Natural ways to cope with anxiety
Natural Remedies for Anxiety: 10 Ideas
Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or worry that could be caused by a combination of factors that researchers believe range from genetics to environmental to brain chemistry.
Some common symptoms of anxiety include:
- increased heart rate
- rapid breathing
- trouble concentrating
However, it’s important to note that anxiety can present itself in different ways for different people. While one person may experience a butterfly feeling in their stomach, another might have panic attacks, nightmares, or painful thoughts.
With that being said, there’s a difference between everyday anxiety and anxiety disorders. Feeling anxious about something new or stressful is one thing, but when it gets to an uncontrollable or excessive point and starts to affect your quality of life, it could be a disorder.
Some anxiety disorders include:
- panic disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- separation anxiety
- illness anxiety
- generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- social anxiety disorder
Anxiety can be treated in a variety of ways. One common treatment option is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps provide people with tools to cope with anxiety when it occurs.
There are also certain medications, like antidepressants and sedatives, that work to balance brain chemistry and prevent episodes of anxiety. They may even ward off the most severe symptoms.
If you’re looking to go a more natural route, though, there are little and big ways you can help combat anxiety.
You can make adjustments to habits, like exercise, sleep, and diet. You can also try something totally new, like aromatherapy or meditation. No matter what your lifestyle demands, there’s a natural way to help reduce anxiety for everyone.
1. Stay active
Regular exercise isn’t just about physical health — it can be a huge help to your mental health, as well.
A 2013 study found that people with anxiety disorders who reported a high level of physical activity were better protected against developing anxiety symptoms.
This could be for a variety of reasons. Exercise can divert your attention away from something that’s making you anxious.
Getting your heart rate up also changes the brain chemistry to create more space for anti-anxiety neurochemicals, like:
- gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
- brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), regular exercise leads to an enhancement of concentration and willpower, which can help certain anxiety symptoms.
When it comes to what type of exercise, this is more of a personal preference. If you’re looking to really get your heart rate up, something like a HIIT class (high-intensity interval training) or running is your best bet.
But if you’re looking to start off with something with a little lower impact, workouts, like Pilates and yoga, could also be just as beneficial for your mental health.
2. Steer clear of alcohol
Drinking alcohol may take the edge off at first, since it’s a natural sedative. However, research suggests there’s a link between anxiety and alcohol consumption, with anxiety disorders and alcohol use disorder (AUD) occurring hand-in-hand.
A 2017 review that looked at 63 different studies showed that decreasing alcohol intake can improve both anxiety and depression.
Heavy drinking can interfere with the balance of neurotransmitters, which can be responsible for positive mental health. This interference creates an imbalance that may lead to certain symptoms of anxiety.
Anxiety may temporarily increase in early sobriety but can improve in the long run.
Alcohol has also been shown to disrupt your body’s natural ability to sleep by interfering with sleep homeostasis. And as we’ll later point out, a good night’s sleep is incredibly helpful when combating anxiety.
3. Consider quitting smoking cigarettes
Smokers often reach for a cigarette during stressful times. Yet, like drinking alcohol, taking a drag on a cigarette when you’re stressed is a quick fix that may worsen anxiety over time.
Research has shown that the earlier you start smoking in life, the higher your risk of developing an anxiety disorder later. Research also suggests nicotine and other chemicals in cigarette smoke alter pathways in the brain linked to anxiety.
If you’re looking to quit, there are lots of different ways you can get started. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends finding a safe substitute for cigarettes, like toothpicks.
You can also take up habits that may distract you in order to create an environment that works for your smoke-free life. Additionally, you can make a plan with a support system who can provide everything from encouragement to distractions.
4. Limit caffeine intake
If you have chronic anxiety, caffeine is not your friend. Caffeine may cause nervousness and jitters, neither of which is good if you’re anxious.
Research has shown caffeine may cause or worsen anxiety disorders. It may also cause panic attacks in people with panic disorder. In some people, eliminating caffeine may significantly improve anxiety symptoms.
Similar to alcohol, caffeine and anxiety are often linked, due to caffeine’s ability to alter brain chemistry.
For example, a 2008 study showed that caffeine increases alertness by blocking the brain chemical adenosine, which is what makes you feel tired, while at the same time triggering the release of adrenalin.
With all this being said, a moderate intake of caffeine is safe for most people.
However, if you’re looking to cut back or completely cut out caffeine, you’ll want to start by slowly reducing the amount of caffeine you drink daily.
