Natural Simple Ways to Deal Anxiety, Worry, and Fear
Anxiety starts with ticking clocks, shuffling steps, opening, and closing doors. The mind always running, the heart always racing, can’t stop shaking your leg. Sounds familiar? This is what being anxious feels like. You start sweating and start panicking with no control over whatsoever. You tend to avoid certain circumstances and certain people.
Also, You don’t like venturing out of your comfort zone. You feel helpless, hopeless like no one can understand what you’re going through and this makes you feel even more anxious! 90% of the entire world adults have experienced anxiety at least once in their lifetime. Let us try to learn something more about it
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety may be transient, persistent, episodic, or limited to specific situations. It is classically defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. Anxiety can be normal in stressful situations such as public speaking, stage fright, taking exams, etc.
It is a mere indicator of underlying disease when this anxiety becomes excessive and consuming such that it begins to interfere with your day to day life. This could be due to GAD, most commonly- Generalized anxiety disorder. The symptoms that anxiety gives us are both physical as well as psychological. Most often, anxiety is part of a transient adjustment to stressful events: adjustment disorders.
These are characterized by emotions of anxiety, worrisome thoughts, avoidance behaviors, and some symptoms of your autonomic system stimulation i.e., sweating, trembling, etc. The most common out of these is a Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This is a chronic anxiety state with uncontrollable worry. You may feel tremors and bowel disturbances among other symptoms.
Why do you get Anxiety?
Anxiety disorders are very common. Around 40 million cases are reported in the United States, alone. Medical science doesn’t completely understand the pathophysiology or the ’why’ of anxiety yet. It is, however, believed that certain traumatic experiences can trigger anxiety if you are prone to it. It could be hereditary, too.
That means, if someone in your family has suffered from anxiety, chances are you will be suffering from it too. In some cases, anxiety can be caused by an underlying health issue. It may occur independently or in association with other mental disorders like depression and even bipolar syndrome.
When Should you go to a Doctor?
You must see a doctor immediately if you are thinking about suicide or can’t function normally i.e., you feel your day-to-day activities are getting affected. You can make an appointment with a doctor if you feel you have difficulty in your work or relationships and you feel like quitting, without any other reason; if you feel sad and slowed; or if you are involved in alcohol or other substances abuse.
If your doctor diagnoses you with anxiety or an anxiety disorder. He will treat you one of two ways:
1. Psychological treatment: Treatments include relaxation, graded exposure to feared situations for people with phobias, and computer-based training.
2. Drug treatment: Antidepressants are the drugs most commonly prescribed in this condition. The others that can be prescribed to you are benzodiazepines and beta-blockers. You may also be prescribed sleep-inducing medication if you have troubled sleep.
What happens in your body when you’re anxious?
- A sense of doom
- Difficulty in concentration
- Depression-you tend to be socially withdrawn
- Pounding heart
- Loss of libido
- Your blood pressure increases
- Your stomach may be upset more often more irritability
- You might find it difficult to breathe
- Generalized aches and pains.
8 Natural Ways to Treat Anxiety
All said and done, we all know there is no need to rush to a doctor at the first sign of discomfort. Let me walk you through some tried and tested natural remedies to calm your nerves.
The word ‘exercise’ always seemed very tiring to me. It’s something that I’d want to put off for another time. But exercise is a broad term-it includes any form of physical activity, from simple deep breathing to HIITs! I have a friend who started exercising a few years ago and now can’t live without it, he says it’s the only way he knows how to release all his stress!
So, how exactly do you find the ideal form and type of exercise for you? I get it, too many choices make it even harder to make a decision. So let’s go over some broad categories.
Yoga: Yoga is a beautiful combination of strength, flexibility, and agility. You can start your day off with some stretches to kick start your day with positivity.
2. HIIT and Weight Training
Low-intensity cardio: This is easy, especially if you have a furry friend. Take it out for a long walk, you may choose to jog or fast walk. Go out for a run on your own! It’s always nice to be outdoors during the early morning hours, gives a fresh kick to your day. Bicycling in the late evenings is a very good exercise too-it’s great for your thighs and butt!
Weight training: This is the new workout-fad that’s taken the internet by storm. What exactly is weight training? It’s training your muscles to become stronger by targeting specific muscle groups at a time. You don’t need to have access to a gym or any equipment. Just a yoga mat would be fine too, to get down for some functional training, where the weight you’ll be using is your body weight!
A sample full-body functional routine would be as follows: Tricep dips, Reverse planks, elbow planks, arm circles, push-ups, crunches-for your upper body; lunges, squats, curtsies, and bridges for your lower body; you can use combination moves like burpees; up-and-down planks and jump squats for whole-body movements.
HIIT: This stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. This means that you get down and do some energy-packed moves till you burn yourself out and rest for a while to again repeat the same after you’ve caught your breath. HIITs are extremely fun and personally, my favorite form of exercise. The best ones to practice are Zumba and Tabata. Just search for these do-along online, and start moving!
