Integrative Nutrition Blog

6 Holistic Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety

October 13, 2015

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Heart palpitations, hot flashes, trembling hands, a surge of terror… anyone who has ever suffered from anxiety knows how truly miserable it can be. 

Everyone gets nervous and stressed from time to time, but for some people, feelings of dread, worry, and panic can become frequent and overwhelming. 

Of course, it’s important to speak with your doctor, therapist, or healthcare professional to find what works best for you, especially if your anxiety is severe. There are many effective pharmaceutical treatments for anxiety, but many people also find tremendous relief in natural techniques. 

The next time you find yourself tense and overcome with worry, try one of these natural calming options to ease your fears and prevent anxiety in the future. They’re also amazing at simply promoting better overall health, too! 

Breathe easy with lavender oil: Many people experience enormous benefits from essential oils and aromatherapy. In addition to its heavenly scent, lavender is well known for its soothing and sedative effects when its fragrance is inhaled. Add a few drops to your bath, dab some on your pillow, or massage a few drops to your palms and wrists and inhale. 

Practice meditation: The benefits of meditation are well established, and chief among them is its ability to calm an overactive mind. Studies show that subjects who participated in four 20-minute mindfulness meditation classes experienced a significant reduction of anxiety in every session. Even just a few minutes of meditation can have an enormous impact! 

Exercise regularly: Getting regular exercise is enormously beneficial in fighting depression, managing stress, and reducing daily anxiety. In one clinical study, participants with panic disorder exercised for 30-40 minutes three times a week for 10 weeks and experienced almost the same benefit as treatment with medication. Incredible! 

Drink chamomile tea: What could be more soothing than a cup of chamomile tea? There’s science to prove its therapeutic effects are real. Researchers found that patients who took chamomile extract experienced a significantly greater reduction in anxiety than those who took a placebo. 

Cut down on caffeine: Do you ever feel jittery after drinking too much coffee? That’s because caffeine has very real neuropsychiatric effects on your brain that can exacerbate anxiety and sleep issues. Sometimes called “the most widely used psychoactive drug in the world,” caffeine can over-stimulate the sympathetic nervous system.  Try cutting down on coffee and black tea and see if you feel calmer! 

Consume enough L-lysine: L-lysine is an essential amino acid that has been shown to reduce anxiety and the stress hormone cortisol. You can take it in supplement form or obtain it from your food. Simply increase your intake of high quality red meat, fish, nuts, and eggs! 

Have you ever suffered from anxiety? What do you find helps or makes it worse? We’d love to hear – let us know in the comments section below!

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