Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. In stressful times, you might feel more anxiety than usual. The good news? That’s normal. Anxiety can be a natural reaction to stress, but it can wear you down when it lasts too long. There’s nothing wrong with checking in with a professional if you feel anxiety is ruling your life.
Here are some natural ways to deal with anxiety. They can’t take the place of professional help, but they can help you cope.
Deep breathing, breath-work, and meditation might seem like some mystical, obscure art for monks living in mountaintop monasteries. Not at all. Research with both trained and untrained participants has shown that breathing exercises can help calm and relieve anxiety and improve focus.
You don’t need to don a monk’s robe to practice some simple deep breathing exercises. If you start to feel yourself spiraling down the anxiety tunnel, try this simple exercise:
- First, close your eyes and exhale. Push your breath out. When you exhale, your blood-pressure slightly slows, and your parasympathetic nervous system is engaged.
- Next, inhale while you count to four.
- Now, exhale while you count to six.
The point is to exhale longer than you inhale. Try this for a minute, or even just thirty seconds. You may not reach enlightenment with such a simple technique, but it could help you calm down in the moment.
You might be surprised that there are hundreds of scientific research papers exploring aromatherapy to ease anxiety.
Holy basil, sweet basil, and lavender are all used to help with anxiety. Dozens of essential oils treat anxiety, so go ahead and buy that essential oil kit (click here) after all.
It seems like the easiest thing to do for fighting anxiety, but for those of us who struggle with it, it’s never that simple. Getting adequate sleep might be the best thing you can do for your mental and physical health.
Try to fall asleep at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. Set aside five to ten minutes to practice your breathing and aromatherapy before you go to sleep, so a calming, anti-anxiety ritual can help out.
There are many ways to lessen your anxiety. Remember this: you aren’t alone.