Between work, chores, social life, and family, it seems almost everyone regularly deals with some level of stress these days. However, when that stress morphs into a more chronic anxiety, it can severely affect quality of life and overall health and happiness. If you feel that you’ve begun taking on too many stressors, you may first want to soothe your mind using natural methods.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety disorder presents itself in many different ways from person to person. The symptoms can be physical, mental, or a combination of both. These include:
-Feeling tired or rundown
-Inability to focus on anything other than the current worry
-Having a sense of impending doom
-Increased heart rate
Anxiety disorder affects almost 30% of American adults at some point in their lives. Though some of these symptoms are possible to ease on your own, some can be very harmful to your health. We suggest seeking professional help if you have suicidal thoughts or any other mental health concerns, if you use alcohol or drugs to help cope with anxiety, or if your anxiety is keeping you from going to work or completing other day-to-day tasks.
If you only experience anxiety sometimes, or just have high levels of stress in your life, we have some natural strategies that can help you make it through tough times. It may help to seek out talk therapy, and some people’s anxiety is best soothed with pharmaceuticals, but there are also plenty of natural ways that you can help ease your mind.
Relax and Meditate
Whether you let yourself sleep longer, take a day off, meditate, or just read a book for 30 minutes, taking time to relax is imperative to a healthy mind. Though this is easier said than done for a person with anxiety, if you are able to take a quiet moment out of each day, you will probably find that you are less anxious throughout the stressful parts of your life. If you have trouble relaxing your mind, start by trying various guided meditations (Quiet Mind Café on YouTube and the Headspace app are our favorites!) to find your peace. Once you find a meditation that you love, your mind will thank you!
Get your blood pumping and your body will reward you by releasing some feel-good hormones! Cardio workouts like running or riding a bike are especially good for the production of endorphins – the thing that makes you feel happy. If you’re looking for something stationary, try taking a yoga class and discovering the relaxing properties that practicing yoga has to offer. Not only does working out help relieve stress, it also makes you feel better about yourself, and self-love is important for everyone.
Getting enough sleep helps keep us healthy in many ways, and reducing stress is a big one. Many studies have shown that lack of sleep can increase symptoms of anxiety, so make sure you try and the right amount of shuteye!
Few things are more relaxing than time in nature. Stepping outside for a breath of fresh air can improve health, reduce depression, and boost happiness! So whether you want to sit on your porch, stroll through your neighborhood, or hike out in the woods – get outside as much as possible to enjoy the natural benefits that Earth has to offer.
Reduce Caffeine and Alcohol Intake
Because of the way caffeine makes us feel physically (sweating, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, etc.), it can very easily increase symptoms of anxiety. If you notice that your anxiety and stress is worse on days when you drink more caffeine than normal, try cutting out that extra cup of coffee or tea.
Drink herbal teasBoth chamomile and rooibos teas have a wonderful calming effect on our bodies. Soothing chamomile has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety after being regularly consumed for 2-3 weeks – we recommend drinking chamomile tea before bed as it will help slow you down at the end of the day. Rooibos tea has a balancing effect on the body’s main stress hormone, cortisol, which means it will help keep stress levels in check.
Amid life’s daily twists and turns, just remember that your health and happiness come before anything else. You are beautiful inside and out!