Start replacing these drinks with water to quench the thirst. This will not only satisfy your body’s need to drink a liquid, but it will also help flush caffeine from your body and keep you hydrated.
Gradually reducing your caffeine over the course of a few weeks can help adjust the habit without the body going through withdrawal.
5. Prioritize getting a good night’s rest
Sleep has been proven time and time again to be an important part of good mental health.
Even though a 2012 survey found that nearly a third of adults get less than 6 hours of sleep a night, the CDC recommends that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day.
You can make sleep a priority by:
- only sleeping at night when you’re tired
- not reading or watching television in bed
- not using your phone, tablet, or computer in bed
- not tossing and turning in your bed or going to another room if you can’t sleep
- avoiding caffeine, large meals, and nicotine before bedtime
- keeping your room dark and cool
- writing down your worries before going to bed
- going to sleep at the same time each night
6. Meditate and practice mindfulness
A main goal of meditation is full awareness of the present moment, which includes noticing all thoughts in a nonjudgmental way. This can lead to a sense of calm and contentment by increasing your ability to mindfully tolerate all thoughts and feelings.
Meditation is known to relieve stress and anxiety and is a primary facet of CBT.
Research from John Hopkins suggests 30 minutes of daily meditation may alleviate some anxiety symptoms and act as an antidepressant.
How to meditate
There are 9 popular types of meditation:
- mindfulness meditation
- spiritual meditation
- focused meditation
- movement meditation
- mantra meditation
- transcendental meditation
- progressive relaxation
- loving-kindness meditation
- visualization meditation
Mindfulness meditation is generally the most popular form. To mindfully meditate, you can close your eyes, breathe deeply, and pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You don’t judge or become involved with them. Instead, you simply observe them and take note of any patterns.
7. Eat a balanced diet
Low blood sugar levels, dehydration, or chemicals in processed foods, such as artificial flavorings, artificial coloring, and preservatives, may cause mood changes in some people. A high-sugar diet may also impact temperament.
If your anxiety worsens after eating, check your eating habits. Stay hydrated, eliminate processed foods, and eat a balanced diet rich in complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins.
8. Practice deep breathing
Shallow, fast breathing is common with anxiety. It may lead to a fast heart rate, dizziness or lightheadedness, or even a panic attack.
Deep breathing exercises — the deliberate process of taking slow, even, deep breaths — can help restore normal breathing patterns and reduce anxiety.
9. Try aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that has been used by humans for thousands of years. The practice uses natural plant extracts and essential oils to promote the health and well-being of the mind, body, and spirit. Its goal is to enhance both physical and emotional health.
The essential oils created by the natural plant extracts may be inhaled directly or added to a warm bath or diffuser. Aromatherapy is suggested to:
- help you relax
- help you sleep
- boost mood
- reduce heart rate and blood pressure
Some essential oils believed to relieve anxiety are:
- clary sage
- ylang ylang
10. Drink chamomile tea
A cup of chamomile tea is a common home remedy to calm frayed nerves and promote sleep.
A 2014 study showed chamomile may also be a powerful ally against GAD. The study found people who took German chamomile capsules (220 milligrams up to five times daily) had a greater reduction in test scores that measure anxiety symptoms than those who were given a placebo.
Another 2005 study found that chamomile extract helped sleep-disturbed rats fall asleep. Researchers believe that the tea may function like benzodiazepine, binding to benzodiazepine receptors and having benzodiazepine-like hypnotic activity.
Interested in other resources for mental health?
We’re here to help. Explore our evidence-driven reviews of top providers, products, and more to support your physical and emotional well-being.
If you’re feeling anxious, the above ideas may help calm you down.
Remember, home remedies may help ease anxiety, but they don’t replace professional help. Increased anxiety may require therapy or prescription medication. Talk with your doctor about your concerns.
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CBD, Herbal Supplements & More
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Everyone may experience anxiety from time to time. Whether temporary or constant, anxiety can affect your quality of life, and finding relief can be a challenge.
It’s always best to talk with your doctor or a mental health professional as a first action. But sometimes, you may need or want to seek alternative coping methods in addition to more traditional therapies.
Read on to learn about a few research-backed natural remedies for anxiety. They may help you find relief for anxious feelings.
Chamomile is a common herbal tea ingredient. Some people drink chamomile tea because of the taste, while others may find it helps soothe and calm the mind.
