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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 September 10, 2019

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

1. Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

Gratitude-Quotes

    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

    write down goals

      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

      6. Rise Earlier

      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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