The onset and rapid spread of the coronavirus exacerbated anxiety, leading to the rise in mental health issues. In the first year of the pandemic, cases of anxiety and depression rose by 25%, and prolonged stress persisted at elevated levels among many people.
Since stress has been classified as a health epidemic of the 21st century, researchers have shifted their focus to holistic treatments, such as aromatherapy, tai chi, and Ayurvedic herbs to alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety. In addition to conventional therapies, incorporate these natural remedies into your lifestyle to reduce stress and anxiety.
Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment approach involving using essential oils (natural plant extracts) to promote health and well-being. Aromatherapy can help manage stress by reducing the perception of stress and stress hormones in the body (cortisol).
Plant extracts with slightly stronger scents that have a calming effect, such as Lavender, Lemon, Bergamot, Orange, and Lemongrass, can help reduce stress by impacting the limbic system, improving mood, easing tension, and controlling stress hormone levels.
The effectiveness of essential oils varies from one person to another; hence, research the scents that work best for you.
Cannabidiol oil, a derivative of the cannabis plant, reduces stress and anxiety levels by instilling a sense of calm in people. Even though research on the medicinal value of CBD continues, preliminary studies show that CBD products can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression.
Unlike other cannabis products, cannabidiol oil doesn’t contain THC, a substance that heightens senses and affects motor skills. You can search for a Massachusetts Dispensary that offers CBD products, such as gummies, topicals, chocolate, and oil tinctures, for managing stress and anxiety as an alternative to medications.
Meditation and Practicing Mindfulness
Meditation is a mind-body practice that involves increasing awareness of the present moment. You can bring yourself back to the moment through focused concentration, which helps reduce stress, anxiety, chronic pain, and depression.
In addition, the sense of calm and contentment resulting from meditation allow you to increase the ability to tolerate feelings and thoughts. Studies show that meditation is an effective stress-management tool because of the ability to reprogram the brain and improve one’s capacity to manage stress in just eight weeks of regular practice. This will help you feel more energized during the day and promote a good night’s sleep when it’s time to rest.
Regular physical exercise is an effective way of improving your overall physical and mental health and naturally reduces the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Staying active helps in reducing stress by increasing the availability of neurotransmitters, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and serotonin.
Research studies show that regular aerobic and resistance training can help reduce symptoms among individuals with generalized anxiety disorder. In addition, research correlates regular exercise with increased concentration and willpower, which alleviates symptoms of stress and anxiety. Deep breathing exercises which involve taking measured deep breaths can help reduce anxiety.
Eating a Healthy Diet
A balanced diet supports a healthy immune system and provides the extra energy needed to cope with stress and anxiety. Regulating stress hormones in the body is an excellent step toward managing stress, and research confirms that foods like polyunsaturated fats and vegetables can help regulate cortisol levels.
On the other hand, dehydration, low blood sugar levels, and chemicals in processed foods cause mood changes. High-protein foods containing amino acids will help keep your blood sugar levels steady and increase the production of neurotransmitters that help prevent and treat stress and anxiety.
If you are struggling to manage stress and anxiety, switch to a balanced diet comprising carbohydrates, vegetables, lean proteins, and fruits.
Herbal Teas and Supplements
Nutrition impacts your overall physical and mental health, and supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals can help you manage stress and anxiety. Drinking herbal teas, particularly peppermint tea and chamomile tea, promise to reduce anxiety and stress by lowering cortisol levels in the body.
Scientific studies show that chamomile positively affects sleep quality and general anxiety disorder (GAD). On the other hand, herbal supplements, such as Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, Magnesium, and L-theanine, decrease anxiety symptoms and improve overall mental health. However, consult with your doctor to recommend FDA-approved health supplements.
Stress and anxiety are the body’s reactions to harmful situations and can lead to other health issues, such as high blood pressure, headaches, dizziness, digestive problems, and pains. When anxiety and stress affect your day-to-day life, consider natural remedies to manage the symptoms and pursue a healthy lifestyle. Supplementing these natural remedies with conventional interventions, such as medications and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), improves outcomes.