Need Natural Remedies For Anxiety And Stress?
Anxiety and stress are a natural part of life. But, sometimes they can be a bit overwhelming. In fact, anxiety has become one of the most common mental health issues diagnosed today. Both anxiety and stress have been linked to depression and other serious health conditions when experienced over long periods of time. So, it’s pretty important to maintain a healthy level of anxiety and stress in your life. There are many ways that you can help reduce these too. In addition to medications prescribed by physicians for specific anxiety and stress disorders, there are many different ways that you can treat anxiety naturally. Of course, anyone experiencing anxiety or stress should consult with their physician before using natural remedies. And, natural remedies for anxiety and stress should not be used in place of medication when treating specific conditions.
What are Natural Remedies?
Natural remedies are simply that. They are a way to help deal with a specific condition or issue, like anxiety or stress, with non-pharmaceutical solutions. This can include things such as diet, essential oils, vitamins, supplements, and exercise. Natural remedies are typically used to supplement traditional medicine, not replace it. And, anyone interested in natural remedies should be sure to consult with a doctor first.
The Pros and Cons of Using Natural Remedies For Anxiety And Stress
Natural remedies have become extremely popular for helping reduce anxiety and stress. But, they’re not without their pros and cons. There has been a good amount of research on the positive and negative aspects of using natural remedies to help reduce anxiety and stress.
Here are a few of the positive reasons to consider when thinking about adding natural remedies.
- Free or Low-Cost: One potential benefit of using natural remedies is that they can often be free or have a lower cost associated with them. Consider if you’re using remedies, like yoga or meditation. Both can be done at home without any additional costs. Many different kinds of natural remedies — though not all — don’t have any major costs attached to them, making them an affordable way to help tackle anxiety and stress. Of course, there are some natural remedies that may be a bit more expensive. So, do be sure to consider cost when using a specific natural remedy.
- Non-Pharmaceutical: If you are looking to avoid or supplement conventional treatments, natural remedies may be a good starting point. There are many different types of natural remedies that don’t require you to take any medications. However, as with any type of treatment, do consult with your doctor to see if trying natural remedies before taking medication is right for you.
- Overall Health & Wellness: One added bonus of natural remedies is that they are often beneficial, not just for anxiety and stress, but also for your overall health. Exercise, for example, is not only a way to help combat anxiety and stress, but it’s also a way to improve your cardiovascular health and maintain a healthy weight. So, there’s a pretty good chance a natural remedy will do double-duty and offer several potential health benefits.
- Not a Substitute for Medical Treatment: One of the most important things to know about natural remedies is that they should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment. While they can provide some additional support, they should not be relied to treat anxiety and stress disorders. Always consult with a physician to discuss the options and to see if natural remedies should be added as a supplement to treatment.
- May Not Be Effective: While there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that natural remedies are effective at helping reduce anxiety and stress, there is also scientific research that indicates that some natural remedies may not be as effective. With this in mind, do consider the type of natural remedy and how effective research studies indicate it might be.
- May Require Using Multiple Natural Remedies: As with any type of health and wellness remedy, natural remedies often work best when combined with others. Like using conventional medical treatment with natural remedies, combining several natural remedies together may help with anxiety and stress more than just one.
The Science Behind Natural Remedies
Natural remedies are often considered, “alternative medicine,” in the medical community. This means that they have some potential to offer health and wellness benefits to a variety of conditions but are not generally considered to be the most effective ways to treat a condition. Yet, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health nearly 4 in 10 adults in the United States use some type of alternative medicine. With so many Americans using some type of alternative medicine, there is a strong interest from the scientific community to research how effective they are. In general, research shows that natural remedies have the potential to positively impact health and wellness. But, different types of natural remedies seem to be more effective than others, according to research. If you’re interested in using natural remedies to help with your own anxiety and stress, consider looking into some of the basic research about the particular home remedies before you use them.
Best of the Best: The Top 10 Natural Remedies For Anxiety And Stress
Now that we know a bit more about what natural remedies are, the pros and cons of using them, and the scientific research behind them, let’s take a look at the top 10 natural remedies that you can use starting today to help with anxiety and stress.
