The Natural Approach to Healing Anxiety

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6 Ways to Heal Anxiety Holistically

The Natural Approach to Healing Anxiety | Naturopathic Dr

Anxiety is one of the most common forms of distress that people experience. Not only is everyone susceptible to it, but there are often a handful of triggers that vary from person to person.

Many of those with anxiety are reluctant to take prescribed medication in order to handle their symptoms, so they’re left to deal with them on their own. Finding healthy alternatives and holistic lifestyle changes can help remedy some of the anxiety, making it easier to managing.

But, there are various holistic ways you can handle anxiety whenever you begin to experience the negative effects of it.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

1. Avoid Alcohol

The Natural Approach to Healing Anxiety | Naturopathic Dr

People often consume alcohol to calm their nerves before an occasion or to loosen up and help them socialize. With this in mind, someone who is experiencing anxiety may see alcohol as a potential remedy for their issues.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Two problems can arise from this:

  1. After the effects of alcohol begin to wear off, your anxiety may return. Couple this with the depressive effects that alcohol already has, and you’ve got a serious problem on your hands.
  2. Using alcohol as a crutch rather than getting to the source of the issue can cause you to develop an addiction.

While alcohol (in moderation) can be fine, it’s almost sure to make an anxious situation worse. So, avoid it if you’re already feeling anxious.

You may also need to avoid it entirely if you find that your anxiety is triggered by alcohol consumption. 

2. Meditate

The Natural Approach to Healing Anxiety | Naturopathic Dr

The entire purpose of meditation is to induce calmness and help you clear your mind of any negative thoughts. So, it’s no surprise that meditation is one of the best options for dealing with anxiety.

Even if you’re only feeling mildly anxious, it’s important to get into the habit of meditating to deal with this issue. That way your first reaction to an anxiety attack will be to try and enter a state of meditation.

This practice can also help improve your quality of life in general. Strive to dedicate 20-30 minutes each day to meditate in a place where you feel comfortable.

Over time, you’ll find yourself much more at ease on any given day, which can help keep anxious feelings from arising in the first place.

3. Aromatherapy

The Natural Approach to Healing Anxiety | Naturopathic Dr

A handful of essential oils have the capability to reduce stress, lower your heart rate, and even help you fall asleep.

If you aren’t able to meditate (or need a bit of extra help doing so), aromatherapy is a reliable option to take. Essential oils that you can use include:

  • Grapefruit
  • Lavender
  • Clary Sage
  • Jasmine
  • Rose

If you want to try aromatherapy in a way other than burning the oils, try adding them to a warm bath in a candlelit bathroom. Calming music is also a great addition to this method.

4. Exercise

The Natural Approach to Healing Anxiety | Naturopathic Dr

While it may seem strange that both meditating and being active can relieve anxiety symptoms, exercise is one of the most effective choices you have at your disposal.

Exercise comes in many forms, too. A few of the most common are:

  • Running/jogging
  • Playing a sport
  • Biking
  • Lifting weights
  • Yoga

Less intense exercise (jogging/yoga) is best done outdoors to take advantage of being outside in an open space.

An exercise that requires more intensity, like lifting weights, will help you clear your mind and focus on the task at hand.

So, choose a type of exercise that’s most appropriate for how you’re feeling. Some cases of anxiety need relaxation, others need engagement.

If you are unsure of your cardiovascular or physical capacity to exercise please consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program.

5. Spending Time With Dogs

The Natural Approach to Healing Anxiety | Naturopathic Dr

It’s nearly impossible to look a dog in the eyes and not feel some sort of relief. No, really—there’s a scientific reason for this.

As such, dogs are used as therapy animals for the effect that they have on humans. Anxiety is one of the many conditions they can help with.

By playing with a dog or taking it for a walk, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll start to feel at ease. You could even take things a step further and go on hikes or to the dog park.

If you have allergies to pets with fur, though, don’t worry. Dogs aren’t the only companions that can help calm you down during times of need.

While it may seem strange, research has shown that even caring for insects can provide a significant boost to your mental health.

6. Writing

The Natural Approach to Healing Anxiety | Naturopathic Dr

Depending on your mental state, this could seem difficult to do during the moment. However, writing provides the opportunity for you to both focus and express the feelings that you have.

You could do something as simple as making a list of the reasons you’re feeling anxious, or you could just write the first things that come to mind. Writing a short story without any editing or backtracking is a great way to get your mind off your anxiety.

As an additional part of this method, make sure to come back to this writing later and read how you were feeling at that time.

It will often seem exaggerated or unrealistic, which can help you pull yourself out of an anxiety attack in the future if you’re feeling anxious about something similar. 

Managing Anxiety Can Seem Difficult

The Natural Approach to Healing Anxiety | Naturopathic Dr

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about holistic methods to manage your anxiety in mind, you’ll be well on your way to staying as mentally healthy as possible.

Want to learn more about boosting your mental health? This article has plenty of useful info.

About The Author:

Picture of Dr. Karen Threlkel, Naturopathic Physician, Washington DC

Dr. Karen Threlkel, Naturopathic Physician, Washington DC

Dr. Threlkel received her degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from The National College for Naturopathic Medicine (now called The National University of Natural Medicine) in Portland, Oregon. She also holds a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology from The University of Maryland. She is licensed in Naturopathic Medicine by the Government of the District of Columbia Department of Health. Dr. Threlkel is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, past president & current member of the Washington DC Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

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