People are more stressed-out than ever. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety. While many people only feel anxious during certain events, such as a job change, others regularly feel overwhelmingly anxious. When anxiety becomes persistent, a person might have a generalized anxiety disorder that can interfere with their everyday life. If you have ongoing anxiety, there are some things you can do to naturally calm your worried mind and reduce your anxiety levels.
Anxiety at a Glance
- Only 36.9% of people with anxiety receive treatment for it, meaning many suffer in silence while anxiety rules their lives.
- Anxiety sufferers are at a higher risk for other mental health disorders.
- Fifty percent of people who have depression are also likely to have anxiety.
- Anxiety disorders can be due to brain chemistry, genetics, life-changing circumstances or other life events, and certain personality traits.
- There are different subsets of anxiety disorders, ranging from generalized anxiety disorders panic disorders, social anxiety disorders, OCD, PTSD, and more.
How does anxiety feel?
Nearly all of us have experienced anxiety from time to time. For instance, if we have to speak in front of others for our job or at a community event, it’s normal to feel a little anxious about getting up in front of others to make a presentation. A job interview or even going to a party can also make us feel nervous.
Anxiety can cause mental symptoms or physical problems. You might feel tension in your body or become overly worried about a situation. Your thoughts might race, or you may obsess over a problem and constantly feel anxious about it. If a specific situation causes you anxiety, you might avoid the circumstances to prevent yourself from feeling nervous.
Anxiety can also cause your heart to race and make you feel like you can’t catch your breath. You may feel a sense of dread or that you are in danger. Your stomach could feel tied up in knots or hurt.
Instead of feeling constantly anxious, you might be more prone to having anxiety attacks, which are more likely to come on suddenly.
In any case, anxiety can set off many problems with your physical and mental health. Persistent worry is likely to interfere with your sleep and general well-being. It’s important for you to find ways to calm your mind and reduce your anxiety levels.
Occasional anxiety can be expected. But, recurring or prolonged anxiety could mean that you have an anxiety disorder or even a health condition such as an overactive thyroid. It’s always best to discuss your symptoms with a physician before deciding that they are due to mental anxiety.
How to Naturally Calm Your Mind and Reduce Your Anxiety Without Prescription Medications
Some people are prescribed benzodiazepines such as Xanax or other medications to calm their anxiety. The problem with these medications is that your body needs more over time for the drug to continue working, leading to habit-forming tendencies.
There are a number of effective non-prescription ways to help calm your worries and reduce your anxieties. Here are a few.
Attend therapy or counseling.
For many people, counseling or psychotherapy sessions help them develop the coping skills and strategies to manage their anxieties and stress.
Try deep breathing and relaxation.
Make diaphragmatic breathing part of your daily ritual. It is a deep breathing technique that can help you feel more relaxed and less anxious by reducing cortisol levels in your body. Higher cortisol levels are associated with increased stress and anxiety.
When you’re experiencing anxiety, you tend to breathe more shallow, making you feel more anxious.
The slow, methodical practice of breathing more deeply, coupled with meditation, can help calm your worries and anxieties to gain more control of anxiety symptoms.
When practicing diaphragmatic breathing, sit in a quiet place or listen to ambient, calming music. Experiment with each to discover which helps you more.
Reduce your caffeine intake.
Caffeine has a tendency to make some people feel more anxious and jittery. Reducing your intake of caffeine could help reduce your episodes of anxiety. Instead, switch out your cup of coffee for a nice cuppa chamomile tea.
Practice yoga or exercise.
Yoga helps reduce anxiety by encouraging you to be more mindful and present in the moment, rather than worrying about something that might or might not happen. It allows you to focus more on your breath and quiet your mind.
The ADAA also says any type of regular aerobic exercise is good for managing anxiety feelings. Choose something you enjoy, such as a brisk walk to your favorite music, swimming, dancing, or hiking.
Many anxiety sufferers have offered countless testimonials that adding CBD to their anti-anxiety toolbox has worked wonders in calming their minds and spirit. Meditation, for instance, is a powerful way to reduce your anxiety. Still many people with anxiety say that it’s challenging to get to the point of stillness that meditation requires without a little help.
That’s where CBD comes in. For many, the two are a natural combination to combat their anxieties and fight stress on a daily basis. Some say that CBD improves their clarity and concentration, allowing them to focus more intently when practicing deep breathing and meditation.
It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before adding CBD to your anti-anxiety regimen as it could interact with certain prescription medications.