can relax and begin releasing accumulated anxiety.

Two Hours is Ideal

The ideal length of time for a nature walk is two hours or more, however most people are simply too busy or too tired to walk for that long.  Find the length of time that works for you, even if it is just 10 minutes each day. It is recommended to go for a nature walk three times each week, for a total of six hours per week.  

It's ideal to walk alone or accompanied by a pet. People can often be distracting, so if you bring somebody with you make sure they will not distract you from enjoying the nature.

Wear Comfortable Clothing and Relax

When you are walking, try to relax and absorb the calming and healing energy that nature provides. Observe the tree branches, the leaves on the trees, and all the subtle beauty of nature, which normally goes unnoticed.

Wear comfortable shoes and clothing, which allow for easy movements and breathing. Gentle stretching may follow the walks, allowing the muscles to elongate and stay relaxed.

Keep Walking

At the beginning, you may feel afraid to be alone, or feel like you are not "doing" anything. It is completely normal to feel this way. Just keep on walking and you will soon discover the joy of walking!

3. Sweet Flag Root Infusion

Relax with Sweet Flag

  • The infusion prepared from the sweet flag herb root works miracles for the nerves.
  • It calms feelings of anxiety and restlessness.
  • It eliminates some symptoms of anxiety, including gastritis, abdominal cramps, irregular heartbeat and fast heartbeat.

Making Sweet Flag Infusion

  • Add 1 tablespoon of sweet flag root powder to a ½ cup of cold water.
  • Allow to steep overnight or 12 hours.
  • Use another cup to strain the mixture using a coffee filter or fine strainer.
  • Place the filtered powder back in the original cup and pour ½ cup of hot water over it.
  • Wait 10 minutes.
  • Filter the hot infusion and pour it over the cold one.

Directions

  • Drink two cups per day for one month.
  • Take a break for 10 days, and repeat again if needed.

Alternate Name

The sweet flag herb is also known by the name of calamus.

4. Herbal Tea for Powerful Relaxation

Powerful Relaxing Herbs

This tea combines some of the most relaxing natural herbs. The unique compounds of each herb are combined together to produce a powerful relaxing tea.  It is particularly useful in times of increased stress and anxiety.

Ingredients

  • Chamomile flowers.
  • St John's Wort flowers.
  • Linden leaves.
  • Rosemary leaves.

Infusing in Just 10 Minutes

  • In a pot, bring two cups of water to a boil.
  • Add the ingredients to the pot.
  • Keep boiling for one more minute.
  • Turn off the stove and let the herbal mixture infuse for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the infusion, or remove the teabags.

Directions

  • Drink 1-3 cups daily.
  • Drink 1 cup, one to two hours before bedtime.
  • Add a teaspoon of honey for taste.

 

5. Heal Your Anxiety Faster with Physical Exercise

Physical exercise is one of the best ways to release anxiety.  Being active triggers the release of endorphins, better known as the feel good hormones. When released, endorphins induce feelings of happiness and wellbeing. These feelings are commonly experienced by runners, terming them the "runner's high."

There are other powerful mood balancing substances such as dopamine, estrogen and serotonin that are released during exercise, which ease pain and promote positive feelings.

Besides reducing anxiety, exercise also helps to strengthen muscles, maintain optimum weight, sleep better, and clear the mind.  

The Anxiety and Depression Association recommends some great fitness tips for exercising.

Exercise Ideas

  • Power walking, running.
  • Aerobics, Pilates, yoga.
  • Tennis, volley ball, basketball.
  • Swimming.
  • Trampoline jumping.
  • Skating, skiing.
  • Weight lifting.

If you want to try weight lifting, make sure to find a coach or good books or videos.  All the muscles in our body are interconnected; strengthening a set of muscles more than others will cause an imbalance.  A coach or instructional books and videos provide the guidance needed to ensure proper muscle balance and lifting techniques.

6. Lavender Oil and Epsom Salt Bath

Warm Epsom salt baths are a wonderful way to eliminate anxiety and relax the body.  Epsom salt baths were very popular in ancient times, known to bring a state of calm and to relax the mind and body.

Have fun and invigorate your bath by adding a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil or a cup of dried lavender flowers.  Each bath will be a unique and wonderful experience.

Ingredients

  • 5-6 drops of lavender essential oil.
  • 1 cup of Epsom salt (optional).
  • 1/2 -1 cup of dried lavender flowers (optional).

Directions

  • Fill a bathtub with water that is warm, but not so hot that it prevents entering the tub.
  • Add the ingredients.
  • Enter the tub and mix the water until the salt crystals dissolve.
  • Allow for 10-20 minutes of relaxation if possible.
  • Adjust the bath time and temperature as needed.

Tips

  • The bath is still great even without Epsom salts, as long as lavender essential oil is added.

