There are many solutions to calm your anxieties without having to resort to medication. It is up to you to find the one that suits you best.
Whether it’s about money, family, health or work, when anxious people start to worry, the panic attack is not far away.
Without further ado, here are the 19 natural remedies to fight anxiety:
Table of Contents
When you’re feeling restless, drink a nice cup of chamomile to relax. This is a great grandmother’s remedy. According to this study, the chemical components of chamomile (Matricaria recutita) bind to the same receptors as synthetic drugs used to treat anxiety, such as Valium.
To enjoy the benefits of chamomile, you can also take it in the form of a dietary supplement. These are standardized capsules containing 1.2% apigenin, the active ingredient in chamomile flowers.
The effectiveness of these capsules was proven in this study on patients suffering from generalized anxiety disorders. Researchers observed a significant decrease in symptoms in patients after only 8 weeks of a natural chamomile treatment.
To buy some now, we recommend this chamomile-based dietary supplement.
2. Theanine in green tea
It is said that Japanese Buddhist monks were able to meditate for hours on end, while remaining alert and relaxed. One possible explanation is the amino acid, called “theanine”, present in the green tea that these monks used to drink throughout the day.
Indeed, theanine is known to regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Several studies on human subjects indicate that theanine also helps relieve anxiety.
According to this study, anxious people are calmer and more attentive after a treatment of 200 mg of theanine. Depending on the strength of the green tea, that’s between 5 and 20 cups.
To get some now, we recommend this L-Theanine dietary supplement.
Yes, it’s the hops found in beer. But you don’t get the soothing benefits of hops (Humulus lupulus) by drinking beer.
The chemical compound with calming effects in hops is a volatile oil. To take advantage of this, you must follow a treatment based on hop extract or mother tincture of hops. But you can also follow an aromatherapy with hop flower pillows, which diffuse its aromatic compounds.
Because hops have a particularly bitter taste, few people choose to take it as an infusion, unless it is mixed with chamomile or mint. In combination with valerian, hops is often used as a natural sedative. It is a natural product against stress and anxiety.
Note: if you are already taking synthetic sedatives, do not take a natural treatment with sedative properties. Always consult your doctor before ingesting herbal extracts or food supplements.
To buy some now, we recommend these drops of certified organic hop mother tincture.
Some herbal supplements can reduce your state of anxiety without putting you to sleep, such as theanine. Other supplements have sedative properties, as is clearly the case with valerian (Valeriana officinalis).
Due to its high content of chemical components with sedative effects, valerian is frequently used as a sleeping pill to combat insomnia.
Valerian does not have a very pleasant scent. Therefore, most people prefer capsules or mother tinctures to valerian infusions. It is often combined with other herbs with sedative properties, such as hops, chamomile and lemon balm.
Note: if you are taking valerian, take it at night before going to bed – but definitely not before going to work!
5. Lemon balm
Lemon balm is one of the effective plants against stress and anxiety.
The name lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) comes from the Greek word for “bee”. This medicinal plant has been used since the Middle Ages to reduce stress, relieve anxiety and fight against sleep disorders.
According to this study, people who take 600 mg of lemon balm extract are calmer and more alert.
Lemon balm can be found as an infusion, in capsules or in mother tincture. It is often mixed with hops, chamomile and valerian.
Note: Although this herb is considered a safe natural treatment, other studies indicate that taking too much Lemon Balm may have an opposite effect and cause anxiety. Therefore, take care to carefully follow the dosages indicated and always start your treatment with the lowest recommended dose.
To buy now, we recommend this Lemon balm mother tincture.
To fight anxiety naturally, sport is a risk-free activity that is extremely beneficial to your brain health. Against depression and anxiety, sport is a formidable antidote with immediate and long-lasting effects.
Doctors are unanimous about the benefits of sport on anxiety. Practicing sports regularly increases self-confidence and the feeling of well-being.
One of the biggest sources of anxiety is our fear of having an illness or poor health. But all these fears dissipate when we are in good shape thanks to sport.
