How to Overcome Anxiety Naturally

Anxiety is a natural human emotion that is associated with being scared or nervous. One may feel anxious as a result of a stressful work environment, or before making an important decision or taking a test. An anxiety disorder, however, is a case in which an individual may feel anxious even when there is no apparent reason to be, and is often associated with depression. Anxiety disorders can interfere with a person's ability to lead a normal life. There are many medications that can be prescribed for anxiety (most notably Benzodiazepines). However, these medications are known for their addictive qualities and adverse side effects, and consequently many people prefer natural solutions. Whether it is short term bout of anxiety or a perpetually burdening anxiety disorder that you are experiencing, this article will give you the guidance you need to avoid symptoms of anxiety, and deal with them when they occur, using natural methods.


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    Understand the severity of your condition. There are many ways to treat anxiety. One simply needs to be aware of how serious their case of anxiety is in order for the treatment to work effectively and quickly. Intervals of intense anxiety are triggered by an individual's way of thinking, combined with environmental influences and biological susceptibilities. There are natural medications that may be given to people who are already suffering from a serious anxiety disorder. However, in cases of temporary anxiousness, there are more simple ways to alleviate symptoms. If you feel that you may be feeling anxious more than you normally should be, consult a doctor or psychiatrist in order to determine whether or not you have an anxiety disorder.
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    Take advantage of herbal medications. If anxiety is a constant struggle for you, medication may be beneficial. While prescription drugs may be the best option for those suffering from the most intense cases of anxiety, they can also be abused easily, and can lead to negative side effects. Herbs are a great alternative, and allow patients to treat their symptoms more naturally. Popular herbal medications for anxiety include:
    • Kava. Native to the South Pacific, the Kava plant can be taken orally in the form of a powder (usually mixed in water or tea) or in a pill capsule, and interacts with the brain and central nervous system, producing calming affects that help alleviate symptoms of anxiety. It should be noted, however, that there are many safety concerns surrounding Kava, as it has been linked to liver damage. Make sure to consult with a health care professional before using Kava.
    • Valerian root. This herbal medication acts as a sedative to the central nervous system, and is commonly used to treat insomnia, depression, epilepsy, migraines, and ADHD, all in addition to anxiety. The use of valerian root has been found to be safe.
    • St. Johns Wort. This herb is most commonly used as an over the counter solution to depression, but can be effective in alleviating symptoms that are caused by depression, most notably anxiety. If your anxiety is linked to a broader condition of depression, then St. Johns Wort might be the best herbal medication for you. Strong evidence suggests that St. Johns Wort is an effective medication for mild to moderate depression and the symptoms that are associated with it.
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    Watch your diet. Conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, etc. are very dependent on your lifestyle, with diet being one of the most important aspects of it. What you eat and drink plays a big role in how your body feels, how much energy you have, and how capable your mind will be to deal with stress. Make sure that you are eating enough, that your diet is healthy and balanced, and that you are limiting your intake of intoxicants, stimulants, and depressants, to ensure a more balanced mood. Here are some tips:
    • Have a good breakfast everyday. It is important to take the time to eat a substantial breakfast with a significant amount of protein. A protein packed breakfast will give you more energy to start your day, will keep your blood sugar balanced, and will better prepare you to deal with stress.
    • Eat complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates have been shown to increase the amount of serotonin in your brain, which has a calming effect and improves your mood. Foods that are dense in in complex carbohydrates include whole wheat bread, oatmeal, quinoa, and whole grain cereals.
    • Limit or avoid alcohol. Alcohol might make you feel better in the short term, but once its calming effects wear off, it can make you tired and irritable. Alcohol can also interfere with sleep.
    • Limit your caffeine intake. Caffeine can exacerbate feelings of tension and nervousness. Over consumption, especially, can stress you out, and interfere with sleep.
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    Try using dietary supplements. As part of having a balanced diet, it is essential to get all the vitamins and minerals you need. Certain supplements in particular, have been proven to help the nervous system function properly and control neurotransmitter production.
    • Magnesium: This mineral nourishes the nervous system and has been shown to have a calming effect on the body, helping to reduce fear and nervousness. Taking magnesium before bed can also promote better sleep.
    • Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with anxiety and depression. As we get most of our vitamin D from exposure to the sun, taking Vitamin D can help with seasonal depression and anxiety for individuals who do not get much sun light where they live. Vitamin D also helps with immune system and bone health.
    • Omega 3's: Taking omega 3 fish oil supplements has been proven to help alleviate depression and its symptoms. Studies have shown that increased omega 3 consumption can reduce anger and anxiety. A Norwegian study of 22,000 participants revealed that individuals are 30% less likely to have symptoms of depression with increased omega 3 consumption. Omega 3 fatty acids improve the function of brain tissue and enhance cerebral development, which helps individuals stay in better control of their mood.
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    Get exercise. Numerous studies have shown that exercise is just as effective as prescribed medicine in terms of dealing with anxiety. Exercise is a great way to get rid of tension in a positive way, and can help you get your mind off of things that may be stressing you out. When you exercise, your body produces endorphins, which act as natural painkillers. Endorphins also contribute to a happier and more relaxed mood. Exercise reduces the production of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Physical activity also increases body temperature, which reduces muscle tension and creates a calming effect.
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    Breathe. A big part of coping with anxiety involves learning how to stay calm in uncomfortable situations. Controlling your breathing is an effective tool you can use to calm yourself down when you start to feel a fit of anxiety taking you over. If you start feeling overwhelmed, nervous, or short of breath in an uncomfortable situation, inhale slowly and keep the air in your lungs for four seconds. Then exhale slowly until all the air is completely gone from your lungs and wait 2 seconds before taking another breath. Repeat the process rhythmically, focusing on the duration of each step of your breathing pattern. Deep breathing has been proven to have a soothing effect on the body. It can lower your blood pressure and heart rate, giving your body an opportunity to relax and fend off the anxiety attack.
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    Talk to people. Whether or not you have been suffering from a severe anxiety disorder for long time, or are just starting to notice that you are worrying a little more than normal, reaching out to a friend, family member, or mental health professional, can be extremely beneficial. Talking out your experience with someone forces you to hear yourself talk about how you have been feeling, which will help you understand your condition more. Getting things out in the open is very important too. One of the worst symptoms of anxiety, is often the feeling of feeling alone and isolated, as if no one can help you. Talking to someone about your anxiety and sharing your experience with someone else helps show you that you are, in fact, not alone in the struggle you are going through, and that other people care about you and can help you. Other people will likely have some good advice for you, as anxiety is something that just about everyone goes through at one point or another.


  • Relax and remember that you're not alone.

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Categories: Overcoming Shyness & Insecurities