So often in our society, people want those suffering from anxiety to just “get over it.” Mental illness and anxiety are often misunderstood by those who do not suffer from them, which leads to shame and a spiral into more and more anxieties for those who struggle with them. I’ve included some ideas here that can help you handle mild to moderate anxiety healthfully, mindfully, and naturally.
Please note, if these ideas seem unhelpful or like they are barely scraping the surface, please reach out to a medical professional. You are beautiful and perfect just the way you are, and there is nothing wrong with reaching out for help to get you feeling like your most authentic self.
- “Feel it. The thing that you don’t want to feel. Feel it, and be free” –Nayirrah Waheed
First up, don’t fight your feelings or judge yourself for your worries. Feel whatever it is that your mind and body are trying to feel. I’ve learned from experience that you cannot move on until you feel it and process it in the aftermath. Will this be uncomfortable? Yes. In fact, there are times when it will be downright painful. But it is only through these feelings and these anxieties that you can grow and come through to the other side.
- Take in a deep breath… of lavender. Inhaling certain aromatherapy scents, specifically lavender, can calm and relax you. Find which scent or scents connect with you and help you relax. Lavender may not be what calms you down, and you may prefer a lemon or orange scent, or even peppermint or eucalyptus. Essential oils can be diffused in to the air, rubbed into the skin on pulse points, or carried with you in a purse. Find what works for you, and include your scent of choice in a relaxing ritual.
- Watch what you eat! Avoid certain stimulants, like caffeine and alcohol, and include more foods that boost your omega 3’s, B vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium. A handful of nuts, a smoothie with spinach, or a bowl of berries are all delicious and nutritious anxiety tamers.
- Take another deep breath in… and hold! Measured breathing can work wonders to help people calm their racing mind. Try a 4−7−8 breath. Start by breathing in over a count of four. Then hold your breath for a count of 7. Finally, slowly exhale over a count of 8. Repeat 2–4 times in a row, and you will find that you are much better able to face the anxieties that are worrying you!