Check Levels Of Magnesium
Magnesium is an important mineral in the human body. It plays a role in more than 300 enzyme reactions and helps maintain muscle and nerve function, blood pressure, and the immune system.
Its also one of the minerals that many Americans do not get enough of in their diet.
Like with vitamin D, you may want to check your current magnesium levels before supplementing.
You can get magnesium naturally by eating:
- whole wheat
, but your body doesnt make them on its own. Instead, you get all your omega-3 fatty acids through your diet by eating foods such as fish or flaxseed.
If youre considering taking omega-3 supplements, you may want to mention this to your healthcare team. They can sometimes interfere with certain prescription medications, such as blood thinners. They may not be recommended for people with certain medical conditions.
Take A Hot Bath With Epsom Salts
First, a hot bath is always calming. Second, adding some Epsom salts to the water may help boost your mood and act as natural anxiety relief. These salts contain magnesium sulfate, which may have anxiety-fighting benefits. For example, information published in a 2017 issue of the journal, Nutrients, notes that there is suggestive but inconclusive evidence for a beneficial effect of magnesium supplementation in mild anxiety. As is the case with a lot of research about natural remedies, this one also points to the need for further investigation.
Relaxing Teas For Anxiety
Before humans figured out how to stuff herbs into capsules or isolate active ingredients from plants, herbs and plants were often consumed as teas.
Most of the plants and herbs below are also available in the form of supplements, but there are some good reasons to consider using them in the form of tea instead.
Unlike swallowing pills, sipping tea is enjoyable and the ritual of making and drinking tea can be very relaxing.
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How To Sleep Better If You Have Anxiety
Getting enough shut-eye every night is vital for both our physical and mental health. When we sleep, our bodies perform a variety of functions, from repairing damaged cells to strengthening our immune systems.17
Sleep is also crucial for our brain as its when it processes all the information weve soaked up during the day and consolidates it into long term memories.18
If you dont get enough sleep every night, youll likely feel lethargic the following day, much more irritable and probably have poorer concentration levels. These can all have a big impact on your everyday life and may make any anxiety youre experiencing seem much worse.
Holy Basil Or Tulsi Tea
Holy basil, also called tulsi, is yet another herb used in the Ayurvedic healing tradition.
Its one of the most revered plants in India as its name attests tulsi means the incomparable one.
It is thought to bestow upon its users a long and healthy life.
Holy basil alleviates stress and anxiety by decreasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
It provides significant relief to those with generalized anxiety disorder.
It can also help with other brain-related disorders, such as depression, memory loss, insomnia, and migraine headaches.
Holy basil can be consumed either as a supplement or as a tea known as tulsi tea.
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Natural Remedies To Help Anxiety
There are natural remedies to decrease your anxiety. Many are safe even if you are taking prescription medication for your anxiety. Please note that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesnt regulate vitamin supplements, herbal remedies, herbal supplements, and herbal teas. Use caution, as herbs and supplements can interact with many prescription and over-the-counter medications you take. Let your healthcare professional know everything youre taking so you can do so safely.
Ways Of Dealing With Anxiety
Finding the right support and coping mechanisms can help in dealing with the problem. The following steps are those that might help in managing your anxiety:6
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Natural Anxiety Meds: What Are Good Alternatives To Benzos
Millions of people in the U.S. struggle with anxiety, doing their best to manage their mental health every day. Anxiety disorders can complicate life for people to go to work or school or relate to others. Generalized anxiety disorder can leave people feeling wound up or on edge or irritable. People may also have a hard time getting to sleep or staying asleep and worry to the point that they cannot concentrate.
Ashwagandha Herbal Supplement To Relieve Stress
Ashwagandha is an effective herbal supplement for anxiety.
A review of 5 studies found that treating anxiety disorders with ashwagandha supplements can help to reduce stress and anxiety and improve mental well-being. In both animal and human studies, ashwagandha has shown an anxiolytic effect. Researchers noted that ashwagandha is a safe herbal supplement for anxiety relief.
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Are Supplements Ok With My Prescriptions
If a doctor diagnosed you with an anxiety disorder, theres a good chance youre taking a prescription drug. Many people with anxiety or depression take drugs known as SSRIs that work by changing your brain chemistry. Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, and Zoloft are common SSRIs.
