So…lately, panic / anxiety attacks are becoming a near daily occurrence in my world. Usually they’re not that bad, but I had one today that was a doozy.
It’s estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety (that’s 18% of the US population), and research shows that nearly 30% of American adults will qualify for an anxiety disorder diagnosis at some point in their lives.
Learning to deal with anxiety can be hard but if you feel that you’re at a stage where you want to do something about it yourself then this guide will take you through some daily tips that you can do to relieve your anxiety and gain back some control for your life.
I’m not the type of person who likes to take pills, so I thought I’d look into more natural methods of anxiety relief.
To that end, here are 9 Sure Fire Ways to Naturally Relieve Anxiety:
Sip on this natural anti-anxiety medicine for its natural calming effect. Chamomile is a mild tea that is shown to significantly decrease anxiety symptoms in just a few weeks!
You know that tired feeling people get after Thanksgiving dinner? It’s actually from the tryptophan in the turkey. Tryptophan is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps you to feel calm. Tryptophan in the form of meat, has been shown to reduce anxiety disorders.
Avocados are great for brain health and they’re also good for anxiety relief. They contain potassium which helps naturally lower blood pressure, and they also contain beneficial B vitamins and monounsaturated fats that are needed for brain health.
The 21 Minute Cure
Twenty-one minutes. That’s about how long it takes for exercise to reliably reduce anxiety, studies show, give or take a minute. “If you’re really anxious and you hop on a treadmill, you will feel more calm after the workout,” says Dr. Drew Ramsey, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
“I generally ask my patients to spend 20 to 30 minutes in an activity that gets their heart rate up, whether it’s a treadmill or elliptical or stair stepping—anything you like. If you rowed in college, get back to rowing. If you don’t exercise, start taking brisk walks.”
Mindfulness meditation is one of many styles of meditation.
Research finds it especially helpful for anxiety, even more so than other forms of meditation.
It’s widely considered the best meditation for beginners because it’s easy, effective, and requires no special training to get started.
It’s the meditation of choice among people who regularly face unusual levels of stress.
Here’s how it’s done:
Sit quietly with your eyes closed.
Breathe normally and simply notice your breath.
Saying to yourself “breathing in, breathing out” can help keep other thoughts at bay.
When you notice a random thought, simply label it as “a thought” and gently bring your attention back to your breathing.
Most people think that if they actually had thoughts while meditating, that they’ve failed. But the goal of meditation is NOT to have no thoughts.
Thinking thoughts is what your brain does incessantly.
The goal of mindful meditation is to simply notice them when they come up and gently push them aside.
The scent of lavender (Lavandula hybrida) may be an “emotional” anti-inflammatory. In one study, Greek dental patients were less anxious if the waiting room was scented with lavender oil. In a Florida study, students who inhaled lavender oil scent before an exam has less anxiety—although some students said it made their minds “fuzzy” during the test.
In one German study, a specially formulated lavender pill was shown to reduce anxiety symptoms in people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) as effectively as the drug lorazepam, an anti-anxiety medication in the same class as Valium.
Holding Your Breath
yoga breathing has been shown to be effective in lowering stress and anxiety. In his bestselling 2011 book Spontaneous Happiness, Andrew Weil, MD, introduced a classic yoga breathing technique he calls the 4-7-8 breath.
One reason it works is that you can’t breathe deeply and be anxious at the same time. To do the 4-7-8 breath, exhale completely through your mouth, then inhale through your nose for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Now let it out slowly through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat at least twice a day.
“Almost without exception, people get more anxious and irritable when they are hungry”. says Dr. Ramsey, coauthor of The Happiness Diet. “When you get an anxiety attack, it may mean your blood sugar is dropping. The best thing to do is to have a quick sustaining snack, like a handful of walnuts, or a piece of dark chocolate, along with a glass of water or a nice cup of hot tea.”
Heating up your body reduces muscle tension and anxiety, research finds. Sensations of warmth may alter neural circuits that control mood, including those that affect the neurotransmitter serotonin. Warming up may be one of the ways that exercise—not to mention curling up by a fire with a cozy cup of tea—boosts mood.