7. The 21-minute cure
21 short minutes. According to studies, that’s all the time it takes, give or take 1/2 min, for sports to reduce our anxiety.
When you feel anxious, just try going for a run. In fact, according to many doctors, 20 minutes of exercise calms and soothes anxiety.
Specifically, doctors recommend 20 to 30 minutes of heart rate-raising exercise. You have a choice: treadmill, elliptical, step, etc. Choose what you want.
If you don’t do sports anymore, maybe it would be a good opportunity to take up an activity that you used to do when you were young? For example, did you play tennis in your youth? Then go play 20 minutes of tennis.
And if you haven’t played sports in a really long time, doctors recommend starting with brisk walking.
8. Passion flower
Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata), also known as “passion flower”, is a plant that you can use for its sedative properties.
It is a medicinal plant that the German government has officially recognized as a natural treatment for people who suffer from anxiety and nervous agitation.
According to several studies, passion flower is as effective as synthetic drugs in reducing the effects of anxiety. It is also used to fight insomnia. A true natural sedative!
Note: like all sedatives, passion flower causes a pronounced state of drowsiness. As already explained, do not take passion flower if you are already taking synthetic sedatives. The same goes for other natural sedative herbal treatments – whether passion flower, valerian, hops, kava, lemon balm, etc.
Be careful when mixing natural herbs with sedative effects. Finally, never take a passion flower treatment for more than 30 days.
To buy some now, we recommend this passion flower mother tincture.
This plant is best known for its intoxicating scent. But did you know that one of the varieties of lavender, Lavandula hybrida, is also known for its “emotional anti-inflammatory” properties?
In fact, according to this study on anxiety, people in the waiting room at the dentist’s office are less anxious when a scent of lavender wafts through the room. In another study, students who smelled lavender before an exam felt less anxiety than students who did not.
Finally, according to this study conducted in Germany, a special lavender-based medication reduces the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. This natural medication is as effective as the synthetic drugs prescribed for this psychiatric condition.
Therefore, lavender can compete with drugs such as lorazepam (marketed as Ativan which is in the same class of drugs as Valium).
To buy now, we recommend this Natural Lavender Essential Oil.
10. Hold your breath!
And now exhale… No, this is not a tip to turn your face purple. Yoga breathing exercises are particularly effective in reducing stress and anxiety levels.
In his best-selling book Spontaneous Happiness, Dr. Andrew Weil developed a yoga-based breathing technique called the 4-7-8 method. This technique works because it is impossible to breathe deeply and be in a state of anxiety at the same time.
To do this exercise, exhale all the air in your lungs through your mouth. Then, close your mouth and breathe in slowly through your nostrils, counting to 4. Then, hold your breath, counting to 7. Now, breathe out slowly through your mouth, counting to 8. Repeat the exercise at least 2 times a day.
11. Eat something right away!
Most people get anxious and irritable when they are hungry. An anxious state can mean a drop in your blood sugar levels.
If this is the case, the best thing to do is to recharge your batteries with an energizing snack. For example, try snacking on a handful of nuts or a piece of chocolate with a tall glass of water or a cup of tea.
According to doctors, a healthy diet is essential to the long-term fight against anxiety. They advise you to focus on vegetables, carefully select the meat and fish you eat and add more green leafy vegetables to your diet (like kale, for example).
The idea is to increase your intake of folic acid (vitamin B9) and essential nutrients that help reduce anxiety.
12. Don’t skip breakfast
Any doctor will tell you that starving yourself should be avoided at all costs.
However, many people who suffer from anxiety do not take the time to eat breakfast.
That’s why everyone should eat eggs in the morning, as they are rich in satiating protein and are THE best natural source of choline.
It is known that too little choline intake is associated with higher levels of anxiety.
13. Eat foods rich in omega-3
Did you know that fatty fish are highly beneficial to your heart health? In addition, it is believed that they can help fight depression. Among the benefits of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids is its ability to fight anxiety.