According to a 2016 study, regularly drinking chamomile tea may reduce symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Given that, should you try it out? It may be worth it. A chamomile tea drinking ritual is unlikely to have any side effects, so you don’t have to worry about it doing more harm than good.
However, it is important to note that chamomile tea, or extract, is not a replacement for traditional anti-anxiety medication.
Shop for chamomile tea online.
Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0. 3 percent THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3 percent THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming increasingly popular, in part due to emerging research suggesting that it can help lower anxiety levels. While researchers do not totally understand the link between CBD and anxiety, current research is promising.
Animal studies suggest that CBD may help counteract stress in rats, while human studies point to CBD’s ability to help with the following anxiety disorders:
- social anxiety disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and GAD
- anxiety-induced insomnia
Research suggests that CBD is typically safe to use. And unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products, it will not leave you feeling “high.” However, taking too much can still cause side effects.
CBD can also interact with medications, so talk with your doctor before you start taking it.
CBD products for anxiety
If you’re interested in trying CBD for anxiety, here are a few products that may be helpful. Learn about how we select CBD products.
- Medterra CBD Gummies, Sleep Tight. With added melatonin, these gummies may be useful for sleep. Shop now. Use code “health25” for 15% off.
- Charlotte’s Web Hemp Extract-Infused Gummies, Calm. In addition to CBD, the lemon balm in these gummies may help soothe anxiety. Shop now. Use code “HEALTh25” for 15% off.
- CBDistillery CBD Oil. Made with CBD isolate, this oil is a good option if you’re looking to avoid THC altogether. Shop now. Use code “healthline” for 20% off.
- Lord Jones Royal Oil. A multipurpose product, this CBD oil can be used topically or orally. Shop now.
- Joy Organics CBD Bath Bombs. If taking a bath helps you relax, these lavender-scented bath bombs may be a good choice. Shop now. Use code “healthcbd” for 15% off.
A popular herbal supplement for anxiety is valerian root. There’s some evidence that this perennial plant’s herbal preparation can help with anxiety.
A 2020 literature review found that valerian extract helped reduce symptoms of anxiety in multiple studies. Dosages in these studies ranged from 100-milligram (mg) single doses to 600 mg per day.
Learn more about valerian root dosage for anxiety here.
Oral lavender oil supplements may also help reduce anxious feelings. A 2017 literature review found that lavender oil supplements can be effective in reducing anxiety and depression symptoms, and improving sleep.
Drinks containing lemon balm may also help you reduce general feelings of anxiety.
However, supplements are not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and they may have side effects. That said, they may be a suitable option for treating mild anxiety symptoms.
It’s critical that you talk with your doctor before taking supplements since they can interact with certain medications. It’s also possible to take too much of a certain supplement.
Writing down your thoughts can help you process your emotions and sort your thoughts. You may find that there is something cathartic about writing, or typing, out your feelings.
Positive affect journaling (PAJ), where you regularly write down positive feelings about yourself, may help reduce feelings of anxiety. A study published in 2018 involving adults with elevated anxiety symptoms found that regular PAJ was associated with fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety after 1 month.
Other mindfulness practices, like meditation, can also help reduce stress and anxiety.
One literature review from 2014 concluded that meditation has some ability to reduce psychological stress. However, meditation is not a substitute for other treatments like medications and therapy.
Read our review of Headspace versus Calm.
If you’re already into the fitness scene, chances are you’ve spotted a T-shirt at some point that proudly states, “[insert fitness activity] is my therapy.”
While exercise is not the same thing as therapy, it can play a significant role in reducing anxiety. Regular exercise can also have a positive effect on depressive disorders and generally improve your overall health.
Exercises that increase your heart rate can help relieve stress and encourage your brain to release serotonin, a natural mood stabilizer.
Like the other remedies listed here, exercise is not a magic bullet. It’s often most effective when paired with other treatments.
Similarly, “dosage” might vary from person to person. There isn’t any research that quantifies the ideal amount of exercise to combat anxiety.
Get started with these at-home exercises.
Natural treatments will not work for everyone. If you have severe anxiety that affects your day-to-day life, talk with your doctor about the following treatment options:
- Prescription medications. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help you manage your anxiety. This may include short-term symptom relievers like alprazolam (Xanax) and long-term antidepressants like fluoxetine (Prozac).
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT can often help identify the root cause of anxious feelings and assist you in dealing with them.
