Anxiety is increasing at a worrying rate. Today it’s the number one mental health condition, affecting 18% of the population, or nearly 1 in 5 people.
Anxiety can vary in duration and intensity. It ranges from someone with occasional worrying thoughts, all the way to a chronic, debilitating anxiety disorder that's clinically diagnosed.
Everyone is different, and you’ll need to try different remedies and discover which combination works best for you. Here are some mind, body and spirit remedies for anxiety, including vitamins, exercise, mediation and more.
Challenge Your Thoughts - anxiety often originates in thoughts. You think you might lose your job. You're worried that a relationship might end. Try challenging your thoughts. For many people, most worrying thoughts never come true. So ask yourself: what happened when I worried like this in past? Chances are, in most cases, everything turned out fine.
Worst Case Scenario - in his excellent book Quiet Your Mind, John Selby writes he often has patients wth anxiety envision the worst-case scenario. Okay, you lose your job, the relationship ends. Now what? Chances are, you'll find another job, someday you'll be in another relationship. Life is constant change. And perhaps that new job or relationship will be even better.
Exercise More - one remedy that will help you feel more calm is to exercise more frequently. In his groundbreaking book Calm Energy, Robert Thayer notes that the single best antidote to anxiety is exercise. The most effective work out is cardiovascular, such as running, cycling, swimming, or brisk walking. Yoga is also excellent for feeling more calm.
Eat Protein - millions of people start their day eating solely breakfast cereal. By the time lunch rolls around, chances are they've gone 18 hours without any protein. Protein - especially meat, fish and eggs - contains amino acids. Those are the building blocks of neurotransmitters, which help keep you calm and focused.
Vitamins - there are a number of vitamins that are particularly good for anxiety, as explored in The Mood Cure by Julia Ross. I've had great success with GABA, the primary neurotransmitter for calming the nervous system. Also, many people with anxiety suffer from a deficiency of magnesium, so taking a magnesium supplement, especially at bedtime, can be very beneficial.
Meditation - a meditation practice can also be helpful in feeling more calm. A recent study indicates that people with anxiety can get relief after a single meditation session. Meditating regularly is even better, as it calms the nervous system, and quiets the mind. Meditation helps you become more aware of your thoughts, so you can challenge them (see above)
Breath Exercise - practices such as alternate nostril breathing can also be very helpful. Breathing also calms the central nervous system. The awesome thing about breathing exercises is you can do them anytime, anywhere.
What about you?
What are your best natural remedies for anxiety - mind, body and spirit?