If done correctly, meditation is one of the absolute best remedies for depression. It not only calms you down but also gives you much-needed insight into your life. Again, to answer the same question, what exactly is meditation? It is a practice where we may employ different techniques to train your mind to achieve a mentally clear state with emotional stability. The easiest technique is to use your focus. Focus on any one particular thing to tune out everything else around you-like your breath. Close your eyes and just feel yourself breathe in and out trying to dial down all other noise and thoughts.
To start with, we have exercised requiring little to none mobility. All you would need is a tiny space to fit yourself in and some motivations to kick start your practice.
Starting with breathing exercises
1. Deep breathing:
- Sit up straight, close your eyes.
- Take a deep breath in.
- Fill your lungs with air till you’re about to burst.
- Now, hold it in for a few seconds
- Release your breath slow and controlled.
- Repeat 10-15 reps, 2-3 sets.
2. Anulom vilom:
- Hold one nostril on your inhale
- Such that you block entry of air through it.
- Breathe in through the open nostril till you feel full of air.
- Now, clasp your other nostril and hold for a few seconds.
- Next, release your finger from the opposite nostril
- Breathe out in a controlled fashion such that you inhale and exhale from two separate nostrils.
- Repeat for 20 reps, 3-4 sets.
4. Mind Eating
Erratic eating patterns are often the most common symptom of depression. To deal with this, I have two words for you, mindful eating. What is mindfulness? It’s something of a practice in itself where you train yourself to become completely aware of yourself and your surroundings.
When we’re depressed, we tend to eat whenever and whatever, often with no stop button. This, in turn, can lead to all kinds of health concerns. Mindful eating is to listen to your body and feed it only as much as it needs and what it needs.
With most of us in the 20, 30-something age group spending a lot of time by ourselves, we tend to dim down the loneliness by reaching out for our screens and watching our favorite show while gulping down our meals. This is unhealthy because eating, in itself, is a whole activity, requiring us to focus all our senses on it.
Watch the food you eat, smell it on the plate. The best way to practice this is to sit on by a table, in silence, and focus on your food. Eat with your hand, if possible. It makes you more connected with your meal.
Observe how the food feels in your mouth, on your tongue, when it touches your cheek, till the time you’ve swallowed that one particular morsel.
5. Form a Routine
I cannot stress enough on the importance of building in a routine into your day. Usually, we have our work cut out for us by our colleges and jobs taking up most of our day-we still need to have a small little routine worked into our spare time.
It could be as simple as a nighttime routine, where you take a few moments to brush your teeth, clean your face and take a bath before slipping into your comfortable pajamas and calling it a night. Now, with the lockdown coming down on us, forcing our life to a stop, where we have no distinction between our work life and home life as we work from home.
It’s crucial that we not only plan our day out and set aside some time for ourselves, but also important to repeat these certain tasks at the same time, each day. That’s what a routine is. Fix a time at which you’ll wake up considering what time you fall asleep and give yourself at least 6-8 hours of undisturbed sleep.
What will you do after you wake up? Clean up and go out for a jog, maybe? Or some in-house stretching is a good idea for you. What will you do next? Maybe take a bath and get down to work. Similarly, plan out a rough template for your entire day and push yourself daily to follow exactly that. This will make you feel more accomplished and excited to start each new day!
5. Gratitude Journal
A gratitude journal is simply a notebook where you jot down things in your life that you’re grateful for. Ideally, you could do it at the end of your day. For all you techie babies, you could just type them down in your phone or tablet-whatever will keep you doing it for longer. You need to look back on your day and write down any 3 things that you want to say ‘thank you’ for that day.
This makes you feel happy, satisfied, and humbles you as you practice it.
6. Pamper Yourself
With everything going on in your life, with all the struggles you deal with daily, you, too, need to take some time off and spoil yourself! Make that spa appointment, give yourself a pedicure in the shower, buy that jumpsuit you’ve been eyeing for the longest time.
Make yourself a fancy meal-decorate the table with candles and eat in your fancy china, spend some more time with your family once a week, indulge a little more with your partner. Giving yourselves these tiny treats every once in a while will make you feel charged and happy-motivating you to take life, head on!
7. Self Affirmations
After waking up, look at yourself in the mirror and say this out loud “You are a wonderful human being. You deserve all the good things in life. Today is a brand new day and you will kill it out there!” List out good qualities about yourself and just pump yourself up for the day. This pep talk early in the morning will give you the much-needed boost to start your day.
Anxiety is a fairly common disorder. A lot of people suffer from it but that does not mean you have to live with it. Sometimes, it so happens, that the thought of having anxiety only gives you anxiety. Therefore, it is important to calm our nerves, be happy, and try to live each day one at a time.
Stay happy. Stay healthy.
We hope this article helped you to know about Natural Simple Ways to Deal Anxiety, Worry, and Fear. You may also want to see our guide on What Too Much Sodium Do To Your Body, Salt Side Effects, and How To Maintain Hygiene In Intimate Area.