By Paige Johnson
The world is a stressful place at times, and it’s easy to become consumed by anxiety. In fact, nearly 23% of American adults who are diagnosed with anxiety have severe symptoms that majorly impact their lives. Despite the uncomfortable symptoms of this common condition, only 1 out of 3 people diagnosed with anxiety seek treatment. Some people attempt to manage their anxiety with counseling or prescription drugs, while others rely on a holistic approach for their emotional well-being. If you fall into the second category, try these 3 helpful ideas to help you alleviate anxiety-related symptoms naturally.
Keep a Journal
When you feel anxious about something, do you keep your thoughts inside or share them? Harboring hidden thoughts of anxiety can make it difficult for you to rationalize a specific situation or move on from an unpleasant memory. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your thoughts with anybody or simply prefer to keep things private, jot down the details of your life in a journal. This can help you deal with stressful situations or people that are on your mind.
Hate to write? That’s not an issue. You can use your journal in any manner that suits your style. Here are some ways you can express your thoughts without writing:
If you don’t mind writing but can’t figure out what to say, stick to the basics. Write down the symptoms you’re experiencing and the time they began, as well as when (if ever) they ended. You can also write sentences without an explanation, such as “Today I’m sad” or “I hate my job.”
Many people turn to meditation when anxiety strikes. In addition to addressing the symptoms of anxiety, meditation can improve your memory, make you a more compassionate person, and enhance your creativity. It can also help you regulate your emotions, making it easier for you to fend off depression and anger.
You don’t need any special equipment to meditate, but some people like to use relaxing CDs, essential oils, or yoga mats. You can sit or lie down when you meditate, but lying down may relax you enough to make you fall asleep. For this reason, many people choose to meditate in a sitting position. Create a room in your home that is clean, organized and stress-free so that you can relax and focus on yourself and not everything going on around you.
Start your medication by placing your body in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing as you slowly inhale and exhale. Continue focusing on your deep breaths, or choose a word or object to focus on during your medication. Some people choose words like “love” or “happiness,” while others picture the frolicking waves of the ocean or a deep blue sky filled with puffy white clouds. Do this for as long as necessary, whether you can only dedicate 5 minutes or you have an entire hour to clear your mind.
Make Dietary Changes
Your diet affects your mood. Depending on what you eat, that can be a good thing or a bad thing. A diet high in sugar can make you cranky or tired, while a diet rich in fresh produce helps you effectively function physically, mentally, and emotionally.
If you have anxiety, consider limiting or avoiding caffeine consumption. Caffeine can make you jittery, even if you don’t have an official anxiety diagnosis. It’s found in everything from coffee to candy bars, so check the label if you’re not sure whether a product contains this popular stimulant. You may also want to avoid alcohol, as this substance can potentially trigger episodes of anxiety or depression.
Anxiety is a chronic condition without a cure, but with treatment, you can effectively manage your symptoms. Try the natural remedies above if you need an alternative to Western medicine.
Author: Paige Johnson