Natural Ways to Deal With Anxiety

#1 Put your hands in warm water!

Go to the bathroom. Turn the tap water on and put your hands in WARM water. Keep them there three to five minutes! 

 Why?

Immersing your hands in warm water engages the calming part of the nervous system the parasympathetic part….

…when it goes to work it slows down it’s wild twin brother the sympathetic part of the nervous system, which is responsible for having you stay on guard. They are like shift workers: when one is up the other one is resting.

This is a simple and easy tip so try it out the next time you are feeling anxious.


#2 Straighten up!

The next time you leave your house or apartment create a mental switch, in your mind, that activates every time you touch the door handle. Imagine that switch goes to an invisible rope that lifts your head up higher and keeps your whole spine straight, holding it up.

Every time you open your door, really feel how that rope is physically straighten you up. As you go about your day, keep holding this proud, open posture.

For sure you will not be able to think about it every second of the day and you will forget it again and again. This is OK. Everythingin life needs to be practiced and repeated in order for it to become a habit…

…so when you find yourself hunched over, just mentally turn that switch again and straighten up. do not tense your body while doing it, just let the rope lift you in a relaxed and open way.

Why?

Most people know that how we think and feel affects the body in a profound way and that, for example, negative emotions like

  • fear
  • shame 
  • guilt 
  • depression 
  • shyness

…makes us physically take up as little space as possible with our bodies. The exact opposite is true for positive feelings like, pride, joy, confidence etc. as those, on the other hand, opens up our bodies and makes us take up a lot of space.

Think of a 100 meter sprinter. What does he do when he wins the race?

That’s right, his arms goes up over his head and he forms a big X with his body. He is literally taking up as much space as physically possible, driven by very strong positive emotions…

..  this is called “the mind-body connection”

Here is where it gets more interesting and this is the part most people are not aware of

It should not be called the mind-body connection because that indicates it’s only our mind that affects our bodies…

…It should be called the mind-body-mind connection because it works in BOTH directions.

You see:

It’s NOT just our feelings that affect how we use our bodies but how we use our bodies affects our feelings just as much, if not more!

So here’s the deal:

You can make yourself feel more of a certain way if you use your body differently. This is a very underrated method that should be given more light, as it is such an easy way to change the way we feel. So by always using a body language that is open and straight we will both look and feel more secure and have less anxiety.

Interesting fact:

Studies have shown that just by keeping an open body language or “power pose” we can actually increase the the testosterone levels in our bodies by up to 20%  after just a few minutes…

… now that fact alone would be enough for pointing out the “BADASS” effect a good posture can have but, as I said, there is actually a whole lot more  than the testosterone going on so: straighten up!



#3 Drink green tea!

The next time you are out grocery shopping, put some green tea in your shopping basket. There is a trick to it though so keep reading!

Why?

All of us are familiar with green the and most of us have probably tried it. Perhaps some of you are drinking it regularly.

The way green tea can help with anxiety is because of the L-theanine that can be found in it.

L-theanine enhances alpha brain wave activity and increased synthesis of the neurotransmitter GABA. This is a great combination for making us feel more relaxed without drowsiness. Calm but alert.

If you’re sitting there and now are thinking, I’ve been drinking a lot of green tea in my days and I’ve never noticed any calming effects, I have to point out that, yes, it’s true that it does not work for everyone….

However try drinking it as follows, before you give up on it:

Drink it on an empty stomach!

At least two hours after you last eat something. As with everything that can affect the brain it hits much harder if we ingest it on an empty stomach. Also, make sure to let it brew properly and make it extra strong.

a cup of green tea ass a natural way to deal with anxiety

The effects should be noticeable after about 30-40 minutes and if you still can’t feel anything then the next time you try it, use decaf tea green tea. It might be that you are sensitive and that the caffeine overrides the otherwise calming effects that should have hit you by now.

 

Okay so if you tried the decaf green tea on an empty stomach and you STILL didn’t feel anything?

…then consider trying Matcha green tea. Matcha green tea has 5 times the amount of L-Theanine in it. Try the matcha on an empty stomach as well and see if anything happens.

