Has there ever been a time in your life when you’ve felt a sense of panic, or just general uneasiness? Perhaps you’ve encountered difficulty sleeping, and are tired constantly? Maybe you’ve experienced a racing heart, sweaty palms, or shortness of breath. If you’ve experienced any (or all) of these symptoms, you may be experiencing anxiety.
Most people at one time or another experience anxiety, as it can be a normal part of life. It’s common during life changes or stressful situations and generally goes away after the tense moment has passed. Anxiety can become a larger issue if you find yourself in a frequent state of worry and fear.
If you’re experiencing anxiety frequently, talk to your doctor about your options.* In the meantime, here’s a list of 7 ways you may be able to reduce anxiety naturally.
What is Anxiety?
Did you know that nearly 20% of Americans are affected by anxiety disorders each year? It’s more common than you might think. Anxiety is our body’s natural response to stress. It can present itself differently in each individual. Some may experience a “butterflies in the stomach” sensation while others can suffer from panic attacks.
It’s important to note that there’s a difference between everyday anxiety and anxiety disorders. Encountering anxiety in a stressful situation is one thing, but when it affects your quality of life, you may be experiencing a disorder (Consult a physician to be 100% certain.). Although anxiety has become more prevalent over the years, more research needs to be done to pinpoint the exact causes of anxiety.
How Can I Reduce My Anxiety?
Staying active can improve your physical health, but have you considered the effect it may have on your mental health as well? Moving can help to get your mind off of how you are feeling, but also increases your heart rate. This can help change the chemistry in the brain, creating more space for things like serotonin, known as the "happy chemical".
The type of movement you do is completely up to you. If you feel the need to do something high-impact, perhaps you can go running. For more low-impact movement, consider yoga. Just make sure to take care of yourself post-movement. Our favorite way? Applying our Sports Balm Roll-On to our muscles as an extra-special treat.
We’re not seriously suggesting you give up your morning cup(s) of coffee, right? Although caffeine may increase feelings of alertness and make you feel less sleepy, it can actually mimic similar symptoms of anxiety, and in some cases can actually trigger it.
Instead of your normal cup of coffee, consider trying a decaf option, an herbal tea, or hot water with lemon. Still feeling sluggish without your coffee? Start your day with a shower and our Invigorating Body Wash. For a mid-day pick-me-up, use our Invigorating Essential Oil Roll-On on your pulse points and breathe deeply.
Getting your thoughts and feelings out of your head and onto paper may have a positive effect on your overall mental health. The act of putting pen to paper can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and may help you process feelings, understand situations, and just get things off your chest. Additionally, creating a “brain dump” prior to bed may help as well. A “brain dump” is the act of writing your worries down prior to winding down for the evening, with the idea that once your worries are on paper, they’ll be out of your head.
If you’re having difficulty expressing your feelings on paper, try diffusing our Chakra 5 Essential Oil or mixing a few drops with your favorite carrier oil. The 5th or throat chakra is linked with the throat, neck, jaw, and mouth. When our throat chakra is in balance, we are expressive, communicative and creative- the perfect mindset for journaling.
It sounds simple, but when our minds are racing, our breathing may be the last thing on our minds. Breathing can be done at work or home, while multitasking, while driving, or while cooking dinner. Deep breathing may help to lower blood pressure, calm the body and mind, and increase energy levels.
One of our favorite breathing techniques is known as alternate nostril breathing.
Also referred to as yogic breathing, alternate nostril breathing is a method to help you destress and clear your energy by breathing in deeply from one nostril and then exhaling out through the other side. You can use your thumb and ring finger to close the alternate nostrils as you breathe in and out. Doing this for a few minutes can be a quick way to calm yourself before a stressful event or after a tense moment. Try it with our Breathe Easy Natural Elixir, which promotes better breathing.
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of training your mind to stay present. Routine-based mindfulness can be performed during many tasks, such as driving, laying in bed, or even in the shower. There are a variety of techniques that you may experiment with, such as the 5 senses technique. This requires you to focus on the present moment and walk yourself through what you’re seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling.
One of our favorite tasks is to apply mindfulness while applying our skincare routine. It’s a task that we do daily and is a highly sensorial experience. Don’t have a routine that you love? Check out our Skincare Starter Kits, based on skin type. Note the scent, look, and feel of the products you are using.
The practice of aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that has been used by humans for thousands of years and is one of the foundations of our brand. It uses essential oils to promote the health and well-being of the mind, body, and spirit. Try using an essential oil diffuser with a soothing scent to calm yourself down when you are feeling anxious, or simply inhale the aroma of the oil straight from the bottle.
There is an extensive selection of essential oils that help to promote relaxation, with the most recognizable being Lavender Essential Oil. You’ll find lavender in many Source Vitál products, including our Lavender Body Wash and Lavender Body Cream. Other single essential oils to consider when looking for a reduction in anxiety are Chamomile Roman, Neroli, and Clary Sage. For a blend, choose Stress Relief or Stress Relief Roll-On. This blend is a tried and true favorite!
Anxiety can make having a good night’s rest seem like an impossible task. It can become a vicious cycle as anxiety can make restful sleep difficult, and lack of sleep can trigger anxious feelings. The CDC recommends that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night for optimal health.
There are a few things you can do to help encourage better sleep. Avoid devices that emit blue lights, such as phones, tablets, and televisions, keep your bedroom dark and cool, and avoid caffeine, large meals, and alcohol at bedtime. One of our favorite ways to unwind is a warm, relaxing bath with our Serene Bath and Body Oil. Our Serene Essential Oil Blend can help induce calming, sedative benefits that are ideal for use before bedtime or whenever you are having trouble sleeping.