6 Natural Ways To Relieve Anxiety You Should Try (Before Resorting To Medication)07 April 2023
- Anxiety is a common condition that affects many people. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone, and there are many effective natural remedies for anxiety.
- Medical cannabis, particularly a dose that contains more CBD than THC, has been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. However, it’s important to avoid high THC doses as the psychoactive effects can worsen anxiety symptoms.
- Other natural anxiety treatments include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), acupuncture, aromatherapy, mindfulness meditation, yoga and supplements. These can be used alone or in combination with medication to treat the symptoms of anxiety.
- While anxiety home remedies are not a substitute for medication, they can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and make it easier to cope with the disorder. Always consult your doctor before beginning a natural anxiety treatment plan.
Anxiety is a natural response to a stressful situation, but it can become problematic if it interferes with your daily life. An anxiety disorder can make it harder to function, and it can be difficult to cope with the symptoms of an anxiety attack.
In the UK alone, more than eight million people suffer from an anxiety disorder at any one time. This number has led to an increase in people turning to medication. Unfortunately, medication may not be the best option for many people.
This is because prescription pills for anxiety may come with side effects. Medication can also become less effective over time, which means you may need to increase the dosage or try a different drug.
However, as with any therapy or medication, there are some risks involved with using natural remedies for anxiety relief. When considering these options, anxiety sufferers should always discuss them with their physicians first to help determine if the alternative works for their unique circumstances.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the best natural remedies for anxiety. These home remedies may not work for everyone, but they’re worth trying before turning to medication.
If you’re looking for a natural remedy for anxiety, you may want to consider medical cannabis. At Lyphe, our experienced medical cannabis doctors can help you find a treatment plan that works for your anxiety disorder. Book a consultation today to get started with cannabis treatment for anxiety.
1. Medical Cannabis
Medical cannabis is becoming an increasingly popular natural treatment for anxiety. The use of cannabis for this purpose is not new, as people have been using it for centuries to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress.
Cannabis contains two main active compounds, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), which have different effects on the body. THC is known for its psychoactive or euphoric effects. On the other hand, CBD is non-psychoactive and has been shown to have calming and relaxing effects.
One study published in Neurotherapeutics journal suggests that CBD is effective in reversing the effects of anxiety. According to the study, a 300-600 mg dose of CBD was optimal for reducing anxiety, panic attacks and social phobia symptoms. In addition, CBD has been shown to be effective in treating symptoms of depression and PTSD.
At low doses, THC has been shown to reduce anxiety. Too much, however, can exacerbate anxiety due to the cannabinoid’s psychoactive effects. A combination of CBD and THC can be an effective treatment for anxiety, and many patients find that a combination of these cannabinoids works better than either one alone.
Getting a medical cannabis prescription in the UK can be confusing, especially if you’re new to medical cannabis. And if you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder, you may be feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by the process.
At Lyphe, we want to take the confusion out of medical cannabis prescriptions. Our online consultation platform is designed to make it easier for patients like you to get a prescription, whether you’re new to medical cannabis or have been using it for years. If you’re interested in getting your first prescription, book a consultation today.
Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy that uses essential oils to promote physical and emotional well-being. Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts from plants that have been used for centuries for their therapeutic properties.
As a non-invasive treatment, using essential oils can help reduce anxiety in several ways. Firstly, inhaling essential oils can stimulate the olfactory system, responsible for our sense of smell. The stimulation can trigger the release of certain chemicals, including endorphins, which can help reduce feelings of anxiety and promote relaxation.
Secondly, essential oils can be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream, where they can have a direct effect on the body. For example, lavender essential oil has been shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate.
Thirdly, aromatherapy can help create a calming and relaxing environment. This benefit may help reduce feelings of anxiety and promote a sense of well-being.
Some of the most commonly used essential oils for anxiety include:
- Lavender essential oil is a commonly used essential oil in aromatherapy. It’s been shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate, making it a great option for those who suffer from high blood pressure or anxiety.
- Bergamot essential oil has a citrusy scent and is known for its uplifting and calming properties.
- Frankincense essential oil has a woody and earthy scent. It’s been shown to help mitigate anxiety in preclinical tests thanks to the extract’s anti-inflammatory properties.
- Ylang-ylang essential oil has a sweet aroma and is often referred to as the “flower of flowers”. One study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology suggests that ylang-ylang can reduce pain-associated anxiety.
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting needles into specific points of the body. These points are called meridians and are said to affect energy flow through the body. Practitioners believe that when these points are stimulated, they help relieve stress and anxiety.
