Are you suffering from anxiety? Don’t worry, you are not alone!
In this article, learn about the best herbal remedies for anxiety that will help you control and improve your overall health.
These natural remedies are generally safe to use. However, I recommend speaking to a doctor before starting anything as some herbs and supplements may interact with medicines you are already taking.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that 40 million adults are affected by anxiety, which is a staggering 18 percent of the population of the USA!
But the good thing is that anxiety is treatable.
Here are the 7 natural home remedies for anxiety to improve your health and quality of life.
Ashwagandha is a plant native to the subcontinent and South Africa. It is also referred to as Withania Somnifera and Indian Ginseng.
Research has shown Ashwagandha to be highly effective in reducing anxiety and improving the self-reported quality of life. This was shown in a 2-month study conducted in 2019 on 64 individuals with chronic stress. The study concluded that 300 mg full-spectrum Ashwagandha root extract taken twice a day is safe and highly effective in reducing anxiety and chronic stress. The complete study can be found here.
In addition to this, Ashwagandha was also effective in reducing cholesterol, blood pressure, and relieving pain from arthritis (5 Easy Home Remedies for Joint Pain from Arthritis).
Before Buying Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is commonly available in capsule form. However, make sure you always consult your doctor before buying and taking a herbal supplement as they are highly potent and can interact with other medications.
In addition to this, the study mentioned above used KSM-66 Ashwagandha root extract capsules and it clearly mentions that this extract included only the root of the plant and not the leaves. So it would be best to find a similar product from your trusted supplements supplier.
Chamomile is an aromatic herb with a long medicinal history. It has been used to treat inflammation, anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal and menstrual disorders, and insomnia.
A lot of research has been done on the efficacy of chamomile in the past years and they have found it to be safe and effective in the treatment of anxiety.
A study conducted in 2016 enrolled 179 participants for a 38 week double-blind randomized controlled trial showed 68.8% of the participants on Chamomile were no longer clinically ill at the end of the study. Chamomile was taken at a dose of 500 mg three times a day in capsule form and it was also found safe for long-term use. However, more long term research is required to confirm its effects over 5 or 10 years.
In the same study, the individuals on Chamomile also showed a significant reduction in blood pressure at the end of the study.
This shows that chamomile is highly effective in reducing the markers of stress and anxiety.
Before Buying Chamomile
Chamomile may also have side effects and can interact with any medicines you may be taking. It is always better to discuss with your doctor before starting any herb or supplements. You should also start at a low dose and increase it slowly as your body gets used to it.
Meditation can help you to stop worrying and multiple studies have shown this. While you can’t remove the external sources or triggers that lead to anxiety, with meditation you can manage it and improve your quality of life.
Focus on the present. Stop worrying about the past and the future. There is an awesome quote from the movie Kung Fu Panda that captures this exact thought and has helped me realize the importance of today.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, which is why we call it the present.”
Meditation encourages you to connect with your mind in the present moment and focus on getting past baseless fears and regrets. It helps you engage with your body and learn to appreciate it. There is even evidence that it increases the serotonin levels in your body which improves your mood.
This research article on meditation and anxiety shows the positive effect of meditation on stress and anxiety disorders like PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), GAD (General Anxiety Disorder), Social Anxiety, and OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder).
Sunlight is another way to reduce your anxiety and stress levels. Studies have proven that sunlight increases the body’s serotonin levels which improves your mood and makes you feel better.
Sunlight also helps your body produce Vitamin D, low levels of which have been linked to depression, panic attacks, and anxiety. There is also research suggesting that sunlight improves cognition and brain function.
Hence, one of the best natural remedies to anxiety is to pull up those blinds and let the sunshine on you. Or take a stroll during the day, breathe in the fresh air and take in the sunlight.
Exercise is very important for your physical and mental health and well-being. Studies have shown that individuals with stress and chronic anxiety tend to have a sedentary lifestyle. So just adding 15 minutes of aerobic exercise to your routine will improve your overall health and reduce your anxiety levels.
You don’t have to start running immediately. Start slow. Start with a few minutes of a slow walk, and then progressively increase the time and speed as you get comfortable.
If you can swim, do that. Swimming is great for relieving stress and anxiety. For me, just getting into the water relaxes me and takes my mind off of the daily stresses.
For some of my friends, they find solace in cycling. I, on the other hand, have never been able to enjoy it.
So it doesn’t really matter which exercise you do. You just need to start and stick to whatever works for you.
Maintain an Everyday Routine
What time do you go to sleep? And what time do you get up in the morning? Or do you get up in the afternoon?
Have you heard the age old saying: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
And it’s the truth. Read this article which shows how sleeping early and waking up early helps reduce stress, enhance chances of success, deal with negativity and improve your mental health.
Also, avoid using your phone before going to bed. You’ll just find yourself scrolling unnecessarily on social media and it will end up ruining your sleep and health.
And when you are ready to get in bed, keep your phone away from reach. Reducing screen time will really help you improve your sleep and reduce anxiety.
This is one of the most important aspects that most people tend to miss. Eating healthy, nutrient-rich whole foods is the best way to naturally reduce your anxiety. Eat nuts, beans, legumes, fish, eggs, fruits, and vegetables to get the essential nutrients that your body needs. Make a routine meal plan and follow it. Do not skip or miss your meals.
Read this article on Nutritional Strategies to Ease Anxiety at the Harvard Health Blog. You will find everything you need to know to improve your diet and reduce anxiety through natural and healthy eating.
- Eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet
- Get at least 15 to 20 minutes of aerobic exercise
- Quit smoking & alcohol
- Limit caffeine
- Stay positive & accept that everything is not in your control
- Try deep breathing techniques
- Talk to your friends, family, and loved ones
- Get pampered at a spa or a salon
- Take up a hobby
- If you are facing severe anxiety symptoms, talk to a doctor or visit the local hospital