In this study, researchers added 2.5 mg of omega-3 fatty acids to the diets of groups of students over a 12-week period. They found that students with high omega-3 intake experienced less anxiety before taking an exam than students without omega-3 intake.
For experts, it is important that our omega-3 intake comes from our diet. The best natural sources of fatty acids are cold-water oily fish, such as salmon.
To give you an idea, 100 g of wild salmon contains 2.3 g of omega-3 fatty acids. Other good choices of omega-3 rich fish are anchovies, sardines and mussels.
14. Say no to “doomsday thinking”
When we are plagued by anxiety, we tend to fall into a “doomsday thinking” mentality. In our minds, we imagine the worst case scenarios, the most horrible things, unbearable things.
And most of all, we are horrified by the thought that these things could turn into reality and ruin our lives forever.
If you are plagued by these kinds of thoughts, take a deep breath and go for a walk. Now, think about the likelihood of the problem you are concerned about.
What are the chances that there really could be a catastrophe? That you will actually lose your job? That your sister really never talks to you again? That you really don’t have any money at all?
Catastrophic thoughts happen when you feel anxious. But in fact, it is very unlikely that they will turn into reality. Remember, events that truly change the trajectory of our lives are very rare.
15. Warm up your body
Do you know why you feel that calming sensation after a sauna or steam room session? Several studies indicate that warming the body relaxes muscles and reduces anxiety.
According to this study, the sensation of warmth may alter the neural circuits associated with mood, including circuits that produce the neurotransmitter serotonin.
This may explain why activities that warm the body, such as sports or a warm fire, improve our mood and reduce our anxiety.
Here is the conclusion of the researchers of another study on this subject: “Whether it is a sunbath in the Caribbean, a short session in the sauna or steam room after work or even a hot bath at the end of the day, we tend to associate heat with a feeling of relaxation and well-being.
16. Take a “forest bath”
Shirin-yoku is a cultural concept unique to Japan, which literally means “forest bath”. In our culture, it is what we would call a walk in the forest.
These Japanese researchers measured the changes in our bodies after 20 minutes of walking in a picturesque forest, with its woody scents and the gentle cooing of the streams that wind through it.
The results of their study indicate that walking in a forest decreases the levels of hormones associated with stress. Moreover, this effect is significantly more pronounced in people who walk in the forest than in people who walk in urban areas.
17. Learn mindfulness meditation
Originating in Buddhism, this form of meditation is frequently used in therapy. Because of its effectiveness, more and more doctors are using mindfulness meditation to treat patients with anxiety disorders.
One of them, Dr. Edenfield, is a clinical psychologist who specializes in psychological disorders in veterans. She says, “Mindfulness meditation allows us to see each moment as it really is, not as we imagine it should be or fear it will be.”
How to do this? To begin, Dr. Edenfield suggests, “Consciously focus on the present moment, drawing on your sense of curiosity. Make an effort to observe the present moment, but without judging the present moment.”
18. Breathe and ask yourself questions
Here’s another technique for developing your mindfulness. When you do your breathing exercises, try asking yourself simple questions that you need to answer.
Dr. Edenfield suggests, “Start by getting into a comfortable place. Close your eyes and focus totally on your breathing. Now, in your mind’s eye, ask yourself simple questions, while staying focused on each exhale and inhale.”
What kind of questions? For example: What is the temperature of the air when you breathe in through your nose? How do you feel when the air leaves your lungs? And when the air fills your lungs, what do you feel?
19. Congratulate yourself on becoming aware of your anxiety
Do you have anxious thoughts? Then congratulate yourself! You can congratulate yourself! Why? Because it means you are aware of your emotional state. According to Dr. Edenfield, being aware of your emotional state is the first step in reducing anxiety.
She says, “Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for realizing that you are anxious at a certain point in time and for realizing the physiological changes associated with it.
This awareness is really an essential thing to learn to recognize, in order to progress to the next steps of healing such as positive internal dialogue, cognitive restructuring or mindfulness and relaxation techniques.”