Anxiety (and stress) is one feeling that will, inevitably, come up over the course of life. It comes and goes in waves, usually feels like it can’t be controlled, and is often tied to work, friends, relationships, body image, health, or finances. Anxiety can make you feel this deep-rooted, heavy feeling in your gut, and while it’s a super unfortunate feeling, it’s also completely normal.
There used to be a large stigma around the subject of anxiety, but in the last five years, it has come to be known as something that is real and also something that is treatable. Yes, there are certainly medications that can help ease anxiety, but I advocate for trying the more natural options before delving into the more medical ones. Coming from a pharmaceutical background, I have seen a lot of people get prescribed the wrong medications or experience negative side effects, so before going that route, consider these all-natural remedies.
1) Orange oil:
Essential oils can work wonders for stress and anxiety and are truly one of the most underrated ways to ease your nerves. According to a small study published in Physiology & Behavior in 2000, orange oil in particular is known as an uplifting oil and can be beneficial to easing your anxiety. For the study, 72 people (ages 22 to 57) were placed in one of two waiting rooms prior to undergoing dental treatment. In the first waiting room, an electrical dispenser was used to diffuse the aroma of orange essential oil; in the second room, there was no ambient odor. Study results showed that participants exposed to the aroma of orange essential oil (especially females) had lower levels of anxiety and a more positive mood than those in the control group. That’s not to say that orange oil will completely reduce your anxiety, but it can definitely help.
2) Rescue remedy:
More than 80 years ago, Dr. Bach developed a homeopathic remedy called Rescue Remedy to help people ease their anxiety and stay calm and more in control. The remedy he made is a blend of flower remedies—rock rose, impatiens, clematis, star of Bethlehem, and cherry plum—which are all known to help soothe your nerves. I recommend putting a few drops under your tongue and taking as needed (note: this formula does have alcohol as an inactive ingredient).
Meditation is something that I have recently honed in on and gotten more serious about, and I can’t begin to explain how effective it is. Meditation may seem tedious—I remember when I first started, I couldn’t relax and had the hardest time sitting still. But once you commit to even just 10 minutes a day, you’ll see a huge difference in your overall mood.
4) Avoid caffeine, sugar, or alcohol:
Unfortunately, some of the things we love the most can be the most harmful to us. Things like caffeine, sugar, and alcohol are not only detrimental to our overall health, but can also negatively affect our mental health and cause more stress and anxiety.
Exercise is a bit of a cure-all. It can benefit your physical, emotional, and mental health and is something that can cause an immense positive impact in a short period of time. Per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, regular exercise can have a lasting impact on your well-being, and just one vigorous session can help alleviate anxiety symptoms for hours. I recommend working out for 20-30 minutes at least three times a week.
Chamomile tea is known to be incredibly soothing. While there is no hard evidence that it will completely ease your anxiety, there is a small study that found that long-term chamomile use reduces moderate to severe symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, but did not significantly reduce the rate of relapse. I have found that sipping on any herbal (caffeine-free) tea throughout the day helps calm my nerves and ease my anxiety. I highly recommend adding it into your daily routine—it’s a healthy soothing ritual regardless.
I hope this was helpful! :)