Some of the Matcha teas I have tried did not do anything for me. As with anything else out there it seems like there are issues with quality.  I recommend  this brand on Amazon for the highest quality. Organic and quality tested.

If you would like to learn more about the science behind L-Theanine you can
click here to read more about it

-When I drink it I feel a wonderful calm, but alert feeling, about 40 minutes after I had my little tea break time.-


#4 Watch your food!

Adapt eating habits that will keep your insulin levels low or at the very least keep you from a constant fluctuation in blood sugar levels.

There are several ways of doing this and I will present a few of them here.

 

Blood sugar and insulin stabilizer tools:

  • Intermittent fasting
  • Low carb diet
  • Ketogenic diet
  • Low-GI diet

Why?

What’s the deal with the blood sugar?

Depending on what you eat the blood sugar is going to rise and then, after some time, come back down again. As it should.

Here’s the deal:

When the blood sugar is on it’s way up. Everything is fine and dandy but, depending on how high and how fast it spiked, it is going to come crashing down. It is when the blood sugar is on the way down when we are more prone to nervousness, irritability, anxiety, brain fog etc.

This is because our reptilian brain is still living in the “caveman” era and when the blood sugar drops the brain interprets that as a potential danger, (starvation), putting the “alarm system” in the brain on higher alert, and again, making us much more prone to anxiety, panic and nervousness.

 

What to do about the blood sugar issue? There are a few options:

  • Intermittent fasting.

Personally I like to fast the whole day when I have something challenging to do, however if you are not use to fasting or intermittent fasting I do not recommend this. That is because the first time you try fasting you are likely to feel a bit weak. You could “practice” it a few days when not having something important to do in order to get use to it.

  • Eat a LCHF diet

Again this is NOT something I recommend if you are not use to it. If you get use to it though it has some serious calming effects since it both eliminates the blood sugar crashes AND increase the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)  in the brain. (That neurotransmitter is responsible for relaxation and slows everything down. In a good way)

  • Eat  LOW GI foods

This is something I can recommend for everyone. No need to get use to it and it helps eliminate the aggressive blood sugar spikes and that makes the “come down” more gentle. When in doubt, go for this diet.


#5 Meditate!

Why?

When you are having anxiety your mind is basically running on overdrive. We can quiet the mind and the thoughts that are stuck in an endless loop by practicing meditation.

Instead of getting dragged along by your fearful thoughts, you can start identifying with the silence that exists between every mental action.

It stops the endless cycle of anxiety by putting a crack in it. If you practice it often you will start experiencing that YOU ARE not what you are thinking and you are not what you are feeling. Those are just stimuli that passes through you and you can merely observe the without getting dragged along. 

There are numerous studies showing meditation to be a very effective tool for anxiety. Some people will be able to feel relief right away while others have to implement it and start doing it on a regular basis. So if you start doing it and you stick to it, it will for sure be beneficial.


#6 Know what you should eliminate!
(or reduce the intake of)

Be careful with

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Sugar and fast carbohydraes

Why?

I know what some of you are thinking now but before you stop reading hear me out.

We’re not saying you have to completely remove alcohol but if stress and anxiety are an issue then you should at least consider reducing the intake and here’s why:

You see alcohol works as a depressant, meaning it puts a brake on everything and slows down the central nervous system. Our body, being as smart as it is, is always trying to maintain homeostasis and it notices that some outside force has entered the system and is now slowing everything down.

So what does the body do when it notices this? Well, it starts counteracting and presses down the gas pedal in order to speed everything up again.

Here’s the deal:

What do you think happens when the alcohol leaves our bodies?…

Yes that’s right…NOW there is nothing left slowing down our nervous system AND the gas pedal is still pressed down. So what we are left with is an overactive system and that, let me tell you, is something we do not want if we are prone to anxiety.

To put it simple:

By drinking alcohol we are changing our “anxiety thermostat” and lowering our threshold for when we get anxiety. This overactive system can linger many days after our last drink. This happen regardless of of whether we have problems with alcohol or not.

Caffeine affects the body much like anxiety and stress  as in increasing heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of stress hormones.

