Managing anxiety is challenging, especially when it feels far outside of our control. Excessive worrying, indigestion, panic, nervousness, fatigue, or a sense of powerlessness: these are all symptoms of anxiety that can be overwhelming and are a lot to take on alone. Many people with anxiety choose to seek out a psychiatrist or therapist in order to feel a little less alone in their anxiety. Unfortunately, we carry around our anxiety well outside the walls of those offices, and it is managing it in our daily lives that is the true challenge.
Some doctors will recommend specific medications to reduce the effects of anxiety. While those medications may help alleviate some of the struggles, they often come with a long list of possible side effects like fogginess, joint pain, nausea, weight gain, or changes in sex drive. Those choosing a traditional western approach rather than a natural one might find themselves wondering at what cost.
For those who are tired of weighing the cost or those who would rather not take the route at all, you are in luck. There are many natural approaches to anxiety from meditation and breathing to herbal supplements.
Here are 5 tips for naturally managing anxiety:
Avoid caffeine, sugar & excess carbohydrates
Caffeine gives the body false energy that can make us jittery and put us on edge which has the potential to only exacerbate anxiety. In addition, avoid refined sugars and starches such as pastas, breads, potatoes, and cereals, because they wreak havoc on hormones, brain neurotransmitters, and blood sugar. They also don’t help with gut health, and when your gut isn’t healthy, your brain and mental health will suffer, as well. A healthy gut equals a healthy, clear mind.
Eat foods rich in good fats
Pastured meats, full fat organic pastured dairy, wild salmon, flaxseeds, walnuts, avocados, and macadamia nuts, are examples of foods with beneficial fatty acids. Furthermore, supplementing with quality omega-3 fatty acids may ease anxiety symptoms and help with mood regulation by lowering stress chemicals in the body and regulating blood sugar.
Spend some time outside in the sun
Sunlight increases vitamin D levels in the body which are shown to alleviate some of the symptoms of anxiety. While another option is to simply take vitamin D supplements, taking a few minutes every day to be outside and clear your mind, can have the right kind of calming effect with the addition of a regular dose of vitamin D3.
Getting a good night’s sleep is sometimes hard for those of us suffering from anxiety. It can cause restlessness, and it’s often hard to turn off our brains before bed. A good night’s sleep is essential, though, because a clear head helps us manage stress better during the day. Turn off your electronics two hours before bedtime and relax with a magnesium supplement. This helps to relax muscles and ease the nervous system allowing for more restful sleep.
Exercising releases endorphins which are the body’s natural painkillers. A regular dose of endorphins helps combat stress and anxiety. Exercise also improves our quality of sleep which we already know is another tool for anxiety management.