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How to Manage Anxiety Naturally

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Mimi Anastas

Mimi Love Enterprises

Mimi's passion is to help clients on their path to a better future.
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Aug 31, 2021

How to Manage Anxiety Naturally

Anxiety, generally speaking, is a response from excessive fear, worry, stress or over-thinking. Our survival mode kicks in when we are alerted by imminent danger. Sometimes those feelings may re-trigger or never switch off, and it affects our daily routine. Difficulty with rational thinking as the fear heightens and triggers a chain of events mentally and physically, and compromises their response, they become irrational from a known fear. 

An anxiety disorder can be part of a medical condition or another mental health disorder:

  • Agoraphobia - fear of leaving the house
  • Everyday Generalised Anxiety – fear or worry with everyday things – children, health, home, finances or work
  • OCD – Obsessive compulsive disorder 
  • Panic disorder 
  • PTSD – Post traumatic stress disorder – fear triggers flashbacks, memories, nightmares and insomnia or sleep problems
  • Specific phobia – animals, insects, reptiles, etc.
  • Social anxiety – performance or social fears of rejection or embarrassment

What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?

Physically, feelings of anxiety cause shortness of breath, tight chest, pounding heart and shaking hands or body. It's part of the fight and flight response from the primal centres of the brain, amygdala and limbic system.

In a fight response, the energy goes to your arms to defend yourself and fight. In a flight response, the energy goes to your legs to run. The PSNS (Parasympathetic Nervous System) should go back into rest and digest mode and relaxation. 

An Effective Treatment Strategy to Reduce Anxiety Levels

Will changing my diet help?

Yes, eat more chemical-free products and wholefoods with lots of leafy greens and colourful fruit, small portions of animal proteins, fish and good healthy fats for your omega 3 and less processed and fast foods.

Do I have to give up caffeine?

Cutting down on coffee is a start and don't rely on it first thing in the morning as it creates an addictive nature into needing a stimulant, to get you going.

Do I need to go to the gym?

You don't have to go to the gym to reap the positive effects of exercise. Short bursts of regular exercise can help raise your serotonin – the ‘feel good-love' hormone that keeps you alert and awake.

How do I stop over-thinking?

Walking is a great way to slow down or stop the thoughts from your mind, and ground you. Especially if you take notice of the present, and the little things around you, like the bees pollinating a flower, butterflies and nature. Forest bathing is even better. Drumming music is also grounding.

I start to panic – what can I do?

Breathing techniques can help prevent a panic attack. Focus on your slow, deep breathing.

Relaxation response occurs when you slow down your breathing, and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth to get the following benefits:

  • Reduce and lower your blood pressure and heart rate
  • Reduce stress hormones in the blood
  • Help balance oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood
  • Improve immune system function
  • Increase physical energy
  • Increase calm feelings and well being

Natural ways to slow down anxiety attacks and to improve your health

  • Avoid stimulants, coffee, caffeine, energy drinks, soft drinks later in the day or limit the use of these is better 
  • Limit alcohol, drugs and cigarettes
  • Breathe-work and slow deep breathing
  • Practice meditation
  • Walking and Forest bathing
  • Listening to the ocean
  • Looking at the ocean – if you're not afraid of water
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Practice gratitude everyday
  • Focus on a task that soothes and calms you 
  • Focus on a beautiful thought to change your mindset
  • Practice yoga, qi gong or tai chi
  • Get a massage
  • Play with animals or children
  • Drumming music – listen to and play 
  • Deep breathing from the diaphragm
  • Spend five minutes focusing on your breathing if you can't leave your desk, zone out on everything else around you

Drinking the following calming herbal teas will also help: 

  • Bergamot – in Earl Grey tea 
  • Chamomile
  • Chrysanthemum 
  • Gotu-kola
  • Lemon balm 
  • Lemongrass 
  • Passionflower 
  • Rosehip 
  • Rose petals
  • Valerian

Essential oils in a diffuser can definitely help change your mood, so you can use a combination of calming and uplifting ones. It can activate a feel-good mood with the smell from the olfactory response and works its way through your central nervous system.

  • Bergamot - Reduces anxiety
  • Cedarwood - Courage and grounding
  • Chamomile Roman - Energy of the moon - Emotions
  • Clary Sage - Has a hormonal effect for woman, it is freeing 
  • Clove - Detach you from the outcome warms your emotions up
  • Eucalyptus - Anaesthetic, numbing 
  • Lavender - Relaxing 
  • Lime - Reduces stress
  • Mandarin - Inner child happiness, playful, light, jovial
  • Melissa - Grief
  • Orange - Lighten up seriousness
  • Pine - Like a prickly pear, not wanting to be touched, pushing others away and keeping others at a distance 
  • Rose - For anxiety, stress, depression, heart pain or hurt
  • Rosemary - Can make anxiety worse if you have hypertension and can increase heart palpitations, if you have low blood pressure this will help this
  • Sandalwood - Spiritually awakening and meditative state of peace
  • St John's Wort - For depression but is contraindicated if taking antidepressants, antipsychotics or anxiety medications, as it may increase the effect of the prescription drugs
  • Spikenard - Keeps you from absorbing the negative energy of others
  • Vetiver - Grounding, a deep earthy smell with floral undertones

In conclusion, focusing on a practical daily routine of 5 minute increments on awakening, morning tea, lunchtime and early evening. Eat healthy, sleep well, and set up a routine. Relax and unwind with herbal teas and essential oils. I would include at least once a day slow, deep breathing. Breathe well Namaste.

References:

FAQs About Managing Anxiety Naturally

How long can anxiety last?

An anxiety attack usually lasts for about 30 minutes, during which the symptoms are at their most intense. In order to prevent a serious anxiety attack, it is important to identify the factors that contribute to it before it builds up.

Is Vitamin C good for anxiety?

Vitamin C is believed to have positive effects on people with anxiety disorders due to its mood-elevating properties. According to research, vitamin C-rich diets can reduce anxiety levels effectively.

Which exercise is good for anxiety?

Studies show that aerobic exercise has anti-anxiety effects. Other types of exercise that can help prevent panic attacks include cycling, dancing or a 30-minute walk.

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