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What are Some Ideas for Natural Anxiety Relief?

By G. Melanson
Updated May 17, 2024
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Over the last decade, much of the stigma surrounding phobias and anxiety issues has been lessened, due in part to a growing awareness of the importance of mental health. More and more often, people are beginning to recognize mental health as an integral part of one’s overall health and well-being. Along with some of this de-stigmatization, however, comes an increase in the availability of medications that relieve anxiety, depression, and treat a variety of other mental health issues. For those looking for ideas for natural anxiety relief, there are several different techniques and natural supplements used to relieve anxiety and stress.

Proper nutrition and a well-balanced diet can play a large role in helping to prevent anxiety and some of the symptoms that accompany it. Many foods which contain B vitamins are said to combat anxiety, stress, and depression. The main vitamin B group includes: B1 (thiamin) which is found in black beans, sunflower seeds, yellow corn and tuna, B3 (niacin) which is found in salmon, chicken, and mushrooms, B12 which is found in yogurt and scallops, and B6 which is found in bananas, bell peppers, and spinach. Along with these nutritional ideas for natural anxiety relief, foods and drinks that are high in sugar or caffeine are typically discouraged, as they can exacerbate such anxiety symptoms as heart palpitation and shaking.

A brisk walk or any other form of exercise can also alleviate anxiety. The deep breathing that accompanies exercise has a calming effect in and of itself, and can also be prompted by aromas such as peppermint, citrus, lavender, or any other pleasing scents that cause one to inhale deeply. Acupuncture and meditation can also induce a state of deep breathing, as can some of the breathing techniques taught in Lamaze classes, such as inhaling quickly three times in a row and then exhaling slowly.

Although watching TV or a movie can help distract one from his or her anxiety, creative pursuits not only lessen anxiety but also potentially help someone deal with its potentially underlying issues. Painting, pottery, and sketching are all good ideas for natural anxiety relief, particularly in situations where verbal or written expression prove difficult. For those who prefer letting it all out using words, keeping a journal of poetry or stream-of-consciousness thoughts can help relieve stress and anxiety.

Natural supplements such as kava kava, valerian, and chamomile are all known to have a tranquilizing effect that is sometimes recommended for treatment of anxiety or insomnia. Regardless of whether or not a supplement is branded as natural, holistic, alternative, or the like, it should only be taken with a doctor’s approval. Herbal remedies and other similar ideas for natural anxiety relief can cause adverse effects just as any pharmaceutical can, especially when mixed with other medications or supplements.

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