5 Ways to Cure Anxiety Naturally
Anxiety is Rampant
There are more people being diagnosed with anxiety disorders these days than ever before. Is it because of the state of the world? Is it the environmental toxins? Could it be the new pressures and responsibilities on us? Or is it something in the food we are eating? Perhaps it's a combination of all of these things that are causing our rampant anxiety, but one thing is for sure... it happens to a lot of people and most are unsure as to how to rid themselves of the anxiety.
Anxiety is something that everyone experiences at some point in their lives, but whether or not you live with it continually will determine what steps you need to take to manage it. Anxiety is not something you have to live with forever. It is completely curable. It is up to you whether you want to truly free yourself from it, though. No one else can cure you, nor can a pill. You have to take control of your own mental and emotional health.
Here are five ways to naturally cure your anxiety. Some people might only need to do one of these, while others might need two or three... or all five. Try one to see if it works and then add onto it with the next suggestion and see what works for you best! Do all five and see a world of difference in your health from your mind to your body and everywhere in between.
1. Regular Exercise
The number one way to naturally cure anxiety is regular exercise. Shocked? You shouldn't be! Most people don't realize the many benefits of exercise on your mental health. We think exercise equals physical health, but don't forget that your physical health also affects your mental health. When I say regular exercise, I mean to take up a routine exercise regimen and stick to it. This doesn't mean go outside, run around the block once, and you'll be cured of your anxiety. This means set a routine up. This could be a routine of 2 days of cardio for 30 minutes each day and then 2 days of weight training for 30 minutes each day, then repeat each week. Or it could mean going for a 30 minute run 3 days in a row on a weekly basis. Or it could even mean doing yoga once a week, weights once a week, and two rigorous walks a week. Whatever works best for your body type and your schedule, do that. But just do something on a regular basis.
Another note on the regular exercise - leisurely walking once a week isn't enough. You have to do something that gets your heart beating. This is what will help release the endorphins in your brain...those feel-good chemicals that lift your mood and elevate your energy! These help combat depression and anxiety. Your body was made to move on so many levels, so when it doesn't move...it only makes sense that we don't feel right mentally. Keep that in mind. If you only do one of the recommendations on this list, this should be the ONE you choose! I promise, your body and mind will thank me.
If you only do one of the recommendations on this list, regular exercise should be the ONE you choose! I promise, your body and mind will thank me.— Nicole Canfield
2. Go Outside
Studies have shown that humans need to be connected with their natural environment to be fully healthy in body, mind, and spirit. As a modern society, we have gotten away from our most primal and natural roots. We sit under false fluorescent lights, stare at computer and TV screens, flip through our cell phones, and generally stay indoors ninety-percent of the time. There's usually an excuse why we don't go outside - it's too hot, it's too cold, it's windy, I'm tired, etc. Stop making excuses and get your butt outdoors!
Some people think if they go outside they have to do something elaborate, but this is just not true. If you've already gotten your exercise in for the week, why not sit by the pool or go to the beach on a hot summer's day? If it's winter and it's rather chilly, spark up a bonfire and roast some marshmallows under the stars. Neither of these recommendations require a lot of money or effort and get you outside and connected with nature. Go for a walk, do some yardwork you've been avoiding, sit under a shady tree and read a book. Nature is not only good for your mental health, it is also good for your physical health. There have been studies done that show the positive effects on a person's time in nature and their blood pressure levels. There is a correlation here, so use it. If you're feeling extra anxious at work or at home, go for a walk around the block to breathe some fresh air and clear your head. On your time off, dedicate even just an hour to being outside. I promise you will feel better. Nature is the best medicine.
3. Positive Affirmations & Thought Patterns
This is a big one, people. Your state of mind has such an impact on your entire being. People don't realize it, but often we put ourselves into a state of anxiety and then we keep ourselves there! We are taught by western medicine and mainstream media that anxiety is something that happens to us...that's it's an unavoidable chemical imbalance in our brains that we just can't help. This is untrue. Don't let the pharmaceutical companies and psychiatrists fool you into believing this. While there are surely some chemical imbalances going on in your brain when you are in a state of anxiety, this is something that can indeed be managed and ultimately cured...and it's something you can fix yourself without the use of medications!
