While anxiety medication can temporarily reduce symptoms and improve mental health, any medication works best when paired with other natural ways to manage anxiety. Over time, these coping skills will build resilience and reduce symptoms of anxiety, leading to a greater sense of inner peace. Lifestyle strategies also help those who manage anxiety without the use of medication.
5 Naturally-Proven Ways to Manage Anxiety
While mindfulness meditation is an old habit, it’s been receiving new interest as a natural way to manage anxiety. In mindfulness meditation, you focus on remaining in the present moment. Some meditators use a mantra to soothe anxiety (for example, “I am worthy of love”), while others count breaths. When your mind wanders or an unpleasant thought comes up, go back to your mantra or go back to counting breaths.
With practice, mindfulness meditation helps you stay centered even during times of stress and anxiety. This may prevent you from reacting negatively or experience anxiety symptoms. Over time, you may be able to recognize self-sabotaging thoughts (i.e. “I’ll never find a partner”), label them as such, and not ruminate on the negative thought.
Exercise decreases stress and increases well-being through the release of endorphins and GABA, a neurotransmitter that calms your mind. All forms of exercise — whether it’s high-intensity, walking, yoga, or weight lifting — move your body, releasing pent-up tension from your muscles. While an endorphin-related mood boost is temporary, studies suggest that a regular exercise habit boosts resilience, improves self-esteem, and stabilizes mood for long-term anxiety management.
CBD oil, which stands for cannabidiol oil, is derived from the cannabis plant. Since CBD oil does not contain THC, the compound that causes the marijuana high, it is legal even in states where medical marijuana is not legal.
Fans of CBD oil enjoy how the natural hemp oil relieves anxiety symptoms with no side effects. A few drops of CBD oil can help promote restful sleep, help reduce repetitive thought patterns, and help promote a sense of well-being. While this is a relatively new product, many anxiety sufferers swear by CBD to decrease their physical and mental symptoms of anxiety.
CBD oil can be used in cooking or consumed as a standalone product. While oils may be flavored for taste, there is no aromatherapy benefit to CBD, and it is one of the newest and most popular natural ways to manage anxiety. Want to buy CBD oil to see how CBD can help anxiety? Check out our products here!
Keep a Worry Journal
It may sound counterintuitive to keep track of your worries, but keeping a worry journal can reduce anxiety. Give yourself a set amount of time every day to write down your worries (for instance, 15 minutes in the afternoon). When worries come up outside of this time, push the thoughts away.
When your worry time arrives, write for 15 minutes about all of your worries. By writing down the worries, you break the obsessive thought pattern of ruminating on the same fears over and over again. When time is up, close the book on your worries–until tomorrow.
Over time, you’ll notice that most of the things you worry about do not come true. You may even feel like some of your worries are silly. By noticing this, you take the power away from these thoughts, which is an important step in overcoming anxiety.
Therapy helps you process anxiety related to things in the past, change your thought patterns, and increase your coping skills when anxiety flares up.
Many patients swear by cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which challenges negative thought patterns and seeks to reframe thinking around anxiety triggers. Your therapist can help you explore the way a thought pattern increases your anxiety, then help you come up with ways to challenge the thought and reduce anxiety.
For example, a CBT therapist may help you explore social anxiety fears, such as public speaking. Rather than worry about how you won’t be able to memorize your speech (which increases anxiety), your therapist might help you reframe the anxiety with a mantra like “I will take 30 minutes a day to practice memorizing my speech, so I feel prepared.”
Next time you become anxious, try one or more of these natural ways to manage anxiety.