Anxiety can range from vague but persistent worrying to an all-out can’t breathe panic attack. Either way, you can learn how to treat anxiety naturally, and have help on hand whenever anxiety strikes.
Deep yoga breathing. Anxiety can trigger a rapid breathing response, causing us to pant or hyperventilate and gulp for air. One of the quickest ways to stop anxiety in its tracks is to breathe deeply, counting for eight seconds or so as you slowly inhale and exhale, and pausing between each breath.
This type of breathing is an essential part of yoga, though you don’t need to practice yoga poses to take advantage of the breathing benefits. It is helpful to close your eyes, but if you are in public, just focus on each breath instead of your surroundings, and breathe steadily until you feel more calm.
Green Tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that has been shown to calm nerves without making you drowsy. Green tea still contains a little caffeine, enough to keep coffee addicts from feeling like your head will explode, but without any caffeine jitters. And green tea is full of anti-oxidants.
In your own way, use the act of brewing tea as a small ritual to slow you down. Green tea needs a little longer to brew than black tea, so you can use those few moments to focus on the present, instead of all the things you worry about.
Chamomile and ginger are two more teas with a long tradition of helping to treat anxiety. Research published by the National Institute of Health showed chamomile to be effective at reducing anxiety in test subjects. Made from the chamomile flower, this fragrant herbal tea is caffeine free, and makes a relaxing evening beverage. Some people with hay fever, however, may find they need to avoid chamomile when pollen counts are high.
Ginger is excellent for soothing nausea and stomach discomfort brought on by stress, and the spiciness warms you up inside. It takes about 5 minutes to brew, so don’t rush it.
Exercise keeps showing up as a universal treatment for almost anything that ails us. You don’t have to try and be an athlete or feel even more anxious about how you’d look at a gym. Just doing any form of sustained exercise such as walking, biking, rowing or dancing for 20 to 30 minutes relieves both anxiety and depression, and helps keep them away.
There is more and more evidence that our sedentary lifestyles are hurting us. So if you are looking for how to treat anxiety naturally, regular exercise is a lifestyle change that can have tremendous benefits. Something as simple as a 20 minute walk, followed by some gentle stretching, lets you work off the stress, take in more oxygen, makes you more resilient and calms you down.
Vitamins B and C are not stored in the body and must be replenished every day. B vitamins, especially Folate, play a key role in helping us deal with stress. Green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and nuts are good sources of vitamin B. If you tend to worry about getting colds, getting adequate vitamin C may help prevent one, and also put your mind at rest.
Omega3 has been shown not only to improve heart health, eye health, and depression, but to gradually decrease anxiety as well. Oily fresh water fish like salmon or sardines are excellent sources of Omega3, and it can also be found in flax seed, hummus and chia seeds.
Cultivate letting go. Even with good nutrition and exercise, a big part of treating anxiety naturally depends on our letting go of whatever we are worrying about. Some anxiety is a learned response. Whenever we see problems, or even create them, but don’t see an immediate solution, we can easily trick ourselves into believing that no solution will ever come. So we worry…because at least it feels like we are doing something, when we don’t actually know what to do.
Well, maybe doing nothing is just fine. The problem may fix itself, we may discover an answer when we stop worrying, or maybe the problem wasn’t really a problem anyway. Letting go doesn’t happen automatically. We need to practice. Some meditation, some simple awareness of the present moment, some putting our worries aside.
To treat your anxiety naturally, take a deep breath, take a walk, have some tea and practice letting go.
Chamomile study source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19593179.
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