At this age you start to enter the world of VCE (Year 11 and 12) and all of a sudden you’re required to decide exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life…AND start making plans to get realise it…
All within those last 2 years of school – crikey! Talk about pressure.
Then by the time you’re 18, you’re required to start “adulting”, which can come as quite a shock to some of us.
- No more pocket money….
- No more parents driving us around when we feel like it….
- No more packed lunches…
- No more 2 week boyfriends… (ok maybe that was just me)
- And you officially get your drivers license….
Eeee shits getting serious….
Then, as we enter our 20’s we hit that point where we need to make some big life decisions including whether we go to uni (for most), work full-time, buy a house or even starting a family.
To be honest, life in my early teens had been pretty sweet, but once I turned 16, I was hit with a mass of self-inflicted stress and anxiety.
The kind of stress and anxiety that has a massive toll on our bodies – yep you know what I’m talking about…
It was in my 20’s that I started to discover natural remedies for stress and anxiety, and goodness me, it was one of the best things I did.
So here’s an insight into 10 helpful natural remedies for stress and anxiety.
10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety & Stress Relief
If you know me personally, you’d know I’m not a big fan of taking prescription medications. This is why I rely on natural remedies and techniques to help cope with my anxiety and stress symptoms.
It may not be the be end all solution for everyone…I get that.
But, these natural remedies can definitely help you to reduce your symptoms, even if used along more conventional medicines.
So without further ado, let’s kick straight into it.
P.S > If you prefer to watch videos over reading text you can also check out the video below:
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness Meditation– originally an ancient Buddhist practice used by various religions around the world, but as of the last few years, has become a mainstream therapy for treating stress and anxiety.
It is a great natural technique where you’re key focus is to bring yourself into the present moment, and usually involves bringing your attention to your breath.
There are many scientifically proven benefits of meditation, including its ability to:
- Provide stress and anxiety relief
- Slow racing thoughts and overthinking
- Help you gain greater clarity, focus and concentration
- Promote greater happiness, well-being, a positive mindset, greater quality of life and inner peace
- Lower blood pressure, cholesterol and your risk of heart disease and stroke
- Help improve sleep and insomnia
- Improves your resilience and patience,
For anxiety sufferers, the practice of mindfulness is an easy technique to add to your daily routine.
How to Meditate for Beginners
If you’d like to learn how to meditate, but need help grasping the basics, I encourage you to sign up for our “Journey to Calm” Meditation Course for Beginners.
This course is awesome because it not only teaches you how to meditate, but also helps you overcome many of the challenges newbies experience and build a fool-proof meditation routine.
You can read more about the Journey to Calm course here.
2. Get Off Your Phone!
It’s easy to forget how dependent we’ve become with the technology in our lives. Often most apparent by the immediate panic and worry that we feel when we think we’ve lost our phone. Followed shortly by the relief when we realise it’s been sitting right next to us the whole time…
Phew, the relief!
This constant need to check our electronic devices, regardless of whether there’s an alert or not, can trigger feelings of anxiety. Even just idly scrolling through social media feeds and comparing your life to others can make you feel a sense of stress.
Sometimes it worries me with how intensely people’s phones seem to control them.
And, no! I don’t mean in a crazy sci-fi thriller kind of way.
What I mean is how so many of us multi-task with our phones:
- Watching TV…but also scrolling the social feeds on our phones
- Typing a task at work…and then suddenly feeling the need to check our phone
- Walking down the street…with our face in our phones not even looking where we’re gong
- And the worst of them all, driving….and texting on the phone.
Look guys, I admit I’m no angel! I’ve been a sucker for all of these things too.
But it’s something we all need to mindful of, especially if we’re wanting to reduce stress and anxiety on our bodies.
3. Get Yourself Some Herbal Teas
Yeah, yeah. You’ve probably heard about the power of herbal teas before.
But, as a natural remedy for anxiety, herbal teas are just so simple and easy to add into your daily life.
They’re not expensive and some have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety symptoms; promoting relaxation and improving sleep.
