There are many natural remedies for anxiety, a problem that plagues far too many people worldwide. First of all, anxiety is the body’s automatic response to stress. Anxiety provides the body with a boost of adrenalin when a lion crosses our path in the jungle–it’s a life-saving response. Unfortunately, anxiety has become a way of life for a myriad of people around the globe. Now it’s bills and cubicles and traffic and computer meltdowns crossing our paths in the suburban jungle. While the body’s response hasn’t changed, it still cannot survive in a constant state of “5 Alarm Fire” like this. When experiencing anxiety, one’s heart rate and blood pressure increase, blood sugar elevates, sweating often becomes excessive, and it may be difficult to breathe and swallow. Rather than running to the doctor for a pharmaceutical medication, first consider some of the many natural remedies for anxiety.
Meditation is a favorite natural remedy for anxiety–it’s fast, easy, and free. (All three of these should automatically reduce anxiety!) If you’ve never tried meditation, start by downloading or purchasing a guided meditation CD. Get yourself into a comfortable, upright position in a room that is quiet and free of distractions. Put the CD in to play and just listen to the instructions. A peaceful, calming voice will instruct you on how to breathe and where to let your thoughts go. After just 5 or 10 minutes of meditation, even the most anxious person will notice a dramatic shift towards tranquility.
Another fast, easy, free, and natural remedy for anxiety is using affirmations. Affirmations are simply positive statements that you repeat in your head to yourself throughout the day. Begin your affirmations by saying, “I am…” For example:
- I am relaxed.
- I am happy.
- I am safe.
- I am in control.
- I am at peace.
Affirmations should be repeated 10 times or more consecutively each time you feel anxiety coming on. They can be even more effective when combined with some of the tricks you learn in meditation, such as deep breathing.
Still fast, easy, and free, visualizations are another great natural remedy for anxiety. In line with meditating and using affirmations, visualizations also help create a peaceful state of mind that counteracts the effects of anxiety. Visualizations are best done in the morning before getting out of bed or at night before falling asleep (when the mind is alert but less cluttered with mental chatter). Use all of your 5 senses to see yourself peacefully responding to an upcoming stressful event or going through your daily routine with ease–taste what it’s like to be peaceful, see it, feel it, hear it. The more “3-dimensional” your visualizations are, the more powerful will be their impact on your mental state.
One final tip on dealing with anxiety naturally is in using the “Serenity Prayer.” This non-denominational prayer says, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” This powerful little prayer can also help you reduce anxiety without expensive Western medicine.