Acupuncture has been shown in some studies to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. One 2016 study found that patients suffering from generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) experienced a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms after receiving acupuncture treatment.
When used as an adjunct therapy alongside medication, acupuncture has been shown to help with symptoms of panic disorder. It’s also been shown to improve the quality of life in patients with chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis.
If you’re interested in trying this natural way to reduce anxiety, your first step should be finding a licensed acupuncturist in your area. There are many different styles of acupuncture, so make sure you do some research before making an appointment with a therapist.
4. Supplements for Holistic Anxiety Treatment
Having a healthy diet is one of the best natural ways to calm anxiety. It’s important to eat nutrient-dense foods in order to have a sound body and mind.
However, this is not always an easy feat, especially when you’re dealing with anxiety. If you find yourself struggling to get through the day without feeling jittery, try taking these supplements:
- Omega-3 fatty acids: These are found in fatty fish, flaxseeds and chia seeds. Omega-3s are known to help with brain function, mood regulation and general overall health.
- L-theanine: This amino acid helps to calm the mind and body by slowing down brain waves. It’s also been shown to reduce stress levels, improve sleep quality and reduce anxiety symptoms.
- Magnesium: This mineral is known to have a calming effect on the body. Magnesium has also been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms associated with anxiety disorders such as panic attacks and PTSD. It’s also important for muscle relaxation, reducing muscle tension associated with stress and poor sleep habits.
- B complex: B vitamins are important for several bodily functions, including nervous system health. They’re also known to help reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep quality and overall mood.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin is an antioxidant that helps with cell repair and protection from free radicals. It’s also known to boost your immune system, which can be helpful when battling anxiety or stress-related disorders like seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve anxiety, as it gives your body a healthy outlet for stress and helps you build a stronger sense of personal power. Exercise also increases endorphins in the brain, reducing feelings of depression or sadness.
Studies have shown that regular exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety by as much as 50 per cent. A 2023 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that even just 30 minutes of exercise daily can significantly reduce anxiety symptoms.
Another study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that exercise is an effective treatment for anxiety disorders. This study examined the effects of aerobic exercise and resistance training on patients with a generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), characterised by chronic worry and excessive fear. The researchers found that both types of exercise helped reduce symptoms such as fear, tension, anger, depression and fatigue.
5. Mindfulness Meditation
Meditation can help reduce anxiety by providing a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both emotional well-being and overall health. It can also help refocus attention on something calming and provide a way to stay centred. Those who find themselves in a state of panic or anxiety can benefit from this natural anxiety treatment.
Mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation that focuses on being intensely aware of what is being sensed and felt in the moment without interpretation or judgement. Practising mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery and other practices. Additionally, guided meditation can help people overcome anxiety, fear and worries.
A 2013 meta-analysis of 47 trials suggests that mindfulness meditation programs show significant evidence of improving anxiety and depression. Another study on anxiety in JAMA Psychiatry showed that a mindfulness program works as well as the popular anti-anxiety medication Lexapro.
Yoga can be a helpful tool for managing anxiety. It can also reduce stress and tension, as well as alleviate pain. Yoga encourages physical and mental relaxation, which can help reduce anxiety.
Additionally, certain yoga poses can be used to specifically target anxiety:
- Hero pose
- Tree pose
- Triangle pose
- Standing forward bend
- Extended puppy pose
- Child’s pose
- Head-to-knee forward bend
- Seated forward bend
- Legs-up-the-wall pose.
Studies have shown that yoga can be an effective treatment for anxiety. A 2020 systematic review of 27 studies involving the effects of yoga on children and adolescents found a 58% per cent reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms.
Another study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that after three months, CBT and yoga were significantly more effective for anxiety than stress management. Moreover, a review published in Alternative Medicine Review shows evidence of yoga being an effective treatment for stress and anxiety.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness and unease. It can be caused by a number of factors, including stress at work or school, relationship problems, financial difficulties and more. It may also come from underlying health issues such as depression or insomnia.
You may find yourself avoiding certain situations or feeling as if you’re “keyed up” all the time. Generally, anxiety is a natural response to stressful situations and possible threats. Feeling anxious is normal when you’re about to give a speech or in a new situation.
But when anxiety becomes overwhelming and interferes with your daily activities (e.g., sleeping or eating properly), it’s called an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder often begins during childhood. However, many people don’t realise they have an anxiety disorder until their 20s or 30s, when symptoms become more obvious and troubling.
