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Anxiety and panic attacks can strike at any time, and are far from pleasant.
Unfortunately, I was a victim of anxiety for several months following the birth of Beans. I fought depression on and off since puberty and through my adult life, but nothing prepared me for the alarming feeling anxiety can produce.
Worry and stress is commonly labeled as anxiety, so it’s important to distinguish between feeling overwhelmed versus true anxiety.
What is Anxiety: Signs and Symptoms
Anxiety is a very real mental health disorder. While most of the symptoms of anxiety are internal, marked by an overwhelming sense of fear and impending doom, there are important physical signs to look for if you suspect you suffer from anxiety:
Shortness of breath or choking sensation
Nausea and dizziness
Numbness or tingling
An anxiety episode will last upwards of 10 minutes, but can feel like an eternity. Like I said before—anxiety is not fun.
Luckily, because anxiety is so widespread, there are many homeopathic and natural ways to help alleviate your feelings of anxiousness via herbs, spa treatments, and even solutions as simple as altering your daily routine.
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Natural Herbs, Supplements, and Treatments to Deal With Anxiety
Lavender and Aromatherapy
Lavender is the tried-and-true herb to de-stress and relax. When I was a child, I remember my mother making homemade lavender sachets to put under her pillow in order to sleep better.
Because lavender is so popular, there are tons of fun ways to incorporate the herb into your natural routine.
How does it work? Exposure to lavender via aromatherapy triggers the areas of the brain that bring on feelings of calm by acting as a natural sedative for your brain. Also, it’s been shown to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone.
However, there are some increasingly popular herbs and supplements on the market that specifically target stress and anxiety.
Aromatherapy: CBD Oil for Anxiety
No—CBD oil, (or cannabidiol oil,) is not marijuana. In order for marijuana products to affect you to the point where you feel high, it needs to include the compound THC.
CBD oil is gaining mainstream popularity because of its plethora of benefits. Now you know why you see CBD oil in your natural health food stores—it’s completely legal!
To get started, buy a high quality oil and start with the recommended dose. Increase the dose over time if needed. There are also tons of fun natural DIY beauty recipes online to try from CBD bath bombs to CBD oil lip balm and more.
Massage and Acupuncture Reduce Anxiety
There are so many benefits to massage—whether it’s from a professional spa treatment or via at-home massage therapy. Anxiety is worsened by lack of sleep, and massage is proven to help you relax your muscles and therefore sleep better. There’s no doubt massage can relieve the physical symptoms of anxiety.
While acupuncture can feel a little new-age, it is acclaimed for its instant relief of anxiety. According to ancient Chinese medicine, acupuncture, or placing small needles at specific energy points of our body, can naturally and quickly help restore balance in the body and the brain.
Dealing With Anxiety Through Good Lifestyle Habits
Get More Sleep to Keep Your Body and Mind Healthy
A lack of sleep can affect you mentally and physically, and is detrimental to your health. If your body doesn’t achieve deep, restorative sleep, your mind and body will protest and is much more susceptible to anxiety and depression.
According to sleep expert and neuroscientist Dr. Matthew Walker, “Sleep is the elixir of life.”
Whether you aid sleep with a homeopathic remedy or regular exercise, it’s important to get the recommended full night’s rest: 7 to 9 hours on average.
Exercise and Getting Outside Can Help Treat Anxiety
I’m not telling you to get up an hour early every morning and go for a 5-mile run. However, getting outside for as little as 15 minutes per day has a tremendous positive effect on your mood.
If you take your family outside, everyone will reap the benefits of outdoor fun. Between the vitamin D, the fresh air, and light activity, your brain and body will get a chance to reset and take a break. Just remember to leave your cell phones on silent in your pockets (or in the car)!
Meditation has astounding effects on anxiety and mental health. Incorporating meditation into your routine can help you regain control of your emotions through deep, concentrated breathing. Contrary to popular belief, regular meditating is attainable! Chris and I have been meditating for nearly two months now, and I can’t stop talking about how beneficial the practice is for us.
Natural Calming through Creativity
Once you have healthy habits in place and an army of homeopathic remedies to help relieve anxiety, you can pick up some new hobbies that innately reduce stress.
Adult coloring books are wildly popular because drawing and coloring help the mind relax and achieve a flow state, which will bring the mind into a meditative state without much thought.
If coloring isn’t for you, pick up a blank notebook and keep a journal. Studies show putting pen to paper can help you gain perspective on a situation and put your mind at ease. A journal is also a good place to record gratitude points, and focusing on positive aspects of life can help reframe the mind.
If you prefer to do something more creative without boundaries, I find hand lettering and embroidery to be very relaxing.
What do you do to help keep anxiety at bay? Do you use natural remedies for stress relief?
Cover photo by rocknwool
Anxiety and Panic. (n.d.). Retrieved June 4, 2018, from https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/anxiety-attack-symptoms
Nena, S. (2017, August). Lavender and Anxiety. Retrieved June 4, 2018, from https://www.livestrong.com/article/334641-gaba-supplements-anxiety/
Chamine, I (2016, June). Aroma Effects on Physiologic and Cognitive Function Following Acute Stress: A Mechanism Investigation. Retrieved June 4, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27355279
Hohman, M. (2014, August). Why Acupuncture Works for Anxiety Relief. Retrieved June 4, 2018, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/why-acupuncture-works-anxiety-relief/
Rogan, J. (2018, April). Sleep Expert on Insomnia. Retrieved June 4, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-iQHE5tdUI
How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? (n.d.). Retrieved June 4, 2018, from https://sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/content/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need-0
5 Minutes Meditation Technique for Stress Relief. (n.d.). Retrieved June 4, 2018, from https://www.healthproblog.com/2018/01/31/5-minutes-meditation-technique-for-stress-relief/
Markway, B. (2014, April). How to Keep a Thought Diary to Combat Anxiety. Retrieved June 4, 2018, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/shyness-is-nice/201404/how-keep-thought-diary-combat-anxiety