Anxiety is very common and can make people worry uncontrollably, making them feel tense, have an increased heart rate and even chest pain.
Although it’s very common, there are many things we can do to help reduce our feelings of anxiety including many natural remedies and methods.
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Here is our top pick of the best natural remedies to combat anxiety.
Best natural remedies for anxiety
If you're an animal lover, you'll know there is nothing quite like a cuddle with a furry friend. It has even been scientifically proven that petting an animal can reduce your blood pressure. Browse some pet toys for your furry friend while you're at it and de-stress them out too!If you're lucky enough to have a pet of your own, schedule some time in your day for some cuddle time with your four-legged friend without any other distractions.
It has been proven that regular exercise gets the endorphins flowing through your body to boost your happy mood. How about a zumba workout to get the party started? Even if it's just a short jog, at at-home workout video or a brisk walk, these happy chemicals will be released. So next time you're feeling like it's all getting a bit much, head out for a fast-paced walk to clear your mind.
There are several natural aromatherapy oils you can incorporate into your daily life that will help you feel calm throughout your day. Try this diffuser to get you started.Add a few drops of lavender oil to your evening bath, add some jasmine oil to your room diffuser (or if you don't have a diffuser you can just inhale it from the bottle to get a quick boost of calm) and if you find your anxiety levels increase at night, pop some drops of bergamot oil onto a handkerchief to sleep with and help you drift off.
It's so important to get a good deep sleep each night as sleep, stress and anxiety are all intertwined. Perhaps try reading Dr Rangan Chatterjee's The Stress Solution to reset your body, mind and more. If you struggle to nod off at night, be sure to cut out caffeine in the afternoon and eat magnesium-rich foods such as spinach or almonds for dinner as those with low-magnesium levels have been linked to increased fatigue.
Sometimes it can feel like there are a million thoughts running around in your head. When these feelings arise, grab a pen and a notebook and get it all out on paper. Try using this 5-minute anxiety relief journal for inspiration.Seeing our thoughts written out can often help us feel like we've really got something off our chest, and it is a good starting point for getting your thoughts organised and more manageable.
Did you know caffeine can stimulate anxiety? Switch your usual morning coffee or regular cups of tea for a calming herbal alternative.Camomile, peppermint and green teas all have a brilliant calming effect on our bodies and minds so next time you feel anxious, sit and have a relaxing cuppa. Here is Pukka's 'night time' tea to try.
Eating a balance of the right foods can reduce our anxiety believe it or not. And if you can incorporate some of the anxiety busting foods into your day-to-day, such as asparagus or dark chocolate, you might feel some great effects. Try Laura Lea' Balanced cookbook for ideas.
Discussing any worries and concerns with friends can be very therapeutic for some. You may even find that you share many of the same problems. Even if it's just a chat on the phone or you meet for lunch, speaking about your problems can be a real help. If you haven't got anyone you feel you can talk to and you're feeling down, you could join the Yours FitMind50 Facebook group. It's a group of supportive, like-minded readers who are keen to try new things over the next year.
Sometimes all you need is to stop and take a big breath. Get comfortable, lie-down, stand-up, sit-down – however you feel comfortable. Breath through your nose and out your mouth. Some people find it helpful to count to five on each breath in their head. Continue this calming relaxation technique for 3-5 minutes if you ever feel stressed, anxious or panicked. Here's Nadia Narain's Beginners Meditation.
Although these tips can help some people, it’s important to seek professional help if feelings of anxiety and stress continue to impact your life. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to your GP about it, there are ways you can refer yourself to free therapy sessions online. Find out more about the services available here.