You should be aware that herbal remedies are not harmless. Adding them to other drugs might cause serious problems. Those problems may include fever, diarrhea, chills, extreme drowsiness, or seizures. Taking vitamins is often OK. To be on the safe side, dont take any supplements before asking your doctor. If you are taking supplements or any over-the-counter medications, make sure to tell you doctor about them.
Aromatherapy And Essential Oils
Aromatherapy uses oils or extracts from plants and herbs based on their smell. Different aromatherapy formulations use either the entire plant or parts of the plantflowers, roots, leaves, stems, or twigs. These types of oils are called essential oils.
While essential oils have gained popularity in recent years, this treatment is ancient. Hippocrates advocated using pleasant scents for healing.
Essential oils can be rolled or massaged onto the skin, inhaled through the nostrils by using a diffuser, swallowed in a gelatin capsule, or used as a flavoring. Several scents are thought to help reduce anxiety. Citrus scents like lemon, sweet orange, bergamot, and florals, including rose, jasmine, neroli, and lavender, may be beneficial for anxiety relief .
Side effects can occur if you are allergic to an oil, have sensitive skin, a history of asthma, get the oil in your eyes, or swallow the oil. Children and the elderly are at a higher risk of experiencing side effects .
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A Simple Breathing Exercise To Alleviate Anxiety
Practice this simple breathing exercise to help lower levels of anxiety.16 You can be standing, sitting or lying when completing this exercise. However, focus on relaxing your body and ensure there is no tension through your shoulders.
If focusing on your breathing in this way is making you feel more anxious, stop. It can take practice to feel the benefits of this technique, so try to do a little at a time and build up slowly.
Some natural supplements can also be helpful alongside these breathing techniques to relax, reduce feelings of anxiety, and improve your sleeping patterns.
How Do Essential Oils Help With Anxiety
Its highly recommended that you try using essential oils if you are feeling anxious, and its all down to the power of scent.35
Simple smells, such as lavender, chamomile and rosewater can instantly help us feel calm, particularly if youre gently breathing in or rubbing these essential oils on to your skin .
Its essential you dilute them as theyre far too potent to be used neat.
To dilute essential oils, simply mix them with a carrier oil.
The amount you dilute them down by depends on their original strength.
As a general rule of thumb, the higher their percentage, the more likely you are to have a reaction, so its important to mix them correctly.
Always check the usage instruction before using essential oils.
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Warning: Natural Anxiety Medication And Safety
Another issue that must be noted before recommending any natural medicine is that the stronger the medication is, the less safe it is – even when it’s natural. Anything that alters your body’s chemistry can cause side effects, or at least may interact with other drugs, alcohol, or foods. While natural medicines are safer than prescription medications, the stronger a medicine is, the more careful you need to be about using it. Always be in touch with a doctor before using any type of medicinal anxiety treatment.
In addition, medications can become a crutch that may make dealing with anxiety worse. It’s crucial that you never only use medicine without a supplementary treatment. Natural medicines for anxiety, as you’ll see below, are a great way to stop anxiety now, but they don’t do anything about anxiety in the future. If you only use medications, you’ll start to depend on those medications for relief, and make it harder for yourself to learn techniques to control future anxiety.
Check Your Vitamin D Levels For Potential Deficiencies
Vitamin D is linked to levels of serotonin, the mood-boosting hormone that aids in focus and helps you feel calm. Some research has found a link between anxiety disorders, depression, and vitamin D deficiency.
Its important that you speak with a therapist and primary doctor about getting lab tests done on your vitamin D levels. This can help determine if a deficiency is contributing to your anxiety symptoms. From there, you can determine next steps with a doctor to increase your vitamin D levels.
You can up your vitamin D levels by spending time outdoors in the sun, eating fatty fish, ensuring you get enough fortified foods, or taking a supplement.
*You should talk to your doctor before adding any supplement to your diet.
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Stress And Anxiety Triggers
Everybodys anxiety is caused by different things. If you know what your triggers are, then hopefully you can then minimise or remove them from your routine.