What I'm referring to is your thought patterns. Let me explain. If you have a stressor that is outside of yourself, for example your boss is breathing down your neck to get a presentation ready in the next five hours, this can cause your anxiety to rise. You might be thinking, "Oh my God. How am I going to get this done in such a short amount of time? What if I can't get it done? What if he doesn't like it? What if the presentation goes incredibly wrong and I get fired?" This is a negative thought pattern and isn't serving to lower your anxiety but is building it up. You are unknowingly and unconsciously feeding the anxiety monster in your brain! How can you stop this? By living in the present moment. By acknowledging the anxiety you might be feeling because of an outside stressor. And by changing the way you perceive and think about it.
How can you change your negative thought patterns? By consciously making an effort to identify your negative thoughts. For example, if you find yourself thinking "I'm never going to get this presentation done on time", stop yourself. Identify the negative thought for what it is and tell yourself something positive instead. "I'm a hard worker and I'm finishing this presentation in the next hour." This is a tough thing to accomplish, to retrain your thoughts into a positive thought pattern, but once you've worked on it long enough it starts to become second nature....then eventually you're thinking positively nearly one-hundred percent of the time!
In addition to retraining your thought patterns into more positive thought patterns, you can also use positive affirmations to help you manage and eventually cure your anxiety. What are positive affirmations? When you start feeling anxious about something, tell yourself "I am okay. I am healthy and breathing. I am worthy of love. I am beautiful. I am strong." Any and all of these are useful as positive affirmations depending on the situation and what thought patterns you are working on. If you have to put a post-it note on your mirrors in your house and vehicle that remind you of these, DO IT! Positive thought patterns make you live in the present, anxiety is you worrying about the future...about something that hasn't happened yet. Don't do that. Live here and now and be happy with what you have!
4. Limit TV / Radio / Social Media
Ahhhhh, you knew I was going to say this, didn't you? We are all guilty of this. We all perpetuate this cycle of self-abuse in one way or another. Why? Because it's everywhere. We have televisions in our homes (some of us in nearly every room), we have computers in our laps and on our desks and at our fingertips in the form of smart phones and watches and robots and tablets and gaming devices. While our modern day technology makes life so much easier in so many ways, it can also cause an unwanted amount of stress which can eventually add to one's anxiety.
How does TV, radio, and social media add to anxiety? You probably know the answer to this question already. Let's start with the negative posts we see in our FaceBook feeds on a nearly-daily basis. Sad news about people dying of rare diseases, violent videos of people fighting one another in airports, political rants and rumors, religious debates, people arguing with other people over issues that are important but don't need to ruin our day! I am guilty of allowing these things to bother me, sometimes. Nevermind the fact that we have to see negative things on the TV and hear it on the radio/podcasts (etc), we see it literally everywhere there is a piece of technology in our faces. So if you are a person who is very sensitive to world issues and to social drama, now is the time to limit your TV / radio / social media consumption. Set a goal for yourself - 30 minutes of TV a day and 15 total minutes of social media consumption a day. Hold yourself to this goal. If you have to delete FaceBook (GASP!) off of your phone for a few weeks or months, DO IT. I'm not saying to go off the grid completely and forever, because it is important to understand what's going on in our communities, but again, negativity only serves to worsen anxiety and provide unnecessary stressors in an already-stressful modern life.
If you have to delete FaceBook (GASP!) off of your phone for a few weeks or months, DO IT! Negativity only serves to worsen anxiety and provide unnecessary stressors in an already-stressful modern life.— Nicole Canfield
Sleep is good. Good for your body. Good for your mind. Good for your soul. Good for your entire family! You might be thinking, I don't have a lot of time to sleep every night. By the time I get home from work, eat dinner, get the kids to bed, etc. my wife wants my time and so I watch TV with her until midnight. Then I wake up at five thirty to do it all over again the next day. I get it. It doesn't seem there's enough hours in the day to appease everyone in our lives, does it? HOWEVER, if you are skimping yourself on your body's much-needed sleep, STOP. Move some things around in your schedule and start making it a priority to get to sleep at a decent time each night and around that same time every night!
Some people might say, but Nicole, I have insomnia. I can't sleep a full seven hours. Okay, try this. Go back to the beginning of this article and review numbers 1 through 4. Do all four and then come back and tell me if you're not able to sleep a solid six hours every night, at least! Usually our diurnal clocks are out of balance because other parts of our lives are out of balance. Start exercising regularly (and preferably in the morning or at least three hours before bedtime), cut the TV and computers off at least thirty minutes before bedtime, get outdoors, and rearrange your thought patterns and I can guarantee you'll be ready to sleep long before midnight rolls around. And guess what? You start sleeping regularly and peacefully, and it will only help to reduce your anxiety in the long run.
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© 2017 Nicole Canfield