[AD] Anxiety is one of the world’s most common mental health problems and anti-anxiety medication is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs with more and more people requiring help in managing their condition each year. Although there is definitely a time and place for conventional medication, many people are instead choosing to turn to natural remedies to help them control the symptoms and causes of their anxiety. If you’ve been feeling anxious or would like to try a natural alternative to anxiety medication then here are 5 things you could try – it’s important to remember that they may not all work for you so give them a try and see if you can find some natural relief.
Get Outside And Do Some Exercise
Exercise has been hailed as a form of meditation in motion, helping you to switch off from the stresses of the day and focus on a single simple task. In addition, it also promotes the release of chemical endorphins within the body which in turn can help to improve your mood. Exercise also stops the production of cortisol, your stress hormone, which can help to relax you in a stressful situation. Any form of exercise can be beneficial, so long as it gets your blood pumping so try to find something you enjoy to make it feel less like a chore and encourage you to do it regularly, why not use this opportunity to try something new such as climbing or cross-fit but remember if you haven’t exercised for a while you may need to consult your doctor to make sure that you are fit to do so.
Practice Breathing Exercises
There’s a reason why your body lets out a big sigh every now and then, it helps to relax you. Breathing exercises are used all over the world as a way to control the body and promote a sense of relaxation. Breathing exercises are the perfect tool to take with you on the go as they can be practiced anywhere and at any time in which you feel anxious. To get the most out of breathing exercises and feel the benefits that they can bring try to make them a part of your routine by practicing them every day, not only when you are feeling your anxiety rising. Belly breathing is a great breathing exercise to start with if you are new to breathing exercises – start by standing, sitting or lying in a position that is comfortable, then place one hand on your belly and the other at your chest. Next, simply breathe in deeply through your nose and focus on directing your inhaled breath deep into your stomach, then pause a moment before breathing out through your mouth. To maintain a regular breath some people find it beneficial to count their breaths in and out. To start with try counting to five for your inhales and then to five again for each exhale, you can slowly increase this as you become more accustomed to the feeling.
If you are looking for a slightly more advanced form of breathing exercise then the 4-7-8 breath is a great one to try. Breath in through your nose for a count of four, hold the breath for a count of seven and then exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. Some people find the long pause and exhale a little challenging so reduce these times if you are struggling and work up to a goal period of 4-7-8 seconds. If breathing exercises are something you find that works for you then there are plenty out there to try and a quick Google search can find you a whole host to practice.
Consider A Therapy Animal
There have been many studies done looking at the effect that animals can have on people’s mental wellbeing which has led to a surge in therapy animals and therapy animal treatments. Dogs now regularly visit hospitals and horses are also used by occupational therapists, psychologists, and physical therapists to help people with both physical and mental ailments. If you find that being around animals helps your condition then you may want to consider purchasing a pet and having it certified as a therapy animal so that it can accompany you in places where most animals are not allowed, such as on public transport or in shops. If owning a pet isn’t an option for you then try to take up a hobby that will allow you to be around animals such as horse riding.
Try Herbal Teas
Herbal remedies have been used and favoured by many cultures for thousands of years as a way to help treat anxiety. Even the simple action of drinking a hot beverage can help by providing a routine, distraction hydration and comfort to the consumer. To take your tea drinking one further why not try one of the many tea-based drinks on the market aimed specifically at reducing anxiety such as Kava, Valerian, Chamomile, Peppermint, Lemon Balm or Passion Flower. You can even add one or two drops of a CBD oil to your tea to experience additional anxiety relief. Just remember to be cautious when experimenting with certain herbal varieties such as Valerian or Kava as they can sometimes be quite potent and may cause reactions with certain medications.
Take Part In Talking Therapy
Talking therapies can not only help you to see your thoughts from a different perspective but can also help anxiety sufferers to feel less alone. There are a number of different ways in which you can take part in talking therapies, from simply speaking to a friend or a loved one about how you are feeling about joining a support group or visiting a specialist counselor or therapist. If speaking to a therapist or counselor in person is too daunting for you then there are now online platforms that you can use which enable you to communicate with them via instant messenger or through video chat and you can work up towards having a face to face meeting.