You already know that I’m not a big fan of modern medicine. Over the years I’ve had to deal quite a bit with anxiety and I know I’m not alone. My doctor is willing to give me prescriptions for anxiety medication, but I prefer to know how to calm anxiety naturally as much as possible. These are my favorite ways to manage anxiety. I hope they help you as much as they help me.
*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
Anxiety is something many of us deal with on a daily basis. However, there are some people who are incapacitated with constant thoughts of anxiety; so much so that their daily activities are impacted. These people can’t find peace of mind, and need to actively try and get their anxiety controlled.
Medications come with lots of adverse effects and can cause dependency. Another option is to seek out natural ways to calm the anxiety. Natural methods don’t have side effects that may cause more problems than the original anxiety. (Don’t get me started on medications and side effects)
How to calm anxiety naturally
Meditation should be the core of a natural strategy to manage anxiety, since it helps ground your irrational fears. Everyone has apprehension about the future, but meditation helps us to take each moment at a time.
The goal of meditation is not to block out negative emotions, but help you learn to not linger on those emotions. You can try it right now- just sit peacefully for 5 minutes. Let thoughts enter your mind freely, but do not let them linger. The end goal is to have control over your thoughts and not let them ruin your day.
Sleep enough at night
This can be tricky because so many of us have trouble sleeping. Lack of sleep causes your brain to go haywire- playing all sorts of tricks on you and decreasing your emotional tolerance as a whole. Even just one night of poor sleep can completely ruin your day. Strive for a minimum of 7 hours nightly to keep your brain chemistry on point. If this is a struggle, there are herbs that can help you sleep better like valerian, passionflower or chamomile. The one I use most often is valerian.
Exercise is one of the best medicines there is, and there are few things that are comparable to the range of health benefits it offers. Like sleep, exercise helps to naturally manage anxiety and depression by increasing levels of feel good and stress busting chemicals known as endorphins. Our bodies are made to move, so it makes sense that movement makes us feel better. If exercise is difficult, start out with just a short walk each day, even if it’s just around your living room.
I always thought I got more than enough exercise managing a homestead, but I find that going for a walk or doing some yoga makes a huge difference in my mood. So even if you think you are pretty active, find an activity that you enjoy and try it when you start feeling anxious.
Eat dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has numerous benefits on health, and is not your typical sugar laden variety. Dark chocolate is particularly effective in reducing the impact that the stress hormone cortisol has on our body, including precipitating anxiety. The key is to find chocolate that is high in cacao. Cacao is a little bitter but oh so good. If you aren’t used to it, start with a lower percentage of cacao and as you get used to it, get a higher percentage. And of course, limit yourself to just a piece. Don’t inhale the entire chocolate bar (yes, I’m talking to myself here).
Try to get sunlight daily
People in colder climates, like me, have been known to develop a condition known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder), which comes on during the winter months when sun exposure is limited.
Symptoms of SAD include depression, irritability, and increased anxiety, all of which resolve upon exposure to sunlight. If you do live in a cold climate and don’t get much sun in the winter, you can get light therapy lamps inexpensively. You should also consider getting a blood test to check your vitamin D levels. I just had mine tested and I’m low, so I will be supplementing.
TIP: There is a site called Everlywell that allows you to get blood tests done without going to the doctor. And they even accept HSA payments. Use my referral link https://refer.everywell.com/s/Kathleen412 and you’ll get 20% off. And I will get an Amazon gift card so we both win!
Consume more omega-3 fats
Omega-3 fatty acids are strong anti-oxidants, and may help to stem the cause of your anxiety. When you are anxious, cortisol and adrenaline are elevated.
Omega-3 fats combat excessive oxidation and are anti-inflammatory, helping boost production of serotonin and dopamine, and helping keep your anxiety response normal.
Try herbal remedies
There are LOTS of herbs that are useful in treating anxiety. Often it’s a matter of trial and error unless you talk to a reputable herbalist. A few to consider are:
Reiki and other energy healing modalities are very helpful in treating anxiety. Also, Yoga Nidra can be a HUGE help reducing anxiety and this is probably what I use most often for myself. I offer guided Yoga Nidra recordings that incorporate Reiki for the deepest healing experience. You can also find Yoga Nidra recordings online if you can’t find a class locally.
Try some of these ways to calm anxiety naturally and see if they make a difference in your life! And let me know if I can help you.