You turn on the TV. You hear about a deadly shooting, an act of terrorism, or a terrifying epidemic.
You’re worried. You feel uneasy & frightened.
Your breathing is rapid and shallow. Your mind is running all over the place.
You can’t get yourself to calm down.
Have you ever experienced a situation like that before?
I know I have.
Anxiety affects roughly 40 million adults in the United States, or 20% of the population every year.
It is commonly thought that 94 percent of all illness is triggered by anxiety.
Feeling like you’re trapped in a cyclone of negative thoughts can severely impact your personal and professional life.
The human brain tends to absorb alarming messages one by one, over and over, regardless of whether a threat is truly forthcoming.
Also known as the “what if” disease, this disease is not a joke — it can ruin lives.
And with the internet, social media, & our strongly connected culture today, managing fear and anxiety can seem almost impossible.
Sadly, when most people begin developing feelings of anxiety, they resort to prescription drugs to treat their condition.
However, anxiety medication isn’t always the safest option as it can have awful side effects.
There are many safer all-natural remedies for anxiety, from supplements to soothing teas to mind-body techniques.
And surprisingly, some of these remedies actually work better than prescription medication.
Whatever your circumstances, science can help you beat anxiety for good.
Here are 30 effective ways to relieves anxiety starting today.
- Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is now used as a mainstream therapy for anxiety.
Meditation allows you to experience each moment as it really is, without being anxious about what might come.
Even though meditation might seem like a difficult path to walk alone, you can start by paying attention to what’s happening around you.
Don’t think about what you’re going to do in a couple of hours or the next day.
Pay attention to each moment as it arises, and make an effort to consider the moment without judging it beforehand.
Every moment is different, and you should treat it as such.
Another good way to stay mindful is to practice breathing exercises.
One of the best ways to start practicing breathing exercises is to sit in a comfortable place and ask yourself silent questions while you focus on your breath.
The questions should be simple.
Ask yourself how your breath feels as it leaves your body, and how the air feels when you take a deep breath and it fills your lungs.
These simple questions will make you more mindful of your breath over time.
Spending just 30 minutes of zen relaxation a day can lower your anxiety levels by up to 38%. (1)
- Exercise Regularly
Exercising regularly is one of the best ways to lower your anxiety levels.
Exercising can be very useful for people who suffer from anxiety because it can help you in different ways.
First of all, exercising regularly will make you feel healthier.
Worrying about illness and health is one of the major causes of anxiety, so you will feel less anxious if you’re exercising.
Second, exercising will improve your physical aspect which will, in turn, increase your self-esteem.
People who have a higher self-esteem tend to feel less anxious than those who have a low self-esteem.
Regular exercise will also determine your brain to release more endorphins or the feel-good hormones your body produces.
The higher level of endorphins in your bloodstream will increase your mood and your positivity while lowering your anxiety levels.
And the best part is, you don’t even have to exercise for a long time.
Spending 20 – 30 minutes doing an activity that elevates your heart rate will lower your anxiety levels and your negativity.
So whether you enjoy running, skating, cycling, or just walking at a brisk pace, do it for 20 – 30 minutes several times per week to lower your anxiety levels. (2)
The smell of lavender naturally reduces your anxiety levels.
Smelling lavender oil when you’re anxious is a good way to calm down.
In fact, studies have shown that smelling lavender can have similar effects to taking Valium for some people. (3)
- Passion Flower
Passionflower has been used as a sedative for a long time, but studies show that it can have a beneficial effect on anxiety levels as well.
However, passion flower can cause sleepiness and drowsiness, and you should avoid it if you’re taking prescriptions sedatives or other sedative herbs. (4)
- Lemon Balm
Lemon balm has been used as a cure for stress and anxiety since the Middle Ages.
Lemon balm tea can also improve your sleep, and it’s recommended for people who suffer from insomnia.
However, you should not take too much lemon balm, as a large dose can actually make you feel anxious. (5)
Yes, hops is the main ingredient in beer, but unfortunately, you can’t benefit from its tranquilizing effects if you drink it.
Hops’ sedative compound is a volatile oil, so you can either get it from extracts or from tinctures. (6)
Chamomile tea has been used as a treatment for anxious people for hundreds of years.
Nowadays, you can consume chamomile in teas, or you can find it in supplements.
