Anxiety is a problem that concerns everyone nowadays.
Although mental health is becoming an open topic little by little, some people still fear visiting a mental health professional and are looking for alternatives to deal with anxiety.
As result, more and more people are searching for ways to treat, prevent or cope with their anxiety naturally.
Here are 13 simple and achievable ways to reduce your anxiety naturally.
How to Reduce your Anxiety Naturally
Exercise lovers might be a mystery to those that don’t exercise at all. But, once you learn and feel the difference exercise does in your life, it’s like you are enlightened.
And it’s not only because of the physical benefits like more energy, better shape, and feeling stronger. But exercise boosts your mental health in many ways. It releases stress and anxiety and it makes you more confident. It never fails to make you feel better, even if it’s temporary.
But still, many people hate the fact of getting all sweaty and sore. If you’re one of those, you must know there are different types of exercise and that you can choose whatever fits your needs.
You can even exercise at home! Here are some great YouTube channels to follow along:
2. Cut back on Caffeine
Coffee is a “feel good” drink, especially when hot. It makes you feel warm and calm. The best is that it wakes you up!
(Although some people say it helps them to sleep. I could never…)
But, that “good feeling” coffee gives you might make you forget the fact that coffee is an anxiety inducer. High levels of caffeine in your body increase your heart palpitations and you might even feel out of breath.
These symptoms are similar to those of a panic attack and they skyrocket your anxiety.
Cutting back on coffee is a good idea if you’re feeling anxious. Not just on coffee, black tea, coke, or other caffeinated beverages too.
3. Dance Your Heart Out
Before you use your two-left feet as an excuse, let me say that I’m not saying you should dance in front of a whole crowd or get into a salsa class. Unless you want to, of course.
WebMD says that dancing helps with:
symptoms of depression and anxiety by releasing certain chemicals in your brain. It also provides a way to escape repetitive negative thoughts and worries.
To calm your anxiety naturally, turn up some music or put on a Fitness Marshall video and just dance your heart out. Dancing requires you to focus on the music, on your body, and the present moment. As a result, you forget everything else, even that thing that’s making you anxious.
Here is a list of dancing YouTubers you can follow along:
4. Do Breathing Exercises
You might not be aware of it, but the chances are you’re a shallow breather.
But don’t worry, it’s not only you. There is a lot of people out there that aren’t used to breathe deeply. And that’s why breathing exercises work as a way to calm anxiety naturally.
Breathing exercises not only help you to focus and to slow down, but they make you aware of your body.
Getting into them might feel odd at first, but if you truly want to feel better, you should give it a try.
On your own, it’s gonna be awkward and it’ll probably stress you out. That’s why you should try to follow along with a video or a podcast like the ones below:
5. Play with Your Pet
Either if you have a dog, a cat, or a horse, your pet can be your best friend if you’re feeling anxious. Did you know animals can feel when you’re stressed out?
There are hundreds of videos around the web of pets’ cute reactions when their owners are pretending to cry. Everyone loves to watch videos about pets (especially cats). But more than entertainment, these videos show how much influence a pet can have in mental health, even in a video.
Research has shown that caring for your pet boosts your mood and eases feelings of anxiety and depression. So, go play with your pet right after you finish reading this.
7. Read a Book
Alright, book lovers, this is your thing.
When it comes to reducing your anxiety naturally, reading a book can do trick. Why?
- reading a book gets your mind off any preoccupations
- allows you to stay present and focused
- puts you into perspective
- gives you insight
Reading to deal with different mental health problems isn’t something new. It’s known as bibliotherapy, and mental health professionals use it to help you understand what’s going on with your mind and body.
A 2016 study found that students with a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Bibliotherapy reported a significant decrease in mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and stress.
7. Cut Back on Alcohol
There could be many reasons why you drink alcohol. You could drink alcohol because you deem it as something social. Or you could just be getting a drink to relax.
The problem is, alcohol could be having the opposite effect: it could be making your anxiety worse! The American Addiction Center says the following:
Alcohol use disorder can exacerbate an existing anxiety disorder or may lead to new anxiety symptoms and vice versa.