A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, in Philadelphia, revealed that patients with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) who took chamomile supplements for eight weeks, saw a significant reduction in their anxiety symptoms versus patients taking a placebo.
That’s why chamomile tea can be a great natural remedy to look into if you need help relaxing and de-stressing in the evening.
4. Essential Oils & Aromatherapy
Essential oils are another natural therapy that can be used for stress and anxiety relief. It is one I absolutely LOVE and rely on almost daily.
Of the many essential oils out there, Lavender, Chamomile and Cedarwood are known to help:
- Reduce your heart rate
- Reduce tension in the body
- Promote relaxation
- Improve sleep
Another great thing about essential oils is that they can be used in such a variety of ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
They can be smelt, inhaled, burned, diffused, put in a bath, dabbed on your skin, put on your pillow etc.
But just remember, this is mainly for essential oils only. Many fragrance oils are not recommended for your skin or in the bath so be aware of this when looking to buy some new oils.
5. Spend Time in Nature or With Animals
Why is it that we feel so refreshed and happy after spending some time outside and amongst nature?
Well, a key reason is that nature including waterfalls and streams are known to release negative ions into their air.
Once negative Ions reach our bloodstream, they produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of serotonin in our brain. This is said to help alleviate depression, relieve stress and boost our daytime energy.
So, if you’re feeling stressed or anxious – take a moment to get outside and go for a walk in a nature reserve or park.
You’ll feel so much better for it.
In addition to getting up and close with nature, pets are also great for reducing stress. They offer companionship, love and support.
Research has shown that pets can be beneficial to people experiencing a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety.
6. Himalayan Salt Lamps
Himalayan Salt Lamps have become increasingly popular over the last few years.
They are believed to have numerous benefits, including their ability to counteract the positive ions released by many electronic appliances in our home environments.
Himalayan Salt Lamps are also believed to:
- Improve mood and reduce stress or anxiety symptoms
- Purify the air; restoring and preserving natural air quality
- Correct the imbalance of ions in our home environments
- Neutralise the Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) that we get in our homes, due to having extensive electrical devices surrounding us
- Reduce symptoms of asthma, allergies and other illnesses
- Improve sleep
- Increase energy levels
- Boost serotonin levels
Himalayan Lamps provide similar benefits to what we discussed above about nature and negative ions. However, they provide those benefits in the comfort of your own home.
Yeah, yeah. Another one you’ve probably heard of before.
However, for me this one has been HUGE!!
In my case, I need to exercise at least 3-4 times a week in order to keep a lid on the box of my anxiety monster.
If I miss a day or can’t exercise for a week due to sickness or another event, I immediately notice a change in my anxiety levels. Something inside me just feels different and my mind can start to race unnecessarily.
As has been proven on many occasions, regular exercise is good for the brain and is a powerful cure for both depression and anxiety – immediate and in the long term.
Some even say that just 20 – 30 mins of exercise daily can help to reduce anxiety symptoms.
This could include a brisk walk during your lunch break or a quick gym session before or after work. it doesn’t need to be a burden on your life. Especially if you’re not really one who is very keen on exercise.
My advice is to just DO IT!!
Stop being a lazy couch potato, get your heart rate up and let’s burn off some of that anxious energy!
8. Eat a Healthy Diet
Most of us are aware of the importance of a healthy diet. It’s not exactly a new concept.
Yet, with the amount of conflicting information about health and diet on the internet, it’s no wonder we’re all confused about what to do.
From an anxiety perspective, diet can have a HUGE impact on your energy levels and nerves.
For anxiety sufferers, it is recommended that you focus your diet on:
- Whole foods
- Lean Meats & Seafood
- Leafy Greens
- Foods rich in omega-3
- Reducing your sugar intake
- Reducing caffeine and alcohol
According to Dr. Ramsey, the co-author of “The Happiness Diet, “people get more anxious and irritable when they are hungry.”