It often raises your  levels of the stress hormones in the blood by over 200%

Caffeine also inhibits the calming neurotransmitter GABA. GABA puts the brakes on brain activity when needed and has been called the “nature’s Valium.”  It’s important for feeling happy and relaxed, so there’s no surprise that a low levels of GABA is associated with anxiety and panic attacks…

…In addition to all this Caffeine may also cause reactive hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar drops too low. A low blood sugar attack can leave you feeling jittery, sweating, irritable and confused, with your heart pounding  — does those symptoms sound familiar?

…yup…just like an anxiety attack.

Watch the video for an explanation of why we should avoid sugar.


#7 Shut your mouth and breathe through your nose!

If you regularly, or even just once in a while, have the bad habit of breathing through your mouth I, kindly but firmly, ask you to shut your mouth right away. And please, keep it shut!

From now on make a habit of always breathing through your nose. Also make an effort to breathe slowly and deeply.  Yes, I really mean always…

…You should even do nose breathing while you are exercising (but then of course you will breath in a faster rhythm). You should only use your mouth if you are doing super intense exercise or if you have a cold and you nose is stuffy…

…then, by all means, breathe through your mouth. After all, I would hate to see this blog post kill you!

Why?

If you use your mouth for breathing your breath tends to be more shallow than when you are using your nose. The problem with this is that shallow breathing stimulates the receptors in the upper chest, often causing a cortisol release.

Cortisol, as you know, is a stress hormone, and if you have got elevated levels of cortisol, it will be much harder for you to be relaxed and in a good state of mind.

Nose breathing, on the other hand, activates the parasympathetic part of the nervous system…

…which is responsible for stimulation of “rest-and-digest” or “feed and breed”. 

 

In other words when the parasympathetic nervous system is dominant it makes us “a cool badass” that can handle stress a lot more effectively.

The bodies “fight or flight response” is activated when the other part of our nervous system, called the sympathetic nervous system, is dominant, and in ordinary social interactions, we do not want that…

...I would suggest you only use that part of the nervous system when a robber jumps out in front of you, shouting: “give me all your money or I’ll kill you!


Natural remedies for anxiety
#8 Kill the clown inside your head!

There is a clown inside your head. Let’s find out what to do about him.

What, Why and How?

Did you know that humans on average have 70.000 thoughts per day? That’s a lot of thoughts and, unfortunately, most of them are negative ones. No wonder we feel bad then huh?

Most of the time we are not aware of what we are thinking. It happens automatically and with the negative self talk we often create our own distorted reality.

For example the negative thoughts are often attacking us with all or nothing statements like:

  • “you are ALWAYS making a fool out of yourself” 
  • “you can NEVER do anything right”
  • “You NEVER understand anything people are explaining, you must be so stupid”

….and so on! 

Nice huh? Not really, The voice in our heads is a real asshole. No one is stupid ALL of the time and no one makes misstakes 24/7. This is clearly irrational thoughts and they need to be stopped. 

Well, here is what we should do about it.

  • Become aware of what you are thinking.

This sounds very simplistic but we actually have to put some effort into doing it because as we said, the thoughts happens automatically. The next three days I want you to start noticing what kind of negative things you are actually saying to yourself inside your head.

  • Put a name on the negative self talk.

Remember when you were in school?  Back when you were a little kid? Remember that annoying kid that always had to make fun of everyone and was a real pain in the but. What was his name? Use that name and pretend it is a real person who is saying all those negative things to you instead of your own brain.

  • See that person in front of you…

…but shrink him down to one feet tall and put a clown’s nose on him. Also give him a really squeaky voice like mickey mouse for example.

This may sound silly but don’t underestimate it because the reason it works is precisely because of the fact that it’s silly….

…After all, if a one foot, silly voiced, annoying person with a clown’s nose started mocking us…would we take him seriously?

Nope!  We would not.

We would simply brush it off as stupidity and that is exactly what we are going to do with that clown inside our head from now on as well…

…Laugh at him! He’s just a goofy clown that hasn’t got a clue about who we are.


#9 Drink Chamomile Tea!

