From botanicals, lifestyle changes, mind-body techniques, to natural supplements, there are many natural anxiety relief options you can choose from.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is to present medical studies and information in an accessible manner. This post may contain opinions about a particular supplement but does not mean that it is recommended for all readers. Always consult a medical professional to see if these solutions may be right for you.
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In this article:
13 Non-Medication Treatments for Anxiety
If you are feeling anxious, chamomile tea may help calm your nerves down. Some compounds present in this flower affect the same brain receptors that react to drugs like Valium.
In a study done at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, researchers gave generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) patients chamomile supplements for two months. Results showed a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms versus the patients who took the placebo.
2. Green Tea
Green tea contains the anxiolytic amino acid L-theanine. Research shows a high intake of L-theanine can significantly reduce anxiety symptoms, like rapid heart rate and increased immunoglobulin A in saliva.
Anxiolytic Definition: These are compounds used to treat anxiety.
Immunoglobulin A (IgA) Definition: This is an antibody with an integral role in mucous membranes’ immune function. IgA levels are also a useful stress marker.
Lavender is one of the most popular and versatile essential oils used in aromatherapy. This multipurpose oil is known to have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antidepressant, antimicrobial, analgesic, and anxiolytic benefits.
Although there are no large-scale clinical trials testing this botanical’s effect on anxiety yet, several studies have established its anxiolytic effects.
One study published in Physiology and Behavior reported 200 subjects waiting for dental treatment experienced a decrease in their anxiety and an improvement in their mood after breathing in the scent of lavender.
Additionally, a 2012 Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice study reported lavender oil aromatherapy as helpful in soothing high-risk postpartum women’s anxiety.
In a 2012 Phytomedicine report, ingesting lavender oil also showed to help relieve anxiety. Researchers reviewed 15 published clinical trials and concluded lavender oil supplements may have relieving effects on people with anxiety and/or stress.
These flowers aren’t only used as bittering agents on your favorite beers. Hops oils and tinctures are also anxiolytics.
In a 2005 study, researchers found hops can interact with some subtypes of melatonin and serotonin receptors resulting in lowered stress levels and improved sleep. In a more recent study by Athenian researchers, preliminary results support hops dry extract’s positive effects on subjective measures of stress, anxiety, and depression in young adults.
Habits to Change
5. Stop Smoking
During anxious, stressful situations, smokers tend to crave a stick to calm themselves down. However, this quick fix may actually worsen the anxiety over time.
Research shows the earlier a person starts smoking in life, the higher the risk he or she later develops an anxiety disorder. The same study also suggests nicotine and other chemicals found in cigarettes alter brain pathways associated with anxiety.
6. Stop Drinking Alcohol
Worrywarts and chronically-anxious people may find alcohol’s sedative effects calming. However, much like smoking, drinking alcohol may worsen your anxiety over time.
Relying on alcohol to help with your anxiety instead of solving and treating the cause may lead to alcohol dependency—a serious problem which can result in severe health and personal repercussions.
7. Ditch Caffeine
Caffeinated drinks aren’t the best choice of drinks for anxious people. Caffeine induces jitters and nervousness, making anxiety worse.
Research shows caffeine may cause or worsen anxiety disorders and induce panic attacks in patients suffering from panic disorder.
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Habits to Start Doing
8. Have a Healthy Diet
Dehydration, low blood sugar levels, and artificial preservatives, coloring, and flavoring can alter your mood and mental state. A diet high in sugar can also change your temperament.
If you find that your anxiety worsens after eating, it’s best to check your eating habits. Remember to stay hydrated, stay away from processed food, and choose complex carbs, lean proteins, and fruits and veggies.
The health and mental benefits of exercise have been long established—being physically active can help with anxiety.
Some studies have found regular exercise can work as well as medication in reducing anxiety and depression symptoms.
Regular exercise may help with anxiety by:
- Inducing the release of mood-improving happy chemicals (endorphins)
- Taking your mind off of the worries
- Breaking the cycle of negative thoughts feeding your anxiety
Meditation teaches us how to pay attention and allows us to slow down and observe the present without judgment and resistance. If you suffer from chronic anxiety, meditation can help reduce your worries and bring focus, calm, and balance.
In a 2013 randomized trial, researchers compared the effects of stress management education (SME) and manualized mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on 93 patients with generalized anxiety disorder.
Patients who underwent the MBSR showed significantly greater anxiety reduction and a greater increase in positive self-statements.
Meditating at least 5 to 10 minutes daily can help calm you down and relieve other symptoms.
11. Do Deep Breathing Exercises
We don’t put much thought when we breathe, it’s second nature. Did you know there’s an improper way to breathe and this contributes to anxiety and other emotional and physical disturbances?
When you’re anxious you tend to take fast, shallow breaths coming directly from the chest. This kind of breathing affects the oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange in the body and may lead to dizziness, fast heart rate, and in some cases, panic attack.
Deep breathing exercises or deliberately taking slow, even, and deep breaths can help bring normal breathing rhythms and decrease anxiety.
12. Omega-3 Supplements
Aside from being good for the heart, fish oils can also help with anxiety and depression.
In one study, students received either 2.5 mg of mixed omega-3 fatty acids or placebo daily for 12 weeks. Students from the omega-3 group had less anxiety before taking an exam compared with the placebo group.
13. Dr. Seeds Chill Pill
Our very own Chill Pill is formulated with dihydro honokiol-B (Dhh-B), a polyphenolic compound with neuroprotective properties. This compound is naturally occurring and extracted from a species of magnolia common in Japan.
Traditionally used in Asian medicine, research supports Dhh-B’s therapeutic potential in pain, anxiety, and other cognitive disorders.
Taking 1-2 Chill Pills in any situation which makes you anxious or stressed out can bring relief in less than 20 minutes.
Planning to start that healthy diet to help treat your anxiety? Start with these healthy eating tips!
While the suggestions above can help in managing anxiety, they do not ultimately replace professional help. To get to the bottom of your anxieties, especially in worse cases, it is best to seek professional help and undergo therapy and/or take prescription medication.
Do you know any other home remedies for anxiety? Let us know in the comments section below!