An estimated 40 million adults in the U.S. today have an anxiety disorder, making it the most common mental illness in the country. And that’s to say nothing of the people who aren’t vocal about their condition, which means there are likely millions of people around the world suffering in silence. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety is a highly treatable condition, and yet just over a third of people seek treatment for the disorder.
There’s an important distinction to be made between generalized anxiety disorder or GAD, and general anxiety. GAD is a persistent and exaggerated sense of worry about everyday things that can get in the way of normal functions. General anxiety, however, is a natural reaction to stressful situations that are a normal part of everyday life.
It’s important to consult your physician if you feel like your anxiety is out of control, or you think you may be living with a disorder because they can potentially treat your condition. Whether you’re already managing your condition through interventions like medication and cognitive behavioral therapy, or you’d just like a little extra support through a tough time, there are several safe, healthy and natural remedies you can turn to relieve general anxiety or supplement your existing treatment regime.
5 Natural Anxiety Remedies That Will Help You Cope
Here are five natural remedies that you can use to help you cope with anxiety or add on to your existing therapies.
1. Floatation Therapy
Also known as REST Therapy (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) or Sensory Deprivation therapy, floatation therapy is used as a method for relaxation, anxiety relief and the easing of muscle tension. During a session, you float in a darkened, soundproof sensory deprivation tank filled with saltwater that’s adjusted to the same temperature as your body so you can relax and completely let go (think Stranger Things style). The idea is that when your body is freed from the need to fight gravity or process information, your mind finally has a chance to slow down and rest.
The breath is like our body’s natural built-in anxiety remedy. Breathwork doesn’t have to be anything fancy — it could just be pausing during your day to take three conscious deep breaths. Not only is this method completely free, safe and healthy, but it’s something you’ll carry with you everywhere you go for the rest of your life, so you might as well learn to use it in your favor. There are plenty of breathwork tutorials online, but you could also try going to a breathwork class in your area to learn more formal breathing techniques for coping with anxiety.
3. Weighted blankets
Usually stuffed with plastic or glass beads, weighted blankets are heavy blankets you can use in bed or on the couch, which have been known to calm anxiety and help with insomnia. With the added pressure on your body, your nervous system can more easily flip into rest and digest mode, providing you with a calm feeling and reducing anxiety. Helping to ground your body, weighted blankets can feel like you’re getting a massage or a tight hug from a loved one, which in turn can reduce your cortisol and overall stress levels.
4. EFT Tapping
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Tapping is a technique used to neutralize negative emotions like anxiety by tapping various pressure points on the body. Studies have shown that EFT Tapping may help to reduce anxiety symptoms after just three sessions and that it’s also effective for treating depression, PTSD and phobias. There are plenty of online resources to get started with EFT Tapping — try this three-minute session with tapping expert Nick Ortner to see what it’s all about.
5. Art Therapy
Getting creative with your favorite art form has been known to reduce stress, improve quality of life and increase happy hormones for eons, which is why art therapy is considered a well-established form of psychological healing. To start using art as a natural healing technique for anxiety, you could buy an adult coloring book geared towards mindfulness, experiment with paints and a canvas, or try one of these art therapy techniques.
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