While there is no substitute for consulting with a mental health professional to address your condition, if you suffer from anxiety there are some natural options that can help improve your symptoms.
Get your heart rate up. Exercise has been shown to reduce anxiety symptoms in many studies. Sweating it out gets your blood flowing and promoting good circulation, which means more efficient detoxification and drainage. Anxiety sufferers need to ensure they are releasing toxins properly. Exercise also helps you release endorphins that boost your mood- an important factor in the anxiety puzzle.
Eat more fiber. Getting rid of fiber stripped high-glycemic foods like white bread, pasta and rice, not to mention sugar-filled processed snacks and drinks, can help to stave off the sugar blues, aka insulin spikes in your blood. Ensure your diet is filled with fresh, unprocessed fruits and veggies (at least half your plate at every meal), pulses, legumes, nuts and seeds. Thanks to their high fiber content, your blood sugar will remain stable – this is why people are always banging on about complex carbs being better for you!
Drink less. It’s vital to practice moderation when it comes to alcohol, even antioxidant-filled red wine. Whether in small quantities or not, alcohol has some pretty detrimental effects on the body’s systems that include dampening your mood, disturbing REM sleep, lowering your self-control threshold, depleting your brain’s serotonin levels and many more. It’s hardly worth stressing your body out when it is already dealing with so much.
Get a weekly massage, either from a loved or a professional. A session with a certified massage therapist is a worthy investment for your mental health- their hands can have a seriously healing touch. Even better if the therapist makes use of holistic aromatherapy practices to address the physical and physiological expressions of your anxiety. We hear ArHome Spa Lab gives fantastic massages.
Welcome yoga into your life. A once a week asana session can offer a safe space for anxiety sufferers to stretch out your muscles, engage in some light meditation, be more mindful and build confidence, all while developing a new skill. There is a great deal of research linking a regular yoga practice to improved mental health and mood. There are so many different kinds of yoga to try too, so why not give something fun like aerial or anti-gravity yoga a go?
Connect with your inner aromatherapist. Essential oils can be incredibly soothing and help with a variety of medical conditions. Add a few drops to your epsom bath, to your body massage oil or to your home diffuser. The best essential oils for anxiety are ylang ylang, lavender, frankincense, bergamot and rose- use one a time or make your own blends. Be careful not to apply essential oils directly to your skin, they can be very potent. Always use a carrier oil like almond, coconut or grapeseed.
Get tested for allergies. Untreated food intolerances, especially dairy and wheat ones, and allergic conditions like chronic rhinitis, can sometimes be the culprit behind conditions like anxiety and depression. The other thing about allergies is that they compromise your immune system by constantly stressing it, thereby further inhibiting your body’s ability to fight your anxiety. After testing, you can ensure you are dealing with any underlying conditions with the appropriate treatment, whether it’s medication, installing an air purifiers or making dietary changes. Either way, you will be more comfortable and more aware of your own body. You can get yourself tested at HK Bio Tek.
Take an epsom salt bath 2 to 3 times a week. Anxiety has been shown to deplete your body’s magnesium levels. Not to mention that all over the world, our soil is mineral deficient due to industrial agricultural practices and pesticides, so even though we should be getting our magnesium quota from produce, this is rarely the case. Magnesium deficiency can lead to a host of medical issues and since epsom salts are actually magnesium sulfate flakes, soaking in them can help to boost your levels. You also need magnesium to balance your hormone levels and regulate your sleep, amongst other things (the connection between magnesium and mental health is decades old), both of which are important to manage when you have bad anxiety. If you don’t have a bathtub at home, consider visiting Float On.
Image credits: Massage via photopin (license), DOF via photopin (license), Salad with Dijon Mustard Dressing via photopin (license) and 167 via photopin (license).