We all know the feeling of anxiety: that gut-wrenching, sometimes-paralyzing, always-awful, downward-spiral feeling. Whether it’s a quick bout of nerves before that big presentation or the more chronic kind that stays with you day after day, we’re here to help you out with some natural ways to alleviate those anxious feelings.
While using a weighted blanket is our number one go-to method to aid anxiety (duh!), there are many other things you can do in combination with that to set yourself up for a relaxing day, sans anxiety. Here’s our top ten tips on how to feel cool, calm, and collected in no time.
1. Breathe In, Breathe Out
Perhaps the simplest strategy to employ, deep breathing is your BFF when it comes to calming down an anxious mind. If you want to go full-blown meditation while sitting on a pillow and burning your palo santo, more power to you! But, it doesn’t have to be that intensive. A simple one-minute exercise of breathing in and out can work wonders. Here’s how to do it: breathe in through your nose to a count of 4 seconds, hold your breath at the top for 6 seconds, and breathe out through your mouth for 4 seconds. Repeat until the relaxation washes over you. Ahhh.
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2. Take A Forest Bath
Forest bathing—a fancy shmancy term for spending time immersed in nature—is both a new trend and a decades-old practice. First developed in Japan (and called “shinrin-yoku” over there), forest bathing has been studied and found to reduce stress, improve mood, and even improve health outcomes. So, go find the nearest source of nature (any secluded green space will do), turn your phone on airplane mode, and leave the earbuds at home. Take a walk through the trees, or just sit and admire the environment around you. Allowing yourself time to do nothing but connect with nature can help to alleviate anxiety faster than you can imagine.
3. Take A Real Bath
Now that you’re back inside after your tranquil time in the trees, hopping into a warm bath can further help to ease your anxiety. While cooler temperatures are recommended in the bedroom for sleeping, raising the heat for a bath can help with those anxious thoughts and feelings. Warm temperatures can relax your muscles, relieve tension, and calm your mind. Put on your favorite music, add some bubbles if you’re feeling whimsical, and melt away. Why do you think hot springs are such a hit!
4. Ditch The Caffeine And Alcohol
That afternoon oat milk latte or the post-work glass of wine may seem like they are helping you to finish the workday or relax when it’s finally done, but the caffeine and alcohol can have detrimental effects on those of us who deal with anxiety. Especially when repeated day after day, these substances can wreak havoc on our adrenal glands. Overworking those poor adrenals by feeding them caffeine and alcohol every day can lead to them becoming fatigued and not producing hormones as they should. End result? You feel tired and anxious, and your brain fog could cover the whole city. Burning the candle at both ends with these two substances can also lead to Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), and if you’ve ever suffered from this affliction, you know it can make sleeping a nightmare. What to drink instead? Keep reading…
5. Break Out The Herbal Teas
Ah, herbal teas. Perfect for a cozy weekend morning snuggling with your weighted blanket, perfect to warm up your hands during the winter chill, and perfect for calming down anxiety. Once you break the caffeine habit, you’ll find yourself craving chamomile and echinacea more than coffee and espresso. Sound impossible? Try replacing just one of your daily cup of Joes with a hot cuppa tea, and gradually wean yourself off the jitter juice one day at a time. Once your body has released its reliance on caffeine, you will feel more zen than ever. And just think of all the money you’ll save!
6. Get Your Heart Pumping
Is there anything exercise can’t help with?! Whether it’s a brisk walk in nature (get a double benefit by forest bathing!) or a sweaty class at your favorite studio, any form of exercise has been found to reduce symptoms of anxiety. Have you heard of those little things called endorphins? These magical chemicals that get produced from exercise can actually act as natural painkillers. This can lead to reduced stress, lowered anxiety, and even better sleep. While a regular exercise routine is best for your overall health (nothing new here!), studies have shown that even five minutes of aerobic exercise can reduce anxiety for hours! Take five minutes off of your usual scroll-through-Instagram routine and use it to get that heart pumping, instead. Speaking of Instagram…
7. Put. Down. Your. Phone.
Oh, smartphones. Talk about a love-hate relationship. Now that we can’t even imagine leaving our homes without that sleek little rectangle tucked away in our pockets (or more often in the tight grasp of our hands), it’s becoming more and more crucial to designate time without our screens. Catching up with friends and family all over the world is a wonderful benefit of technology, but mindlessly scrolling through social media for hours of your day is extremely detrimental to mental health.
Having a screen-time cut-off each night or carving out an hour of tech-free time each day can have an almost immediate effect on alleviating anxiety. It’ll all still be there when you get back, we promise. Forget FOMO. Embrace JOMO!
8. Good Smelling Things
Otherwise known as aromatherapy, good smelling things can alter your mood pretty quickly. You can try an essential oil diffuser like this one, which wafts the oils throughout the room. Candles also get the job done (we’re into eco-friendly candles, like these!).
Lavender has been shown to alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation. Other anxiety-lessening scents include chamomile, bergamot, ylang-ylang, jasmine, and frankincense. Bonus points if you set up your diffuser or candle in the room while you’re getting your bubble bath on!
9. Cleaning Up Your Clutter
We hate to sound like a nagging parent, but cleaning up your space can truly help you feel less anxious. Having too much clutter around can put a big damper on both your productivity and your mood. A chaotic environment can translate to a chaotic mind. We all know how nice and relaxing it feels to have an uber-clean home, with everything in its place.
If you’re feeling buried up to your eyeballs in clutter and don’t know where to start, try carving out just 15 minutes per day this week to clear one spot at a time. Before you know it, your home will be organized and your mind will be at ease.
10. Getting Quality Shut-Eye
Last, but certainly not least, let’s talk about sleep! A good night’s sleep is so crucial to so many aspects of your life. Under-sleeping, whether it’s just one night of inadequacy or more of a chronic issue, can play a huge role in your mood, and negatively impact your health. Anxiety and lack of sleep often become a vicious cycle that’s difficult to break free from. A peaceful midday nap can also do wonders, but it’s no replacement for those 8-hours at night.
Luckily, if you’re following the previous 9 tips here, you may soon see your sleep improving. Exercise and spend time in nature during the day, meditate and take an aromatherapy bath in the evening, ditch the caffeine and alcohol, and give yourself a screen-time cut-off. Throw a Bearaby knitted weighted blanket on yourself, and you’ll be drifting off in no time.
Top 10 Natural Remedies to Alleviate Anxiety
Here’s our top ten tips on how to feel cool, calm, and collected in no time.
There are plenty of natural remedies to help with anxiety, including utilizing meditation, nature, and aromatherapy. The best thing about all of these (besides being natural) are that they’re either free or inexpensive, and relatively convenient. So, no excuses!
Many people could benefit from reducing their “screen time”, in favor of the lost art of real human connection (like face-to-face), and by carving out time to exercise outdoors or at the gym.
Getting great sleep and limiting or avoiding caffeine and alcohol can also help with reducing anxiety. Burning the candle at both ends with java and booze can also lead to or exacerbate RSL, so skip happy hour and switch to tea to get more Zzz’s.
Did you know?
Routine meditation can make decision-making easier and improve your memory. Get ahead by getting into it.