So, if you feel like that beer or that shot ain’t helping, it’s probably because it’s not. If you’ve modified everything else, but your anxiety keeps acting up, you might want to replace that “relaxing” beer for something else.
8. Drink Some Tea
You are what you eat. Or so they say.
But, the same way some types of food can increase your anxiety, like coffee and alcohol, others can help you feel better.
The best example? Tea. There are multiple tea types and not all of them have the “calming” effect, although all of them are comfort drinks. But, a good way to reduce your anxiety naturally is to drink tea.
Some of the best teas to help with your anxiety are:
- Green tea
- Rose tea
9. Use Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is as old as time, but only recently became popular because of diffusers and essential oils.
Although research is not extensive on aromatherapy and essential oils, there are a few studies that show the positives effects of using them.
For example, a 2014 study concluded that:
The scores on depression, anxiety, and stress decreased in the intervention group after the aromatherapy program […] The results were consistent with those of previous studies, namely, that aromatherapy was able to relieve negative emotional symptoms.
So, if you like smelling nice things, getting a diffuser is a good idea both to have a nice smelling home and to reduce anxiety naturally. Some of the most popular essential oils to reduce stress and anxiety are chamomile, geranium, lavender, and mandarin.
10. Write a Journal
Journaling can be one of your best allies to cope with anxiety. The thing about journaling is that there aren’t any written rules to do it (although some methods work better than others with anxiety).
You can choose to keep morning pages, do a bullet journal, or just a 5-minute page. Whatever it is, writing down your thoughts and worries benefits you in three ways:
- grounding yourself
- being more mindful
- putting a name to your emotions
You can also use your journal to keep a mood tracker or a log of “events” of the days you’re feeling anxious.
11. Talk It Out
There will be occasions when you’ll get anxious imagining catastrophic scenarios that are never going to happen. But, what can you do? Your mind is telling you they’re possible!
In these cases talking to a friend can help. A good friend will hear you out without judging you and after, they can give you perspective and insights into your situation.
Sometimes your mind just needs to hear from someone else that everything is going to be ok.
12. Sleep More
In the 21st century, who sleeps enough, right?
Well as true as it is that nowadays it seems impossible to get a good night’s sleep, sleeping should still be a priority.
It is no secret that sleeping benefits the body and the mind in many ways. For example, sleeping:
- boosts your immune system
- reduces stress
- boosts your mood
- lowers the risk of chronic illnesses
The lack of sleep on the other side worsens your anxiety. That’s why a natural way to reduce your anxiety is increasing your sleeping time since you might not be sleeping enough.
13. Clean your Home
Another way to reduce your anxiety naturally is to clean your home.
As silly as it might sound, clearing your environment is a way to clear your mind too. A Verywell Mind article states that the relationship between a clean home and mental health can help reduce your anxiety.
You don’t necessarily have to spring-clean your home. You can choose simpler tasks like doing the laundry or washing the dishes.
The important thing is that you clear out your surroundings to help your mind stay clear too.
How can I reduce anxiety fast?
Ok, let’s get one thing clear: there’s no easy way out of anxiety. Yes, you can reduce your anxiety fast TEMPORARILY, but if you don’t attack the root of the problem, it will come back.
For example, if your workload is making you anxious, you can try to reduce your anxiety naturally and it will work. But, you should work on creating a life balance so you help your anxiety problem in the long term.
What helps severe anxiety?
If you’re suffering from severe anxiety then you should skip the quick solutions and go directly to see a mental health professional. A therapist or psychologist will determine the best process to work with your anxiety.
Can I Recover from Anxiety?
You can recover from severe anxiety.
Although a certain type of anxiety is expected in life, it shouldn’t be to an extend that it keeps you from being functional.
Recovering from a serious anxiety disorder takes a lot of professional help and a lot of effort from each individual. It requires changes in your lifestyle, your mindset, and your habits. In other words, it isn’t a simple task but it isn’t impossible.
A final word
Those are simple ways to deal with your anxiety naturally!
Remember, everyone feels anxious at one moment or another. But, if your anxiety is affecting your life, you should look for professional help.
What’s your method to cope with anxiety? Write it in a comment below!