Ever felt nervous? Had butterflies in your stomach? Knots? I’m sure you have. Odds are we’ve all felt nervous or anxious at some point in time within our lives. It’s a natural part of being human. Things can be scary, new or confusing, causing us to feel nervous or anxious. However, when you need to be up and about your day, nothing is worse than having that feeling in your gut and being unable to help it. But how do we stop ourselves from feeling an innate human feeling once in a while?
Luckily, after doing some research of my own, I have discovered several natural ways to help reduce your anxiety, which will help you to get yourself going no matter what you need to do in your daily life. However, I do want to clarify that there are some people who tend to struggle with anxiety disorder, which is quite different than the occasional feeling of nervousness, instead it is a permanent, life altering issue that should be dealt with professionally for best results. If you do have anxiety disorder, feel free to try these steps I’m about to share, but do so along with some kind of professional help as well, as I want you to feel your best and sometimes higher intervention is needed, which is no biggie, just another part of life!
Now on to the good stuff… how do we reduce our everyday anxieties? Simple, just follow a few simple steps in your daily routines.
Don’t Be Alone Too Much
Alone time is healthy and necessary for all of us to function properly and happily as humans. Some need more alone time than others. However, we all need to be careful in how much alone time we get. The truth is, spending too much time alone causes you to isolate yourself in your head a bit, which magnifies any issue or feeling significantly, because you are so caught up within yourself. As a result, being alone can often enhance your anxiety because you tend to only be left with your thoughts and feelings, and that is just anxiety inducing if it’s too much at a time. Make sure to be with friends, family or even step out into the public occasionally to break apart your alone time, in order to maintain your peaceful and calm state!
Cut Down The Sweets
This is a difficult one but a harsh reality…we’re going to have to lower our sugar intake if we want to lower your anxiety. The truth is, your body’s ability to deal with stress is impaired when you are consuming too many foods which affect you negatively, sugar being a main one. While sugar itself does not cause anxiety, it impairs our ability to deal with it. Glucose is one ingredient which tends to spike your insulin and in turn causes your body to deal with some negative side effects such as fatigue and concentration issues. Moreover, as sugar is one of the most addictive substances, much like addicts, you will experience withdrawls which can make your body feel unwell and enhance the other negative feelings you already may have such as anxiety.
Cut Down Caffeine
You may view your morning dose of coffee differently once you learn how much it can help enhance your feelings of nervousness or anxiety. See, caffeine is a stimulant, and stimulants tend to encourage responses within your body such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, which in turn can enhance certain negative aspects such as anxiety or nervousness. Much like caffeine wakes your body up and energizes you briefly, it also suppresses other important parts that your body needs to function properly. Think about it…if coffee is meant to wake you up, it’s got to suppress a certain other aspect and that is…your calm aspects. When you are calm and relaxed you may get sleepy, and that is a no-no if we’re trying to wake up right? Too much caffeine consumption can actually aid in increasing your nerves and anxiety, and thus should be consumed in moderation.
You may not think of yourself as a yogi or zen individual, but meditation for a few minutes a day has been proven to help people feel less anxious, less stressed and in turn more productive. Before you skip this idea, keep in mind that meditation isn’t always you sitting with your legs crossed and humming something. Meditation comes in various forms and with a little research there’s bound to be one type that works for you. A popular one I’ve discussed before has been ASMR, which is a strange form of meditation that relies on sounds to relax and calm a person, it helps one sleep better and generally feel more calm, which is perfect for reducing anxiety. If this is not your cup of tea, you may be into one of the other many types of meditation. It’s simple and a lot can be found online for free…so it doesn’t hurt to try!
If you are deficient in any of your vitamins, particularly Vitamin D, your body may experience more than just physical symptoms, but rather it may manifest itself in enhanced anxiety, fatigue and stress. To reduce your anxiety levels naturally, try and get at least 20 minutes of sunlight a day, or consume vitamin D in other forms if you can. It’s important to keep your body nourished well, as your mind is also nourished by the things you consume.
Until recently, I was skeptical of essential oils as anxiety treatments, primarily because diffusers and oils can be quite pricey to purchase, and at times unpleasant to smell. However, upon further research, I’ve discovered a wide array of oils that are of various price ranges and scents, and when burned in a room can actually induce a feeling or calmness and stress relief, naturally, within you! It sounds crazy, but it actually works. A quick research of the types of oils will tell you all you need to know about which oil may be right for you, and once you start, it may actually become a nice calming ritual for you in your daily grind.
And finally, a quick trick some professionals recommend in everyday anxiety situations is to shift your focus temporarily. If feelings of anxiety arise, take a finger on one of your hands and move that finger left to right repeatedly, following it with your eyes. Late repeat the same up and down. In focusing your vision on this movement, your mind will calm and shift some of the focus off the nervousness or anxiety you may be feeling. Much like deep breaths, this is meant to be a quick fix to calm down in situations where you feel yourself starting to tense up or become anxious.
Please remember that if none of these methods work for you, you should try and speak to a professional, as they have many answers the rest of us may not, regarding anxiety. You deserve to live a peaceful and happy life, and if anxiety is hindering that, it is only right to try and address the issue with someone who can help! You got this!