If you suffer from stress and anxiety but don’t want to resort to potentially harmful medication, you may be wondering how to reduce anxiety naturally. Fortunately, there are many natural stress relievers that are not only safer than chemical-based medication but are also very effective in managing anxiety.
Learn breathing exercises
One of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce anxiety is to harness the power of your breath. Breathing exercise for anxiety works because it calms your sympathetic nervous system, the system in the human body that stimulates a “fight or flight” response. Although this nervous response may have been helpful in the early days of the species to deal with hazards, in modern times this reaction is not as helpful. Using breathing techniques for anxiety slows down your heart rate and calms the nervous response.
Even a few minutes of deep breaths can be highly effective in managing stress and reducing anxiety. A study found that breathing techniques are more effective in treating anxiety, stress and depression than medication. The study found that breathing, relaxation and meditation are highly effective in treating the whole body changes that happen with anxiety.
Try nasal inhalers and essential oils
Nasal inhalers containing essential oils are another excellent and natural way to manage anxiety. Taking a deep breath from a nasal inhaler or any other form of essential oil will not only let you enjoy a pleasant smell and a mood lift – science tells us it has many other benefits as well. Research has shown that essential oils can help to reduce fatigue, improve athletic performance, boost mood and improve learning and memory.
Lavender essential oil, in particular, has been proven to be beneficial in reducing anxiety. One study found that lavender essential oil improves the quality of sleep and reduces anxiety in patients with coronary artery disease.
You can use lavender oil for anxiety with any kind of essential oil heater burner. A nasal inhaler is a very portable and convenient way to deliver essential oils. You can easily carry a nasal inhaler with you when you’re out and about to calm your nerves and reduce anxiety.
Reduce your caffeine intake
Caffeine can be harmful in a range of ways. It can make it difficult to sleep, and it affects sleep stages and negatively impacts sleep quality. Research has shown the importance of sleep in managing anxiety and promoting mental wellbeing. Giving up caffeine, therefore, can help to promote better sleep and reduce stress.
One study showed a clear link between increased caffeine consumption and anxiety. The researchers found that teenagers who consume more caffeine are more likely to develop psychiatric disorders, including anxiety disorders. Furthermore, they believed this is due to the way caffeine affects the body’s stress response system. This suggests that caffeine may increase anxiety in all stages of life. If you regularly drink coffee or energy drinks, try cutting back on these caffeinated drinks. And, you will likely find that this helps to reduce your anxiety.
One way to reduce anxiety may surprise you: laughter. The simple and natural pleasure of laughing helps to promote better mental health in general and reduce stress in particular. The benefits of laughing include reduced blood pressure, improved heart health, better immune system and reduced stress hormone levels. A lower concentration of stress hormones leads to reduced anxiety and stress.
A study of children undergoing surgery found that laughter helps to reduce the children’s anxiety when waiting for surgery. Laughing gives you an instant mood boost and triggers physical reactions in your body, such as stimulating and then reducing the production of stress hormones. Furthermore, laughter involves taking deep breaths, which delivers more oxygen to your body. This then stimulates the organs and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
Practise yoga and meditation for anxiety
Yoga and meditation integrate breathing techniques. Therefore, they are highly effective in improving mental wellbeing and in reducing stress and anxiety.
Studies have shown that meditation is beneficial in a range of conditions. It is also known to reduce depression.
If you find it difficult to focus on breathing exercises, you may find the combination of breath and movement in yoga more approachable. Guided meditation for anxiety can also be a great way to calm your nerves when you don’t have any experience with the practice.
Both yoga and meditation can be easily practised at home, thanks to a large number of apps and videos that are available online, many of which are free. If you prefer, you can also find a number of classes in both practices in most locations.
There are many ways to reduce stress naturally. Breathing exercises, yoga and meditation have all been shown to be highly effective in managing anxiety, stress and other mental health conditions. Studies have also shown the benefits of essential oils, reducing caffeine intake and perhaps nature’s best medicine: laughter! These natural remedies are not only effective and proven by science, but they are also simple and easy to try for yourself.