Updated: Mar 4
If you struggle with anxiety and you go to the doctor, chances are you will be prescribed some medications. These are typically anxiolytics or anti-depressants. Whilst prescription medications can sometimes help by reducing symptoms and putting a lid on the problem; they can also have a multitude of side effects. This is why many people are turning to alternative ways to fight their anxiety.
Whilst it is our belief that in the long run, it is better to find a program (such as Healthy Minds Wellness Program) that can transform our anxiety from the inside out; those suffering from anxiety can definitely benefit from temporary alternatives to prescription medications to fight anxiety.
In this article, we share eight tried and tested natural alternatives that can be used as a temporary relief from anxiety.
1) Kava – an herbal remedy that has plenty of research and clinical studies behind it to show its’ effectiveness against anxiety. Kava is fat soluble and therefore needs to be taken with food. It is also available in most natural food stores.
2) Our physical bodies require a balance of daily nutrients to stay healthy. When this is out of balance, it affects our minds too and can show up as anxiety. Afterall, there is a strong mind-body connection. One such nutrient that has been depleted from our food (especially if you eat a lot of processed foods), is magnesium.
So, either consider including magnesium-rich foods in your diet such dark chocolate, nuts, beans and pulses, tofu, whole grains and seeds or take a good magnesium supplement.
3) Exercise Exercise Exercise!! Research shows us that exercise is a great way to balance the autonomic nervous system. Exercise has the ability to reduce anxiety by decreasing the stress hormones in the body and activating neurotransmitters that promote relaxation.
4) There is a saying – you can either choose to Meditate or Medicate!! The difference is medication makes you numb but meditation heightens your awareness and can make you feel alive. There is ample research to show that meditating for even 10 minutes a day can help us have more balance in our lives. So, learn some basic meditation skills – even if it is as simple as taking a moment to breathe, watch your breathing pattern and becoming aware of your physical being for a few minutes several times a day. Yes, even this simple exercise can reduce our anxieties and help us maintain more balance in our lives.
5) Learn some energetic hygiene!! Oh yes! We live in culture that practices excellent physical hygiene, but has no tools for emotional, mental and spiritual hygiene and protection. Just like our physical bodies can accumulate dirt if we don’t practice physical hygiene regularly, so can our energy bodies. This energetic debris can accumulate in our energy bodies and affect us emotional, physically and mentally, sometimes resulting in anxiety or depression. Therefore, it is important to learn how to practice energetic hygiene!!
6) Positive Affirmations are a great way to refocus the mind from past pain and future worry, which is often the root cause of mental health struggles such as anxiety and depression. Affirmation are positive statements that you repeat to yourself until you can believe them to overcome and transform negative thought patterns.
7) In America today, many people are sleep deprived, because we are in a culture of constantly doing, doing, doing and going, going and going. This is extremely detrimental for physical and emotional health, as it is important for us to get the right amount and quality of sleep for our body type and lifestyle. Lack of sleep can result mental health struggles such as anxiety and depression.
For our bodies and minds to function in a healthy way, we need the right amount of sleep as well as quality sleep. However, many people are not only sleep deprived but also struggling with Insomnia. Take the time to create a routine for yourself that helps you get to sleep at a certain time each day and use a bedtime ritual that helps you sleep well at night. A good bedtime ritual could start an hour before bedtime where you switch off the TV, unplug from social media and the day and start a relaxation routine such as a warm bath, meditating, breathing or nurturing yourself through some self-care.
8) Did you know that aromatherapy is incredibly effective in calming the mind and reducing anxiety. The olfactory system, which is connected to the sense of smell is capable of carrying messages to the emotional centers of the brain faster than the nervous system can. Our favorite essential oil to use against stress and anxiety is lavender, but others such as basil, sandalwood, rose and patchouli have also been shown to be incredibly effective against anxiety.
If you have tried any of these natural alternatives, tell me how they worked for you. I would love to hear from you.
About The Author of this article
Meera Jain (BS, DPS) is one of the founders of Healthy Minds and a pioneer in the emerging field of Energy Psychology. Her signature programs ‘Fearlessly Authentic’ and ‘Breakthrough Anxiety' have a proven record to bring about life-changing transformations in people. Her areas of expertise include Archetypal, Depth and Transpersonal Psychologies, Inner Child Work, Meditation, Subtle Energy Work and more. She has presented at many different venues, including universities and healing centers for over 15 years and is well known for being able to transform many struggles in a SINGLE session.
Meera worked as an Assistant Clinical Psychologist in the areas of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, after finishing her postgraduate studies in Oxford (UK), but felt very discontented with the nature of conventional medicine. Her own spiritual upbringing prompted her for many years to search for tools that go beyond conventional medicine and make a bigger difference.
Through her 20 year journey, Meera began experimenting with integrating two fields she has mastered - Psychotherapy and Subtle Energy Work and this resulted in the creation of a new therapy, she calls 'Energy - Based Psychotherapy'. Her signature programs 'Fearlessly Authentic' and 'Breakthrough Anxiety' are the culmination of Energy-Based Psychotherapy, when it is utilized in a systematic format to resolve a particular problem.