- Support groups. Feeling anxious is common. There are many online and in-person support groups that may help you understand and manage your anxiety better.
- Aromatherapy. People often use aromatherapy as a natural remedy for anxiety. There is a broad range of essential oils that you can use for this alternative treatment.
- Limit caffeine. Consuming too much caffeine can induce feelings of anxiety, so limiting your intake may be beneficial.
- Limit alcohol. Drinking alcohol is not an anxiety treatment. In fact, consuming excessive amounts of alcohol may even cause anxiety symptoms.
- Stop smoking. Like alcohol, many people feel that smoking helps them deal with stress and anxiety. However, smoking tobacco can increase feelings of anxiety. Cutting down or quitting entirely may help.
Combining natural treatments with mechanical therapies, like breathing exercises and physical activity, is safe.
However, combining natural supplements with prescription medications may be risky.
It’s best to talk with your doctor before combining supplements with prescription medication — even if you’ve been using the supplements for a long time without negative effects.
It can be challenging to live with anxiety, but there are ways to cope. People with mild symptoms may be able to manage their anxiety with natural remedies, like CBD, exercise, and herbal supplements.
Not everyone will find relief with natural therapies, though.
If you have high anxiety levels and feel overwhelmed, talk with your doctor or a mental health professional. CBT and other psychotherapies are proven strategies for coping with anxiety.
Steph Coelho is a freelance writer with chronic migraine who has a particular interest in health and wellness. When she’s not click-clacking away on her keyboard, she’s probably nose-deep in a good book.
How to cope with anxiety without drugs - Empathy
Each of us is familiar with the oppressive feeling of anxiety, unaccountable excitement, which disrupts the usual train of thought, knocks us out of work or prevents us from falling asleep. The brain turns on the mode of expectation of danger, anticipation of failure, even if there is no apparent reason for this. This condition is called anxiety and it is detrimental to our body.
So intended by nature
Our body and psyche have gone through millions of years of evolution in order to preserve the most important qualities for the survival of the species. Among them, the reaction to a threat or danger is of paramount importance. Fear is the basic emotion of self-preservation, natural for humans and animals in a situation of a direct threat . The brain gives a signal of danger, the release of adrenaline triggers a vegetative response: breathing and heart rate quicken, muscle tone increases, blood rushes to the muscles, the body is mobilized to fight or flee. Those. this is a positive reaction from the point of view of biology, but is experienced by us as a strictly negative, excessively intense and depleting resources.
Anxiety and fear are not the same thing
If fear is an intense, natural reaction to a real danger , which is designed to help in extreme conditions, then anxiety is a diffuse experience of an indefinite threat , a hypothetical unfavorable outcome. At the same time, the danger can be both imaginary, imaginary, and real, but greatly exaggerated. “Fear has big eyes” is not about fear, but about anxiety. Yes, changes in the usual way of life can provoke anxiety: moving, changing the educational team, entering a new position, leaving the child for a children's camp, etc. Any novelty and unpredictability. However, it is important to remember that she does not have direct connection with specific events. One and the same event can be perceived by people in diametrically opposite ways: threatening for one, inspiring for another.
Yes, the experience of anxiety is less intense, but the spectrum of physiological changes that prepare the body for possible danger is again activated: an increase in general excitability, a decrease in the threshold of sensitivity, an increase in blood pressure, changes in heart rhythm, sleep disturbances, etc. Considering that a person is in such a state stays much longer than with an immediate threat, it is obvious that these changes cannot pass without damage to physical and mental health in general.
That is why it is extremely important to be able to listen to your condition and take care of your well-being. And if your plans do not include a visit to a psychologist or psychotherapist, arm yourself with simple tricks that can normalize your emotional state and have a calming effect.
- Determine what makes you anxious
Emotions strongly influence our thinking: the stronger the anxiety, the more difficult it is to think rationally. However, it is important to understand why. Or, at least, what triggers a chain of unpleasant experiences and physiological reactions of the body. If it was not possible to identify the stress factor, try to track what events this feeling echoes and precedes. Maybe this is the restless expectation of meeting a person with whom communication does not add up? Or do you not know how to behave when you are entrusted with an excessive workload, and your anxiety is a painful anticipation that you will fail or fall out of favor with your superiors? For the purposes of better introspection, the practice of keeping a diary will do: indicate the time when you were very worried, evaluate the intensity of the experience, track the symptoms, manifestations of your anxiety.
