How to Beat Anxiety Naturally
If you’re prone to anxious spells, or going through a tough time, we get it. Even simple bumps in the road can feel catastrophic. Learning to live with anxiety is a process, so we’ve pulled together some of our tried and true top tips to help you beat anxiety the natural way.
Break a sweat
When we exercise, our clever brains flood with stress-busting endorphins, which work like natural mood boosters and can last for hours. If that isn’t enough of a reason to get moving, regularly feeling the physical sensation of exercise – that tight-chested feeling of being out of breath – can help to rewire the way we react to the symptoms of panic attacks.
Tip: Ideally, we should aim for twenty minutes of aerobic exercise like swimming, jogging or cycling five times a week to reduce anxiety. If that sounds like a lot, start slow: a brisk lunchtime walk or a session of Sunday morning yoga will still work wonders for your mood.
Ditch the caffeine
Swap your morning coffee and afternoon cuppa for a steaming cup of chamomile or green tea. Studies show that chamomile can reduce symptoms of anxiety and leave you feeling cool, calm and collected, while green tea contains L-theanine, a naturally occurring amino acid that boosts calming brain chemicals and reduces stress hormones.
Tip: If you don’t tend to like green tea, you might be over-brewing it. Only let green tea steep for one to two minutes, and let the boiled water cool for a minute or two before you begin to brew. You can also adjust the flavour with honey, lemon or mint leaves.
Take a breath
Practicing mindful meditation techniques can help you to develop new ways of dealing with anxious thoughts. You don’t need all the bells and whistles of a Tibetan singing bowl, special meditation cushions or rosewood mala beads to start practicing meditation: all you need to do is breathe.
Tip: Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a few moments to focus on your breathing. Inhale through your nose for four beats, then hold your breath for seven. Slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat for thirty seconds to a minute.
Make bedtime beautiful
Cherished by grandmothers across the land, lavender has a trick or two up its sleeve to beat anxiety. Its floral scent actually slows down your heartbeat, relaxes your muscles and helps you to sleep soundly.
Tip: Make a homemade lavender pillow spray and spritz liberally over your pillow before you go to sleep for the optimum snooze.
Try an ashwagandha tipple
Practitioners of Ayurveda have been using ashwagandha to treat anxiety for thousands of years. As well as being a great libido-booster (which is always good to know), it naturally lowers levels of the ‘fight or flight’ stress hormone cortisol.
It’s worth remembering that some natural remedies can interfere with prescription medication, so it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before adding anything new to your routine.