Anxiety is a normal response to stress when faced with a perceived dangerous situation, sometimes called fight or flight response behavior. When it becomes chronic or happens in reaction to unacceptable or harmless situations, it is troublesome.(1) Constant anxiety can lead to hypertension, insomnia, digestive problems, and panic attacks.
Causes include stress, thyroid problems, excessive alcohol, caffeine or sugar consumption, and hormone imbalance. There are several natural anxiety solutions available. By eating certain foods while avoiding others, taking supplements, and using essential oils, you can treat anxiety naturally at home. There are many solutions to calm your anxieties without resorting to medication. It’s up to you to find the one that suits you best.
What Are Some Natural Anti anxiety Medications?
Whether it is about money, family, health or work, when anxious people start to worry, the panic attack is not far away. Although researchers have linked anxiety and intelligence, you may be looking for a natural solution to calm your bouts of stress. Here are some ideas to avoid going through the medication box:
Foods To Relieve Anxiety
Foods Rich In B Vitamins – Think wild fish, poultry, brewer’s yeast, and green leafy vegetables to get enough B vitamins to help regulate mood.
Dairy And Other Calcium-Rich Foods – Calcium is a relaxing mineral that can help reduce anxiety. Try organic unsweetened yogurt or wild salmon, these are good sources of calcium.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Flax, nuts, green vegetables (low but not negligible concentration), and fish contain enough Omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation and help stabilize mood. Omega-3s also contain DHA, which is vital for brain function.
Magnesium helps calm the nerves and many people are deficient in it. Foods rich in magnesium include nuts, avocados, and sea vegetables (algae).
Chamomile And Green Tea: Chamomile infusions have the same effect on the brain as valium, blocking certain receptors. If you feel the anxiety rising, prepare yourself a cup of chamomile or take a few drops of essential oil. This will give you a soothing effect. The same is true for green tea, which can slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure.
Lavender: Various studies have demonstrated the relaxing effect of lavender. This powerful emotional anti-inflammatory agent is used in waiting rooms or offered to students before an exam to reduce their level of anxiety. But be careful not to abuse it, the lavender extract is very powerful and an excessive dose can cloud your mind.(2)(3)(4)(5)
Some herbs and compounds used to control anxiety are:
Ashwagandha: This is an adaptogenic herb that has been shown to help improve anxiety symptoms by reducing the effects of stress on the body.
5-hydroxytryptophan: This increases serotonin, a soothing neurotransmitter, but do not take any antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications along with this.
Kava: It can help relieve panic attacks and reduce overall anxiety. Avoid having alcohol and ask your doctor for possible drug interactions if you are taking any other medicines.
GABA: This is an amino acid responsible for reducing anxiety by acting on the nervous system. It also helps to relax the muscles.
Foods To Avoid If You Suffer From Anxiety
Foods high in sugar – Sugar not only give you a blood sugar spike but also promote mood swings throughout the day that can increase anxiety.
Caffeine – It induces anxiety, so minimize its intake by taking a limited amount of black tea or coffee (one cup a day).
Alcohol – Alcohol can cause symptoms of anxiety and is not a positive way to manage stress.
Processed And Refined Flour – These foods act very similar to sugar in the body, causing fluctuations in blood sugar and mood swings.
Other Natural Means Of Tackling Anxiety
Physical Exercise: Nothing is more exciting than a good workout when you’re under stress. Physical activity has an antidepressant and anti-anxiety effect which helps boost your morale and fight against the black thoughts that go around in your head. By exercising regularly, you will also increase your self-esteem and well-being. This will give you one less reason to stress.
Meditation: More and more studies have looked at the antidepressant effect of meditation that soothes the nerves.
Breathing: A few breathing exercises can calm you down very quickly. Empty your lungs with a slow exhalation then inhale for up to four; hold your breath for up to seven and exhale again for up to eight. This technique is effective because you couldn’t breathe deeply and be anxious at the same time.(6)
- Carl E, Witcraft SM, Kauffman BY, et al. Psychological and pharmacological treatments for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. 2020;49(1):1-21.
- Bandelow B, Michaelis S, Wedekind D. Treatment of anxiety disorders. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience. 2017;19(2):93.
- Mischoulon D, Iovieno N. Supplements and Natural Remedies for Depression. The Massachusetts General Hospital Guide to Depression: Springer; 2019:195-209.
- Mischoulon D, Rapaport MH. Current Role of Herbal and Natural Preparations. Antidepressants: From Biogenic Amines to New Mechanisms of Action. 2019:225-252.
Saini P. Natural Remedies for Anxiety. Skin. 2018.
- Márquez PHP, Feliu-Soler A, Solé-Villa MJ, et al. Benefits of mindfulness meditation in reducing blood pressure and stress in patients with arterial hypertension. Journal of human hypertension. 2019;33(3):237-247.