Nobody is completely free and clear of being overwhelmed by anxiety. Whether a full-blown disorder or intermittent and unwelcome attacks, anxiety is powerful enough to accompany longterm stress and contribute to serious and debilitating illnesses. There are plenty of conventional, professional, and medical methods of keeping anxiety at bay. But not everybody has the resources or even the awareness to access those tools.
On top of all that, there’s no true “cure” for anxiety. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, research shows that people with anxiety cannot successfully achieve short or long-term remission, with remission rates remaining as low as 38 percent after five years. With that said, while some consider many professional methods of treating anxiety as nothing more than band-aids for their symptoms, it’s believed that there are more natural methods we can take control of in order to treat the root of our anxiety problems.
These are natural methods to remedy anxiety symptoms and in some cases, avoid anxiety attacks before they take over.
Avoid or at least limit caffeine and alcohol
Too many of either of these things can and will influence your mood, potentially increasing anxiety symptoms. The British Journal of Psychiatry published research supporting the idea that staying away from alcohol entirely is associated with a lower risk of anxiety. Research also shows that consuming too much caffeine can cause anxiety symptoms, especially for people with panic disorder and social anxiety as they are more sensitive to caffeine’s effects.
Avoid sugary and processed foods
Curating a healthier and more balanced diet seems to be a magic remedy to just about anything, doesn’t it? Well, there’s validity in the idea that putting unnatural foods in our body can play a huge part in throwing us off kilter. Sugar and refined carbohydrates bring blood sugar highs and lows as our body processes them, increasing anxiety, fatigue, and even nervousness. Those symptoms can be responsible for mood swings and make anxiety attacks difficult to manage.
This all means staying away from refined foods like pastries and sweetened drinks, fast food, fried food, processed meats, and refined grains are all helpful in keeping anxiety at bay. Research has shown that the ketogenic diet may help lower the risk of anxiety, as this high fat/low card diet covers many of the bases of avoiding these unhelpful foods.
Get more exercise
Here’s another unsurprising method that seems to be offered as a “cure all” for mental health challenges. Regular physical activity, not just singular workouts, are proven to increase the quality of a person’s sleep, improve energy levels, boost confidence, and even lessen stress. If you want to take it a step further, it’s been found that yoga, in particular, is a great example of this method as it not only keeps you active but it also helps you relax. A 2012 study published in Alternative Medicine Review found that out of 35 trials, 25 found a significant decrease in stress and anxiety symptoms as a result of practicing yoga. Yoga influences your brain by impacting your GABA levels and suppressing neural activity, making it an effective tool against anxiety. This is similar to another natural remedy…
To many, this sounds hippy dippy and can be easy to disregard, but plenty of research supports the idea that meditation has a biological effect on us. A controlled trial in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that meditation improves our coping mechanisms used to handle stress. Like exercise, it can improve your quality of sleep as well as reduce your cortisol levels.