Exercise may not seem like a natural remedy that can help with anxiety and stress. But, activities like running, walking, and even lifting weights can actually be a good way to tackle anxiety and stress. Exercise not only helps you maintain good physical health, which leads to reduced stress, but your body also produces endorphins when you exercise — another way that your body helps regulate stress and anxiety. Research has shown a positive correlation between exercise and its impact on overall stress levels, mood, and sleep. So, there’s pretty good evidence that exercise is good for your body and mind. In fact, many scientists and even psychologists have suggested that even a short amount of exercise can help stimulate natural anti-anxiety effects produced by the body. That means taking a short walk or simple fitness activity on a daily basis has the potential to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress. Of course, like any medication or other type of natural remedy, your results may vary. So, what works for one person might not work for another. But, there’s no doubt that adding exercise into your routine can be a very good thing.
When your brain is racing with thoughts of anxiety and stress, it can feel like it’s hard to quiet your mind. Meditation is one way that you can work to help navigate anxiety and stress in a mindful way. Meditation is a practice of focusing the mind on a particular thought, object, or even activity to help you feel mentally clear and calm. It’s been an important practice in yoga and even some religions, such as Buddhism, for thousands of years. And, there’s been a lot of research on it. In fact, recent studies through major U.S. universities, like John Hopkins, has shown that there is some evidence to support meditation’s positive effects on anxiety and stress. The results of these studies combined with anecdotal evidence have made meditation a much more popular natural remedy lately. In fact, you can find lots of resources, such as guided meditations, on sites like YouTube or even as free or low cost apps for your mobile device. These are good ways to explore meditation if you’re new to this natural remedy.
Combining the benefits of exercise and meditation, yoga is a practice that originated in ancient India. It focuses on a combination of physical and mental activities to help calm the body and mind. Although there is often a spiritual aspect to yoga through several different types of religious practices, anyone can do yoga for its physical and mental benefits. In fact, many studies have shown that yoga can promote relaxation. But, the benefits of yoga don’t just stop there. Many studies have shown that yoga can have a positive effect on reducing anxiety and stress too. That’s because practicing yoga has a direct impact on your body’s production of GABA, which has been shown to naturally help your body stay calm and relaxed. So, if you’re looking for a natural remedy that has a lot of potential benefits for reducing anxiety and stress, yoga might be a good option for you.
4. A Healthy Diet
They say, “You are what you eat.” Having a healthy and balanced diet can be really important for maintaining good health and wellness. A healthy diet is one that includes a variety of vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to function at its best. It also means eating a proper amount of calories on a daily basis. Too few calories or too many calories can greatly impact feelings of anxiety and stress because you’re not getting the fuel your body needs. The types of foods that you eat may also play a role in weight loss or gain, which affects your overall health. Research indicates that anxiety can often be associated with lower amounts of antioxidants. So, incorporating foods rich in antioxidants might be a good natural remedy to boost your intake. Foods like beans, apples, pecans, and kale, are all rich in antioxidants, according to the USDA. Studies have also shown that certain foods may also naturally reduce anxiety and stress due to the vitamins and nutrients contained in them. These include foods rich in magnesium, like spinach, or those rich in zinc, like cashews, are all potentially good foods to add to your diet. Omega-3s, in particular, have been heavily researched for its effect on anxiety and stress. So, fatty fish, like Salmon, might be a good food to consider adding into your diet on a more regular basis. Of course, there are many different types of foods and approaches to eating a healthy diet. Do be sure to consult with a physician before you begin any major diet changes.
5. Herbal Teas
Tea has been used for thousands of years for medicinal and relaxation purposes. With so many ancient traditions using tea for health and wellness, scientists have been very interested in its effects on the mind and body. Studies have shown that different types of tea can have potentially positive effects, such as reducing blood pressure and calming the nervous system. Some types of herbal teas, made with specific herbs such as ashwagandha, chamomile, and passionflower, are also known to help reduce anxiety and stress. Because herbal teas come from plants, be cautious if you suffer from any seasonal or plant allergies. In addition, the interactions between herbal tea and medications isn’t well studied. So, be sure to discuss with your doctor before adding herbal tea into your diet to help reduce anxiety and stress.
