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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 January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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