Anxiety is part of everyday life. From time to time, we worry about things that concern us, like our health, relationships, finances, and careers. This can make us feel alone, frustrated, and incapacitated. When these crippling feelings come, and life seems impossible to handle, there are a few things you can do to help you slow down.
As cliché as it might sound, exercising regularly does a lot in maintaining optimal health. Committing to a regular workout routine that you love, may it be running, walking, swimming, or yoga, does wonder for your physical and mental health. At least 30 minutes of putting your muscles to work every day lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer.
Similarly, there is a link between mental health and physical activity. Exercising when feeling anxious serves as a diversion from things that make one anxious in the first place. Regular exercise can prevent depression and anxiety since it helps the body produce endorphins and other natural chemicals that can improve your well-being.
GET A WHIFF OF HEALING SCENTS
Aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years. A popular way of improving a person’s health or mood, aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils extracted from herbs and the leaves, rinds, and barks of plants. Though essential oils are used for a wide range of benefits, they are used mainly to relieve anxiety and improve sleep quality.
Try lighting an aromatherapy candle or pour a few drops of essential oil onto a diffuser container to allow the scent to fill the air. Essential oils such as bergamot, lavender, ylang-ylang, and clary sage are recommended by the American College of Healthcare Sciences to provide anxiety relief.
DISCOVER THE POTENTIALS OF CANNABIDIOL
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil derived from the Cannabis sativa plant is growing in popularity as a new natural cure for anxiety and a range of other physical and mental health conditions, including insomnia, epilepsy, acne, and pain. CBD oil shops also carry other forms of the product, including lotions, pills, and edibles like gummies.
Help.Org explains that CBD is one of the many cannabinoids made in hemp and marijuana plants, but unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it does not cause a high. It states further that CBD reacts positively with serotonin, a chemical that occurs naturally in the brain and helps regulate mood, including feelings of happiness and well-being.
DRINK CALMING HERBAL TEAS
Many of us turn to a warm cup of tea to ease stress, but there’s more to it than being a favorite beverage. Drinking herbal teas with calming properties can help reduce anxiety-related symptoms. Some of the best herbal teas to combat anxiety are peppermint, chamomile, lavender, valerian, lemon balm, passionflower, and green tea.
LEARN TO MEDITATE
Meditation focuses on staying in the moment. This technique has been practiced for thousands of years and helps in creating a state of deep relaxation and feelings of peace, which makes it easier to manage anxiety. There are various meditation styles that you can try to help calm your mind, including mindfulness and yoga.
Research suggests that mindfulness meditation programs show moderate evidence of improving anxiety and depression and that members of a meditation group reported better outcomes for symptoms of anxiety compared with control groups.
SPEND TIME WITH ANIMALS
Pets are a source of companionship, comfort, and motivation, reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. Thus, people living with pets live mentally healthier lives.
An observational study in 2017 analyzed the outcomes of animal-assisted therapy for anxiety disorders in patients with learning disabilities. Results suggest that the anxiety of patients decreased significantly with animal-assisted treatment compared with therapy sessions not involving any animals.
Key findings of an online survey of 2,000 pet owners in 2016 showed a keen awareness of the health benefits of having pets. Pet owners recognized that human-animal bond reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and help in conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, and Alzheimer’s disease, among other benefits. Most reported that they or a loved one experienced significant mental health improvements after getting a pet.
It’s normal to feel anxious, but if you are experiencing feelings of excessive fear that is persistent and uncontrollable and is interfering with your everyday life, consider seeking professional help to determine if you have an anxiety disorder. A careful assessment of your symptoms by a doctor or mental health expert will help you learn more concrete ways of managing anxiety and taking control of your life.