Anxiety has become increasingly common in today’s stressed-out society, in fact, almost one third of the U.S. population have suffered from an anxiety disorder. While some simply try to ignore it with the belief that it’s just a normal part of everyday stress, it can significantly interfere with the quality of life. Others turn to pharmaceutical drugs, but those typically come with a host of unwanted side effects such as a feeling of apathy, low sex drive, or even depression.
Fortunately, there are ways to calm your anxiety in a more healthy way.
Breathe in the Aroma of a Calming Essential Oil
Using aromatherapy like essential oils can help relieve anxiety as breathing in the scent of certain oils is known to relax both the body and mind. Lemon balm is well-known for its calming properties, used as far back as the Middle Ages to lessen anxiety and stress. It contains sedative compounds to create a feeling of peace and warmth while promoting emotional balance. In fact, a 2013 Australian study found that its effects helped to improve anxiety, depression, and cognition. The easiest way to use it when anxiety arises is to massage a drop onto the back of the neck and on each temple.
CBD has been one of the most-talked about wellness supplements in recent years. It’s a chemical compound that’s non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you “high,” and is derived from the hemp plant. Studies have found that it may work with CB1, a tiny protein that’s attached to the body’s cells and receives chemical signals from a variety of stimuli, which helps them to respond and aid in raising serotonin levels – lower serotonin levels have been linked to depression and anxiety.
Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
While it may be obvious, it’s important not to overdo it on the caffeine, whether it’s from coffee, energy drinks or soda. Too much may not only lead to dehydration that can contribute to more panicked, or fearful, feelings, but it can even cause a full-on panic attack. Alcohol is similar in that it also causes dehydration, increases anxiety levels, and can interfere with sleep, which also results in more anxiety. Sipping an herbal tea like chamomile instead not only helps to keep you hydrated, but as it contains sedative properties it can relieve stress and anxiety.
Quieting the mind through deep breathing is a great way to immediately calm anxiety. When the worrying begins, it slows those racing thoughts, allowing one to detach from them and experience a sense of peace. When you feel anxious, find a comfortable spot in a quiet place where you can concentrate. Take deep, slow breaths, inhaling in for a count of five, holding for a count of three and exhaling for a count of five. Before you know it, your anxiety will start to fade. Taking even just five minutes a day to do these may help prevent anxiety from creeping up in the first place.