Feeling anxious? Er, aren't we all? Nervousness, restlessness and excessive worry are on the rise worldwide, often paired with insomnia and panic attacks. Honestly, just reading it all is making us feel short of breath. These are all symptoms of anxiety and, while common, they have the capacity to sabotage your life if they're not managed effectively.
A constant state of stress or anxiety, which your body experiences chemically, can get in the way of optimum health, wellbeing and success as it compromises your body's strength and affects concentration and clarity - although, arguably, the most detrimental damage is often to your self-confidence. Relief from these symptoms is essential, and can often be achieved through natural remedies. Here are my seven steps for natural anxiety relief:
Anxiety is a sign that you need more self-care and support. Acknowledging this need is important, as simply telling yourself "something is wrong" and dealing with it alone is disempowering and creates more anxiety as a result. Nurturing an awareness of your needs, rather than beating yourself up, is essential to soothing anxiety, and most importantly, paves the way for supportive next steps.
One of my favourite plants for restoring balance is the adaptogen Ashwagandha. Studies have shown that it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 28 per cent, and it's also been proven to reduce anxiety, depression and insomnia. It can take up to four weeks for you to feel the benefits, so I love to take Ashwagandha daily. Add one teaspoon to warm almond milk with a little honey first thing in the morning for a nourishing way to incorporate this adaptogen into your self-care routine.
3. Supportive Foods
To best support your body during a particularly anxious period, eat comforting foods that are warm, grounding and easy to digest. Root vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash and pumpkin are excellent for restoring calm whilst helping you to feel comforted and grounded. Oats, quinoa and brown rice are full of vitamin B, which soothes anxiety, and are also comforting and grounding to eat - much more so than a salad!
4. Don’t Skip Meals
Skipping meals disturbs your digestion, and when your digestion is disturbed, your mood is too. Fluctuating blood sugar and energy levels are fertile ground for anxiety. The worst meal to skip is lunch because your digestion is at its strongest between noon and 2pm, so you could be facing consequences like bloating, digestive discomfort, energy slumps, mood swings and anxiety.
5. Switch Coffee For Tulsi Tea
Caffeine is a stimulant and inflames stress and anxiety, so it's best avoided whilst your body finds its way to a more balanced state. Tulsi tea, also known as Holy Basil, is an amazing adaptogenic plant like Ashwagandha and is said to regulate stress hormones and reduce anxiety. Drinking it a couple of times a day will significantly support your mental and emotional wellbeing, helping to cultivate the internal environment that is conducive to relieving anxiety.
Anxiety can only exist during a state of stress, therefore one of the best ways to relieve anxiety is to encourage your body to operate under a state of peace. Daily deep-breathing sessions can help you achieve this. Slow, deep and rhythmic breaths tells the brain to release hormones that create a calm, peaceful state. Prevention is so much easier than cure, so develop a daily practice of 10-15 minutes of conscious deep breathing for powerful anxiety relief.
This should be at the top of every anxiety self-care list because it’s much more powerful than all other tools together when practiced daily and consistently. Studies have shown remarkable changes that happen in the brain whilst meditating. The research is truly exciting, especially by Dr. Joe Dispenza, and whether you are suffering with anxiety or not, meditation is one of the most powerful healing tools at our disposal. You can find Dr. Dispenza's guided meditations here.
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