If you are curious to know what the natural remedies for anxiety are, this article will give you some of the information you need to get started with your research.
Herbs for Anxiety
Lemon Balm is a palatable and fresh tasting herb from the mint family which goes well as a tea, or a supplement. According to FoodMatters.TV research has shown that lemon balm can reduce anxiety and improve calmness. The information available on whether it makes you drowsy or not is confusing, so the best thing is to try it at night – and see how sleepy you get. If you’re OK then it’s a remedy to take during the day, but best left to night time if you feel drowsy.
Valerian is suitable for ‘just before bed’ as one of your natural remedies for anxiety. The oil in the roots are used so it’s not as palatable as the leaves of the lemon balm. You can take a supplement in capsule form rather than a tincture, to disguise the bitterness and smell. It is used as a remedy for improving sleep and naturally contains GABA, a neurotransmitter which regulates brain activity. So taking GABA from Valerian root (over a few days, for it to be effective), could have a calming effect on your racing thoughts and anxious feelings.
Food for anxiety
What about water?
Drinking enough water each day is key to your body and mind functioning optimally. So water should be your No 1 natural remedy for anxiety. Dehydration can cause your body and mind to operate ‘on reserves’ so your thinking and feelings will be off kilter. This is compounded if you are still taking caffeine as that further dehydrates you. In short you just can’t think straight when your brain is as dry as a sponge and if you suffer with anxiety, that’s not a good place to be.
However, the thought of drinking 8 large glasses of water a day can be overwhelming. Especially if you don’t drink any at all right now . So start with baby steps. Buy a small plastic bottle, or drink from a small glass, to begin with. You’ll get much more satisfaction from finishing one drink that you will with a large bottle you’ve only sipped out of still on your desk at the end of the work day. You can also make water taste better by adding a squeeze of lemon, a slice of cucumber, a dash of fresh juice (just to take the edge off!), or even throw in a few delicious goji berries that not only contain antioxidants but make the water taste better too.
You can also try warm water with lemon, if it’s cold out, and remember herbal teas count as water too! Try to avoid squash and sugars – or at least just add a tiny bit while you’re weaning yourself off.
Once you’re hydrated, your will naturally want to snack less and you will naturally turn to water instead of food – honestly – it’s the truth! So increasing your water intake as a natural remedy for anxiety will also help you to avoid sugary carbs and have less sugar spikes and become more balanced.
What about food?
There’s a lot of contradictory evidence for and against protein and carbs – so simply pay attention to the agreed voice which says no processed foods. Also, check out if you are allergic to any foods – dairy, gluten etc as avoiding these will keep your system in balance (allergies make the system angry).
The best types of food which act as natural remedies for anxiety are those containing the amino acid tryptophan. In short, tryptophan helps make serotonin, which is the happy neurotransmitter in the brain. Bananas, oats, poultry, cheese, chicken, nuts, peanut butter, soy and sesame seeds contain tryptophan.
However, If you’re feeling low and tired, the last thing you’re going to want to do is stand in the kitchen cooking some elaborate healthy food recipe (especially those from a super glossy blog that makes it look so easy!).
So here is how to have a few good snacks around which can turn into your dinner when you just can’t get your thoughts together and need to eat something.
Try a combination of these:
- Cooked chicken pieces, or marinated tofu pieces. Halloumi or feta cheese is also nice
- Bag of spinach or dark green leaves
- Small tomatoes
- Salad dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar
And add these:
- Corn or Rice cakes (with sesame seeds in if you can)
- Hummus or bean pate
- Peanut butter
- Nuts and seeds (buy a mixed bag if you’re not sure what you like)
That way, when you’re feeling low, but you’re hungry, you can throw these on a plate and feed on brain friendly food. That’s what I do. I choose foods to put together so I don’t even have to get a knife out to cut anything or cook (or wash up!) – I literally open things and eat – which also reduces levels of anxiety – so it’s a win win!
Magnesium can be found in food but studies have shown that most people do have some kind of magnesium deficiency. Low magnesium levels have been linked to a very long list of symptoms and conditions, from chronic fatigue to muscle cramps and poor sleep. It is particularly associated with feelings of anxiety, and with depression.
Magnesium is the queen of supplements – and definitely a natural remedy for anxiety as it is naturally found in the body – it’s just that we don’t have enough of it any more. Try taking it in the evening before bed so it can work on you overnight. And, try a magnesium oil on your skin as it will absorb very well.
Staying away from caffeine which is a stimulant, needs to be on your natural remedies for anxiety ‘to do’ list. Substituting decaf coffee and decaf tea is a start (not all of the caffeine is removed), but if you’re really serious then switching to something else is a must-do. But it can be hard to wean yourself off, so start slowly. If you really can’t do without coffee, try a coffee substitute made from barley (there is a gluten free version around), even if you only switch out the afternoon drinks at first.
You know that there are loads of teas around whose properties are natural remedies for anxiety like chamomile. So be brave and add some new flavours to your taste palate. If you’re a tea and two sugars person switching over to a herbal might be too much of a leap, so – try Rooibos which is the most like ‘regular’ tea but has no caffeine, and you can add milk but it’s great on its own. Plus, it comes in all sorts of flavours such as Earl Grey and honey and vanilla.
Check out http://www.calmer-you.com/tea-for-anxiety/ some other suggestions.
Lavender. The most popular essential oil to have in your tool kit is lavender. It has properties that have been proven to be natural remedies for anxiety. Studies have shown a marked decrease in anxiety levels and improved cognitive function with the application of lavender. It’s readily available, and if you’re starting out, or not sure if it’s for you, then go for a ‘remedy roller’ so it’s less concentrated and easier to use.
If you’ve already tried lavender and are curious to add another wonderful fragrance then the good news is that lavender goes with a lot of other essential oils. If you like Chamomile tea then you could try a Roman chamomile essence to go with it, which helps clear mental paralysis, and so is a go to natural remedy.
You could buy a blend already made up – there are lots available. You could also create your own natural remedies for anxiety and blend your own, if you’re a bit more experienced. We’ve recommended a few on our blog: http://www.calmer-you.com/five-essential-oils-for-anxiety
So you could try some specific supplements like Magnesium, or a herb like Valerian which have been proven as natural remedies for anxiety. However we’d like to suggest you start with increasing your water intake, and choosing foods which are good for your brain, as you can do that pretty immediately and they’re probably the most natural remedies for anxiety you can find!
In fact – why not go and drink a glass of water right now, and start as you mean to go on!
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