Sometimes, chamomile supplements contain more other anxiolytic or sedative substances as well. (7)
Valerian is a plant that’s usually used as a sedative.
This herbal supplement is usually recommended for people who suffer from insomnia, but it also has anxiolytic effects.
Valerian is usually consumed as a capsule or tincture instead of a tea herb because it doesn’t taste good.
You can often find supplements that combine valerian with other sedative herbs such as lemon balm, chamomile, or hops. (8)
- Green or White Tea
Green and white tea contain an amino acid called L-theanine.
L-theanine is a compound that produces several beneficial effects in the human body, including reducing your blood pressure, decreasing your heart rate, and lowering your anxiety levels.
If you’re not a big fan of green tea, you can find L-theanine supplements (9)
- Yoga Breathing
Some yoga breathing techniques can help you lower your anxiety levels.
One of the most popular yoga breathing techniques is the 4-7-8 breath.
Here’s how it goes.
First, you have to exhale all the air in your lungs through your mouth.
Then, inhale through your nose continuously for 4 seconds.
Hold your breath for seven seconds, and let the air slowly out through your mouth for eight seconds.
You’ll get the best results if you practice this technique for at least twice every day. (10)
- Make Sure You’re Not Hungry
It doesn’t matter how fit or how unfit you are, everyone gets anxious when they’re hungry.
But that doesn’t mean you should grab a large meal every time you feel anxious.
The best approach would be to eat some healthy snacks like walnuts or veggies and drink some water or tea to make sure you’re not feeling anxious because you’re hungry. (11)
- Eat A Clean Diet
A good long-term approach to reduce your anxiety would be to have a clean diet.
You should avoid sugary and processed foods, limit your caffeine intake, and eat whole-foods.
Switching on a diet based on high-quality meat and seafood with plenty of leafy veggies such as kale can provide a lot of nutrients that will help reduce anxiety. (12)
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) implies the development of a strategy that will solve your problems and change your unhelpful behaviors, emotions, and cognitive patterns.
CBT is usually done in the same room with specialized therapists, but you can also perform it online with the help of a therapist or without it.
Some people prefer not involving a therapist in their CBT, so they can try self-guided internet-based CBT techniques.
Self-guided CBT was shown to produce a reduction in social anxiety, general anxiety, depression, and fear of public speaking levels in a number of studies.
However, doing self-guided CBT is not effective for everyone, so instead of giving up on CBT when the results you’re getting are not up to your standards, you should try going to a therapist. (13)
- Consume Omega-3
Omega-3 is found in fish oil, mussels, sardines, and anchovies.
Eating Omega-3 will not only protect against depression, but it will also be good for your heart rate and lower your anxiety levels. (14)
- Enjoy the Warmth
If you’ve ever spent some time in a sauna or a steam room, you know how relaxed you can feel afterward.
In fact, people feel more relaxed and comfortable when their bodies are warmer.
This might be an explanation why we like to curl up near a fire or enjoy a warm cup of tea.
When you’re warm, your neural circuits are altered, and you feel more relaxed.
So, whether you’re enjoying your time on the beach, sit in a hot bath, or drink a warm cup of tea in the evening, make sure you keep your body warm. (15)
- Go Hiking
Hiking through the woods can have a really relaxing effect on your mind.
Every time you take a forest bath, you’re surrounded by nature.
Your brain is overwhelmed with natural sounds and smells, and it feels more at peace.
Hiking through a forest can lower your anxiety levels dramatically. (16)
- Consume Arctic Root
Arctic root, also known as Rhodiola Rosea, is usually used in Chinese traditional medicine.
This root has many beneficial effects, and it can strengthen both your physical and your emotional health. (17)
- Consume Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera is a herb that’s usually used in Hindu traditional medicine.
This herb is said to have a scent similar to that of a horse, and it has a significant effect on your cortisol levels.
Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone, and taking Ashwagandha supplements can lower your cortisol levels by up to 25%. (18)
- Consume Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba has been used in Chinese traditional medicine for thousands of years, and it’s probably the most widely used herbal remedy.
Ginkgo is usually used as a brain boost and memory enhancer, but it can also reduce your cortisol levels, which will make you feel less anxious.