Make yourself a strong cup of hot and tasty chamomile tea.

Why?

Chamomile tea is, listen and be surprised, a nerve relaxant. There are also a few studies made on chamomile’s effect on reducing stress and anxiety.

How much do I need for effects?

Some people feel the effects from just one cup. However in order to reap the biggest sress relieving benefits it should be consumed regularly, on a day to day basis.


Natural ways to deal with anxiety
#10 Try Cannabis!

No! Not the way some of you are thinking. I’m talking about CBD, also known as cannabidiol here.

CBD is a non-psychoactive (it won’t make you feel high) compound found in the cannabis plant.

How and Why?

Marijuana contains over 113 different chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. The TWO most well-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD. It’s no secret that people have been using marijuana for ages in order to reduce anxiety and stress, simply because it works very well for many.

I have personally found CBD oil to work wonders for my own anxiety and stress. It also increases my mood and helps me sleep.

Look:

THC is responsible for making us stoned and high and CBD for making us relaxed (and have anti inflammatory effects as well as many other benefits). We can now extract CBD from hemp without getting the THC.  This makes CBD a very good dietary supplement for treating anxiety, stress and insomnia because we get the calming and relaxing benefits without getting high or paranoid.

CBD is not addictive and unlike marijuana it is legal to buy and use in most states in the USA. Most countries around the world allow the sale of CBD products with the stipulation that they contain no more than 0,2- 0,3% of THC, the legal cutoff for hemp.

Disclaimer: just to be sure you should check with your government or your food and drug regulating agency before you order.

The only problem is that many companies that are selling CBD are not using high quality products so I recommend you ask around before you order.

So to sum it up: CBD is not the same as marijuana. It is extracted from hemp and contains under 0,3% THC which is the compound in cannabis responsible for making people high. Some other health benefits of CBD are for example:

  • Improving the appearance of the skin
  • Relieves pain
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Reduces depression
  • Promotes good sleep

If you want to try CBD oil and you want to make sure you get a quality brand, with published lab results, you can click this link to go to a respectable CBD OIL site that I recommend


Natural remedies for anxiety and stress
#11 But there is something even more powerful out there…

Then there is another, even more powerful, anti anxiety product out there that does not contain any cbd but a whole bunch of other natural ingredients that are clinically proven to help with anxiety….

…the product is called “Provanax” and if I had to choose between CBD-oil and Provanax I would choose “Provanax”

It is all natural, safe yet very effective!

The ingredients in it works synergistically (meaning, working together they boost each other’s effect) and I know people who has gotten their anxiety completely under control by using it, and thousands of people get a significant reduction in their anxiety levels when they try it.

If you are interested in learning more about provanax you can
click here to go read my full review about it and exactly how it works


Natural ways to deal with anxiety
#12 Create your own safe place!

Think of a place you like very much. Maybe you have a favorite place you use to go to when out for a walk, a place in the forest or perhaps you feel warm and cozy under the blanket on your sofa, in front of the television set. 

It can be whatever place you want as long as you really like it and get a sense of happiness or a secure feeling every time you are there.

Now I want you to imagine yourself in that favorite place of yours. Notice what kinds of feelings you get in your body. What emotions do you notice? Whatever they are they should be positive.

Right at the very moment you feel those positive emotions I want you to press your thumb and index finger, on your right hand, together at the same time as you let the air out of your lungs, with a warm deep sigh: “Aaaahhhhhhh”….

…wait a few seconds and repeat the whole process, from imagining your safe place to noticing the warm emotions, to pressing your fingers together and letting a big sigh out of your lungs. Repeat this whole procedure 21 times in a row.

Why?

Whether you are familiar with it or not, you have just created, what in neuro linguistic programming (NLP) is referred to as an “anchor”.  Anchors are built by repetition and association.

Anchoring is reminiscent of Pavlov’s experiments with dogs. Pavlov sounded a bell as the animal was given food…

…the animals salivated when they saw the food and  after some pairings of the bell and the food, the bell alone elicited salivation.

It works like this:

Anchors are stimuli that call forth states of mind, thoughts and emotions. For example, the touching of your index finger on your thumb could be an anchor. Some anchors are involuntary.

