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How to Manage Anxiety: A Comprehensive Guide

Anxiety is a perfectly normal response to stressors, like being caught in a dangerous situation, taking a test, or having to make an important decision. Still, when anxiety becomes a constant response or a response to inappropriate situations, it becomes problematic. 

a calm feather whispers in the wind to calm anxiety

Anxiety affects many people throughout their lives. For some, it is merely situational, but for others, anxiety is constant and can lead to disorders. These include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Is It Normal To Feel Anxiety?

Some causes of anxiety include:

  • stress

  • trauma

  • thyroid disorders

  • dysfunctional serotonin

  • excessive alcohol consumption

  • caffeine and sugar intake

  • hormonal imbalance

Physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety include:

look to the sky on a beautiful day to calm anxiety

  • muscle tension

  • chest tightness

  • heart palpitations

  • high blood pressure

  • insomnia

  • digestive problems

  • panic attacks

  • irritability

  • difficulty concentrating

  • restlessness

  • sweating

  • anxiousness

  • inability to socialize

Psychotropic drugs and cognitive behavioral therapy are the conventional methods for anxiety treatment. With an estimated one-third of the population suffering from anxiety, there is no doubt that the number of medications is equally high.

However, there are many natural remedies for anxiety out there that have been proven effective without adverse side effects. These include several changes to diet and lifestyle.

Consider Trying A Natural Approach First

Here are some natural, proactive lifestyle changes that can help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety.

Avoid Sugary and Processed Foods: Consuming foods with a high glycemic index, like processed and fast foods, can contribute to anxiety and depression. Additionally, sugar and refined carbohydrates can cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate wildly, increasing anxiety, nervousness, and fatigue. I do this most days. I'm not perfect but most days I eat clean.

Alcohol and Caffeine: Alcohol and caffeine can both enhance anxiety symptoms by causing tension, moodiness, and jitters. Reduce anxiety by avoiding alcohol completely, or by limiting your intake to 1–3 drinks per week, with no more than two at a time. Limit coffee or black tea to no more than one cup per day. I for sure practice this. I can always tell if I've had too much caffeine and alcohol strongly disagrees with sleep for me according to my Oura ring. So I always feel the affects the next day.

Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha, a powerful herb, is often used as a natural remedy for anxiety, as it helps to stabilize the body’s response to stress. Ashwagandha improves focus, reduces fatigue, and helps to fight anxiety without the side effects of anti-anxiety medications.  I don't take Ashwagandha all the time. I should... because when I do I notice a difference in my anxious behaviors.

use bath bomb and candles to calm anxiety

Kava Root: Kava root treats anxiety by stimulating dopamine receptors in the brain, which induces euphoria and a sense of well-being. It is a great alternative to anti-anxiety medications because it is non-addictive and non-hypnotic but still increases positive mood and relaxation. Kava should be taken under the guidance of a healthcare provider, as it has been known to interact with certain medications. I don't take Kava Root. I have tried it before and it didn't work out for me. However, our brains are wired differently. Just because something didn't work for me does not mean it won't work for you. I would recommend giving it a try. 

Magnesium: Because magnesium is a common deficiency in adults, you should consider supplementing as it is great for relaxing muscles and the nervous system. I take magnesium every night.

Lavender Oil: Lavender is a natural sedative, and it helps reduce anxiety by allowing the body to relax. I use this in a lot of my lotions and hygiene products because of its calming effect.

Physical Activity: Physical activity helps to reduce stress, improve sleep, reduce inflammation, increase energy, and boost confidence. It takes around half an hour of sustained exercise to see the effects on anxiety levels. I move my body most days unless my Oura ring is telling me to take it slow. I definitely feel a difference when I move my body. I feel good, my body feels good, and my mood is better.


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