As I discussed yesterday, living with an anxiety disorder can be extremely difficult. It makes daily functioning a struggle for those suffering through it and is typically best treated by a doctor.
But everyone can experience bouts of anxiety from time to time. They can last a few days or a few weeks, but when these periods hit, the easiest of tasks can seem extremely difficult. It may be hard to see that there is a way you can treat and defeat anxiety, but there is—in fact, there are several natural ways that can help relieve the anxiety that’s bogging you down and affecting your quality of life. Here are my top natural treatments for anxiety.
Meditation: A method that I’ve found effective is meditation. Removing yourself from everything for a few moments each day is a good way to relieve stress and prevent your anxiety from taking over. While you meditate, make a conscious effort to shut out the things that are making you anxious. Find a place that’s quiet, sit up straight, close your eyes, and focus on taking deep, regular breaths.
Rest: Getting more sleep is vastly important in limiting the levels of anxiety and stress that you experience. Having said that, if you’re experiencing a bout of anxiety, falling asleep can be extremely difficult. However, there are ways you can help promote rest by altering your environment.
I think two of the biggest reasons why people have trouble sleeping are because they don’t have a consistent sleep schedule and because they don’t set up their sleeping space for, well, sleeping.
To help promote sleep, something worth trying is simply setting a bedtime every night. At a predetermined time, turn the lights down low, and get comfortable and relaxed; consider sitting down with a book and some herbal tea. Essentially, you’re trying to signal to your body that it’s time for sleep. After taking this time to calm down, climb into bed and you should fall asleep fairly easily.
Another way to help promote sleep is to make sure your bedroom is dark and there are no electronic devices, other than an alarm clock, to keep you awake. Televisions, smartphones, computers, and tablets emit bright colors and lights that stimulate your senses, making it much more difficult to fall asleep.
Exercise: If one of the symptoms of your anxiety is muscle tension, try getting some exercise. Exercise loosens up the muscles, lowers inflammation, and can act as a stress reliever, while working to boost your confidence and self-esteem. It can even calm certain parts of the brain, helping curb anxiety. If you’re not already exercising, I suggest giving it a try by attending a beginner exercise class or going for a hike. Just don’t exercise right before bed!
These are some of the best natural techniques I use to help treat occasional periods of anxiety. If you’ve had a long-term struggle with consistent anxiety, however, I’d recommend talking to your doctor.
Sources for Today’s Article:
“Stress and Anxiety Interfere With Sleep,” Anxiety and Depression Association of America web site, 2014; http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/stress/stress-and-anxiety-interfere, last accessed September 16, 2014.
Corliss, J., “Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stress,” Harvard Health Blog, Harvard Health Publications web site, January 8, 2014; http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-may-ease-anxiety-mental-stress-201401086967.
Schoenfeld, T.J., et al., “Physical exercise prevents stress-induced activation of granule neurons and enhances local inhibitory mechanisms in the dentate gyrus,” National Institutes of Health web site, May 2013; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23637169, last accessed September 16, 2014.