You have anxiety, worry, fear, loss of control and worry about money, health, work, family and love. Your heart beats fast, your breathing gets harder, your mind doesn’t look good and you wish you could just relax a bit. It doesn’t matter if you have a severe anxiety disorder or you’re just worried and upset, you might not want to take the drug; at least not now! So join us to learn some ways to treat stress.
There are many non-pharmacological treatments for anxiety that are safe, from mind-body techniques to relaxation supplements and teas. Some of these treatments work immediately, and others gradually reduce your anxiety over time.
If you’re nervous and anxious, a cup of chamomile tea will help you calm down. There are compounds in the chamomile plant (scientifically known as Matricaria recutita) that have the same effect as medicines such as valium. You can also use chamomile supplement, especially its standard type, which contains 1.2% apigenin (an active ingredient), along with dried chamomile flowers. In a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) consumed chamomile supplementation for 8 weeks, and their anxiety symptoms were significantly reduced compared with patients who took medicine.
2. Green tea or L-theanine
You’ve probably heard that Japanese Buddhist monks can meditate for hours while being fully alert and calm. Mark Blumenthal, a member of the American Botanical Society, says: “One of the reasons might be the amino acid in their green tea called L-theanine”. Research has shown that L-theanine helps reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure and reduces anxiety. In one study, the researchers gave the study subjects 200 mg of L-theanine and then exposed them to anxiety. The results showed that they were calmer and more focused during the experiment.
Hops plant has soothing properties. Aromatherapy also uses hops flowers on the pillow. Since the hops are very bitter, you will not usually see it as tea unless it is mixed with chamomile or mint. Hops are often used in combination with valerian as a sedative for a comfortable sleep.
Note: If your doctor prescribes a sedative medication and you are taking it, do not use sedatives plants and let your doctor know about any supplements you are taking.
Some herbal supplements reduce your anxiety without making you sleepy (like L-theanine), while others make you sleepy. Valerian falls into the second category, meaning it contains sedatives that are useful for treating insomnia. If you want to try Valerian, do so in the evening, not before going to work!
5. Lemon balm
In the Middle Ages, lemon balm (scientifically named Melissa officinalis) was used to relieve stress and anxiety and to have a comfortable sleep. In a study of healthy people, those who took the standard extract (600 mg) of lemon balm were calmer and more alert than those who took the medicine. Although lemon balm is generally safe, be careful, as some studies have shown that over-consumption of lemon balm may increase anxiety. So follow the instructions and start with low doses. Lemon balm is sold in the form of tea and capsules and is usually combined with other sedative herbs such as hops, chamomile, and valerian.
6. Don’t underestimate the benefits of exercise
Exercise is very useful for the brain and is a powerful antidote to depression and anxiety. According to Dr. Drew Ramsey, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University: “If you exercise regularly, you will have more self-esteem and more health. One of the main causes of anxiety is the concern about health and disease, and if you have the right body, that anxiety will be largely eliminated.”
7. Cure in 21 minutes
Twenty-one minutes; this is the time it takes for the sport to completely relieve your anxiety. Dr. Ramsey says: “When you are anxious and running on the treadmill, you find that you are very relaxed after training. I ask my patients to do 20 to 30 minutes of activity to raise their heart rate, whether a treadmill or elliptical or climb up and down stairs. Whatever you like! If you were sailing once, do it again. If you don’t like exercise, you can take a hike”.
8. Passionflowers (Passiflora)
Passionflowers are a calming plant. Some studies have shown that this herb is useful in reducing anxiety symptoms as much as prescription drugs. Passiflora is commonly used to treat insomnia. Passionflowers, like other sedatives, can cause drowsiness, so do not use it, if you use sedatives that your doctor has prescribed. Keep in mind that you should not use passion flowers for more than a month and do not consume more than one herb at a time.
The aroma of lavender reduces emotional excitement and stress. The results of a study showed that patients sitting in the waiting room of a dentist had less anxiety when the room was filled with the aroma of lavender extract. In another study in Florida, students who inhaled lavender extract before the test were less anxious, although some reported that their minds were fuzzy during the exam. In another study in Germany, people with a generalized anxiety disorder were given a lavender tablet and the result was that it was as effective in reducing anxiety as Lorazepam (an anxiolytic drug).
10. Hold your breath!
Yoga-style breathing helps reduce stress and anxiety. Dr. Andrew Weil introduced the classic Yoga Breathing Technique in 2011 and named it Breathing 4-7-8. One of the reasons this technique works is that you cannot be anxious at the same time and take a deep breath.
To use the 4-7-8 technique, focus on the following breathing pattern:
- empty the lungs of air.
- breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds.
- hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds.
- exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds.
- repeat the cycle up to 4 times.
11. Eat something right away!
Dr. Ramsey, the author of The Diet of Happiness, says: “Almost everywhere in the world, people become more anxious and sensitive when they get hungry. When you suddenly have anxiety, it may be because your blood sugar has dropped. The best thing to do is eat a strong, healthy snack, for example, a handful of walnuts or a piece of bitter chocolate, with a glass of water or a cup of hot tea.”
According to Dr. Ramsay, a long-term diet is key to reducing anxiety. He recommends a diet based on natural foods, Healthy meats, and seafood, leafy vegetables (such as cabbage) are included to provide the body with the folic acid it needs and a wide range of phytonutrients to reduce anxiety.
12. Consume Omega 3
You know that fish oil is good for heart health. It’s good to know that fish oil helps prevent depression and add anxiety prevention to this list. In one study, students who consumed a dose of 2.5 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids for 12 weeks daily had less stress and anxiety than students who took anxiolytic drugs. In general, experts recommend getting the omega 3 you need from foods (Naturally). Cold-water fish such as salmon are the best sources of fatty acids. An approximately 180 g slice of grilled salmon contains 3.75 g of omega 3.
13. Stop “Catastrophizing”
When anxiety overwhelms you, you may easily fall into the trap of what is called “Catastrophizing”. Your mind is going through very bad, horrible and unbearable things and is wondering what if this happens? This mindset destroys your life. Instead of thinking about these thoughts, take a few deep breaths, walk around the house and realistically examine the likelihood that your current problem will become a disaster. How likely are you to lose your job, never speak to your sister, or go bankrupt? The catastrophic consequence you have in mind is often far from reality and is very unlikely to happen, Just think about it because you are anxious. There are very few things that change the course of your life.
14. Warm yourself up
Ever wonder why you feel so relaxed after a sauna bath or hot shower? Research has shown that warming up, reducing muscle tension and anxiety. The feeling of heat changes neural circuits that control mood, such as circuits that affect serotonin neural transients. Warming up can be one of the reasons exercise can lessen your anxiety. So it’s not surprising that sitting by the fire with a cup of hot tea makes you feel good. According to a group of researchers lying on the beach under direct sunlight, staying in the sauna for a few minutes after work hours or sitting in a hot tub will make you feel more relaxed and warm.