Some examples of general triggers include driving/travelling, phobias, caffeine and work-related stress.9
Avoid setting yourself unachievable targets if youre suffering from anxiety, as trying to complete everything at once can add to your stress and worries.
Focus your time on the things you can change and ignore the things you have no control over. Resist using alcohol, drugs or cigarettes as coping mechanisms because they can contribute to poor mental health in the long run.9
Remember, youre not alone. Most people experience stress, anxiety and fear throughout their lives.
Exercise To Combat Stress
Get moving to help reduce your anxiety. After all, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that even just brief walks lasting about 10 minutes may boost mood. It makes sense exercise produces endorphins, chemicals which are your bodys natural painkillers. In turn, youre better able to sleep, which can diminish stress. Exercise can also improve overall cognitive function and reduce fatigue. If you think youd rather watch grass grow than hit the gym, take these tips into consideration to learn to love exercise.
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Anxiety Remedies That Dont Work
There are many old wives tales, myths, and misconceptions about treating anxiety. Some well-known remedies dont work, lack evidence, or can actually do more harm than good, such as:
- Essential oils: While lavender, rose, citrus, bergamot, and other essential oils are often marketed as helping anxiety, many have not been studied enough to say that they help anxiety beyond the relaxing effect they might have on someone who enjoys their aromas.
- Herbal supplements: Many herbal treatments are unregulated and of little benefit, Dr. Zablow says. They can cause harm when poorly made or if they contain contaminants. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so theres no guarantee that the claims they make are true or the ingredients they contain are safe.
- Many people self-medicate with marijuana, cannabis, or cannabidiol . However, with overuse, dependence on the drug over time, or improper dosing, these remedies are ineffective or can make anxiety worse. Frequent marijuana use may also lead to other health issues like cyclic vomiting syndrome and respiratory issues.
Most importantly, do not stop your anxiety medication cold turkey in favor of natural remedies. Always talk to the prescriber before changing or stopping your medication. If you are dissatisfied with the results of your anti-anxiety medication, meet with your physician. You may need a dosage or medication change or you may benefit from adjunctive complementary therapies.
Suggest They Try A Herbal Remedy
There are a number of herbal remedies which have been used for centuries to help relax those who suffer from anxiety.
Valerian root has been used for hundreds of years as a herbal remedy for nervousness, anxiety and insomnia, based on traditional use only. Its able to relax the muscles and slow down brain activity so you feel calmer.53
St Johns Wort is another millennia-old herbal remedy used to relieve symptoms of mild anxiety, based on traditional use only.
St Johns Wort is thought to work by reducing the time it takes for the brain to use up serotonin the bodys happy hormone.54
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Natural Remedies For Anxiety That Really Work
Almost everyone experiences anxiety at one time or another. Whether its about money, work or relationships, modern life seems to be a minefield of anxiety-producing situations. But everyday anxiety isnt necessarily something that requires turning to drugs or therapy. In observance of Mental Health Month, were sharing these simple anxiety remedies that you can try at home.
Drink Green Tea Instead Of Coffee
Experiencing intense, short bouts of anxiety can raise your blood pressure and stress your heart. This wont hurt you once in a while, but over time it can damage your heart and blood vessels.
A compound called L-theanine, which is present in green tea, can help reduce anxiety and limit its effects on your heart and blood pressure. Instead of a morning cup of coffee, try a few cups of green tea to feel focused, energized and relaxed.
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Some Natural Anxiety Alternatives Are:
Ashwagandha. This herb, whose name means smell of the horse, is used in the ancient Ayurvedic Hindu system of medicine and is available in the United States as a supplement. One study published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine found that it lowered stress levels in the group of participants that used it versus the placebo group, which didnt.
According to Psychology Today, ashwagandha is found to be very helpful to calm anxiety, and specifically, help agoraphobia .
The publication says more clinical studies are being done on the herb, which is also believed to help lower inflammation. It also says that people who have anxiety and stress along with sleeplessness and nervous depletion may benefit from ashwagandha.
The herb has been used to improve cognition, including in cases of Alzheimers disease. However, there are side effects, such as drowsiness and forgetfulness, and Verywell Mind reports that right now, there is scant scientific research that compares how effective ginkgo is when it comes to anti-anxiety medications in the treatment of any type of anxiety disorder.