Here are ten natural solutions to treat anxiety
In this time of Covid crisis, more and more people are suffering from anxiety attacks and even chronic anxiety. Here we offer ten effective solutions and techniques to deal with these emotions without resorting to chemical drugs.
The first remedy to combat anxiety is the practice of a sports activity. Indeed physical activity has an antidepressant and anti-anxiety effect. It is not only a question of walking, but of practicing an intense activity that will make your heart work and thus stimulate the whole metabolism. This will automatically mobilize your attention enough to put your mental anxieties and ruminations in the background. And the more you push your limits, the more you will increase your self-esteem. What’s more, an intense practice releases endorphins, which act similarly to opium, generating a state of well-being.
Breathing slowly and deeply provides a soothing effect. You can find many breathing exercises, especially in the Prânayama. They always consist of conscious, abdominal and ample breathing. For example, you can count 4 during the breath, keep your lungs full for 7 seconds, then exhale for 8 to 10 seconds, and so on. This conscious breathing will again mobilize your attention. What’s more, slowing down the breathing rate and breathing through the stomach provides indoor calm and safety.
3. Challenge yourself
Imposing a difficult or unpleasant routine at first, will strengthen the will and determination. Persistent and progressing, the mind strengthens and self-confidence grows. It’s up to everyone to choose their own challenge. For example, one can decide to get up early morning, when we would prefer to stay in bed, to go for a walk, run, or meditate.
You can choose to experiment with cold showers or baths. This practice is very powerful to strengthen the immune system. It also increases the secretion of endorphins, a source of pleasure and of well-being. It therefore has both a stimulating and relaxing effect.
What’s more, simply succeeding in your challenge builds self-confidence. Anxiety will be automatically reduced.
4. Pratice benevolent actions
In anxiety, one tends to confine one’s thoughts that loop in one’s head. As a result, we forget that contact with others can bring us joy and comfort. Paying attention to others, their smiles, giving them services: all these little benevolent acts are contagious and bring us in return a well-being. Anxiety will diminish, and the love and benevolence that we have radiated will come back to us in return.
The practice of meditation is becoming more and more popular. Indeed, it has highly beneficial effects on the physical and mental. It is particularly effective in teaching us to regulate our emotions, and to distance ourselves from our thoughts. Meditating, unlike relaxation, is not lying on your bed listening to relaxing music. Although relaxation can be interesting too.
Meditation is practiced in lotus position, half-lotus, or tailor, spine straight, knees on the ground. Once well positioned, you just have to breathe deeply, relax, welcome your emotions, observe your thoughts and let them pass as you watch a train pass by. Whatever emotion overwhelms you (anxiety, anger, or fear), the worst is trying to fight it. The most effective is to welcome it, feel it physically, and breathe. It will then subside over time. Finally, to be sustainably beneficial, meditation requires at least once a day, for at least 20 minutes.
6. Pratice an art
The practice of an art brings joy, and obliges, by the concentration it requires, to put on hold haunting thoughts, worries.
The focus that this practice requires in the learning phase forces us to surpass ourselves, and progressing in an art increases self-esteem.
What’s more, the more we master it, the more the practice of an art elevates our soul, gives us pleasure and joy. And anxiety is forced to retreat!
7. Improve your lifestyle
Anxious people have a great interest in paying close attention to their diet, and their lifestyle in general. The temptation in case of anxiety may be to distract with alcohol, cigarettes, or to abuse coffee. If alcohol can temporarily make us forget the anxiety, it does not solve anything and may even increase it once the euphoric effect has subsided. It is also important to get enough sleep time, to eat healthily and at regular times. Finally, it is essential to spend time in contact with nature, which has a balancing effect on our whole mind-body.
8. Essential oils
The essential oil (HE) of marjoram shell, which balances the nervous system, is effective in combating anxiety. It can be applied to the plexus, hollow located above the stomach, which is the seat of emotions. This is where you feel a feeling of oppression when you are anxious. Use: Pour 5 drops of HE into a teaspoon of vegetable oil (calendula, sweet almond…). The plexus is massaged into circles with this mixture for 2 to 3 minutes. You can also use lavender which has a soothing effect.
9. Qi gong
Directly linked to Chinese medicine, the practice of qi gong is a real goldmine to improve health, both physical and mental. The qi gong consists of simple postures or sequences of movements, to be practiced slowly and in conscience. It requires breathing deeply and relaxing, while listening to your body. The qi gong allows vital energy (or qi) to flow throughout the body, thus balancing this energy while increasing it. This means that it is both energized and relaxed.
This practice also helps to regulate our emotions by reducing their impact. You should quickly feel the benefits, even if again, only a regular practice can make a real impact on your health. It is advisable to learn qi gong with a master in qi gong, who can observe and guide you.
Because under its apparent simplicity, the qi gong requires real learning to deliver all these treasures.
If you suffer from chronic anxiety, or panic attacks, don’t hesitate to use outside help to start your healing process. Acupuncture is particularly effective in treating anxiety. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a holistic medicine that works by rebalancing the overall energy of the individual.
It therefore not only treats the physical but acts as a regulator on emotions. Indeed in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), of which acupuncture is a part, each organ is linked to an emotion. For example the liver is associated with anger (or frustration), the kidneys with fear, the lungs to sadness etc. Anxiety is associated mainly with the spleen (and stomach). In a few sessions you should feel much more relaxed, and less anxious. This will give you enough energy to practice the techniques recommended above to maintain this state over the long term.
Covid-19 crisis and anxiety
Since the beginning of the epidemic, psychiatrists have witnessed a flood of children and adolescents suffering from anxiety disorders, various phobias including the fear of suffocation. Others are in an anxiety-depressive state, where fear is mixed with the guilt of transmitting the virus, or the fear of seeing their parents die.
On the adult side, it is not better, with the precariousness of many professional situations, the fear of losing one’s job, not to mention the promiscuity generated by confinement. In short, anxiety has never been better! Moreover, all the measures taken during this crisis, from the wearing of the mask to the confinement, all go opposite to the solutions against anxiety as you will see in this article.