“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.” – Brad Meltzer
Anxiety is the fuel that feeds that battle. It is an invisible monster that plagues most of our society. Anxious thoughts and emotions typically spawn from the racing mind aka the monkey mind. Especially in today’s world, it is SO EASY to get in our own heads. There are societal pressures, upcoming bills, and famous people on Instagram that make us – to put it simply – stressed out! Our minds begin thinking about the future, which can lead to spiraling thoughts that cascade into more stressed-out thoughts. This eventually can turn into anxiety.
Many people don’t talk about their anxious emotions and feelings. Others avoid them and pretend they don’t exist. Until anxiety becomes a topic more commonly spoken about at the dinner table, how can people deal with it? Aside from supporting each other unconditionally through this whirlwind that we can ‘life’, what can we do to combat this invisible monster? With open arms and compassion, our Wellness Center team has come up with a plan to help you. No matter where you are in the world, your age, gender, color, interests, etc., we believe this can help you overcome anxious thoughts and emotions.
Here are 20 natural remedies that will help you effectively deal with and ultimately get rid of anxiety.
Natural Ways to Reduce Anxiety Through Movement
Our first overarching theme for reducing anxiety through natural remedies is movement. Moving your body is key!
The basis of many yoga practices is rooted in connecting the mind and body. Anxiety spreads like wildfire when there is a disconnect from our minds and bodies. Anxious thoughts like thinking far ahead into the future can stress us out. There are natural ways to calm down this anxiety. One effective movement practice is to get rid of these feverous thoughts is practicing Yoga.
There are various different types of yoga. A few you may recognize:
- Kundalini Yoga
- Restorative Yoga
- Ashtanga Yoga
- Hatha Yoga
- Hot Yoga
- Vinyasa Yoga
It may take testing out a few yoga classes before determining which is best for you. Some are physically intense. Others focus more on mindfully and spirituality. And some a HOT!
What Types of Yoga Help With Anxiety?
In the context of dealing with anxiety, yoga that is more physically challenging can be helpful. Have you ever felt anxious while running up a huge hill on the last mile of your 5K event? It’s challenging to do both simultaneously! Yoga bridges the gap between our bodies and minds by connecting them through movement.
Another yoga technique that is helpful when treating anxiety is Kundalini Yoga. This movement practice involves a variety of singing, chanting, and breathing exercises while performing repetitive movements. By involving our minds through audible chants and noises, we help release certain emotions that otherwise would stay stuck inside us. Expressing anxious emotions is one of the steps to acknowledging and eventually overcoming anxiety.
2. Network Spinal Analysis
Network spinal analysis, also known as NSA, is a holistic chiropractic technique that involves no bone popping or cracking. Say what?! That’s right. Network spinal chiropractors – instead of using huge physical forces – use gentle touches along the spinal cord, back, and neck. This helps release stored tension in the muscles and joints.
So, how are chiropractic and anxiety related? People experience huge emotional releases from receiving this chiropractic care. Check out this video to see how network spinal analysis can be a natural remedy for anxiety.
When we experience traumatic emotional events in life, we tend to store that energy in our bodies. This can show up later in life through chronic pains, aches, or anxiety. Network spinal chiropractic helps people release this tension stored in the body from past traumas. Have you ever thought that you have fully ‘dealt’ with something in your past, and then realized later that you hadn’t fully worked through it? Many of us have been there. Network spinal is a natural remedy for anxiety that can help you overcome events from your past.
3. Walks Through Nature
Mother Nature is our friend. Research shows that walking through nature can help reduce anxiety and depression. Taking a quick (or long) stroll through the woods can do wonders for your brain and your soul.
Plants have feelings too – they are there to comfort us as we walk among them. Not to mention, getting away from our cell phones and laptops is nice. Walking through nature can be used as the perfect escape from anxiety. Many of us – now working from home – don’t move our bodies as much as we used to. Movement is key to calming down anxiety.
PRO TIP: Add nature walks into your daily routine.
“But my schedule is too busy and I work all of the time!” Your health and emotional well-being is more important. Do your best to carve out extra time to invest in yourself and wellness. If you’re pressed for time on weekdays, consider getting up a few minutes earlier and walking first thing in the morning. Search for local hiking trails near your house where you can venture through the woods for a few minutes. By walking first thing in the morning, you increase the blood flow throughout your body and brain. This will make you better equipped to get rid of anxiety that comes your way throughout the day.