The smell of bread may take you back to your childhood, for example, and a tune may remind you of a certain person. A touch can bring back memories and the past states. These anchors work automatically and you may not be aware of the triggers.

By pressing together your index finger and thumb those 21 times in a row you now have conditioned yourself. You have in essence been programmed so that you can activate or fire that anchor later on…

…so when you find yourself in a situation in which you would like a boost of those secure and warm emotions, just fire the anchor by pressing your index finger and thumb together and let out that warm sigh: Aaaahhhhhh!!!


Natural ways to deal with anxiety
#13 Get moving!

You probably knew this one was coming, didn’t you? Well, there is a big reason for that. If you are not engaging in some form of exercise you need to start right away, as soon as possible!

No matter what kind of shape you are in, you just need to start. If you have an injury, an illness or even if you are missing a body part you can always find something that elevates your heart rate or stimulates your muscles. There simply are no excuses for this one.

Find something that you like to do. It does not matter what it is as long as it gets your heart pumping a bit faster and you are moving your body in some way. If you can not find anything that you like to do, then choose what you least dislike, and go for that…

…your body has to be moving. I cannot stress this enough!

If you want to be spoon fed to help you get started or just want an example of what really works well, then you can always mimic my personal workout routine, which is a combination of strength training and aerobic exercise.

  • 2-3 strength training sessions per week.
  • 2-3 sessions of  30-60 minutes brisk walking per week.
  • 1  sprinting sessions per week. (here you run as fast as you can for 15 seconds, rest for a couple of minutes and then run again for 15 seconds. Work your way up to about 8 sprints)
  • 1 longer run, once every other week.

Why?

There are literally hundreds of studies that show physical exercise to be very beneficial for the whole body, and even more so, for our brains.

A few studies come to the conclusion that exercise is even more effective, in treating depression, than antidepressants with all their nasty side effects.

There are whole books written about exercise and the brain and I recommend you go read a few…

…they are really inspirational and reading about all the amazing benefits, keeps one motivated which in turn reduces the risk of  skipped workouts.

Anxiety, shyness and depression can all be, significantly, improved with exercise alone. If you were to just implement one thing from this article, into your life, then this one just might be the one.

All the proven mental benefits, improved blood flow to the brain and body aside, what do you think it will do to your self esteem? That’s right. It will improve greatly! Again, there really are no excuses not to exercise, other than if you WANTED to feel bad so get moving today. Right away!


Natural ways to deal with anxiety
#14 Buy Magnesium Supplements!

If you are not already using a magnesium supplement I strongly recommend that you go to the supermarket right away and get some for you.

There are a few different types of magnesium and you want to avoid the ones that is difficult for your body to absorb.

Read the box and make sure you do not see any of the following:

Magnesium oxide — Magnesium oxide is the most common form of magnesium sold but it is non-chelated and possesses a very poor absorption rate.

Magnesium sulfate — Magnesium sulfate, also called Epsom salt, is a fantastic constipation aid but an unsafe source of dietary magnesium, since overdosing on it is easy. Avoid it! It will make you run to the bathroom.

Go for any of the following:

  • Magnesium Threonate.

This is the best kind for the brain of all the magnesium out there. It has a  fantastic absorption AND has the added benefit of being the only kind of magnesium that enters the blood brain barrier. So it’s the perfect kind for anxiety. It’s hard to find magnesium threonate in normal stores though but you can find it online here: click here to check current pricing on Amazon

  • Magnesium citrate

Is the most popular magnesium supplement, probably because it is inexpensive and easily absorbed.

  • Magnesium taurate 

Is easily absorbed  and it contains no “disaster pants risks”

  • Magnesium malate

 Another good one that absorbs pretty well.

  • Magnesium glycinate

Also very good absorbtion.

  • Magnesium chloride

Contains only around 12 percent magnesium but absorbs very well..

There you go!  Take half the daily dose first thing in the morning and the other half right before you go to bed at night. If all the different kinds of magnesium made you confused and you want to make it easy for you then here is the link again:  click here to check price on Amazon

Why?