2. Practice Mindfulness
When the area of experience is clear to you, fight the cause - uncertainty . It is the uncertainty that fuels the tense expectation. Answer yourself honestly the question: what can happen in the worst case? What will happen to you if this does happen? What is the probability of such an outcome? Can you influence these events? What actions do you need to take to avoid an unfavorable option?
For example, you are afraid of public speaking, and tomorrow you have a report to a new audience: ask yourself what will happen if you do not speak well? Is it that scary? Is it worth the many hours spent in agonizing, anxious waiting? What is this audience? Can you prepare the text by heart if you are afraid of hitches? Or make a spectacular presentation that will hold the attention of the public, if this attention is not to your liking? Is it possible to prepare handouts? Think over the algorithm, provide answers to likely questions, rehearse the performance, imagining a packed room in front of you.
The benefits and effects of such activities are based on empirical observations, according to which emotions and thoughts enter into antagonism: the more clearly we formulate, realize the problem, the less intense the emotion accompanies it, and vice versa.
3. Learn to breathe
There are breathing exercises and techniques that reduce anxiety. The Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique oxygenates the blood and helps to slow down the thought process. Slowly take a deep breath, hold your breath for a few moments, exhale. Inhale should be shorter, exhale as long as possible.
Think about the process of breathing with each inhalation and exhalation. Where does the air come from? How deeply can you inhale and exhale? Try to better feel your body, relieve muscle clamps during breathing and let go of the thoughts that make you worry. The more you practice, the easier it gets. Spend some time each day practicing this exercise. The best part is, you can do it anywhere. Try to practice even when you are already relaxed. This will facilitate the normalization of emotions in a situation of anxiety.
4. Eliminate thinking errors
Please note that often “on emotions” we operate with phrases and thoughts that are far from the real picture. Unwittingly exaggerating, focusing on negative aspects, we “wind up” ourselves, intimidate, drive us into pessimism. Pay attention to such thoughts-weeds and pull them out without regret, replacing them with productive counterparts - positive formulations.
Instead of " My father will kill me when he finds out that I want to leave the university "think like this:" Father will be very surprised and unhappy, but I will explain the reasons to him, and he will be able to accept my decision ". You know that your father is not really going to kill anyone, but the very wording makes you nervous. Such phrases are extremely dangerous, and they distort the picture of perception.
When you make a mistake, instead of " I'm a failure" "tell yourself:" Now I know what to do next time ". A striking example of positive thinking is the catchphrase of Thomas Edison: “ I have not been defeated. I just found 10,000 ways that don't work ."
And of course, tell yourself more often that you will succeed!
5. Exercise and lifestyle
In a state of anxiety, sports exercises help well: swimming pool, running, walking in the woods or in nature - even ordinary squats will relieve anxiety, help “recharge the batteries”. Do not forget to get enough sleep and eat right, normalize the mode and try to evenly distribute informational and psychological loads.
6. Look for positive emotions
Find balance in what gives you joy. Communication with loved ones, friends, pets, meditation, massage, favorite hobby or just listening to your favorite music in a familiar environment - you yourself know what energizes you and helps restore peace of mind.
All these methods together will give you a solid resource for counteracting anxiety states. If all of the above does not give the expected effect, and anxiety does not recede, it's time to remember that anxiety happens pathological . Anxiety of this level will certainly require qualified help from a psychologist or psychotherapist.
How to calm down: 10 ways to quickly pull yourself together
When terrible events occur in the world, it is common for a person to experience stress, shock and panic from receiving bad news. Now we all constantly read and listen to the news, trying not to miss a single detail of what is happening. The information field inflames the nervous system, therefore, together with psychologists, RBC Style prepared instructions on how to calm down when a feeling of anxiety appears.
If we receive a lot of negative information at once, panic and terror can set in. They are easily identified by a rapid pulse, shortness of breath, and a feeling of tightness in the chest . Often, along with anxiety come sweating, chills and tremors inside. The symptoms are somewhat similar to a panic attack, but are not as pronounced. The hormone cortisol is responsible for this response. The task of this steroid is to give us strength in case of severe danger. It increases blood pressure and blood sugar levels  and also helps to survive pain.
Advertising on RBC www.adv.rbc.ru
Experts in the article:
Anastasia Afanasyeva, psychotherapist, clinical director of the online platform for the selection of psychologists and psychotherapists Alter;
Olya Osokina, founder of AIBY health-tech company;
Sofya Khasieva, therapist, leading specialist of the Semeynaya clinic network
The release of cortisol in itself is not harmful, but on a “regular basis” it can lead to various psychological disorders. Therefore, it is very important to be able to cope with anxiety attacks. But what methods really work?
