By Mojdeh Mansoori, MFTI
Most people struggle with anxiety at some point in their lives. Some self-medicate in hopes of reducing their anxiety. There are also many natural and alternative methods for treating anxiety. The following are 7 natural treatments for anxiety:
- 1. Yoga
An ancient practice that can help in lowering anxiety is yoga. Stretching and breathing can have very positive effects on the mind and body. Yoga helps in increasing the feeling of being centered and grounded. By becoming familiar with a few basic yoga poses, you can use yoga to lower anxiety at home or at a studio.
Meditation and mindfulness have really grown in popularity in the past few years. Many research studies have shown that it can be beneficial in lowering anxiety. This technique can be practiced in either a group setting or individually. In today’s fast paced world, it can be calming and restorative to practice mindfulness. There are many ways that you can integrate mindfulness into your everyday activities. This video will guide you through a four-minute mindfulness exercise.
- 3. Exercise
Exercise is a well-known method of treating anxiety. Incorporating movement into the day can maintain health. Exercise is also a good excuse to connect with nature, which in itself offers peace and comfort for many. Whether it be working out, running, or even fast walking, you will reap the health benefits. Exercise is also a good reason to work out with others and strengthen social connections. The easiest way to get started is to identify exercise activities that you already enjoy.
- 4. Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep can promote healing in the whole body. But in our fast-paced society, too few of us get enough restful sleep. Some suffer from insomnia because they feel unable to rid themselves of anxious thoughts before bedtime. For others, insomnia stems from poor sleep hygiene. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule and a peaceful sleeping area are two important aspects of good sleep hygiene. By learning more about insomnia and strategies to change your sleep habits, you can turn the tide against anxiety.
- 5. Massage
Anxiety can also be treated through massage therapy. Massage is a great tool for relaxation and an overall sense of calmness. Many people also respond to the power of touch. There are many different massage techniques, and they all have various healing benefits for the body and mind.
- 6. Acupuncture
Anxiety can also be reduced by acupuncture. Acupuncture is one of the branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi, or the energy in one’s body, is balanced through placing needles on specific points on the body. This practice can help decrease the physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety.
- 7. Breathing
Breathing can be a powerful tool in lowering anxiety. It can be especially helpful as a preventative measure. Often times, when someone is in the middle of an anxiety attack, breathing deeply and purposefully isn’t an intuitive or automatic coping response. There are multiple techniques, such as abdominal breathing, that can promote relaxation even during an anxiety crisis.
Many of these natural treatments are commonly paired together. For example, yoga, mindfulness and breathing are often practiced at the same time. Along with therapy, these alternative methods can complement and strengthen each other, helping to reduce anxiety in the whole body.