5 Natural Ways to Cope With Anxiety

If you currently suffer from anxiety, you may sometimes feel like you are trapped. Anxiety is a very serious condition that can severely alter your ability to function and focus on a daily basis—but you should never feel like you are out of options.

With the right approach, anxiety can be controlled and greatly reduced. In addition to prescription medications and professional therapy sessions, you have access to countless natural anxiety remedies within the comfort of your home and community. Below, five natural anxiety remedies are discussed in more detail:

Change your diet

While it may not be an easy thing to hear, diet plays a huge role in maintaining the body’s emotional health. Individuals who eat a healthy, balanced diet are at a smaller risk for developing both anxiety and depression. If you find yourself constantly worried and unable to relax, take a closer look at your daily food intake—excessive consumption of sugar, refined flours, and processed foods is linked to increased anxiety. Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages will also alter the brain and make it difficult to focus and stay still. As you plan your meals and snacks, factor in situations and times of the day where you are most susceptible to anxiety attacks and eat accordingly.

Use calming scents

Smell is considered to be the body’s most powerful sense, and there are many fragrances known to specifically reduce anxiety levels. Researchers test different scents, narrowing them down to the ones that help you relax the most. Common anxiety-reducers include lavender, peppermint, jasmine, lemon, and other citrus fruits. Look for these fragrances in the form of candles, lotions, air fresheners, shower gels, and essential oils. Surrounding yourself with a calming scent during the day, or even just catching a whiff or two during a particularly anxious moment, can help keep you grounded and allow you to cope.

Exercise mindfully

Hand-in-hand with dietary choices, exercise habits influence the overall state of our bodies and minds. Exercising mindfully is just as important as exercising regularly—that is, your exercise needs to counteract your anxiety and not increase it. Twenty to thirty minutes of moderate exercise each day can help reduce anxiety levels, but over-exercising or an obsessive need to exercise will only make your anxiety worse. Start off slow, and try to incorporate yoga or other types of meditation into your routine. A brisk walk followed by ten minutes of stretching and controlling your breathing may be all you need to calm down.

Attempt to relax

While this coping mechanism may seem counterintuitive, attempting to relax can help your mind slow down and allow you to actually relax. If you are experiencing severe anxiety, sit down in a quiet, dark room. Focus on your breathing, and attempt to bring your heart rate back to normal. Close your eyes, count to fifty, play calming music, lie down, call a friend . . . anything that distracts you from the present situation. It's never easy to relax in the middle of an anxiety attack, but making a conscious effort to combat your fears is the first step toward beating them.

Use heat

Heating up the body forces muscles to relax, which in turn can help reduce anxiety. In addition to the physical alterations heat causes in our bodies, our minds associate warmth with a state of comfort and relaxation—the opposite of anxiety. Try taking a hot bath, sitting in a steam room, reading by the fireplace, drinking a cup of tea or hot chocolate, or walking around in warm weather. Even a few minutes of daily “heat therapy” can make a big difference when it comes to managing anxiety levels.

If anxiety is something you are trying to get under control, please contact me for a free consultation. I'm here to help you.