A woman taking a moment to practice a breathing exercise while experiencing anxiety.
Healthy Living

4 Natural Ways to Manage Anxiety

Aug 28 2020

Everyone experiences anxiety at some point, especially right now during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, when it’s a constant and overwhelming aspect of your daily life, it’s time to assess and address the issues.

Medication and therapy are some solutions, especially if your anxiety is severe. However, you can also try the following tips for natural anxiety relief.

Avoid substances that worsen anxiety

Consider cutting back on caffeine. Coffee is a breakfast staple for many Americans. But its high caffeine content can make you jittery. If you really want to curb your caffeine intake, know that some teas, chocolate and headache pills might also contain caffeine.

Alcohol is another substance that can increase anxiety. Although alcohol is a “downer,” it can affect your brain in a way that heightens stress later on. Many people use alcohol to cope with social anxiety. When they do this, they risk falling into a cycle that makes their symptoms worse.

Enjoy a workout

Developing a regular exercise routine isn’t just helpful for people who are trying to build muscle or manage weight. Workouts can also reduce stress and boost your mood and self-esteem. You might even notice a drop in your anxiety after a few minutes of aerobic exercise.

For long-term benefits, follow a regular exercise schedule. Try to squeeze in several hours of moderate or intense physical activity each week. Choose a workout you enjoy, whether that involves jogging, dancing, or swimming.

You don’t necessarily have to leave the house to exercise either. Learn new bodyweight exercises so you can try this anxiety treatment while spending more time at home during COVID-19.

Get involved with local efforts

Look for ways to contribute to the common good. There are many ways you can do this virtually or with social distancing measures in place during COVID-19. Helping others can help you let go of your own anxiety and focus on improving the lives of those around you.

This is also a chance to bolster your social support network. Making new friends and forming tighter bonds can serve as natural remedies for anxiety.

Breathe in, breathe out

When you’re dealing with anxiety, you’ll likely notice some common symptoms. These include an increase in heart rate, sweaty palms and shallow breathing. This last symptom is one you can have some control over. And by doing so, you can rein in your stress.

In a quiet, comfortable room, focus on your breathing.

  • Breathe in slowly through your nose, allowing your abdomen to expand.
  • Then, breathe out slowly.
  • Repeat this breathing exercise until you feel your tension begin to fade.

Some people apply the 4-4-8 rule. This involves inhaling for four seconds, pausing for four seconds and then exhaling for eight seconds. Others follow a 4-7-8 guideline. Find a style that’s most comfortable for you and leads to the best results.

Remember, everyone is different

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. But not everyone manages their symptoms in the same way. For example, you might find that natural anxiety supplements are a better solution for you than some of the above tips.

We’re here to help you find your solution. Learn more about the behavioral health services we offer at Bon Secours.

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