The body copes with muscle spasm due to the release of hormones through rapid breathing. Our body at this moment is ready for decisive action. There is no need to run headlong, you need to concentrate and restore your breath. Scientists have described effective techniques :
- inhale slowly and for a long time through the nose;
- exhale even more slowly and deeply through your mouth;
- close your eyes and focus on your breath;
- you can start counting your exhalations.
This technique will help you switch your attention to your own body, which means you can relax a little. Moreover, self-regulation of breathing is recognized by scientists as the primary treatment for anxiety disorders .
Olya Osokina, founder of health-tech company AIBY:
“It's better to breathe this way: the exhalation is longer than the inhalation. For example, for four counts - inhale, for eight counts - exhale. Gradually increase the number of exhalation counts, bringing their number to 16. In a minute, you need to take 12 breaths and exhalations. There is another useful exercise. When you are calm, not anxious or afraid, try to get scared. You will feel surprised and maybe even laugh. With the help of this exercise, you will train yourself and at the moment of fear you will perceive it differently and it will be easier to live.
Anastasia Afanasyeva, psychotherapist, clinical director of the online platform for the selection of psychologists and psychotherapists Alter:
“In fact, there is no right and wrong method of breathing to cope with panic. Moreover, it is important to understand that breathing practices should not become "protective" behavior, that is, a way to avoid anxiety. We use breathing practices to allow us to "ground ourselves" and return from anxiety to the present moment. To do this, you should pay attention to breathing, without changing it in any way, just noticing the inhalation, exhalation, the way the air passes through the respiratory tract.
Sofya Khasieva, therapist, leading specialist of the Semeynaya clinic network:
“Proper breathing plays a great role in reducing anxiety levels. Being in a state of panic and fear, we may not notice how our breathing has become frequent and shallow - chest. Here the technique of diaphragmatic, abdominal breathing with a long exhalation will come to the rescue. It is the most physiological for a person, as it provides optimal gas exchange in the lungs, and also stimulates the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxing the body, including slowing down the pulse, normalizing intestinal motility, and improving blood supply.
Breathing practices are the basis of meditation. Her task is to build relationships with her body. There are many meditation techniques, and they will be useful to any person: the main thing is to find the right one for yourself. You can start just with conscious breathing.
Breathe Properly: How Mindful Breathing Can Improve Your Health
2. Stop Doomscrolling
The term doomscrolling is relatively recent and refers to the continuous browsing of feeds in search of bad news. Surely, you forced yourself to do this. Unfortunately, it can only increase anxiety and cause negative consequences . Psychologists recommend limiting the consumption of news content to individual hours, if you can’t refuse it altogether.
“Make time for yourself during the day when you read the news: for example, 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. The rest of the time, turn off notifications from news channels, remove them from the visibility zone. In Telegram, you can archive these channels,” advises Anastasia Afanasyeva .
“Consuming the news is the most popular activity for everyone these days, whether it's watching TV, reading news feeds, or surfing social media. I recommend prioritizing and choosing yourself over the news. It's important to set boundaries. For example, today I will watch the news for 2 hours, but the rest of the time I will devote to myself and pressing issues,” says Olya Osokina, founder of AIBY’s health-tech company.
3. Use fragrances
Known fact: the smell of lavender has a positive effect on the body and promotes relaxation. Some studies have shown that inhaling the aroma of this plant helps with anxiety disorders . You can light candles, buy a diffuser, or take a warm bath with lavender salt.
4. Write down your experiences
Doctors recommend using the expressive writing technique for prolonged stress. Dr. Pennebaker found that journaling can help relieve stress and combat the effects of mental trauma . But even with sudden attacks of anxiety, this technique can help relieve tension. In fact, this is the same as speaking out - voicing your fears and leaving it on paper. You don't have to think about what you are writing about. Just set a timer for 20 minutes and start writing down everything that bothers you, regardless of mistakes and punctuation.
5. Go for a walk
In a situation where your heart rate and blood pressure are high, exercise is not a good idea. This will be an additional burden on the body. Walking, on the other hand, can help calm you down. What’s more, walking in the woods has been found to help reduce anxiety . In the conditions of the city, a park can become a substitute for a forest.