4. Exercise Regularly
Starting a routine exercise regiment is an effective way to treat anxiety and depression. This is the last of the natural remedies that involve movement of the body.
We understand that exercising is not for everyone. It’s hard! Especially when you first start exercising, every day usually results in soreness.
For this, think about exercising as a wellness practice instead of a way to get really jacked. Movement, whether it be yoga, walks, or chiropractic adjustments can help you deal with and conquer anxiety. You don’t need to rush to the nearest 24-Hour Fitness and subscribe for $50/month. Start at your own pace, but make sure that you stick to the routine that you set for yourself.
Movement is Important to Health
There are multiple studies that show the positive mental effects of exercising regularly. Dopamine gets released in the brain. This fuels our happiness throughout the day, making us stronger when fighting against anxious thoughts. Once you get into a consistent workout routine, your mind starts to treat it as a reward system.
- “You made it to the gym AND worked out for 60 minutes?! Nice job!!” – your brain
Many serial entrepreneurs have also stated that exercising in the middle of the day is the best productivity hack that exists. This means that exercises can actually give you MORE energy. The less tired we feel through the day, the better our interactions with others will likely be. This can lead to fun moments, ultimately increasing your happiness level.
Natural Remedies for Anxiety Through Spirituality
Calming the monkey mind is key to fully deal with anxiety. Meditation is a perfect gateway into becoming more emotionally grounded. You can practice meditation right from the comfort of your own home. It’s free, but there are also paid services that you can subscribe to if you prefer to get deeper into it.
Insight Timer is a free smartphone app that I’ve personally used for meditation. They even have a meditation category specifically labeled “anxiety”! Here are several other meditation categories that you can find:
- Sound Healing
If it’s your first time meditating, it can feel challenging.
PRO TIP: Don’t beat yourself up if your mind starts to race. Celebrate the fact that you are practicing meditation, and always view it as a ‘win’.
Start by meditating for 5-10 minutes first thing in the morning or right before bed. The goal is to remove all distractions. Yes, that means no taking selfies while listening to a guided meditation course.
Meditation has been used for centuries as a natural way to deal with anxiety. It helps calm your mind, although you have more control over your thoughts. The mind is powerful! We can harness its power through meditation and use it to help us get rid of anxious thoughts that pop up.
6. Breathing Exercises
Don’t forget to breathe! But seriously…don’t forget.
Regaining control over your breath is a powerful tool to calm down anxiety. The internet is not shy when sharing useful resources for breathing exercises. If you have experienced extreme anxiety or panic attacks, controlling your breathing is incredibly effective in calming your system down.
Breathing exercises can also be used outside of heightening situations. For example, many people practice breathing exercises when they first wake up in the morning. Similar to meditation, you can knock these out before the noise of the day floods your mind.
There is Power in Breath
You can get rid of anxious feelings and calm down your entire nervous system through your breathe. Think about it. When you are running up a steep hill, your heart is racing and your body is required to breathe very quickly to keep things moving. We experience a similar heightening breathing pattern when in fight or flight mode.
Anxiety has the power to put our nervous system in that state without physical movements, such as running up a hill. When our thoughts become hard to control, try to control other parts of our system (i.e. your breathe). These exercises are a useful tool that will help you get rid of anxiety and panic attacks.
Grounding the body through difference senses reduces anxiety and other turbulent emotions. Aromatherapy is a natural healing treatment that has been used for thousands of years. Breathing in a strong blast of lavender is an effective way to calm down anxious thoughts. Plus, who doesn’t like smelling nice things?!
Aromatherapy – also known as essential oil therapy – uses different oils, balms, herbs, and liquids to calm your system down. This natural remedy is especially effective when experiencing extreme anxiety. Wafting in deep breathes of cool eucalyptus can squash even the strongest of anxious thoughts.
This holistic therapy doesn’t stop at anxiety. It can also help with headaches, immunity, and digestion. Powerful scents help calm down our nervous systems, which are connected to everything else in our bodies. If you’re trying to get rid of anxiety, consider tapping into all of your senses!
When it doubt, write it down.
