Updated: Aug 2, 2019
18% of the U.S. population suffers from some sort of anxiety. (1)
There are a variety of causes… some are easy lifestyle adjustments and others are outside of our control.
Common culprits (2, 3):
Stress. Maybe it’s work, school, an illness in the family, or something else. We all have a certain amount of stress in our lives. But when overwhelming stress has you feeling chronically anxious, it may take a lasting toll on your health.
Trauma. If you’ve experienced or witnessed a traumatic life event, you may suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or another type of anxiety.
Hormonal imbalance. A variety of hormones work together to keep you feeling your best. One common anxiety-causing example occurs when your thyroid overproduces which can leave you feeling anxious, nervous, and irritable. (4)
Side effects from medicine. A variety of prescription drugs can cause anxious side effects but anxiety can also result from seemingly harmless over-the-counter drugs like cold medications (4)
Caffeine or sugar consumption. Caffeine is a stimulant, and the jitters that you sometimes experience from a strong cup of joe stimulate the “fight or flight” response in your body triggering an anxious reaction. (4)
Genetics. Is there a history of anxiety in your family? You may be predisposed to experience the symptoms.
You can’t trade in your genes, and you might not be in a position to leave a high-stress work situation, but there are definitely some strategies you can use to calm your anxiety. Some people work with mental health providers to come up with an approach that combines therapy and psychotropic drugs to combat anxiety. (2)
Interested in an alternative approach to calming your anxious symptoms?
Natural Strategies To Help Calm Your Anxiety
Watch what you eat & drink. Diets high in sugar and processed foods can lead to blood sugar spikes and drops throughout the day which can leave you feeling anxious. Similarly, consuming excess caffeine or alcohol can trigger anxious symptoms. Your best bet? Eat a balanced diet composed of fresh vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and lean proteins, and drink plenty of water. (2) If you can’t bear the thought of parting with your coffee, try limiting your daily consumption to just one cup to see if you notice a positive change in how you’re feeling.
Exercise. Go for a run, a brisk walk, a swim, do some jumping jacks… however you like to increase your heart rate. It helps your body release feel-good hormones like serotonin and helps reduce anxious symptoms. (5). If cardio isn’t in the cards, yoga’s focus on deep breathing and mindfulness has been shown to quiet neural activity and reduce stress. (2)
Incorporate adaptogens. Adaptogenic herbs and supplements help restore your body’s natural balance and bring you back to equilibrium. Reishi is a type of medicinal mushroom that can be used to treat insomnia, lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety. Ashwaganda, is a supplement derived from a root and can relax the body and relieve stress. And Rhodiola is an herb that combats cortisol (the stress hormone) to help you feel more relaxed. (6)
Lavender essential oil. Studies show that using lavender in aromatherapy or on the skin can help relax the body and calm anxious thoughts. You can add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a diffuser, to a warm bath, or to the back of your neck to feel the relaxing effects. (2)
Use magnesium oil. Magnesium is a deficiency that is incredibly common in adults, and can result in a variety of negative symptoms. Supplementing with magnesium can help calm the nervous system, regulate hormones, and relax muscles. (2) Plus, using our magnesium oil topically is a safe and easy way to boost your magnesium levels and reap the relaxing effects.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, try incorporating one or more of these tactics into your routine.
Here’s to feeling better, naturally!
Let us know how it goes!
*A note on safety. When you’re considering combatting anxiety with natural remedies, be sure to consult your healthcare provider. Some alternative solutions interact with other medicines, and should be added only under the supervision of a doctor.*