Anxiety is a serious issue that affects several people. In the United States, as many as 27 million people resort to anti-anxiety pills to help them calm their nerves. As effective as these prescriptions can be, they do come with various health risks that can worsen with increased frequency of use and dependency. If you are dealing with anxiety, it may be worth your while to hold off on getting a doctor's prescription and trying these natural remedies first. The following alternatives may be effecting in helping you calm your anxiety without the unwanted side effects:
#1 Regulate your gut
Several studies have shown a link between gut activity and various mood and behavioral disorders, including anxiety. Within your gut live certain species of bacteria that can affect the signals your gut sends to your brain. The more your stomach is irritated, the more mood-triggering signals the gut will send to your brain, resulting in a rise in your anxiety levels. That being said, a healthier gut can really help alleviate anxiety-related symptoms. Some ways to achieve this include quitting sugar (since the gut bacteria love feeding on sugar), eating low-toxin, anti-inflammatory foods, and consuming pre-biotics.
#2 Exercise regularly
There is plenty of research to suggest that cardio workouts can be just as effective for treating anxiety as prescription medications. That's because exercise is a natural way to trigger the release of beneficial neurotransmitters in the body. Endorphins, in particular, work by attaching to pleasure receptors in your brain, which then lowers your stress levels and increases your feelings of euphoria. Some forms of aerobic exercise which can help with endorphin release include, walking, jogging, and swimming performed at moderate intensity for 15 to 30 minutes. Three times a week will suffice.
#3 Switch your perspective
Anxiety gets worse with negative thoughts. If you can somehow control the way you think so that your negative thoughts turn into positive ones, you can do wonders for your anxiety. The more self-aware you are of your negativity, the more your brain can work on rewiring itself to think with a more realistic outlook. A good practice is to write down your negative thoughts as they come up and analyze them by answering a series of questions, with the last question calling for an alternate way to look at the situation. The more open you are with your thoughts, the more you can control how they affect your mood.
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#4 Acupressure relief
There are seven acupressure points you can activate to lower your anxiety. The process is called the Emotional Freedom Technique, or tapping. Each of the points is activated in a specific sequence during a negative thought, with the purpose of changing the way the body reacts to a bad circumstance. Pairing a stressful situation with a soothing action like tapping can distract your body from the neurotransmitter disruptions that are happening in the brain and are causing your anxious responses. The theory is that eventually, your body will get used to the association and your negative thoughts will no longer pose a threat in your mind.
#5 Eat More Good Fats
Don't believe the magazines—not all fats are bad for you. In fact, good, high-quality fats actually have several benefits to the body. Not only does it keep you full longer and make you less "hangry," but it also helps keep your blood sugar at steady levels and your moods stabilized. If your body lacks a sufficient amount of good fats, the brain starts to become stressed looking for some. Add some good fats to your diet by eating grass-fed beef, dark chocolates, avocado, and pastured egg yolks.