Anxiety and stress are an all too common occurrence in life for a huge number of people. In fact, more than 18% of adults in the US are affected by anxiety. Anxiety and stress can cause physical symptoms such as a racing heart, pains in the chest, muscle tension and headaches, so here we have outlined six natural ways to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and stress.
Natural remedies can often be used alongside traditional medical treatment for anxiety and stress such as medication and/or therapy, but it’s important to seek professional medical as some natural supplements or dietary changes can interfere with medications.
- Meditation and relaxation exercises
When thoughts and worries are whizzing through your head at 100 miles per hour, try to slow your thinking with meditation and relaxation exercises. Yoga is a particularly popular activity for people looking to improve their mood and relieve anxiety as it promotes mindfulness. Breathing and relaxation exercises can also help to slow the heart rate and release tension from muscles.
- Regular physical exercise
Exercise can help to relieve anxiety as it burns off excess energy which may be contributing to your nerves. Not only this but it also stimulates the release of endorphins (the hormones associated with happiness and calm) and reduces the production of the stress hormone cortisol. In addition, regular exercise can help people to maintain a healthier sleep routine which makes people less susceptible to stress and anxiety.
- Cannabidiol oil
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is derived from the marijuana plant or cannabis but does not contain the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) chemical which gives users the psychoactive ‘high’. CBD products, such as the CBD oil drop, are available without prescription and early studies have found that can help in the alleviation of anxiety, reducing blood pressure and promoting a sense of calm.
There are some plant oils that have been reported to alleviate stress and anxiety, although it seems that some scents are more effective for some people than for others. Lavender, for example, has been found to improve sleep quality for women aged between 45-55 in the long term. Aromatherapy can be administered through inhalers, diffusers, bath salts, body oils, lotions, creams, clay masks, facial steamers.
- Interaction with animals
Numerous studies have found that regular interaction, companionship and physical affection with animals has a beneficial effect on people with not only anxiety but a range of mental health issues including trauma.
The benefits of owning a cat or dog include lower blood pressure, reduced loneliness, and a more active and structured lifestyle, but even owning a smaller pet or simply having an aquarium full of fish has been shown to be better than having no pets.
- Self-expression techniques
Keeping anxiety, depression and/or stress inside will only intensify and magnify the issues in the long term, which is why it can help to find a method of self-expression. Writing in a diary, writing stories or poems, painting, sculpting, crafting or any activity which enables you to express your creativity could be an effective outlet for anxiety.