Besides the fact that magnesium  is crucial to more than 300 enzyme-driven biochemical reactions occurring in the body on a near constant basis…

…and the fact that a magnesium deficiency is one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in adults, with an estimated 80 percent being deficient in this vital mineral, it is also highly responsible for keeping the body free from stress and anxiety.

If you are deficient in magnesium it is nearly impossible for you to be free from anxiety and feelings of stress. Anxiety and stress go hand in hand with introversion so if you are anxious then shyness is, if not already present, right around the corner waiting for you.



Natural ways to deal with anxiety
#15 Take a cold shower!

I know I know, but before you get upset, hear me out here because this is one of the most powerful pointers in the whole article. There, are you cool now? (pun intended)

The next time you take a shower, do as you regularly do and get all that safe, old and boring, stuff out of the way first…

…then when you feel you’re ready (actually one never gets truly ready for it) let the true fun part beguine and turn the water all the way to the coldest possible setting.

To be perfectly honest with you, this takes some serious willpower and some acclimatization in order for it not to bee too uncomfortable. Set your goal for two to five minutes, as cold as can be, and work your way up to that goal. If need be, take it slow at first…

…If I can do it, anyone can!

Why?

Cold showers have numerous positive benefits for both our bodies and brains. I recommend you do a little google search if you are interested in all the benefits, as I will only cover the once lowering your anxiety levels here.

Cold showers act as a small form of stress on your nervous system and overtime, the body adapts to this. Essentially, you will become a calm, cool, “badass” person.

The first few times you step into that cold shower, you won’t be able to think straight and you will probably start hyperventilating…

…but after two weeks, you will be thinking about your day in a Zen like focus as the ice cold water just makes you more and more tough.

And here is the cool part:

This will transfer into everyday life as you simply just brush off stressful bullshit that would typically ruin your day. This can be viewed as an adaptation to repeated stress and is postulated as a mechanism for body hardening.

I am here to tell you though, it is not only the body that hardens. It really toughens up the body, mind and spirit in a profound way!

Cold showers really works for reducing your anxiety. It increases your courage, both instantly, as well as cumulatively. When you get the showers up to, at least, two minutes long you will notice the effect as soon as you step out of the shower…

…and the more often you do it, the stronger, and more longer lasting the effect will become.

Not only will you greatly strengthen your willpower and your resilient to stress but the raise in serotonin, dopamine, testosterone and the body’s natural endorphins will lift your mood as well and make you much more outgoing right away, lasting sometimes as long as two days after the shower.

Hundreds and hundreds of times cold showers have put the spine back in me on days I have felt anxious and insecure and in need of a “quick fix”. I still use them today and almost every time I get out of them, I’m ready to conquer the world.


Natural remedies for anxiety 
#16 Lower your shoulders!

Or to put it in other words, do not raise and tense your shoulders.

WHY?

When we are stressed we start tensing our shoulders and raising them more and more, often without even knowing it. Not long after that the stress turns into anxiety.

Raising our shoulders and tensing them disturbs the blood flow to our brains. In addition to this  we also have sensitive nerves in our neck area that gets messed with if we tense our neck and shoulders. This in itself can sometimes be enough to trigger a panic attack when we otherwise “only”  would be in a stressed state.

What to do

Try to pay attention and become aware of WHEN you start to tense and raise your shoulders and then make a conscious effort to lower them back down and relax them. Think of it like they are just there, “hanging”, in a relaxed way under your head.

Even if you already are being anxious and have been tense all day, and you suddenly notice  your shoulders to be raised, with a little practice, it is very possible to lower them in this relaxed way and, often, our body calms down on its own as a result.


I hope you found this blog post helpful, and if you did, please share with people you know who suffers from anxiety. Also, feel free to comment below on what has helped you. Have you tried any of these tips for anxiety and, if so, did it work for you?

Remember, I know what you are dealing with here and I feel your pain. I’m rooting for you, warrior. I’m in your corner as you’re going your rounds against the anxiety demons. Never give up…

…never ever!

We didn’t hear the bell ring yet!

Much Love!

-Bob Castle-

 

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