Journaling is a fantastic (and free) way to express your thoughts. Have you ever had trouble figuring out how you really feel about something in life? Writing out your thoughts provides both mental and emotional clarity. You can journal several different ways to help reduce anxiety.
- Gratitude journaling
- Reflecting on your day
- Affirmation journaling
- Writing out a mantra
It’s easy to have millions of thoughts throughout the day. Not all of them are happy thoughts. And that is ok!
Writing things down in a journal can help you sift through those thoughts and determine which are true and important. Spiraling through a whirlwind of different emotional thoughts is challenging. How do we know how to feel? And are our feelings legitimate/justified? Having a gratitude journal is a valuable way to reduce anxiety that you’re experiencing.
Gratitude Journaling for Anxiety
You can add this natural remedy to your daily routine by journaling first thing in the morning or right before bed. “I don’t know what to write about!” The idea here is to be specific. VERY specific.
Try to write about 3 different things in life that you are grateful for. One can be about someone in your life (past or present) that helped you out in some way. Examples:
- Previous mentor
- Older sibling
Write down why you are thankful for them. Did they help you understand something more in life? Maybe they helped you out with a problem that you were dealing with. It can be anything. Try to be specific!
You can also journal about things in life that you are grateful for (car, house, job, toy, game, etc.). It can be a material item. Or maybe you’re just happy having 2 legs because not everyone has both. Get creative and be specific about the thing you are thankful for, and WHY you are thankful for it.
Natural Remedies for Anxiety Through Dietary Changes
9. Eat Clean
Your gut affects how you feel emotionally. For example, too much gluten can affect your mental health and emotions. Gluten, among many other things in the world of food, can influence how you feel.
While some people can power through a pound of pasta and feel fine, many of us feel sluggish after poorly. Everyone deserves a diet cheat day. However, poor eating habits compound over time to have negative effects on your health.
Eating clean can help your body function optimally throughout the day. Your confidence will increase when you feel good internally. Our gut is something that we should prioritize more when considering our overall health! Eating the wrong foods can trigger conditions like hyperparathyroidism, leading to anxiety!
“Garbage in, garbage out.” (GIGO)
By steering your diet more towards eating healthy foods, you give yourself the best chance to feel good emotionally throughout your day. Note, that doing this is not a quick fix. You should still practice other natural remedies for anxiety that are listed above to help you reach your goals.
10. Reduce Caffeine
Can anyone else not live without caffeine in the mornings? (OVERWHELMING AMOUNT OF HANDS RAISE IN THE CROWD)
Caffeine is not the worst thing in the world for humans. It has a variety of health benefits, such as high levels of antioxidants. Then why worry?
Overconsumption of caffeine can lead to increased levels of anxiety. This is also known as the ‘coffee jitters’. Too much of any stimulant is typically bad for your health. Coffee, and other caffeinated drinks, are no different. Avoid drinking too much caffeine throughout the day if you are experiencing anxiety. You can reduce these anxious emotions by supplementing coffee with decaf coffee or herbal tea.
11. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Similar to caffeine, consuming too much alcohol can have a negative effect on your body and emotional well-being. Alcohol is a depressant. This means that when you consume it while experiencing anxious thoughts, they could become worse.
Having a grasp on your alcohol intake is a good practice for everyone, not just people who are trying to get rid of anxiety. If you find yourself in social situations that make limiting alcohol challenging, consider supplementing alcohol with a different type of drink, such as seltzer water. The bubbly aspect of the drink can help you feel like you’re still part of the activity of ‘drinking’ while out and about.
12. Herbal Teas
Who needs coffee when you have this delicious natural drink? Drinking herbal tea is a great way to calm down anxiety. The warm liquid, similar to a cup of soup your grandmother used to make, is soothing.
Alongside the warmth of this drink, the ceremonial aspect of it can feel grounding to the soul. Boiling the water, steeping the herbal tea, and sipping the liquid slowly are all part of the act. You can’t rush it – both the processing of steeping or drinking it.
Which herbal tea should I drink to help with anxiety? Chamomile Tea contains relaxing properties that help calm down the nervous system of the body. It is known to help with depression and insomnia, too. You won’t be disappointed with the flavor or the health benefits! Adding herbal tea into your diet is a natural way to deal with anxiety and depression.
