Anxiety can be a normal response to stress or danger; however, when it becomes unmanageable and starts affecting quality of life negatively, it can become an anxiety disorder.
Many individuals find natural solutions, like herbal supplements or aromatherapy, helpful in managing symptoms. Just make sure you discuss this option with your mental health provider first and do not combine these remedies with prescribed medicines.
Meditation can be an invaluable way to manage stress, reduce anxiety and combat negative emotions. Not only can it improve overall mental health and self-confidence levels but it may even help promote physical wellness as well.
Meditation offers numerous advantages for its practitioners, including relieving stress, reducing cortisol levels and inhibiting inflammation-promoting chemicals known as cytokines which may cause high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety depression or sleep issues.
Meditation practices that help individuals observe and observe their thoughts, emotions and sensations without judgment can help reduce anxiety levels while increasing gray matter in certain parts of the brain.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), is one form of meditation which can assist those struggling with anxiety to better regulate their emotions and build up confidence. Studies show that it can reduce symptoms associated with anxiety such as worry, anger and fear.
Studies suggest MBSR to be more effective than medication in treating undiagnosed anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder. A group of adults treated using the mindfulness-based approach saw reduced stress and anxiety after eight weeks of meditation practice.
Researchers claim their new results demonstrate an expanding body of evidence supporting meditation as an alternative to medications for treating anxiety. Meditation has been demonstrated to work just as effectively while lowering risk and complications associated with taking prescription medicines.
Meditation offers numerous health and mental wellbeing benefits. To get the most from it, regular practice is key – research shows that short-term meditation practices, such as five minutes six times weekly are more beneficial than longer ones like 30 minutes once every seven days.
Aromatherapy is a holistic form of complementary health practice, using essential oils derived from plants like lavender, tea tree or lemon to combat stress and anxiety. Aromatherapy often forms part of massage therapy treatments as complementary health treatments.
Essential oils are concentrated extracts composed of various compounds that affect their effectiveness, making them a perfect addition to massage sessions.
Your massage therapist is best qualified to select an essential oil tailored specifically to you and your massage therapy experience. Some oils such as orange blossom or bergamot can have an uplifting or calming effect while others, like chamomile, provide soothing comfort.
Studies have demonstrated that adding just a few drops of an essential oil that induces calm to a massage can significantly alleviate physical discomfort while simultaneously improving mood, making this an effective means of relieving both stress and anxiety.
Many women also find aromatherapy beneficial during labor. According to one small study, women who were massaged with rose oil prior to giving birth experienced less anxiety and fear; had greater well-being; and required less pain medication during delivery.
Dr. Lin suggests diffusing essential oils in your home or office as another effective means to find relief from stress and anxiety, providing a natural way to relax and de-stress naturally. He cautions against excessive consumption as this could potentially be toxic.
Some experts believe the molecules present in essential oils interact with parts of your brain such as the amygdala and hippocampus, areas responsible for memory processing and emotional processing respectively. Research indicates that when people inhale lavender essential oil for instance, the amygdala responds by increasing activity among certain cells within its amygdala – similar to how anti-anxiety drugs act on them. Also some essential oils, like vetiver oil have anti-anxiety properties similar to prescription anti-anxiety medications in terms of effectivity and effectiveness.
3. Green Tea
Tea can be an effective and natural way to combat stress and anxiety. Many herbal teas have proven their abilities as effective ways to promote mental wellbeing – an alternative that could serve as an effective replacement to medication or therapy treatments.
Green tea is an antioxidant-rich drink that supports physical health while simultaneously having a calming effect on nerves. Studies have revealed its power to relieve symptoms of anxiety and stress as well as increase serotonin levels in the brain.
Tea with L-theanine can help alleviate anxiety and stress. But remember that too much caffeine may interfere with sleep quality and heighten stress, so try cutting back or seeking out alternatives with less caffeine to manage your consumption.
Chamomile tea has long been recognized for its ability to promote relaxation and ease tension within the body, thanks to high concentrations of apigenin which has been linked to memory repair and antidepressant effects in laboratory tests.
Lemon balm is another relaxing herb that’s great for alleviating anxiety and stress. Its rosmarinic acid helps activate GABA receptors in your brain to relax you and enhance concentration, helping you feel less overwhelmed and increase focus.
Matcha powder is an innovative form of Japanese green tea known for its ability to soothe anxiety. EGCG and L-theanine both contribute to its potency. It may be recommended for patients suffering from anxiety disorders.
Theanine, an amino acid essential to relieving stress and anxiety, has also been proven to enhance mood and concentration. When selecting matcha for consumption it’s essential that it contains high concentrations of theanine; Ceremonial Grade varieties typically offer higher amounts.
4. Holy Basil
The holy basil plant (Ocimum tenuiflorum), more commonly known by its Hindi name tulsi, is highly esteemed in India as one of the most effective healing herbs. Ayurvedic and Hindu medicine have both made use of it extensively over time.
Herbal adaptogens such as this herb can provide powerful support to maintain equilibrium within your nervous system and alleviate occasional feelings of depression.
Holy basil has long been used to reduce stress and anxiety, by lowering cortisol levels within the body. Cortisol is produced by your adrenal glands as fuel for keeping you alive during stressful situations.
Researchers conducting an experiment with rats discovered that holy basil reduced cortisol levels in their bloodstream while also decreasing levels of the hormone epinephrine and decreasing norepinephrine production in their brains.
While using this herb can provide effective stress and anxiety relief, pregnant or breastfeeding women should refrain from doing so. When purchasing the herb from a reliable source and in an area without polluted surroundings.
Before taking holy basil or any herbal supplements, it is advisable to first consult your physician. Holy basil could interfere with certain medications including aspirin, clopidogrel, dalteparin, enoxaparin, heparin, ticlopidine and warfarin – among many others.
If you take holy basil-containing medicines, discontinuing two weeks before surgery is advised as it slows the clotting process and may increase your risk of bleeding and bruising.
Holy basil can also help those living with diabetes reduce their blood sugar levels, as its ursolic acid can influence liver function and help lower your blood sugar. Unfortunately, however, diabetes presents serious problems to anyone affected.
Yoga can help improve mental health and manage stress effectively, offering a holistic approach to wellness that integrates physical exercise, spiritual practice and meditation into one practice.
Yoga means “union” in Sanskrit, and this concept forms the basis of its practice. Yoga uses physical postures (asanas) and breathing techniques designed to connect you with the universe, as well as teaching you meditation – an intense form of mindfulness focused on present moment awareness in order to cultivate peace.
Yoga practice can be extremely helpful for managing anxiety and stress levels, and starting more physically active. The slow, rhythmic movements associated with yoga practice can induce a meditative state that promotes relaxation.
Some can practice yoga on their own without needing guidance, while others may benefit from taking classes taught by an experienced yoga instructor. If you’re new to the practice, it is recommended to discuss yoga with either your physician or mental health provider to see whether it would help reduce anxiety symptoms.
Beginners might benefit from beginning their yoga practice slowly with classes designed to gradually build strength and stamina. This gives your body time to adapt to each pose while relaxing after exertion has taken its toll.
Breathing exercises such as shavasana are an integral component of yoga and are widely recommended as a means for relieving stress. Savasana involves lying on your back with eyes closed while concentrating on breathing deeply for five minutes or more.