There are a lot of reasons why you tend to be anxious or easily freaked out what with the problems you have regarding your family, money, work, or even your personal relationship. Whenever you feel anxious, your heart beats faster, your mind starts imagining all the wrong things that could possibly happen, and you start breathing rapidly. Regardless of whether you are diagnosed with anxiety disorder or you just had a sudden panic attack, why not look for other ways to relieve your anxiety before taking medication?
Surprisingly, there are safer alternatives than relying constantly on anti-anxiety pills to relieve your tension. Here are 19 examples of them that you might want to try out first.
1. Green Tea. Green tea contains L-theanine which helps reduce blood pressure and heart rate and based on several studies, it has also been discovered that it can lower one’s anxiety levels. Drinking 5 to 20 cups of green tea in a day can help you get the recommended amount of L-theanine to reduce your anxiety.
2. Chamomile. Another alternative to medication, drinking chamomile can help relieve anxiety because of its compounds that work like Valium. You can also take it as a supplement.
3. Valerian. This herbal supplement may make you feel sleepy as it is a sedative. This drink may not taste so good that is why many prefer to take it in tincture or pill form. The best time to take this is at night.
4. Exercise. This is probably the safest way for you to relieve your depression and anxiety. Do this on a regular basis and you’ll feel less prone to anxiety attacks.
5. Passionflower. Another type of herbal sedative, Passionflower acts like Valerian meaning it can cause drowsiness and sleepiness. If you’re going to opt for this herbal medication, make sure that you don’t take it for more than a month.
6. Breathing. Breathing exercises are great to relieve anxiety. Try the 4-7-8 yoga breathing where you exhale through your mouth first before inhaling through your nose for four counts. Hold your breath for 7 counts and exhale slowly through your mouth for 8 counts.
7. Eat your breakfast. Research shows that those who skip eating breakfast are more anxious compared to those who do eat their morning meal. Cook eggs for breakfast as they are good sources of choline.
8. Avoid catastrophizing. Catastrophic thinking won’t do you any good when you’re anxious. Take a turn around the block and try to think about the problem you have at hand and determine whether it will turn out to be a catastrophe or not. Chances are your problem isn’t all that bad.
9. Take a forest bath. Also known as, go and walk in the woods. Studies showed that those who took a 20 minute walk in the forest surrounded by trees and hearing running water have lower anxiety levels.
10. Question while breathing. Try sitting in a comfortable chair. Close your eyes and start your breathing exercises. While you are at it, ask yourself questions as how has your breathing changed, what is the temperature of your breath as you inhale, and so on.
11. Give yourself some credit. Especially when you notice you’re being anxious about something. Your being mindful of yourself is a skill and one that you should congratulate yourself in having. This means you’re in the best position to seek help to relieve your anxiety.
12. Mindfulness meditation. This meditation practice came from the Buddhists but is now applied to treat anxiety. Mindfulness allows the person to experience the moment instead of what they fear or expected.
13. Get Hot. Heat allows your muscles to relax thus alleviating tension and anxiety. Research shows that heat can change one’s mood which is why many feel so much better after sweating it out in the sauna or taking a hot bath.
14. Increase your omega-3s. Omega-3s aren’t just for the heart; they are also good in relieving anxiety. The best source of omega-3 is fish such as salmon, anchovies, mussels, and sardines. You can also take it in supplement form.
15. Eat something. People tend to become irritable and anxious when they’re hungry so try grabbing a snack quick. You can go for some dark chocolate or a handful of walnuts then pair it with a cup of tea.
16. Lavender. The scent of Lavender is said to be an anti-inflammatory for emotions. Based on one study, dental patients felt less anxious when they smell lavender in the waiting room.
17. The 21 minute cure. This is how long an exercise can take to help get rid of anxiety. It doesn’t matter whether you run, or go up several flights of stairs, or even go back to rowing just like you did when you were in college. You can always start an exercise regimen to get that blood pumping.
18. Lemon balm. Used in the Middle Ages to minimize anxiety and stress, lemon balm can now be taken in tea, tincture, or pill form. However, too much intake of Lemon balm can cause anxiety so make sure that you follow proper dosage.
19. Hops. Typically used in beer, extracting the oil from the hops can help with your anxiety problems. It works just like valerian and can be combined with either mint or chamomile. Take note, however, that you shouldn’t use any herbal sedatives when you’re using prescription medication or at least inform your doctor what supplements you’ve been taking to alleviate anxiety.