Stress and anxiety seem like they’re affecting more people than ever before. Life’s super-fast pace and 24/7 connectivity make it hard to catch our breath let alone find time to calm our nerves before another day begins. Beat back anxiety with these natural remedies that can help you out of a nervous jam in a pinch or set you on a path to long-term calm.
DISCLOSURE: This advice is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare practitioner. Always seek medical advice that is specific to you and your situation.
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Hydrate and fuel up
It seems too simple to be true, but low blood sugar and poor hydration can make us feel more anxious than we actually are and even trigger anxious feelings. Diets that are high in saturated fat, processed food and alcohol set our systems back while sugary drinks and caffeine can amp up the anxious. Make mealtime a priority and always hit the road or the office with a fully loaded bottle of water.
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Peppermint essential oil
Release the benefits of this fragrant essential oil found to soothe anxiety and even calm a nervous stomach. Fill your environment with peppermint oil scent using a diffuser and take a series of deep calming deep breaths to create a personalized aromatherapy experience. For relief on the go, dab peppermint oil on the wrists, ankles, or over the heart.
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Try group exercise classes
Being busy means we don't get much time to connect with others and socialize. When we don’t socialize enough we can feel more anxious. People who exercise in pairs or groups for just 30-minutes feel calmer than those who burn calories alone. So, grab a friend, hit the treadmills and spill the proverbial tea while working up a sweat.
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Declutter and tidy up
Does constantly misplacing your keys and phone charger spark joy? Decluttering and organizing key spaces like your bedside, closets and entry way limits the excessive visual stimuli that can automatically amp up our anxiety. It’s harder for us to relax and unwind in cluttered spaces and mess only makes it harder for us to be creative and productive. Let your favourite decluttering guru du-jour guide you to natural anxiety relief.
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Derived from the world’s most famous green plant, cannabidiol, or CBD oil can have a calming effect on the body without intoxicating or clouding the mind. Now legal across Canada, CBD oil may work to naturally create calm in the mind and lower anxiety in the body. Paranoia not included.
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Multi-tasking is a myth
While it sure does seem like everyone is a multi-tasking master, researchers still argue that doing many things at once is not only unproductive but bad for our mental health. Watching our favourite must-see TV shows while scrolling multiple apps on our phone and cooking dinner actually just puts our brains and emotions on overload. When your mind is overloaded by toggling between tasks, you get stressed out. Naturally eliminate superfluous anxiety and stress by doing just one thing at a time… even if it feels boring at first.
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Try forest bathing
In Japan, the act of ‘shinrin-yoku’, or forest baths, helps people take in the atmosphere and peace of nature. It’s not hiking, running or exercise — instead this natural remedy engages all five senses to help you connect with nature and find calm. Head to a forest, park or garden where you can sit quietly or wander aimlessly appreciating the colours, scents and sounds of Mother Nature.
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The less downtime we take, the more our anxiety snowballs. Put the outside world on hold and take advantage of the mandatory rest session that is restorative yoga. This therapeutic class uses soft props and cozy blankets help you sink in to restful, still postures. This all-natural anxiety reliever restores the body’s central nervous system and internal systems while teaching you to focus on the task at hand: relaxing.
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Reduce your screen time
Comparing ourselves to others increases social anxiety, fear of missing out messes with our self-esteem, and our inability to just stop scrolling, already can outweigh social media’s connectivity and entertainment benefits. In fact, social media tends to attract those who are naturally more anxious and can leave us feeling more dialed-up than before we signed-in. Stepping away from the screen to head anxious feelings off at the pass.
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Schedule self-care that works for you
The word self-care gets thrown around a lot but really, it’s about recharging in whatever way feels restorative and restful to you. Making (and guarding) space in your schedule for activities that give you time to recharge, express yourself, take care of your health, or connect with others helps manage anxiety ease nervous feelings.
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Connect face to face
Likes and shares give us a temporary high, but it turns out our need for face-to-face interactions can’t be ignored. Hanging out with other people and strengthening our social connections improves our mood and lowers our anxiety naturally all while giving us a chance to try the neighbourhood’s new coffee bar.
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Make time for mini meditations
There’s a reason that Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness mediation tools have enjoyed a huge resurgence in the past few years. Bringing the mind into this moment, right now, and tuning in to the body are proven ways to naturally lower anxiety. The three-minute breathing space exercise is like a mini-meditation practice that can take you from nervous to composed and helps you learn to keep cool over the long-term.