Living with anxiety is not easy. I have experienced it several times in my life, and I know that anxiety can be truly overwhelming (see my story). If you are dealing with anxiety, you will be glad to know there are a number of ways you can fight and conquer your anxious thoughts in a natural way. I believe in the power of natural remedies and how they can cure, heal, and make everyone feel better.
Finding natural remedies for anxiety isn’t as tricky as it may seem. Quite a few herbs and essential oils are well-known for their ability to fight feelings of stress and anxiousness. Once you’ve talked to your doctor (because you should ALWAYS talk to your doctor first) to make sure that you’re a good candidate for natural remedies, give these great herbs, supplements, and essential oils a try.
What you need to know before trying natural remedies
Before we get into the remedies, I think it’s important to manage your expectations. Too often, natural and home remedies get a bad rap because people try them once, give them a day to work, then move on.
Think of natural remedies as something you to do prevent and treat long-term, not as “rescue remedies.” While some may help relieve anxiety in the moment, for the most part you’ll need to give them time to work.
This was mentioned earlier, but it bears repeating: talk to your doctor before trying anything new to treat your anxiety. That’s super important, especially if you have another medical condition. Even something as seemingly innocent as a mug of hot herbal tea can cause problems if you’re taking medications that interact with certain herbs.
Who can use natural remedies for anxiety?
Even if your doctor gave you the go ahead to try natural remedies, you may still be wondering if they’re right for you. While this is far from a complete list, natural remedies are best for:
- Mild to moderate cases of anxiety.
- Those who want to exhaust their natural options before trying medications.
- People who simply can’t tolerate prescription medications.
Natural remedies also make a great complement to modern medicine, so even if you’re taking a prescription, talk to your doctor about adding in one or more of these ideas.
Who shouldn’t use natural anxiety treatments?
If your anxiety is so severe that it significantly impacts your day-to-day life, natural anxiety remedies may not be for you. As mentioned earlier, most remedies take time to work, and some anxiety cases need immediate results.
It’s also important to understand that these are not remedies for major panic attacks. Anxiety and panic are really two completely different things. In the simplest explanation possible, anxiety is like a slow burn. Panic is a flash fire.
Now that we’ve covered all the bases of who can and can’t take natural remedies, let’s move on to the real reason you’re here!
Top 5 Natural Remedies for Anxiety
1. Lavender Essential Oil
Let’s start with the most popular and safest natural remedy for anxiety! Lavender essential oil is great for promoting an overall sense of calm. A few ways to use it include:
- Mixing it into your favorite cream or lotion
- Add a few drops to your bath water
- Making your own DIY bath salts (just add a few drops to a cup of Epsom salts)
- Adding it to your favorite essential oil diffuser
If you’re feeling really crafty, try making your own bath bombs with lavender essential oil!
2. Hot Tea
Although chamomile tea has the best reputation for relieving stress, you don’t have to love the flowery flavor to reap the benefits of tea. Studies indicate that green tea works just as well at fighting anxiety. I’d recommend chamomile tea in the evening and green tea in the morning, since it does have caffeine in it.
3. Valerian Root
As far as supplements go, you won’t find a more popular natural anxiety treatment than valerian. Just don’t take it if you need to stay awake: it’s also a remedy for insomnia. Fair warning, valerian tastes almost as bad as it smells, especially when used in a tea. Capsules are pretty easy to get down, though.
While we’ve talked about how it’s important to talk to your doctor before trying any natural remedies, it’s vital when using valerian root if you take other medications or have a medical condition. Never combine it with other medications or remedies that help you sleep, and don’t give it to young children without consulting a pediatrician.
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that acts as a building block for dopamine, the feel-good brain chemical. While other amino acids landed on the anxiety-reducing radar back in the late 90s, L-tyrosine missed the memo. That was good news for those who knew about the benefits because it remained a low-cost supplement compared to its more famous counterparts (like L-tryptophan and 5-HTP).
The powerhouse of an amino acid finally got its day in the spotlight when the nootropics movement discovered it. While it’s not as cheap as it used to be, it’s still fairly reasonably priced if you just buy it alone (versus in some fancy concoction of memory enhancers).
If you don’t want to use L-Tyrosine supplements, you can find it in foods like avocados, bananas, pumpkin seeds, and yogurt.
Exercise tops every list of natural remedies for anxiety for a good reason: it’s good for you for so many other reasons and it doesn’t come with any side effects (aside from sore muscles if you overdo it). The reason exercise works so well for anxiety has to do with the hormones that it releases. Among others, a good workout releases both epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones play a large role in regulating your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. They’re largely responsible for that “fight or flight” feeling that accompanies a major panic attack.
It may sound counterintuitive to do something that releases the same hormones as stressful situations. Think of it this way: rather than letting your adrenaline rule your emotions, you’re giving it another outlet!
Watch My Top 5 Natural Remedies For Anxiety Video
Most of these natural remedies fall into the “it can’t hurt to try” category. Will they work 100% of the time for everyone? No, probably not. Will they work very well for some? Absolutely!
Do you use any other natural remedies for anxiety? Tell me your thoughts and experiences!
This information should not replace professional advice by a qualified medical or herbal practitioner.
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