Detoxification, called detox, is a way of ridding the body of certain toxins or substances in your body to help improve your overall health. Often, we think of detox as it is associated with substance abuse. But, detox of the body has been a popular way to cleanse the body of anything that might not be good since the mid-1800s. Today, detox often includes fasting (i.e. not eating anything for a certain period of time), avoiding specific foods, or colon cleansing. Science shows mixed results regarding detoxification — though there is evidence that removing certain toxins or foods from your diet can have positive effects on your overall health and mental wellness. If you are interested in any kind of whole body detox, do make sure to consult with a physician to make sure you’re doing so safely.
Aromatherapy is the use of plant oils for specific natural health and wellness remedies. Like yoga and many other natural remedies shown here, Aromatherapy is often used to help reduce anxiety and stress. That’s because the scents from essential oils, the basis for Aromatherapy, provide a soothing and calming effect. Research studies support this too. They have shown that certain oils, like lavender, may reduce the heart rate to help you stay calm and relaxed. Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways. The most common are topical applications, such as massage oils, and inhalation applications, like sprays or diffuser. Essential oils should never be taken by swallowing them. That’s because taking them orally can cause medication interactions and severe damage to the liver or kidneys. But, the effects of the scents produced by aromatherapy are deemed to be a safe way to incorporate them into your anxiety and stress management routine. Do make sure that you use caution with aromatherapy. If you have a certain medical condition like high blood pressure, some essentials oils are not advised to use. This is also true for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have specific allergies. When in doubt, consult with your doctor before using essential oils.
8. Cannabidiol Oil
One new natural remedy that is gaining popularity is Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil). Derived from the hemp plant and the cannabis (or marijuana) plant, both of these oils are thought to provide relief for those with anxiety and stress. Unlike marijuana, CBD Oil, in particular, does not have the same effects. This means, those using it won’t feel a “high.” That’s due to the lack of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in other marijuana products. The research on the effects on this natural remedy aren’t as widespread yet because it’s new. But, the research that has been done shows that there is a lot of potential for CBD Oil to help with anxiety and stress. Though not fully confirmed, scientists think that CBD oil may impact serotonin levels, which directly impact things like depression and anxiety. Because CBD oil comes directly from the marijuana plant, it may not be legal to consume in some states or may require a medical prescription to take. Do make sure you research whether or not you can purchase this legally in your state. Even if you purchase CBD Oil online, it may still require verification that you are allowed to use it in your state. And, don’t forget to discuss it with your doctor, especially if a prescription is required to purchase it.
9. Natural Supplements
The most common natural remedies for anxiety and stress are supplements. These are often found in pill or capsule form and contain concentrated versions of a specific plant, vitamin, or nutrient. There is some research that supports the effectiveness of certain supplements. But, there is also a lot of questions about them too. One of the biggest challenges is quality. Many commercial supplements may be synthesized or come from poor sources — making their effectiveness a lot less. Quality is also not regulated by the FDA. So, there’s not a lot of checks and balances in place to ensure that supplements have the best ingredients or are effective. If you are interested in taking certain supplements, do make sure that you talk to a physician before taking them. That’s because many supplements can interact with medications or affect certain medical conditions negatively. But, with the right supplements, those with anxiety and stress may see positive results. Some of the most popular supplements for anxiety and stress include Vitamin B, Kava Root, Ashwagandha, and Magnesium.
When it comes to a natural remedy that’s easy to add into your life, it’s sleep. Sleep is a natural part of our daily routine. And, everyone needs to sleep to rest, recoup, and recharge. Researchers have found that a lack of sleep can negatively impact your health and wellness and can actually worsen feelings of anxiousness. This means getting a good night’s sleep can potentially reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. Of course, sometimes when you’re feeling anxious or stressed, getting to sleep can be difficult. In this case, looking to incorporate other natural remedies, like the ones listed here, can help make sleep a little easier when combating anxiety and stress.
Reducing Anxiety and Stress with 10 Natural Remedies
Anxiety and stress might be a natural part of life. But, it doesn’t have to affect your life in a negative way. By doing a bit of research and discussing it with your physician, adding some of these natural remedies into your daily routine may help you feel less anxious and stressed.