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Natural Remedies For Anxiety and Stress

Natural Remedies For Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety is definitely a normal response to stressful situations. It helps people deal with things at the office, school, or any other place for that matter. However sometimes it can get in your way.

Anxiety disorders are common because the world is full of worries and tensions. Anxiety can get in the way of life.

However, there are natural remedies out there to help you. Here is a list of a few of them that will support you in these tough times:

1. Passionflower

This herb, contrary to its name, isn’t about love. It’s a sedative. It helps ease symptoms such as irritability, agitation, anxiety, and depression in many patients that take passionflower.

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2. Chamomile

If you have an anxious moment, grab a cup of chamomile tea. It just might do the trick to calm you down. You can also take it as a supplement.

In a Philadelphia study, GAD patients (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) who took chamomile supplements for eight weeks decreased their anxiety. So, why not you?

3. L-theanine (green tea)

Japanese buddhist monks could meditate because of green tea for hours, while remaining alert and relaxed. One reason is the ingredient contained in their green tea known as L-theanine. Research shows that L-theanine can curb a rising heart rate and high blood pressure. Anxiety is reduced in this magnificent process too. You can get a lot of L-theanine from green tea but you will have to drink many cups (anywhere from 5 to 20).

4. Hops

Hops is in beer, but you won’t get the tranquilizing benefits from it. The sedative compound is bitter and isn’t common in tea unless combined with mint or chamomile. It promotes sleep.

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5. Valerian

Valerian is another sedative that can help ease anxiety. It acts as a sleep aid for insomnia. Valerian smells a bit terrible but it works miraculously with sleep-related problems. Most take it as a capsule. If you would like to try it, take it in the evening, not before work.

6. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm has been used since the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety. In a study of volunteers, those who took lemon balm were calmer than individuals taking a placebo. Start with a small dose, because too much can cause you to become more anxious. Lemon balm comes in many forms: tea, capsules, and tincture.

7. Exercise

Exercise is great for numerous reasons, including it’s ability to act as a powerful antidote to anxiety and depression. Exercising includes yoga, cardio, or strength training. Do what you like. If you like treadmills, use that. If you like taking a walk in the park, go for one. Any physical activity that makes you happy – go and do it. I have learned to do that also, and I feel happier than ever. No one can make me anxious, because I exercise it away.

8. Lavender

The aroma of lavender is intoxicating. In one study, Greek dental patients were less anxious if the waiting room was scented with lavender oil. In a study in Florida, students inhaling lavender oil before an exam were less anxious.

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9. Hold Your Breath

It is not recommended you turn blue in the process, but yogic breathing is shown to be effective at lowering stress and anxiety. Read about the 4-7-8 breath, exhaling completely through your mouth and then inhale through your nose for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven and now let it out slowly for a count of eight – through your mouth. Repeat this twice a day.

10. Omega 3

Fish oil is good for the heart and perhaps can fight depression. You can add anxiety to the list as well. In one study, students who took 2.5 milligrams a day for 12 days had less anxiety before exams than students taking placebo.

11. Sauna

You can feel relaxed through a sauna. Sensations of warmth alter neural circuits that control the mood. Heating your body reduces both muscle tension and anxiety. Curling up next to a fire can produce these same results. Lying on the beach or sitting in a jacuzzi are associated with feelings of well-being and relaxation.

12. Forest Bath

It is known as a walk in the woods. Walking for twenty minutes can result in helpful body changes, especially in a forest that is beautiful to the eye. Forest bathers have lower stress hormone levels.

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13. Mindfulness Meditation

Originally a buddhist practice, it is now a mainstream therapy and can be effective in treating anxiety. Mindful awareness helps you experience each moment as it is rather than what is expected or feared. Pay attention to the present moment. Be curious. Attend withou judgement.

14. Laughter

Even a fake laughter gives you an instant hit of dopamine. Dopamine is a brain chemical controlling pleasure and reward in the body. Cultivate a good sense of humor. If you are too tense to laugh, use technology. Google phone apps for laughing. You will be pleased because you will have laughed off your horrible anxiety.

15. Schedule relaxation

Make time to relax. If you don’t, how will you ever find the relaxation you need? You have to make time for things that matter to you. Look at your schedule and do not be afraid to make changes to comfort your soul and yourself. Put in a half hour of just doing nothing but relaxing in a way that comforts you. Do whatever it is you find relaxing, and see how much better you will feel. Start by putting yourself first.

16. GABA

GABA is a supplement. It is sold online and in health stores. It can help calm down anxious people. Individuals who eat chocolate infused with GABA were less stressed when taking an arithmetic test than those that didn’t. GABA can interact with medications, so always check with your doctor before taking anything.

17. Face the fear

If something makes you scared, face it. Don’t back away. Instead, fight it with all of your force and conviction. Uncertainty will always remain a part of life, but it can be better to embrace it. Understand what you worry about, and then embrace why you feel this way. In this way, you will gain victory as you push yourself to do things that scare you, lifting your fears away from yourself.

18. Eat Breakfast

Never starve your body. A good breakfast can make a huge difference. Eat eggs, bread, toast, cereal, fruit – whatever will motivate you to eat your most important meal. You will feel fuller and satisfied.

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Ramanpreet Kaur

Currently a student but don't know what direction to go in: Let us see if writing gets me anywhere :)

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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