There are several types of anxiety disorders, including:
- Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) involves constantly worrying about things without an apparent reason for concern. People with GAD often feel stressed and irritable, have trouble concentrating and experience restlessness. They may also get headaches or muscle tension.
- Panic disorder is characterised by repeated panic attacks (sudden feelings of fear and discomfort that peak within minutes) and ongoing concern about having future attacks.
- Social anxiety involves intense fear of being judged or embarrassed in social or performance situations. People with social anxiety may worry excessively about doing something wrong and consistently feel anxious around others.
- Specific phobias include a strong, irrational fear of certain objects, places or situations that pose little real danger to the sufferer.
Are Anxiety Home Remedies Better than Medication?
Natural treatments for anxiety, such as yoga, meditation and other mind-body practices, can be effective for many people. They generally have fewer side effects than pharmaceutical treatments. However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of natural treatments may vary depending on the individual and the severity of their anxiety symptoms.
While natural treatments can be helpful, medication can also be an effective option for managing anxiety. Medication can provide quick relief of symptoms and may be necessary for individuals with severe anxiety disorders. It is important to work with a healthcare professional to determine a holistic treatment for anxiety.
Ultimately, choosing between natural or prescription-based treatment depends on the individual and their specific needs. Some individuals may find natural treatments sufficient, while others may require medication or a combination of both. It is important to work with a healthcare professional to determine the best treatment plan for managing anxiety.
Conclusion – How to Reduce Anxiety Naturally
There are various natural ways to relieve and manage anxiety, and these six methods can be effective treatment options that may help you reduce your reliance on medications.
You may also incorporate these natural remedies into your routine – still, talking with your doctor before beginning any anxiety treatment program is the first step. It is also important to note that these methods are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.
Living with an anxiety disorder can be difficult, but the right treatment can help you manage your symptoms. Medical cannabis may be a viable option for treating anxiety and other mental health conditions. If you want to learn more about medical cannabis for anxiety, speak to an advisor for free today!
Frequently Asked Questions
What foods calm anxiety?
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout and herring, have been linked to lowering anxiety. Magnesium-rich foods like avocados, bananas and broccoli can also help reduce inflammation, metabolise cortisol, and relax the body and mind.
What is the strongest natural medicine for anxiety?
Various natural anti-anxiety meds for anxiety have varying strengths and side effects. However, a medical cannabis prescription is considered to be one of the more effective and clinically-tested alternatives to prescription medications for anxiety.
What vitamins are good for anxiety?
Vitamin D, B complex, magnesium, L-theanine, multivitamins, omega-3, valerian and probiotics have all been cited as helpful for anxiety. Vitamin D is believed to help regulate mood and reduce stress, while B complex vitamins are thought to help reduce stress and anxiety.
What is the safest anxiety treatment?
The safest anxiety treatment is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). It’s a short-term treatment that focuses on teaching skills to improve anxiety symptoms and gradually return the sufferer to the activities they have been avoiding due to anxiety.
What are some herbal treatments for anxiety?
Medical cannabis is one of the most commonly used herbal treatments for anxiety. Oral lavender, lemon balm, kava, passionflower and valerian root are some of the more well-known herbal treatments for anxiety.
Li, A. W., & Goldsmith, C. A. (2012). The effects of yoga on anxiety and stress. Alternative medicine review : a journal of clinical therapeutic, 17(1), 21–35.
Barati, F., Nasiri, A., Akbari, N., & Sharifzadeh, G. (2016). The Effect of Aromatherapy on Anxiety in Patients. Nephro-urology monthly, 8(5), e38347. https://doi.org/10.5812/numonthly.38347
Ma et al., “Acupuncture for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Systematic Review,” 2016 8th International Conference on Information Technology in Medicine and Education (ITME), Fuzhou, China, 2016, pp. 54-60, doi: 10.1109/ITME.2016.0022.
Singh B, Olds T, Curtis R, et al. Effectiveness of physical activity interventions for improving depression, anxiety and distress: an overview of systematic reviews
British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 16 February 2023. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2022-106195
Sharma, A., Madaan, V., & Petty, F. D. (2006). Exercise for mental health. Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry, 8(2), 106. https://doi.org/10.4088/pcc.v08n0208a
Malcolm, B. J., & Tallian, K. (2018). Essential oil of lavender in anxiety disorders: Ready for prime time?. The mental health clinician, 7(4), 147–155. https://doi.org/10.9740/mhc.2017.07.147
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