Life is stressful. Whether you’re just having a bad day or you’re dealing with a chronic anxiety disorder, here are six of the best all-natural ways to bring a little peace to your overworked mind:
Switch to decaf
As a stimulant, caffeine increases activity in the central nervous system, boosting energy and alertness. That’s great when you’re trying to get yourself up in the morning or stay awake late at night. It’s less great when you’re dealing with anxiety. Even worse, studies have shown that caffeine has addictive properties, meaning that the more you take of it the harder it is to stop taking it later, which itself can have a negative effect on your mood.
Meditation means different things to different people. To some, it is almost a spirit act, like prayer. To others, it’s simply a technique for calming the mind and hitting the reset button. However you feel about it, it’s worth giving it a try. Research performed at John Hopkins University has shown that at least a half hour of meditation time each day can significantly decrease stress and help manage depression.
Try CBD oil
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound found in hemp and marijuana plants. Unlike the latter, though, CBD oil is legal on a federal level and is now quickly amassing popularity as a treatment for physical aches and pains, nausea, depression, and last but not least, stress. Being non-psychoactive means that CBD drops won’t get you high like the THC in marijuana does, allowing you to enjoy the health benefits without the side effects.
Fix your diet
It’s a misconception that anxiety is “all in your head.” The truth is, anxiety is rooted as much in the body as any other health issue. Low blood sugar, dehydration, and processed food chemicals have all been linked to changes in mood. Changing your diet might not make your anxiety go away overnight, but it may have a positive impact in reducing its symptoms.
Like CBD, aromatherapy has grown in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. Studies show that fragrant essential oils improve your mood, help you sleep better, and even lower blood pressure. Aromatherapy oils can be added to a hot bath or diffuser, providing a restful, pleasant experience as you breathe them in. For anxiety specifically, recommended scents include lavender, grapefruit, ylang ylang, bergamot, and clary sage.
Take a deep breath
Sometimes the oldest advice is the best advice. During episodes of heightened anxiety, it’s not uncommon to fall into a pattern of fast, shallow breathing. This in turn can lead to dizziness, elevated heart rated, and panic attacks. If you find yourself experiencing any of these things, it can be helpful to stop and try to force yourself to take long, slow, measured breaths with a deliberate, steady rhythm. In addition to relieving some of the symptoms of anxiety, deep breathing exercises are also sometimes enough to reduce the anxiety itself.