Ginkgo supplements can also increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin produced by your body which will improve your mood. (19)
- Consume Bacopa Monnieri
Bacopa monnieri, also called brahmi is a herb used in Ayurvedic medicine.
Bacopa has been used for a long time as a brain stimulant, and it’s supposed to increase your motivation and productivity.
This herb reduces your anxiety levels while improving your memory and attention, so it can be really beneficial for students.
However, you should take Bacopa supplements for a long time to experience all the benefits this herb brings to the table (20)
- Consume Ginseng
Ginseng is one of the most popular herbs on the planet, and it’s also one of the most studied ones.
This herb was used in Chinese traditional medicine, and it was believed to promote strength and improve physical performance.
Nowadays, ginseng is used in fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression.
People who consume ginseng regularly report that they sleep better, have more energy, and experience a better overall well-being. (21)
- Consume Kava
Kava is a medicinal plant that grows in the South Pacific, and it’s one of the best natural remedies for anxiety.
Kava works by increasing the GABA levels in your brain.
GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid is a neurotransmitter that can calm the mind.
Low GABA levels are associated with physical and mental disorders, including panic attacks, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and anxiety disorders.
Because kava is a very potent plant, you should not take it with other drugs and medicinal plants.
You should avoid taking kava at the same time with valerian or other plants that can induce drowsiness. (22)
- Take Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D is created by your body when your skin is exposed to sunshine.
However, we don’t spend the same amount of time in the sunshine like our ancestors used to, and most of the time we wear sunscreen if we’re facing the sun.
This is why vitamin D deficiency affects roughly 75% of the people living in the US.
Low vitamin D levels are partly responsible for the anxiety and depression some people experience when the seasons change.
If you notice your anxiety levels increase during the cold months of the year, you might be suffering from a vitamin D deficiency. (23)
- Supplement Your Magnesium
It’s currently estimated that roughly 75% of the people living in the US don’t get enough magnesium from their diet.
And the worst part is, the magnesium deficiency can be a major contributor to anxiety disorders.
Not only does the magnesium act as a filter to stop the stress hormones from reaching your brain, but it will also dial them down to normal levels. (24)
- Take Tryptophan Supplements
Tryptophan is an amino acid that’s necessary for your serotonin production.
This compound is usually found in protein-rich foods, but very little of the tryptophan you eat actually reaches your brain.
Tryptophan supplementation can increase your serotonin production, which will increase your mood and lower your anxiety levels. (25)
- Supplement Your B Complex Vitamins
The B complex vitamins are often called anti-stress vitamins because they increase your tolerance to stress.
When you’re experiencing vitamin B deficiency, you have a hard time concentrating and you experience anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
B vitamins can increase the levels of GABA, dopamine, and serotonin in your body, so they will lower your anxiety levels while making you happier. (26)
- Take Taurine Supplements
You might be familiar with taurine since it’s an ingredient that’s included in most energy drinks.
Taurine is an amino acid that’s found in the brain.
This amino acid acts as a neurotransmitter, and it stimulates the formation and release of GABA.
When your body has a low GABA concentration, you feel anxious, you have a hard time sleeping, and your mind feels overstimulated.
Taking taurine supplements is a reliable way to make sure your body produces enough GABA. (27)
- Drink Gotu Kola Tea
Gotu Kola tea is a natural remedy used in Asian traditional medicine for dealing with mental fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and memory loss.
This tea is a natural relaxant, and it increases your calm and your alertness at the same time.
Regular consumption of Gotu Kola tea can lower your anxiety and stress levels. (28)
- Use Essential Oils
Aromatherapy or the use of essential oils in therapy has been used for thousands of years.
Both the ancient civilizations of Egypt and the Roman Empire used essential oils in their healing processes.
While using oils extracted from roots, leaves, seeds, or flowers might not seem the best approach when dealing with anxiety, the scent receptors in our noses can affect the way your brain perceives and deals with emotions.
Besides the lavender oil we already discussed, you can also use bergamot and rose oils for your anti-anxiety aromatherapy. (29)
- Listen To Relaxing Music
Listening to relaxing music before a stressful task can lower your stress and anxiety levels.
However, you shouldn’t start listening to classical music just because other people find it relaxing.
If you think you’re more relaxed while listening to punk rock, go for that.
Every one of us has a different personality, so you should listen to whatever kind of music makes you feel more relaxed. (30)