Mental Health

Ways to Manage Anxiety Naturally

Anxiety is the by-product of living in a busy world. It makes you aware of the danger, motivates you to work harder and stay organized, and helps you calculate risks. However, when anxiety becomes a recurrent issue, that is when it becomes a concern. Anxiety, if not controlled at the right time, can harm your health.

Anxiety is nothing but the body’s natural response to stress. Several factors ranging from genetics to environment can trigger anxiety. Some of the most common clinical manifestations of anxiety are:-

  • Palpitations
  • Increase in respiratory rate
  • Restless
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Acidity

Anxiety is not the same as anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders include panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive and compulsion disorder, separation anxiety, illness anxiety, phobia, and social anxiety disorder.

How should you treat anxiety?

Anxiety can be treated in several ways. One of them is cognitive-behavioural therapy. In this therapy, people are provided with tools to cope with stress. Similarly, there are medicines available to create a balance between the chemical substances present in the brain. Medications like antidepressants and sedatives are prescribed to prevent episodes of anxiety. These can be used to avoid the most severe symptoms.

What are the natural ways to manage anxiety?

1. Exercise regularly

A 2013 study states that people with anxiety disorders who engage in high levels of physical activity are better protected against developing anxiety symptoms. Exercise can divert one’s attention away from the things that make one anxious. It also helps balance chemicals like serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid, brain-derived neutrophil factor, and endocannabinoids.

2. Avoid alcohol intake

Alcohol is a natural sedative. However, several studies have suggested a link between anxiety and alcohol consumption, with anxiety disorders and alcohol use disorder occurring hand-in-hand. A 2017 study showed that decreasing alcohol intake could improve symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Alcohol can disrupt the body’s natural ability to sleep by interfering with sleep homeostasis.

3. Decrease caffeine intake

Caffeine can increase the chances of nervousness and jitters which can progress to anxiety. Caffeine not only worsens anxiety disorder but can also cause panic attacks. A study from 2008 reports that caffeine could increase alertness by blocking the chemical messenger in the brain, adenosine. Start replacing caffeine with water. Keeping yourself hydrated can flush the caffeine from your body. Gradually reducing the caffeine over a few weeks can help your body adjust and decrease the chances of withdrawal.

4. Prioritize your sleep

Sleep is an essential part of good mental health. You must ensure at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily.

5. Practice meditation

The main goal of meditation is to remain fully in the present moment. This can help you stay calm and content by increasing your ability to tolerate thoughts and feelings. In addition, meditation can help you to get relief from anxiety and stress.

6. Eat a balanced diet

Low blood sugar levels, dehydration, and chemicals in processed foods can cause changes in mood in some people. Choosing your diet mindfully can help you to decrease the symptoms of anxiety. Stay hydrated, eliminate processed foods, and eat a balanced diet to prevent apprehension.

7. Try aromatherapy

The essential oils present in herbs can promote the health and well-being of the mind, body, and spirit. Aromatherapy can help you to relax, allow you to sleep, boost your mood, and reduce heart rate.

The above methods can help you to calm down and reduce your anxiety. However, taking professional help can help you to deal with severe anxiety.

Author

Tuhina Mishra

Dr. Tuhina Mishra completed her MBBS from Grant Government Medical College in the year 2021. She has published several research papers in Indian and international journals. She is a recipient of the ICMR-STS award in the year 2019. She is a staunch believer in making research an integral part of the medical curriculum. She has volunteered in several NGOs, healthcare startups, and awareness programs.

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