11 Aug Herbal remedies for anxiety: finding calm amidst life’s storms
In today’s fast-paced and demanding world, anxiety has become increasingly common, affecting people of all ages – Charlotte Gallagher explains how herbal remedies for anxiety can help.
Anxiety is a natural part of life. According to the mental health charity, MIND, “Anxiety is what we feel when we are worried, tense or afraid – particularly about things that are about to happen, or which we think could happen in the future. Anxiety is a natural human response when we feel that we are under threat.”
Sometimes, however, anxiety can become obtrusive, preventing you from enjoying things that you usually enjoy and causing you to feel overwhelmed.
If you have a severe anxiety disorder, you will of course need to seek professional help, but if your anxiety is down to a temporary stressful situation, or is fairly mild, there are plenty of remedies for anxiety which can help ease anxiety or complement other treatments.
Here is a useful round-up of some of our favourite natural anxiety remedies to help you enhance your well-being and find inner peace.
Ease anxiety through mindfulness and meditation
Mindfulness and meditation practices are powerful tools for managing anxiety and strategies that I use in my everyday life. They involve being fully present in the moment and acknowledging your thoughts and emotions without judgment.
These practices have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety by calming the mind and promoting relaxation.
Engaging in mindfulness exercises, such as deep breathing, ‘body scanning’ – where you focus on parts of the body and bodily sensations in a gradual sequence from feet to head, or focusing on a specific object, can all help redirect anxious thoughts and cultivate a sense of peace.
If you can make meditation a regular habit, it trains your mind to be more resilient to stress and provides a profound sense of serenity.
Try starting with just five minutes in the morning for one week, and work up to a longer practise over time, so that this new habit feels achievable.
Exercise as a natural anxiety remedy
Physical activity isn’t only good for our bodies, it also plays a vital role in maintaining our mental well-being. Regular exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators, which can help reduce anxiety and improve your overall mood.
Activities like walking, jogging, yoga, and dancing are excellent choices for managing anxiety as they combine movement with mindfulness.
Engaging in nature-based exercises, like hiking or gardening, can offer additional therapeutic benefits by connecting with the outdoors. To find out more about the effectiveness of eco-therapy, have a look at our article about this natural way of relieving anxiety. Not only is it good for you, it’s completely free too!
Natural herbal remedies for anxiety
Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. Many people find that Camomile tea helps to reduce anxiety-induced insomnia and promote better sleep.
Using fresh lavender, or lavender essential oil after a relaxing warm bath or shower can also help you feel more calm and relaxed.
At HRI Herbal, we have been making a natural anxiety remedy using St John’s Wort for decades. HRI Good Mood St John’s Wort tablets contain the strongest dose you can buy in the UK in a fully licensed product.
In a guest post for us, Medical Herbalist Hannah Charman explains why St John’s Wort is such a great choice as a natural remedy for anxiety.
She says, “It contains the ingredients hypericin and hyperforin, which are known for their antidepressant properties. Research suggests that these ingredients help to increase the activity of brain chemicals such as serotonin and noradrenaline, both of which are thought to play an important part in regulating our mood.”
While herbal remedies can be beneficial, you should always read the patient information leaflet before taking them, especially if you’re taking prescription medications or hormonal contraceptives, or have underlying health conditions.
Aromatherapy uses the power of natural essential oils derived from plants to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Inhaling certain oils, such as lavender, rose, bergamot, and chamomile, or applying them to your skin, can evoke feelings of calmness and help ease mild anxiety.
Healthy diet, healthy mind
The food we eat can significantly impact our mental health. Adopting a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can positively influence anxiety levels. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like fatty fish and flaxseeds, have been linked to lower anxiety levels.
It’s also a good idea to limit caffeine and caffeinated drinks as you might think of them as a ‘pick-me-up’, but in fact, they can trigger or exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Instead, opt for herbal teas and decaffeinated beverages for a calming effect.
Build your social support
Managing anxiety symptoms naturally isn’t just about focusing on your mind and body. Building a strong social support network is crucial for managing anxiety – even when you might not feel like being very sociable.
Sharing feelings and concerns with friends, family or specialist support groups can provide comfort and a sense of belonging. Getting fully involved in social activities can also serve as a distraction from anxious thoughts and help to foster positive emotions.
Maintain good sleep hygiene
Adequate sleep is vital for overall mental well-being. Establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a calming bedtime routine, and ensuring a comfortable sleep environment can help reduce anxiety-related sleep disturbances.
Take the natural approach to ease anxiety
Try integrating these natural anxiety remedies into your everyday routine for a few weeks and see if they can help pave the way to a more serene and balanced life.
However, if you find that even taking these steps, your anxiety is impacting your everyday life, you should of course seek guidance from a healthcare professional.
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