Living with anxiety is often a daily struggle. Long-term, chronic anxiety can lead to many other health issues. While many doctors prescribe medication for anxiety, eating a healthy and well-balanced diet may help naturally control anxiety symptoms. Anxiety treatments without medication may include exercise, whole foods and essential oils.
Try these ten anxiety relief techniques:
Ashwagandha is an herb that can be used as a natural remedy for a panic attack. It has the ability to stabilize the body’s response to stress. Ashwagandha improves anxiety symptoms by destroying free radicals in the brain. It can help improve focus, reduce fatigue and ease feelings of anxiety.
2. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
An excessive amount of alcohol or caffeine can increase symptoms of anxiety, including nervousness and mood swings (1). To reduce anxiety symptoms, limit coffee and black tea to no more than one cup per day, and limit alcohol to 1-3 drinks per week and no more than two at a time.
3. Kava Root
Kava root can be used as a natural anxiety supplement. It works by stimulating dopamine receptors in the brain to produce a feeling of euphoria, which improves mood and reduces anxiety. Kava root can produce mild side effects, so be sure to use it under the guidance of a health care professional.
Many adults are magnesium-deficient. Magnesium helps the muscles relax and calms the nervous system. A deficiency can contribute to anxiety. Take a magnesium supplement or add magnesium-rich foods to your diet to boost your intake.
5. Lavender Oil
Studies have shown that lavender oil can work as a natural remedy for anxiety. Researchers found the essential oil to be just as effective as benzodiazepine, an anti-anxiety medication (2). Put 3 drops of lavender oil in your palm and rub the oil on your neck, wrists and temples for anxiety relief.
The entire body benefits from regular physical activity, including the brain. Exercise helps improve sleep quality, improve energy levels and reduce stress. Whether you prefer yoga, swimming, hiking or another form of exercise, staying active can help reduce anxiety levels.
7. Roman Chamomile
Roman chamomile essential oil has a mild sedative effect. It can help calm nerves and reduce anxiety. The scent of roman chamomile essential oil also helps the brain fight off symptoms of anxiety.
8. Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods
Processed foods full of sugar and artificial ingredients can contribute to anxiety and depression. A diet full of sugar can cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate throughout the day, increasing anxiety, nervousness and fatigue. Skip processed foods and fast foods and stick to whole foods instead.
Gamma aminobutyric acid or GABA is an amino acid that is responsible for decreasing anxiety and relaxing the muscles (3). It can be used to relieve insomnia, stabilize blood pressure and reduce anxiety. You can find GABA supplements in your local health food store.
10. Vitamin B Complex
B vitamins play an important role in combating stress and regulating mood. Vitamin B6 helps boost mood and balance blood sugar levels, which naturally decreases anxiety. Vitamin B12 can also help the body fight stress, depression and other mood disorders. Take a Vitamin B supplement or add foods rich in Vitamin B to your diet.