I deal with anxiety. There's no shame in that. My mind works on active and overdrive non stop. The last thing I need is someone making me feel worse about the anxiety so I've learn to cope with things over these last 40 years. How? Some are natural (which means I can control myself ) and other times there is my good friend Xanax.
I try to go the natural route but damn, some days and situations require a stronger force and I reach for what works. I'm also not pushing pills on anyone -- to each their own. I know for me, my mind needs a break when life gets super hard and none of the "natural anxiety remedies" work. But, luckily for me, 90% of the time, these natural anxiety home remedies do work and I wanted to share them.I break things down differently than most people - I keep it real to what I actually do. I hope some of these work for you and if you try them -- let me know.
8 Natural Remedies for Anxiety that Actually Work
Acknowledge it and allow yourself to feel it: I read about this one several years ago and it wasn't until recently that I started practicing it. I know, it's gonna sound like I need someone to feed me jello while my hands are tied behind my back in a straight jacket--but this actually works. When you start feeling that anxious feeling you say something like this: "Hey, anxiety, I really, really, appreciate you showing up. I know you're only looking out for me and this is my body's natural response to this particular situation--but I got this. I won't ask you to leave, you're welcome to stay for the ride but you will NOT even touch the radio station. You can create your own dialogue to tailor it to your situation but you will see that just by acknowledging it, it will begin to dissipate just a little. For me, it cuts it in half and I can totally deal with that.
Go for a walk, but walk with intent: Don't just slap a hoodie on and go around the block and come back and leave me a nasty comment on here that I suck and it didn't work. Nope. Go outside and "notice" things. Notice your breathing. Notice the trees. Notice the colors. Notice that the people around you are not falling apart because of the "situation" you're experiencing which means, you won't fall apart either. TRUST ME ON THIS. Start to notice things on the outside and the "inside stuff" won't seem all that important. *Disclaimer: Don't go too far into noticing things and get charged for "peeping" in someone window and then use your one phone call to call me and demand I bail you out. NOT GONNA HAPPEN.
Go to the Dollar Store with a $5 budget and get creative: OMG. Go do the Dollar Store Challenge. It's where you go to the dollar store and buy things and then come home and make something with your items. Here is an example. The point of this activity is to get your mind to break with the anxiety-ridden thoughts and get them to move onto something more constructive. I get it, you're at work and you can't pull a Martha Stewart in the conference room with a glue gun and some dead flowers--but you can go on your lunch break or after work and do it. If you do this one -- let me know what you make. I really won't care, but as long as it helps you--that's all that matters.
Go to the gym: This one, I feel like a HIPPOcrite. Get it? Okay, never mind. Screw you, it was funny. I say I'm a hypocrite because this one is a hard one for me -- but I actually did it today! I got up and went to the gym and released tons of serotonin and endorphins. Ah, the same chemicals released when smoking crack! Isn't life grand? Getting your fitness on and reducing your anxiety is killing two birds with one stone. (Hold on, PETA is on the phone) Okay, I'm back. Go to the gym.
Play music: Create a playlist in advance -- when you're not experiencing a lot of anxiety so you have it handy. Research shows that we need to¬†"break" our thought patterns when feeling anxious, pretty much, get your mind to think of something else. But on something that will get your mind off of things for an extended period of time. Music will accomplish that. Song after song after song (if you did it right) will get you into the groove and away from whatever is producing so much anxiety in your life (at this very moment). You can combine this with #4 and you again are killing two birds with one stone. (Hold on, it's PETA again, damn it!)
Call a friend and talk: But don't call that friend who thinks their life is perfect. They will only make you feel worse by saying things like, "Oh, you should feel lucky you have XYZ," or "Stop thinking about that, it doesn't do you any good," and the best one yet, "Oh, that's sad, see, my life is perfect so I can't relate." That's not the friend you need to call. You need to call that friend who will listen and just be there for you. And screw that other friend--her life isn't perfect, in fact, she hasn't had sex with her husband in weeks and she spends too much time stalking her ex on his Instagram. Just wait until she accidentally "likes" one of his photos and let's see who has anxiety now, Tammy? (If you're saying to yourself you don't have that type of friend that you could call on, consider joining our Facebook community here and you can at least be a part of our world -- but gotta warn you, it's a little cray!)
Sex, sex, and more sex: Remember that research and science thing I mentioned above? Anything that will break your current thought pattern and get your mind on something else? I mean, come on -- sex! And if you're alone...so what? Still the answer is sex--you know what I mean? Depending on how long you're enjoying the dirty monkey dance--it can totally get your mind off (and other parts of your body) of things. (Pun intended)
Light a scented candle: It seems like the list hit a climax and then it fizzled out with this one, right? WHATEVER! Don't judge me. Instead, go light a candle. Studies show that when you introduce a soothing smell to the situation--it actually breaks the chain of anxiety thoughts and gets you to recall moments of joy associated with that smell. Get a pumpkin pie scented candle to remind you of overeating and wearing elastic pants at Thanksgiving, or tropical breeze to take you back to your anniversary in Miami where your hair got you mistaken for Don king because of the humidity and frizz but on the plus side--you got into brunch with ease! If you can't light a candle (maybe you're at work) then bust out that lavender scented lotion and schmear it all over to calm you down--just breathe it all in. Candles can be expensive so I found this deal for you on Amazon. Get 10 votive candles for $20.¬†WHAT?! (*Disclaimer: That is an affiliate link but regardless, the deal is amazing so why can't we both win?)
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Let me know which ones you try or which ones I should add. Leave a comment and let's discuss.