Lately, I’ve been thinking about the beach. You know that feeling when you just want to run away somewhere to get rid of life’s stress? I’ve been anxious about a lot of things in the past weeks. Good thing, I’ve learned about natural anxiety reducers. I swear it made me feel better.
In this time and age, people tend to always be on the go. It’s as if we are always running after something. Everything is instant – like food, and sometimes even relationships! If you are a weakling or slow-mover, then you got to keep up.
Maybe because of today’s lifestyle, we humans tend to be anxious, to be worried, or even fear of a lot of things. While it is normal to once in a while feeling that way, too much of it is dangerous. Yes, you read it right. It’s dangerous just like all the other “too much” things in the world.
What is anxiety?
As I mentioned earlier, the feeling of being anxious is actually normal, but once it becomes consistent and reaches an uncontrollable level, that becomes a sickness.
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues. According to studies, in the United States alone, there are more than 18% of adults diagnosed with anxiety disorder every year.
People with chronic anxiety disorder face different symptoms like nervousness, agitation, chest pain, tension, insomnia, high blood pressure, excessive sweating, and inability to socialize, irritability, as well as panic attacks. In some cases, however, people suffering from overactive thyroid are likely to develop anxiety disorder too.
Like any other sickness, chronic anxiety disorder needs to be treated too. But before that, an accurate diagnosis has to be made first. There are different ways to help cure or at least, reduce anxiety. A good thing apart from medicines, there are natural anxiety reducers.
What are the causes of anxiety?
Before I proceed on sharing with you some natural anxiety reducers. Let me share with you first what causes anxiety.
The common causes of anxiety are stress, (as mentioned earlier) thyroid problems, too much caffeine or sugar intake, traumatic life experiences, excessive alcohol intake, hormonal imbalance, as well as dysfunctional serotonin.
Natural Anxiety Reducers
Now, as promised, here are a few effective anxiety reducers that you may try on —
- This is one of the basic and most common anxiety reducers. Exercise helps a lot in minimizing anxiety, depression, and stress to name a few. It is very good for your brain and your health in general.
A regular exercise helps keep you away from negativities. Needless to say, it keeps you fit, which leads to higher self-esteem and lesser physical, mental, and emotional stress. Exercise is said to be one of the best natural anxiety reducers. Oh, by the way, it’s cheap too!
- Meditation. Meditation helps relax your mind and body. It can help you manage your racing thoughts to make stress and anxiety easier to manage. There are a variety of meditation styles to choose from like mindfulness and meditation during yoga. You just have to find what suits you best.
- Clean and Balanced Diet. Yes, I mentioned earlier that sugar and caffeine are among the causes of anxiety. Staying away from too much caffeine and sugar will help keep you away from future anxiety disorder.
Based on studies, anti-inflammatory foods are considered as a natural remedy for anxiety. This type of food plays an important role in neurotransmitters synthesizing and balancing your mood and stress response. You may also eat healthy fats, lean protein food, vitamin-B and magnesium rich food, as well as foods that are high in omega-3 and calcium.
- Writing. Some people find solace in writing. Whenever they feel anxious, they pick up their journal and pen and start writing down their thoughts and feelings. I personally do this. Whenever I feel something that stresses me out or making me feel anxious, all I do is grab my pen and journal and write down everything until I get tired or I feel like I have already written down enough. Trust me it really feels good after.
- Slow down. I will give emphasis on this. Like I said earlier, anxiety, in this generation, comes from always trying to run after something – it may be a success, or a promotion, or a dream or someone. Whatever it is. We always tend to hurry, just to realize later on that we are facing anxiety already.
You can bear witness to the same frenetic energy on the highway during peak times. Everybody’s got to get somewhere. Now. Work, home, pick up kids, appointments, wherever. We’ve all got to be somewhere other than where we are, and we’re all in a rush to get there.