Clinical research shows that certain herbal teas like Lavender offer accessible and affordable alternative therapies for helping address mood disorders such as anxiety. It’s possible that many other herbal compounds could offer alternatives to traditional pharmacological treatments that are expensive, sometimes inaccessible, and often cause many unwanted side effects. Unfortunately, as these compounds aren’t patentable, there isn’t much incentive for anyone to fund the research to support their use. However, organizations like Crowd Funded Cures are working hard to pioneer new approaches that can help fund these types of studies to repurpose off-patent drugs, herbal and dietary supplements, and even lifestyle changes that help prove the effectiveness as alternative therapies.
Natural Ways to Reduce Anxiety Through Lifestyle Changes
13. Getting Better Sleep
“Sleep is for the weak!” – Patrick Star from SpongeBob SquarePants
Ha! Silly Patrick. Sleep is incredibly important for your well-being. This is true for both your physical health and emotional health. You can squeak by with a few hours of poor-quality sleep here and there. However, if you continuously are not getting great sleep, it can come back to bite you.
Sleep is the time when our bodies can regenerate and refuel what it needs to get through a full day. Have you ever woken up on the wrong side of the bed? This may be because you didn’t get enough sleep. It can completely throw off your day.
Similar to eating clean, getting better sleep is not going to help you get rid of anxiety after one day. This is only one piece of the puzzle! Practicing as many natural remedies as you can put you in the best position possible to overcome anxiety. It takes an army sometimes! Not an army of soldiers; an army of wellness practices to defeat anxious emotions.
14. Increase Sunlight Exposure
The sun provides a lot of benefits to mankind. Sunlight beams vitamin D down from the sky into our skin to help keep us healthy. We can also fry an egg with it on the sidewalk if it’s hot enough!
Exposing ourselves to the sun (in moderation) has both physical and emotional health benefits. Of the bat, it makes us happy to feel warmth on our bodies. Similar to a cup of herbal tea, it is soothing. Sunlight also provides vitamin D – as mentioned previously – that our bodies soak up throughout the day.
Sun Lamps for Winter Anxiety
Depending on where you live in the world, sunlight may be hard to come by. Winter depression is a real thing! If you have limited amounts of sunlight in your area, consider buying a sun lamp. These can be extremely effective at reducing anxiety throughout dark winter months. You can place this on your desk – perfect when working from home! Sun lamps are a great tool to reduce anxiety and depression when sunlight is not an option.
Other Natural Ways to Reduce Anxiety
15. Spend Time With Animals
Who doesn’t love cute animals? Spending time with animals can improve how you feel emotionally. Especially when the animal is a baby, the cuteness can burst nearly any anxious bubble.
For example, equine therapy is a natural treatment that is used to help reduce anxiety and depression. Horses are known to mirror and reflect the emotions of humans. To many, they seem to relate to humans on a different level than other animals. A horse has presence. You can feel that when spending time with one. This quality time spent with animals can help reduce your anxiety and bring happiness to your day.
Of course, we have to give cats and dogs a shoutout too. For all of the cat lovers out there, they are great life companions. Spending time with them can help you heal from trauma and work through difficult anxiety.
16. Take Cold Showers
Taking a cold shower has several health benefits that may coax you into taking the plunge more often. Exposure to cold water can dramatically help calm your nervous system and anxiety down. For extreme anxiety and panic attacks, this is a useful remedy.
First off, cold water can be so shockingly cold that it’s simply hard to think about much else. Think about it … it’s hard to think about why your day is going well while you are worried about how freezing it is! More importantly, taking a cold shower brings you back into your body. It bridges the gap between your body and mind.
17. Weighted Blankets
Using a weighted blanket is another natural remedy for anxiety that works extremely well. Similar to a cold shower, it brings you back into your body.
The weight from the blanket brings more than just warmth. It comforts the person. If you experience extreme anxiety, consider trying out a weighted blanket. You can quickly get rid of anxiety while using these. They come in several different types of colors and weights. Get creative and customize them based on your needs.
You Can Get Rid of Anxiety
Anxiety is no joke. It can completely alter the course of your day and your life. Believe with confidence that the universe is here to support you – as well as others. Experiment with these treatments and remedies for reducing anxiety and depression. Consider using some interchangeably based on your preference, style, and needs! You can utilize a natural remedy for anxiety to help you reduce feeling unhappy and live life to the fullest.