I don’t disagree with you there, Doctor. I definitely get anxious and #HANGRY when I’m hungry. Bring on the meal…
In the book, they also highlight how during anxiety attacks, our blood sugar can start to drop.
This is why having a snack can be the best thing to do if you feel your symptoms coming on (but of course, avoid unhealthy sugary snacks).
Over the last year, I’ve cut out quite a bit of sugar from my diet. So, now, when eating something naughty like a chocolate bar or a snack high in sugar, my heart starts to race and I feel anxious.
This never used to happen to me before!!
I believe it’s related to the sudden hit of energy you get from consuming sugar. This is why I now try to avoid eating those things as best I can.
Note: Being a chocoholic, this can be really hard!!
9. Relaxation Exercises
Breathing deeply and also engaging in other relaxation exercises such as body scanning and stretching can help to relieve tension in the body as a result of stress or anxiety.
If you suffer from anxiety, deep breathing is a great habit to get into. Also termed “yogic breathing” or the “4-7-8 breath”, deep breathing has been shown to effectively reduce stress and anxiety.
One reason it works is that you can’t breathe deeply and be anxious at the same time. It also helps to slow down your body.
To do the 4-7-8 breath:
- Exhale completely through your mouth
- Then inhale through your nose for a count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven
- Now let it out slowly through your mouth for a count of eight.
- Repeat several times in a row until you start to notice that you feel a greater sense of calm.
Body Scanning – Relaxing Different Muscle Groups
Some people unconsciously tense muscles in their body, such as clenching their jaw, in response to anxiety. To combat this, try lying in a comfortable position on the floor, close your eyes and scan your body from head to toe.
Can you identify any areas in particular that feel tense?
If so, slowly constrict and relax each muscle group, beginning with the toes and working up to the shoulders and jaw. Do this for a few moments.
10. Self-Care – Making Time for the Things You Love!
Ever wonder why you feel so relaxed after treating yourself to some time in a sauna, a bath, or a steam room? Or even just by cozying up to a fire with a cup of tea?
Well, the sense of relaxation you feel is associated with the release of tension from your body as a result of feeling warm.
Research suggests that sensations of warmth boost mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
One study in particular, revealed that “whether lying on the beach in the midday sun on a Caribbean island, grabbing a few minutes in the sauna or spa after work, or sitting in a hot bath or Jacuzzi in the evening, we often associate feeling warm with a sense of relaxation and well-being.”
In addition to seeking some warmth, allocating time for self-care and downtime is really important as part of our weekly routines.
Whether it’s watching a movie, painting your nails, getting a massage, meditation, yoga or going for a walk, making the time for these things will help to make you feel much more relaxed.
I guarantee it!
So, there you have it, 10 Natural remedies for anxiety & stress relief.
I hope that you now have some ideas of things you can try to aid in managing your anxiety naturally.
Note: When trying these remedies, keep in mind that some remedies may work better for you than others. Everyone is different. Ensure to try several different remedies before deciding if they work for you.
For chronic anxiety sufferers, you may want to suss out some other treatment options as highlighted below.
Other than that, I wish you all the best with giving natural remedies a go!!
If you would like to learn more about meditation, we cover this an more in our free Journey to Calm course below.
Other Treatment Options
For those who suffer from chronic anxiety, you may require some additional treatment or therapy to prevent anxiety from interfering with your daily functioning. This is where it can be necessary to seek advice from a doctor about your symptoms.
The great thing is that Anxiety is becoming much less of a taboo topic these days. So, don’t feel awkward about seeing someone about it.
Even though mine isn’t chronic, I went and got some therapy myself (in the earl days).
It helped me to identify my triggers and make positive lifestyle changes.
It could be the same for you!
You can also try Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which has also been very effective for anxiety sufferers. I personally haven’t tried this though.
CBT is all about helping you to understand how your thoughts affect your emotions and behaviour. And then, replacing those reactions with positive or constructive alternatives.
Finally, there is always medication. However, for me, this would be my last resort. But maybe it’s the best solution for you.
Speak to a doctor and they will be able to help you to explore your options.
All the best!!