Notice your own behavior when you’re in line for something and it’s taking a little longer than unusual. Worlds practically collide if you get a new cashier who is five seconds slower than the average. Doesn’t he know I’m in a hurry? You think. I’ve got Facebook to check, for goodness sake. How many times have you been upset because the person in front of you is driving slow? Or traffic on a whole is dragging? But how many of those times did you not even have a place to be by a certain time.
Societal Norms For Speed
This isn’t to say that there aren’t times when, of course, you’re in a rush to get to somewhere valid. You really do need to get there quickly, and maybe unforeseen circumstances prevented you from having more time for the journey. But chances are this is infrequent. Mostly, we’re in a hurry because we haven’t budgeted enough time or we are just addicted to hurrying, coupled with this feeling that there’s too much to do and limited time to get it all in. This has become a societal norm.
We want everything we want and now. And can you blame us for thinking this way? The society has programmed us for this.
When you can hit a button and get an instant website, downloads, applications, connection to people thousands of miles away, fast has become the norm. But at what detriment? What effect is this having on relationships, health, the environment, in general…life?
There’s no death-bed prize for getting things done faster, unless you’re Usain Bolt, of course. The opposite tends to be true. You’ve probably heard those studies of people who are dying who overwhelmingly expressed that they wished they had spent more time with the ones they loved or doing things they enjoyed. Why didn’t they? Likely because we’re too busy rushing about. And with the rushed pace of our lives, we’ve become impatient. That is why it’s important to slow down – it’s actually one of the things that I personally consider as one of the effective anxiety reducers.
Be patient. Patience is a virtue. I remember hearing this expression growing up. I didn’t understand, yet alone care. I wanted what I wanted, in an instant. This was in every area of my life. I never thought my attitude was already affecting me. Being impatient makes me feel anxious already.
Patience is about accepting things as they are and waiting with grace. You can’t speed something up just because you want to. Wasting energy by getting frustrated that something — or someone — isn’t moving at your desired, hurried pace is a waste of energy. Furthermore, a waste of emotion.
Rushing to do something always leave us feeling stressed and anxious. I’ve long noticed that when I do something in a hurry, I make more mistakes and it takes me longer in the end because I have to re-do what wasn’t done properly. Minimizing stress and anxiety is a goal you should always strive for (unless you want to rely on anxiety reducers). I’ve also found that actions like taking simple, slow walks can be amazingly life-changing.
Going back to my desire to go visit the beach. It has actually something to do with slowing down to keep my anxiety away. By going to the beach, it changed so much in me like:
— I feel better. I know this sounds vague, but this was just an overall feeling of calm. My focus and concentration on tasks at hand felt sharper.
— My sleep was deeper. And, the mind wasn’t racing as much as usual when it was time to sleep. This was a huge relief for me and made a major difference in my quality of sleep.
— I wasn’t as irritated while driving, waiting in line, waiting for appointments. I even had a doctor’s appointment where I waited for almost an hour….patiently. I used the time to read and also just sit there and think. Imagine?! It was life changing.
– It also made me more observant and patient with my family. I also listened deeper and really took the time to be present with them.
— I noticed things I hadn’t seen before. Ever gone somewhere very quickly, and then gone slowly, and noticed so many things you never saw when going fast? There’s a beautiful tree on the corner of my street that’s in blossom. I never even noticed that before. How? I must’ve passed it hundreds of times.
— I felt more creative. It was as if my brain had the time and space to get creative. Slowing down is life-changing, it opens you up to inspiration. New ideas can’t settle if you’re moving too fast; they can’t catch up to you. Also, my writing sessions were more productive. I allotted a certain time in the day for just that. So when I sat to write, I didn’t feel like I needed to hurry through it. It was my writing time; everything else could wait.
Imagine, it took me one small step, one of those natural anxiety reducers, and true enough, it helped me think and feel better. It helped me keep sane and away from further damage. I mean, I do not want to live a life filled with anxiety or stress. As much as possible I want to attain a positive, peaceful life.
By the way, you are not limited to just doing any or all of the five anxiety reducers as there are a lot more. You just got to try out and stick to what suits you best. Remember, we only live once, so better stay healthy, and stress and anxiety-free!