by Laura Geftman, LCSW
There’s a learning curve to managing your anxiety. No, you won’t find pill shaming here. If pills work for you, that’s cool. Pills don’t necessarily address all your anxiety quelling needs. Sometimes you need some natural remedies to boost your well being.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is an important basic survival function we all use as a coping skill. It’s your body’s natural response to stress. Everyone experiences anxiety at some point of their lives. It’s also a very normal response to stressful life events. It’s like an alarm system that get activated when we feel danger or threat.
A natural human reaction, anxiety is reflected in our bodies and minds. We feel a physical sensation when our bodies react to danger like:
- faster heartbeat
- panting or breathing faster
- tense muscles
- sweaty palms
- queasy stomach
- trembling hands or legs
These reactions are caused by a rush of adrenaline and other chemicals that prepare the body to deal with threats. Bodily changes can be mild to extreme. Ordinary anxiety comes and goes. It doesn’t interfere with your everyday life.
9 Natural Remedies for Anxiety
It’s no secret that your lifestyle choices could be contributing to your anxiety. Changing your habits can change your level of anxiety. Here are some natural remedies to consider incorporating into your days:
- Getting enough sleep – The relationship between anxiety and sleep is well known. The more anxiety you experience, the less you sleep. Managing your sleep with herbs, supplement, and breathing exercises can help your healing.
- Meditating – This mind-body practice is a low-risk holistic approach to exploring your thoughts and feelings. These moments of stillness , bring a sense of calm that can lend to motivation, decision making, and increased productivity.
- Staying active – Exercise not only benefits you physically but emotionally as well. Regulare exercise can have lasting impact on your wellbeing.
- Eating healthy – Sugar and refined carbohydrates found in processed foods can create sugar high and lows which can lead to anxiety.
- Avoiding alcohol – Studies have shown that alcohol is associated with a lower risk of anxiety (source). It’s suggested that you avoid alcohol completely or at least limit your intake to 1-3 drinks per week.
- Avoiding caffeine – Caffeine can induce anxiety (source). Those struggling with panic disorder or social anxiety have been found to be particularly sensitive to caffeine. Consider only drinking one cup per day or switching to tea.
- Use cannabis/CBD – The new info about cannabis is starting to prove that cannabis can regulate dopamine, calm your nerves, and create focus. While cannabis strain with higher levels of THC tend to provoke anxiety, many people report CBD to be very effective to manage anxiety.
Are there other natural remedies for anxiety that you use? Anything you’d recommend?
About Laura Geftman, LCSW
Laura Geftman, LCSW is the Founder of The Calm, Cool & Collected and a practicing therapist. Beyond all things cannabis and mental health, Laura is passionate about developing greater understanding for kindness and acceptance. In her free time, Laura can be found on her yoga mat, in a kayak or singing karaoke.