Anxiety is a natural response to the stressors in our lives that, historically, was a way for us to escape possible dangers or fight off an attacker. The fear of harm and the need to survive causes our fight or flight response to react causing our metabolism to speed up, our adrenal glands to kick into high gear, and our muscles to tighten in response to the oncoming threat.
In the modern world, this response is more troublesome because, in most cases, we no longer need to fight off predators or run for our lives to avoid danger. Nowadays, we’re exposed to a different type of stress indicative of modern living.
When faced with important deadlines, meetings, presentations, social obligations, family issues, financial troubles, and other unpleasant situations, our bodies respond as if in danger.
It is this reaction that causes us to endure that constant “fight or flight” mode on a daily basis and it is the resultant chronic anxiety that wears us down.
So, how do we get rid of anxiety naturally so that we can live a normal life again? How do we stop a nervous breakdown?
Today, we’re going to find out!
How to Get Rid of Anxiety Naturally
We are all able to handle the occasional stressful situation or bout of anxiety, but if that anxiety doesn’t dissipate and go away, or if what’s causing the anxiety is a constant companion in our lives, it can lead to some pretty serious health concerns.
Prolonged exposure to stressful situations that cause us to feel anxious can cause a multitude of symptoms which include:
• A “lump in the throat”
• Chest pain
• Constant worry
• Depression impotence
• Diarrhea and other digestive distress
• Difficulty concentrating
• Dry mouth
• Heart palpitations
• High blood pressure
• Low appetite
• Mood swings
• Muscle spasms
• Nervous breakdown
• Nervous sweating
• Panic attacks
• Skin disorders
• Sweaty palms
When anxiety becomes too elevated, a panic attack may be experienced where the heart starts pounding and breathing becomes rapid. Often, a panic attack causes a cold sweat, tingling in the extremities, and dizziness or weakness that can last from a few seconds to half an hour depending on severity. The experience is described as being “terrifying” because you have very little control when a panic attack happens.
Additionally, it is believed that up to 60% of anxiety sufferers experience symptoms of depression which is a major concern because it can make treatment more difficult. Having chronic anxiety can also make existing medical conditions worse which is why it is so important to treat anxiety at the root.
Unsurprisingly, the root cause of anxiety can be much more than just stress.
Here are some of the other root causes of anxiety:
• Adrenal dysfunction
• Dysfunctional serotonin
• Environmental toxins
• Food allergies and intolerances
• Hormone imbalance
• Low blood sugar
• Mitral valve prolapse
• Neurotransmitter imbalances
• Poor nutrition
• Prescription medications
• Sugar intake
• Thyroid issues
In conventional medicine, anxiety is often treated with psychotropic drugs like serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or benzodiazepines which are used to block or delay the reuptake of serotonin or to lower the neuron activity associated with anxiety to help improve your mood.
The downside to these treatments are the side effects (like insomnia, blurred vision, impaired coordination, etc.) and the inability to stop taking them for fear of the anxiety returning.
How to Get Rid of Anxiety Naturally – For Good!
No matter if you suffer from prolonged anxiety or the occasional bout, there are plenty of steps you can take to ease and even eliminate symptoms.
One of the first steps is to rule out any underlying physical causes like hormonal imbalance, thyroid issues, low blood sugar, clinical depression, nutritional deficiencies, and even mitral valve prolapse, a condition where the mitral valve leaflets of the heart bulge and cause palpitations.
Another thing to consider is how much caffeine you consume on a daily basis as it’s the most notorious for causing tension and anxiety. It is even known to worsen anxiety symptoms.
And, let’s not forget alcohol consumption!
If you have any of the above conditions or habits, getting those things treated or corrected is the first step to reduce anxiety naturally.
It may take some time, but it’s well worth the result when you can finally feel like a normal human being again.
Below are some more steps you can take to help cure anxiety in the long term.
How to Calm Anxiety Through Diet
As I’ve mentioned before in countless articles, diet has a profound impact on our physical, emotional, and mental health.
Eating a well-balanced diet that is free of processed and refined foods can significantly – and often completely – alleviate the symptoms of anxiety.
Complex carbohydrates like oats and brown rice naturally contain serotonin, a neurotransmitter that calms the brain and balances emotions.
Also make sure to get in plenty of dark leafy greens, colorful fruits and vegetables, sea vegetables, salmon, sardines, and cultured foods like kefir, yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut into your diet daily. These probiotic foods will help diversify and strengthen your microbiome which has been shown to be very closely linked with mental health.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol as both of these substances cause symptoms of anxiety. Start by weaning yourself off of coffee, black tea, wine, beer, and any other caffeinated or alcoholic beverages even if those drinks seem to ease stress. The bottom line is, these substances only encourage feelings of anxiety and need to be stopped during the healing process.
Also avoid food allergies and intolerances and be sure to keep your blood sugar balanced as fluctuating blood sugar levels cause feelings of irritability, tension, depression, and other feelings that mimic anxiety.