6. Drink water (not alcohol)
Many people report that they lose their appetite when they are stressed and panicked. This is explained by the same release of hormones that prepare the body for an attack and turn off functions that are unnecessary at the time of danger, such as hunger. A glass of cool water, on the other hand, can help relieve symptoms of anxiety, especially if you're not hydrated and not drinking enough fluids. Scientists have found that there is a link between water deficiency and depressive and anxiety disorders. Dehydration can exacerbate stress symptoms .
It is important to remember that caffeinated beverages and alcohol can only worsen your condition. Try to avoid them.
“Anxiety is best dealt with by experiencing emotions rather than trying to relieve them with drugs or food. This behavior can lead to drug abuse or compulsive overeating. Breathe, walk, talk to your loved ones. Coffee and tea, especially green tea, contain caffeine, which will only increase anxiety. Alcohol, although it can dull the condition for a while, is a depressogen. That is, after the effect of alcohol wears off, the likelihood of a decrease in mood increases greatly. If you feel that it is very difficult to cope on your own, then you can use valerian.
To get rid of the oncoming anxiety, you should try to switch to another activity, such as cleaning.
“Switching to the body is a good technique, because during a panic, as a rule, a person is “thrown” out of the body and our task is to return to it. There are people who dispose of their emotions (anxiety and fear) while cleaning or washing dishes.
“Thanks to Ivan Mikhailovich Sechenov's research in the field of physiology, we know that the best rest for the body is a change of activity. Therefore, a pleasurable physical activity or creative process will be useful, singing is especially useful for relieving anxiety (largely, again, due to the influence of respiratory movements on the nervous system).
8. Buy an anti-stress toy
These items are called that for a reason - they can really help. As a rule, such toys involve fine motor skills. You do something with your hands, it calms and distracts from bad thoughts.
“They help keep your hands occupied when you are anxious and shift your focus away from destructive behavior, such as trying to bite your nails, pick at sores, etc. Of course, they will not be able to remove the main wave of anxiety and stress.”
“Toys like this work well. But you need to choose an anti-stress item that is right for you, for example, a pillow with balls, where you can use fine motor skills.”
9. Turn on the blue light
Scientists have found that blue light has a calming effect on the nervous system . It is also used to treat sleep problems. But even in the event of an attack of anxiety, it can bring relief. If there is no suitable lamp at hand, doctors recommend going outside. Daylight has a positive effect on our body, thanks to the sun, the hormone of joy, serotonin, is produced, which will definitely help in the fight against fear.
“Color has no effect on the level of anxiety that reigns in society today. Rather, it is important to go outside under natural light to promote the production of vitamin D. It has a positive effect on mood and immunity.”
“In my opinion, color and light should be considered individually for each person. Generally speaking, a soft, unsharp light that doesn't dazzle your eyes works best. People often talk about the color blue because it is associated with calmness and peace and evokes positive emotions.”
10. Seek help
If you experience uncontrollable panic attacks that recur constantly, you should seek help from a therapist or psychologist.
“The ability to feel fears and doubts about future events, based on previous experience, helps to avoid perceived dangers and, ultimately, to survive. However, in today's busy world, the ability to worry can be very maladaptive. Our task is to learn how to regulate anxious reactions and support ourselves in difficult times.
When acute or chronic anxiety prevents you from adapting to the situation and life in general, communicating with people, building relationships, achieving goals, you need to see a doctor. If your anxiety is so strong that it affects sleep and appetite, you find it difficult to perform routine activities or try new things, and panic attacks make you unable to leave the house, then it may not just be anxiety, but about anxiety disorder.
The spectrum of anxiety disorders is diverse. They are treated by psychotherapists and psychiatrists. They use a combination of non-drug and drug therapies. Choose psychotherapists and psychologists who work in well-researched areas (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy, EMDR) that are highly effective.”
“You should go to the doctor if you have panic attacks almost every day, you can't sleep and/or eat, your mood has steadily decreased, and suicidal thoughts have appeared. In this case, you should consult a psychiatrist or psychotherapist.
If you feel a surge of panic, remember that panic is a manifestation of intense anxiety and an adrenaline rush. The best thing you can do is get over this anxiety. To do this, you can imagine the rolling of this sensation as a wave that rises and falls, and gradually fades. After all, if we do not reinforce anxiety, then adrenaline stops being thrown out and it recedes.
“Every person tends to experience fear and anxiety. Panic occurs when several exciting events occur at one moment and the psyche cannot cope.