The stress of living in the modern world can occasionally leave us feeling stressed, anxious or depleted with its frenetic pace and incessant demands on our time.
Anxiety disorders are the number one mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults every year. Although highly treatable, only 36.9% of people who suffer from anxiety receive treatment for it. There are many ways anxiety can be managed, with anxiety medication being a popular relief method.
In this article, we will look at some other helpful ways for you to relax and reduce any feelings of anxiety.
When you are anxious, your fight or flight response is activated, causing your breathing to become shallow. Taking some deep breaths will relax your nervous system, lower your heart rate and blood pressure. There are several deep breathing techniques that offer benefits including belly breathing, alternate nostril breathing and diaphragmatic breathing.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique is another method to reduce anxiety and involves breathing in for a count of four seconds, holding your breath for a count of seven seconds, and exhaling for a count of eight seconds.
Get Enough Sleep
It has long been known that there is a connection between our sleep and mental state. A study has shown that a sleepless night can increase anxiety by 30% and that deep sleep can act as a natural anxiety reliever. You can sleep better and reduce your anxiety by practicing some helpful steps:
- Establish a bedtime routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time
- Avoid large meals or sugary foods too close to bedtime
- Cut out caffeine as it can take up to ten hours to completely clear from your bloodstream
- Reduce screen time before sleep. Electronic devices emit blue light which suppresses melatonin production, a hormone needed to help you fall asleep
Aromatherapy and Essential Oils
Essential oils are used by many people for the benefits they bring to their emotional well-being. There are many anxiety-relieving oils that can help you to achieve a state of calm and relaxation.
Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils when it comes to treating anxiety as it can induce relaxation and calm the nervous system. Lavender oil also has a sedative effect and may be effective in treating anxiety-related sleep problems such as insomnia.
Some other essential oils which can help reduce anxiety include valerian, jatamansi, holy basil, bergamot, rose, geranium and sandalwood.
Spend Time in Nature
Being in nature can help to release feelings of anxiety while boosting your mood and overall state of being. Taking in some fresh air and sunlight can work wonders to lower your heart rate and blood pressure while giving your mind a sense of peace, as it comes into harmony with its surroundings.
Whether it’s a short walk in the park, a weekend hike or some forest bathing, allowing your senses to bask in the natural elements while getting some exercise is a great way to reduce feelings of anxiety.
Try incorporating these four tips into your daily routine and you’ll see benefits to your mental state and overall well-being.