Over 40 million adults in the United States alone experience anxiety, making it one of the most widespread mental health problems.
While medication can be effective, many prefer natural remedies to reduce anxiety without side effects. Luckily, many lifestyle changes and holistic approaches can make a big difference.
Here are the ten best natural ways to reduce stress.
Getting regular exercise is one of the most effective natural anxiety relievers. Aerobic exercise like walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling has decreased anxiety levels. Additionally, strength training can help reduce anxiety symptoms quickly.
- Aim for 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise at least 3-5 days per week. Higher-intensity workouts tend to provide excellent anxiety relief.
- Try incorporating aerobic and strength training exercises to get the maximum benefits.
- Exercising outdoors can provide extra anti-anxiety effects by exposing you to fresh air and nature.
Regular exercise provides both psychological and physiological benefits that significantly reduce anxiety. Just be sure to do what is necessary, as too much intense exercise can sometimes increase pressure.
Many relaxation practices can calm the mind and body to avoid anxiety. Daily relaxation techniques are excellent natural remedies for anxiety relief.
- Deep breathing triggers a relaxation response and lowers stress hormones. Taking slow, deep breaths for just 5 minutes can relieve anxiety.
- Progressive muscle relaxation releases tension from the muscles to relieve anxiety symptoms. It involves tensing and relaxing muscle groups one at a time.
- Meditation and mindfulness help calm racing thoughts and release negativity that can fuel anxiety. Even just 10 minutes daily can make a difference.
- Visualization, yoga, tai chi, and qigong are other excellent relaxing practices.
Set aside 10-20 minutes daily for your chosen relaxation activity. This will give you skills to manage anxiety whenever it occurs.
Diet and nutrition changes are very impactful natural remedies for anxiety. Focus on eating more anti-anxiety foods and limiting foods that worsen anxiety.
- Increase omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds to help lower inflammation exacerbating anxiety.
- Limit caffeine intake, which can make anxiety worse. Drink more calming herbal teas like chamomile instead.
- Reduce inflammatory foods like refined carbs, trans fats, and added sugars that spike anxiety symptoms.
- Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol which can deplete nutrients and worsen anxiety.
Improving your diet can profoundly affect overall anxiety levels the nutrients it needs for optimal nervous system functioning.
Sleep problems and anxiety often go hand-in-hand. Poor or insufficient sleep exacerbates anxiety, while stress can, in turn, cause sleep issues in a vicious cycle. Getting enough deep, quality slumber is essential for controlling pressure.
- Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults and 8-10 hours for teens.
- Try to go to bed and wake up consistently to regulate your circadian rhythm.
- Develop a calming pre-bedtime routine like bathing, reading, or light stretches.
- Limit screen time for 1-2 hours before bed and keep phones/devices out of the bedroom.
- To promote sleep, consider supplements like magnesium, glycine, chamomile, or CBD oil.
You’ll feel less anxious and better equipped to cope with stressors when you get sufficient restorative sleep. Make sleep a top priority and incorporate good sleep hygiene habits.
High levels of life stress often translate directly into heightened anxiety. Finding ways to minimize daily stressors and manage stress effectively can go a long way toward anxiety relief.
- Learn organizational techniques like priority lists and calendars to prevent feeling overwhelmed.
- Set reasonable limits and learn to say no to commitments that drain you.
- Take breaks during work or between tasks to reset mental focus.
- Identify your stress triggers and plan healthy coping strategies.
- Express emotions and vent to supportive friends and family to diffuse stress.
Lowering stress by simplifying obligations, adding rest periods, and managing time better can substantially decrease anxiety.
Spending more time outdoors in natural environments can be very soothing for anxiety. Fresh air, sunlight, and being around greenery have measurable anti-anxiety and stress-reduction effects.
- Take daily walks in parks, gardens, by water, or anywhere with natural elements.
- Sit outside mindfully for your morning coffee or lunch break at work.
- Try grounding techniques like walking barefoot on grass.
- Incorporate houseplants or open windows to bring natural elements indoors.
- Plan weekend camping or hiking trips to fully immerse yourself in nature.
Being in nature, away from urban environments, has well-documented calming effects. Even small doses daily can make a big difference in anxiety.
Loneliness and isolation tend to make anxiety worse for many people. Having social support and community connections helps buffer against stress.
- Call or video chat with supportive friends or family regularly.
- Meet up with friends or join social groups focused on hobbies you enjoy.
- Volunteer or participate in community organizations to feel purposeful.
- If anxiety makes socializing hard, consider joining an online forum to connect.
- Attend talk therapy or support groups to share experiences with others.
Staying engaged with others provides a valuable outlet for stress and anxiety. Make it a priority to socialize regularly and build meaningful connections.
Consuming too many stimulants like caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, or sugar can heighten anxiety unnecessarily. Limit intake of these substances to see noticeable anxiety improvement.
- Drink coffee and energy drinks in moderation, swapping some cups for herbal tea.
- Quit smoking and vaping since nicotine is very anxiety-provoking.
- Reduce added sugars and refined carbs that cause blood sugar spikes and crashes
Cutting back on stimulants removes unnecessary stress on your body and nervous system. You’ll likely feel less jittery and experience fewer anxiety spikes during the day.
Some herbal supplements and vitamins show promise for lessening anxiety, mainly when used in combination with other lifestyle measures.
- Lavender, passionflower, and ashwagandha aid relaxation.
- Magnesium and B vitamins support nervous system functioning.
- Omega-3 fatty acids lower inflammation linked to anxiety.
- CBD oil may reduce anxiety symptoms with minimal side effects.
To find out which vitamins can help you fight anxiety, consult a physician or nutritionist. They can be powerful additions to your wellness routine when appropriately used.
For some people with moderate to severe anxiety, pursuing counseling and therapy can be very beneficial alongside lifestyle changes. Therapeutic techniques provide long-term anxiety relief.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) teaches coping skills for thought patterns that drive anxiety.
- Exposure therapy gradually faces feared situations in a safe setting.
- Mindfulness-based treatments like acceptance commitment therapy (ACT).
- Joining an anxiety support group provides community and accountability.
Getting professional help via counseling gives you extra support and teaches techniques to manage anxiety in the long run.
Natural remedies that address both mind and body can reduce anxiety without medication in many cases. Try out lifestyle changes like getting more exercise, eating a balanced diet, engaging in relaxing activities, getting quality sleep, and spending time in nature.
Additionally, reducing stimulant intake, taking targeted supplements, and pursuing counseling for extra support can all make a difference. Finding the right combination of these approaches provides safe, sustainable anxiety relief over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the fastest natural ways to reduce anxiety include deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, brisk exercise, spending time outside, and taking anti-anxiety supplements like L-theanine or magnesium. These can all help lower anxiety levels within minutes to hours.
Magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and vitamin D all help regulate nervous system functioning and may relieve anxiety when taken in supplement form. Having these nutrients in your diet also helps with pressure.
While medication is very effective for some, many people find their anxiety is curable with dedicated lifestyle and mind-body practices like exercise, therapy, meditation, and dietary changes. However, severe stress may still benefit from medication and natural remedies.
The best anti-anxiety drinks are chamomile tea, green tea, tart cherry juice, decaffeinated coffee, and golden milk containing turmeric. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, which can worsen anxiety. Staying well hydrated with water is also essential.
Scents like lavender, bergamot, rose, orange, sandalwood, and clary sage have calming, anti-anxiety effects and can be used as essential oils, candles, or bath products. Inhaling these soothing aromas prompts relaxation.