Supplements for Anxiety Relief
5-HTP, or 5-hydroxytryptophan, is a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter known as serotonin.
Serotonin has a profound calming effect on the mind that protects us against the onset of many mental conditions like an anxiety, so it makes perfect sense that elevating serotonin levels would have a positive effect on our mental health.
Since taking 5-HTP increases serotonin levels, it naturally helps regulate mood and sleep patterns and has been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of anxiety due to its calming effects.
However, if you already take anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications, taking 5-HTP is not recommended.
If you are not on any of these medications, then you can take 50-100mg of 5-HTP 2-3x daily in capsule form.
Ashwagandha is truly an amazing herb when it comes to controlling and ultimately stabilizing our stress response.
Known as an adaptogen, ashwagandha is able to condition the body so that it reacts to stressful situations in the best way possible. Not only is it a natural stress reliever, it also helps protect the brain from free radicals and degeneration which inadvertently reduces symptoms of anxiety.
So, if stress is the root cause of your anxiety, I highly recommend trying it out!
GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, is an amino acid with an affinity for reducing anxiety, soothing the nervous system, and reducing tension.
It is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps regulate nerve cells and calm anxiety. GABA is also sedating in nature.
Many conventional drugs like Xanax and Valium increase the production of GABA in the brain to treat anxiety, so why not do it naturally by just taking GABA itself?
This is one of my favorite herbs to use for anxiety! If you have ever wondered how to reduce anxiety naturally or how to stop a panic attack from even occurring, then this is the herb for you.
Kava kava is a non-addictive, non-hypnotic anxiolytic that is known to significantly reduce anxiety, relieve panic attacks, improve mood, and boost social interaction. It does this by stimulating the dopamine receptors in the brain and inducing a sense of euphoria and well-being.
It is super important, however, that you do not take kava kava if you take anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, or medications for Parkinson’s disease. You should also avoid taking kava kava while consuming alcohol especially if you have elevated liver enzymes.
Be aware that kava kava can cause drowsiness.
L-theanine, or L-y-glutamythylamide, is an amino acid that is found primarily in green tea that produces a distinct cognitive enhancement while also having a relaxing and calming effect without sedation.
L-theanine has also been shown to stimulate the brain’s alpha waves which only occur when a person is in a very relaxed state. It also increases dopamine, serotonin, and GABA levels which helps promote positive thinking and discourages obsessive negativity.
Magnesium is responsible for hundreds of roles within the body yet is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies.
Magnesium has a profound effect on the nervous system and can help alleviate feelings of tension, moodiness, and anxiety since it’s closely correlated with GABA function and the regulation of certain hormones that are crucial for relaxation.
If you’re someone who suffers from anxiety due to circulating negative thoughts that prevent you from sleeping well, then passionflower is the herb for you.
Rich in flavonoids like benzoflavone, passionflower helps limit the brain’s excitability and induce a gentle sense of calm and relaxation in the face of hysteria or anxiety driven restlessness.
Homeopathy for Treating Anxiety Naturally
Another way you can support your mental health while healing your anxiety is by using supportive homeopathic remedies.
I’ve listed several below and their specific uses, so choose the ones that resonate best and take two pellets at 30C potency 2x a day to help prevent anxiety or reduce an attack.
Once you feel an improvement, stop taking the homeopathic remedy unless symptoms return.
For a nervous breakdown or acute panic attack, take a 30C potency every 15 minutes for up to 6 doses.
Aconitum Napellus is for especially acute panic attacks where you feel like you might die due to shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or a sense of impending doom.
Arsenicum Album is for anxiety attacks related to an insecurity that is accompanied by fast heartbeat, chills, and lack of appetite who also suffer from OCD-like tendencies.
Calcerea Carbonica is for feelings of overwhelm and anxiety with symptoms of feeling cold and fatigued.
Gelsemium sempervirens is for those who experience anxiety due to stage fright or being in large crowds of people. Diarrhea and nervous trembling are also present.
Ignatia amara is for those who feel moody, weepy, or have a “lump in the throat” due to anxiety that results from emotional trauma.
Kai phosphoricum is for general symptoms of anxiety that is accompanied by fatigue and sluggish memory.
Lycopodium clavatum is for those who suffer from anxiety brought on by lack of confidence and social interactions. Gas and bloating and a craving for sweets is a common symptom.
Pulsatilla is for those who have anxiety due to feelings of being alone.
Acupressure for Anxiety
Lung 1 (Lu1)
Pericardium 6 (P6) and Conception Vessel 17 (CV17)
CV17 is for anxiety that causes feelings of depression. P6 is for nervous tension and can be used at any time even in social situations.
Bladder 23 (B23)
Best for feelings of fear.
Essential Oils for Anxiety
Many essential oils have powerful relaxing properties that can be used to help calm anxiety and ease panic attacks.
Some of the best oils include:
What have been your favorite ways to get rid of anxiety naturally? Please share in the comments below!
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