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Beat anxiety: 6 ways to deal with it naturally

girl reading lots of books looking anxious

Photo by Silvia

Have you ever thought about the fast-paced lives we all live nowadays? The era of multitasking and information – just compare every thought or duty to a small ball, and imagine yourself as a juggler. How many thoughts can you ‘juggle’ at the same time? For some, these balls can represent innocent thoughts like a ‘to do’ list or a recap of the day’s events. However, the racing mind of other people might be focused on more worrisome topics, which can often lead to anxiety and panic.

girl reading lots of books looking anxious
Photo by Silvia

Been there, done that, all of us know how hard it can be to shut off these stressful thoughts. Besides, they can even make your sleep an impossible thing to do. This can contribute even more to the feeling of anxiety, and that is how a never ending cycle is formed. Well, it’s time to take a deep breath, because we have some great news! There are a few natural ways that can help you deal with anxiety, so relax and keep reading!

What exactly is ‘anxiety’?

Let’s be honest, everyone can get anxious from time to time. Whether it’s related to work, deadlines, financial or family problems, or something else, it’s normal. It can still mess with our thoughts and even with the quality of our sleep, though.

Stress can be triggered by any event or situation that makes a person feel frustrated or nervous. Anxiety, on the other hand, is a feeling of worry, fear or unease. Yes, it can be a reaction to stress, or it can simply appear in people who are unable to identify significant stressors in their lives.

However, anxiety and stress are not always bad. They might happen to help you overcome a dangerous situation or challenge, in the short term. For some people, a bit of stress helps them get motivated to do things that they need to do, for example prepare a presentation even better or study for a test. 

Every person experiences stress and anxiety in a different way. Do these symptoms sound familiar? Stomachache, muscle tension, rapid breathing, sweating, shaking, dizziness are just some of the physical symptoms that characterise a person feeling stressed or anxious. Some of the mental or emotional symptoms include feelings of panic and nervousness, restlessness, irrational anger, difficulty concentrating, feelings of impending doom and etc.

6 ways to deal with anxiety naturally

Nowadays, more and more doctors are turning to natural alternatives to complement conventional medical therapies. Anti-anxiety meds can cause some serious side effects. For example, they can make one feel nauseous, have insomnia, nervousness, diarrhea, be emotionally numb or even face sexual dysfunction. However, there are a few easy, natural ways to deal with anxiety which can really help.

Try meditation

Nowadays, meditation has become a very popular approach to managing stress and anxiety.The purpose of meditation is to help you control your breathing, which is the key to slowing the mind’s racing thoughts. Breathing exercises, visualization and progressive muscle relaxation are three of the most common relaxation strategies. These techniques are found to successfully help in managing and reducing anxiety and stress. There is an array of different meditation styles, including mindfulness as a fast-spreading trend and meditation through yoga.

Yoga is a combination of asanas (postures) and a meditation activity that actually incorporates all three of the aforementioned relaxation techniques. It is known to reduce feelings of anxiety, help ease stress and enhance mindfulness. 

woman girl morning yoga
Photo by @cottonbro

The aim of the mindfulness-based stress reduction approach is to learn how to detach from anxious thoughts. This is why the primary goal is to practice awareness, how to identify tension in different parts of the body and understand the mind’s thinking patterns. Only then will you be able to learn how to deal with complex and difficult emotions.

Start exercising 

This is no news, exercising a few times a week is known to be a fantastic stress reliever. Engaging in physical activities, such as pilates, jogging, hiking or just any kind of exercising has been shown to decrease levels of tension. At the same time exercising can affect and stabilize a person’s mood, improve sleep, and build their self-confidence as well.

Writing

Another way to deal with anxiety and make it feel more manageable is by finding a way to express it. A study has shown that creative writing, i.e. journaling and similar writing forms to it can help children and young adults cope with anxiety.

Eat healthy

A healthy mind in a healthy body – start with your diet. Eating all of the right foods and vitamins is the best place to start if you want to prevent anxiety. Just think of how anxious and irritated you feel when you are hungry because you haven’t eaten for a while. So, make sure to eat food rich in proteins and enough carbs to keep the blood sugar steady throughout the whole day. 

healthy breakfast - avocado on toast with boiled egg
Photo by Wesual Click

Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in foods such as walnuts, salmon, chia seeds, oysters and tofu, can reduce anxiety. It’s worth a try, since all of the mentioned are super delicious and can also help your body fight with heart diseases. 

Don’t forget to breathe!

When a person feels anxious, it’s normal to notice some uncomfortable symptoms. For example, your muscles are becoming tense, you get the feeling that you start breathing very quickly but can’t use the whole potential of your lungs, and your heart beats rapidly. Yes, this is your body preparing to respond to a real danger, like for example the sight of a bear In the woods. 

Sadly, a person’s body has this reaction to everyday things like deadlines or family issues.That is why one should use deep breathing as a way to inform the brain and whole body in general, that there is no real danger. 

Spend some time in nature

Research shows that spending time in nature has a hugely positive and calming effect on your well being. Being in nature reduces negative feelings such as fear and stress and helps you focus on all that is good for your psyche. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Even if you don’t have time to spend too much time in nature even a ten minute walk in the park would do you good. You can spend some time outdoors or even try to walk barefoot on the grass which has a grounding effect and can improve your sleep or reduce your pain.

Believe it or not, mobile apps are here to help you deal with anxiety as well!

As we already said, there are several ways to help you deal with stress. But thanks to the modern era, and smartphones in our society, there is another way to beat anxiety and stress! Now you can download certain apps that can provide almost any kind of stress therapy. You can even install some of those on your Alexa device as “skills” (skills are essentially apps on Alexa).

These apps are available to download on both Apple and Android platforms, or other voice-operated devices such as Alexa or Google Home, and some of them are free. So, you can simply start a trial period to see if the app works for you and then continue using it if it does.

Headspace

‘Your guide to health and happiness’ is what they say.  With Headspace, you can choose between guided and unguided meditations to help you through any kind of phase in your life. This app offers ten free sessions, and many hours of extra content if you turn out to like it and want to subscribe.

Stop, breathe and think

The name of this app explains it all. It reminds us that we should stop and embrace the present moment. Through guided meditations, this app will help you take some time out and focus on yourself.

Calm

Many rate Calm as the number 1 app to help you deal with anxiety and stress. This app contains relaxing music, video lessons on mindful movement and can help you get good quality sleep. It’s simply designed to help you be calm.

Self-Help for Anxiety Management 

Better known as SAM, this practical app is designed to help you learn more about your type of anxiety, build your anxiety toolkit and adjust to your needs. Sam will help you understand your anxiety, monitor your behavior and learn how to deal with it.

BetterHelp

This app is super useful, as it connects you to professional counsellors. This way you get in touch with a real human being in order to get help for your issue with stress and anxiety. BetterHelp offers counseling to both individuals and couples. It is very affordable and can save you from having to go to a therapist office. You can do it from the comfort of your home either via phone or video! 

Don’t leave it for later, deal with anxiety now!

Nowadays we live busy lives, in a world that is constantly changing. That is why it comes as no surprise that many people deal with a certain kind of anxiety disorder. The good news is that very often the natural alternatives to medications can be quite effective. So, take a deep breath and use some of the natural ways to reduce anxiety and help you live the restful life that every person deserves. 

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