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Posted January 14, 2021 by Chris in Features
 
 

Want To Treat Stress & Anxiety? Try These 7 Natural Remedies

Healthy Living Starts With Healthy Thinking

Stress and anxiety are natural feelings that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. Yet about 11.6% of Canadian adults regularly experience strong (diagnosable) symptoms of anxiety, and more than one-quarter of those people report that their stress and anxiety make both work and basic everyday activities difficult to do. It makes sense that people with a high level of anxiety sensitivity often have the hardest time implementing meaningful health behavior changes.

Science-Backed Stress & Anxiety Remedies*

Broadly speaking, the most effective solutions for stress relief and anxiety management take some time and effort to enact. For example, people with depression and anxiety report feeling significantly better after an average of 6-8 sessions, with anxiety (especially) needing long-term buy in to resolve. Likewise, pharmaceutical treatment for anxiety often takes a full twelve months to complete.

Some natural remedies can help minimize stress and anxiety and help diminish their impact on your health, starting right now.

1. Vitamin & Mineral Supplements Supported By Nutritional Neuroscience

Nutritional deficiencies can cause and contribute to stress, anxiety, and other mood disorders. That’s why adopting nutrition-supportive healthy living habits — especially taking natural supplements — has the potential to significantly improve and stabilize mood for nearly anyone who tries it. The supplements with the strongest effect on anxiety and stress symptoms include:

  • B-complex vitamins (especially B1, B2, B6, and B12)
  • Folate
  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Lithium
  • Selenium
  • Zinc

2. Natural Herbs With Adaptogenic Properties

Some natural herbs can provide non-pharmaceutical relief from stress and anxiety. Adaptogenic herbs, for example, can soothe symptoms of emotional stress and help the body better mediate fight-or-flight responses to anxious situations. Healthy living experts often attribute these effects to the ways that adaptogenic herbs alter the body’s hormone production and other physiological responses to stress (blood pressure, heart rate, neurological processes); this stops stress reactions in their tracks.

Kratom is another natural herb with stress and anxiety relieving properties. Many plant-derived supplements claim to lower users’ inhibitions, but kratom is one of the few natural supplements to have empirical evidence to support these claims. In mental health applications, kratom acts as a natural antidepressant and anxiolytic, with fewer negative mental health effects than opioids used for similar reasons. Many stores in Canada and the U.S. currently offers kratom for sale in various forms, such as powder, capsule, and extract.

 

3. Oral Tonics Made With Healing Plants

Some of the fastest-acting remedies for anxiety and stress are tonics (drinks and under-the-tongue drops) derived from healing plants and their volatile oils. For example, there is some scientific evidence that teas or tinctures made from certain plants — including chamomile, hops, valerian root, lemon balm, and passionflower — can reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and cause people to feel more calm and alert.

4. Cut Out Caffeine

In Canada, 20% of men and 15% of women aged 31-70 often exceed the recommended daily dose of caffeine. For people who are already stressed or anxious, this creates a compounding problem; excess caffeine elevates the level of stress hormones in the brain and body.

Replacing caffeine with natural substitutes — like chicory root, lemon water, and golden milk as well as matcha, chai, or rooibos tea — can de-escalate stress/anxiety.  

5. Try Aromatherapy With Anxiety-Targeting Scents

Even among healing plants, some stand out as exceptionally effective aromatherapeutic remedies for stress. This includes:

  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Marjoram
  • Rosemary
  • Tea Tree
  • Cyprus
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Bergamot
  • Geranium.

That said, the impact of aromatherapy comes from more than just the neurochemical stimulation caused by essential oils. Even the act of burning incense as a personal or religious ritual can instill a sense of calm (this is best done outside).

6. Take Control Of Your Breath

Breathing exercises are a fixture of many different calming and meditative practices. That’s no surprise; learning breath awareness and control is empirically proven to change the parasympathetic nervous system (which is responsible for stress responses and the physical symptoms of anxiety). What’s more, practicing deep breathing, even outside of a dedicated mindfulness practice, can restore normal breathing and heart rate/blood pressure function in stressful or high-anxiety situations. 

7. Take Control Of Your Mindset

It is true that the mind is a powerful thing. That’s why meditation and mindfulness — especially Guided Imagery exercises — can dramatically reduce the physical and emotional impact of stress and anxiety.

Guided Imagery exercises involve focusing on pleasant visualizations and situations. The physiological impact of this action is significant; 30 minutes of Guided Imagery practice has a similar impact on body tension and relaxation as a 15-minute massage.

 

*Some natural supplements may potentially interact with prescription medications or exacerbate underlying conditions; make sure to consult your physician before adding anything new to your stress- and/or anxiety-management plan. 


Chris

 
I listen to and write about music!