Anxiety has seemingly affected more people amid a quarantine where 2020 took our anxiety to a whole other level. Unfortunately, a majority of us experience anxiety on the daily and without the proper tools it can feel overwhelming leading us to feel powerless. But it’s important to recognize anxiety and discover ways to manage it before it gets out of control. Worsening anxiety can greatly impact your quality of life and considering we’re still in a pandemic we don’t need any more stress. Many of us may have friends who have tried to help you by offering some advice, but all that advice may, in fact, increase anxiety if you don’t feel like it’ll work for you. Here are some ways you can naturally decrease anxiety that have a proven track record of success.
Ditch The Cafecito
If you have high levels of anxiety then cafecito is not your friend. Coffee is a stimulant so it can trigger your “fight or flight” response which causes those jitters and nervousness. If you really need some caffeine in your life, try some matcha or green tea. Research has shown that the amino acids in green tea, called L-theanine, helps curb a rising heart rate and blood pressure, making you both alert and relaxed at the same time.
Staying active is great for your physical and emotional health. There have been many studies suggesting that regular exercise works just as well as medication. Working out boosts endorphins which lifts your mood and even helps you sleep better. One of the major benefits of working out isn’t just the short term fix; you are more likely to experience less anxiety for hours after your sweat session. Don’t just think of the gym, you can try an Instagram workout from these Latina fitness influencers, walk around your block, or do some light stretching at your desk.
Part of your winding-down ritual might include having a glass of wine after work. We get it. Although alcohol is a natural sedative, once your buzz is gone, your anxiety may return with revenge. You may experience headaches, nausea, and low blood sugar. Did you know you may also experience an emotional hangover as well? Moderation is key and a single glass of red wine is high in antioxidants so there’s that.
Get More Zzzz’s
One of the most common symptoms of anxiety is insomnia. Trying to fall asleep at night can be difficult because at night our minds race with all the things that you need to get done the following day. You may be that person who makes mental checklists while lying in bed. Get some sleep by:
- Not reading or watching television in bed
- Stop using your phone or tablet about an hour or two before bed time
- Avoid caffeine and large meals before bed
- Keep your room dark and cool
- Go to sleep at the same time each night
Meditation may be associated with yoga or certain religions but really anyone can do it at any time of the day. One of the main goals of meditation is to get rid of chaotic thoughts running through your mind and focus on the present moment. It essentially brings you a sense of calm and mindfulness. Many people use meditation to manage their anxiety and stress. The three most common ways to calm anxiety are to open your attention to the present moment, focus on your breath, and bring your attention to your body.
For those of us who are emotional eaters, this might be the toughest tip to reduce anxiety, but it definitely helps. Although that concha may feel like what you need in the moment, it may make you feel bad after eating it. The crash you experience after eating sugar is very similar to what you’d experience after drinking a ton of caffeine. A high-sugar diet may also cause your mood to change. The best thing to do is stay hydrated and eliminate sugary foods as much as possible.
Try Some Essential Oils
Aromatherapy is when you inhale the scent of an essential oil to improve your overall well-being. It works by stimulating the smell receptors in your nose and they, in turn, send all those feel-good chemicals to your nervous system. Some popular essential oils are: lavender, jasmine, holy basil, chamomile, rose, and lemon which help with stress, sleep, and anxiety. You can rub a few drops in your hands, place your hands around your nose, and inhale, exhaling through the mouth. Another great way to practice aromatherapy is to buy a diffuser and drop a bit of oil into the machine before turning it on.
A simple cup of tea can help you slow down, relieve stress, and make you feel a bit more balanced. As mentioned earlier, the L-theanine in tea is an amino acid that helps to balance mood. The next time you are feeling frazzled, try one of these teas: chamomile, peppermint, lemon balm, lavender, or rosehip tea.