7. Carrot Apple Celery Juice for Anxiety

Benefits

This juice provides a wide range of benefits due to the high anti-oxidant content and wide range of nutrients found in carrots, apples and celery. Carrots can help in cases of anxiety that are caused by a weakened digestion system or vascular problems. Apples have been shown to reduce inflammation in neurons, effectively helping to protect the nerves that may become overexcited during an anxiety attack. Juicing is also an excellent way to obtain a variety of nutrients, which may be missing from the diet.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 apples.
  • 2-3 carrots.
  • 2 celery stalks.

We recommend using local organic ingredients whenever possible.

Juicing

Wash all the ingredients thoroughly and peel the apples and carrots. Juice all the ingredients with a centrifugal or masticating juicer.

Drink Every Morning for Two Weeks

Drink a full glass of this juice every morning on an empty stomach for two weeks. After one week, take a break for a week. If you feel you must juice, make a green juice instead. Drinking the juice again after the break and continue taking breaks every other week.

Spicing it Up

  • Add half of a lemon without the peel.
  • Add a fresh lavender sprig.

8. Chamomile Herbal Tea for Anxiety

Relax with Chamomile

Chamomile is a wonderful tea for warming up your heart and relaxing your body. A warm cup of chamomile tea goes a long way toward achieving relaxation during anxious situations. Chamomile is so powerful that a substance found in this herb is used in some prescription drugs for anxiety.

Brewing Chamomile Tea

  • Bring one cup of water to a boil.
  • Pour the water into a teacup.
  • Add two tablespoons of chamomile flowers or 2 tea bags.
  • Let the tea infuse for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  • Strain and let cool to a comfortable temperature.

Directions

  • Drink 1-3 cups a day.
  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of honey if needed.

 

9. Pets for Anxiety

Pets help people relax, feel less lonely, socialize better and make new friends easier.

In a modern society in which people work long hours and can no longer find time to spend with friends and family, a pet can be a great loving companion that helps to reduce general anxiety.

Reference: http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2015/15_0204.htm

10. Sleeping Lowers Anxiety

Reduce Anxiety by Sleeping More

Lack of sleep has the potential to increase anxious thoughts and feelings by up to 75%.  For this reason, anxiety sufferers should try to sleep for at least seven hours, preferably nine hours every night.  Sleeping early is also of benefit, with the best time to sleep being no later than 10 pm.

Improving sleep quality allows the body more time to regenerate and relax.  The benefits will be many, including increased energy levels, faster healing, increased relaxation, and reduced anxiety.

Besides sleeping more, it is also important to consider the quality of the bed and covers. Waking up often during the night or feeling tired upon awakening may indicate a problem with the bed or covers. Poor quality bedding is often made using polyester, a material that traps too much heat and moisture, causing a person to overheat and wake up. Pick natural cotton bed sheets and covers for the best moisture management and heat regulation.

If your bed is made of polyurethane foam, it likely contains many chemicals and fire retardants. These chemicals are known to cause many problems and may even be the cause of anxiety in some people. Finding a completely natural bed may be difficult but there are a few companies selling beds that are completely chemical free.

Hastens and Vi-Spring are two unique bed manufacturers that are worth looking into when considering a new bed. They offer beds made entirely by hand using natural materials such as horsehair and wool. What makes them unique among manufacturers is that they do not use natural rubber. For those with latex allergies this is especially important, but anyone would benefit by avoiding a natural rubber bed.

The breathability of a natural rubber mattress is very poor and tends to cause overheating, while the durability is also questionable. Depending on the manufacturing process, natural rubber may also not be 100% natural, sometimes requiring the use of chemical preservatives during transportation.

Beds made by Hastens are currently backed by a 20-year warranty, so although the initial cost is high, the future savings and improved quality of sleep make them worth their price.

11. Self Hypnosis and Positive Affirmations for Anxiety Relief

Remain Optimistic

Being optimistic has proven to be one of the most important factors in preventing anxiety. Studies show that individuals who are more immune to anxiety have found ways to think positively even during hard times.  To some, this may sound impossible to do, but using the right techniques, it is possible to train the brain to think more positive. The technique outlined below does exactly that.  Like a train that is switched onto a different track, repeating positive affirmations will switch the negative track playing in your mind to the positive one.

The self-hypnosis technique below has been recommended by many psychologists who have observed its ability to reduce anxiety.

Directions

Our subconscious mind is most receptive before bedtime, so this is the best time for practicing self-hypnosis.

  • Get ready for bed.
  • Turn off the lights.
  • Lie down on your back.
  • Choose a positive affirmation and repeat it in your head until you fall asleep.

Sample Positive Affirmations

  • ”I am calm and I am feeling calmer every minute.”
  • “My breath is deep, calming, and relaxing.”
  • “Every day I become more confident and trust myself to succeed."
  • “I feel good about my exams because I know that I will get a good grade.”

Get creative and make up affirmations as needed, remembering to choose phrases that are easy to believe.  Believing in the affirmations will greatly improve their chance of coming true.

While repeating the affirmations, visualize being in your favorite place, such as a beach or anywhere you have been before and found to be relaxing. Make the experience as real as possible, remembering all the feelings and sounds of actually being there.  Was it windy? Was it warm? How did the air smell? Was your body relaxed?