In this blog post we discuss 10 known natural cures for anxiety many of which are backed by science and some used from direct experience.
Please note, this website should not be taken as medical advice. It is an information website, mostly from lived experience and research, explaining what has worked for some sufferers of anxiety. If you suffer with any form of anxiety please seek medical attention from your GP first and use information here to help guide to you towards creating your own plan to healing and furthe research.
1. Mindfulness / Meditation
Mindfulness is pretty big right now amongst people seeking some solace from their thoughts in the mind.
Mindfulness brings your attention inward and focuses on the present moment rather than worry about ‘what might happen’ and also bring your focus to ‘the good in your life’.
It has roots in Buddhism but is not at all religious, it just helps you to focus on your mind, thoughts and self to understand there is no harm that can happen to you and is known to help slow down your rapid thinking.
If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness we recommend a book which can be found in the battle of mind shop here.
2. CBT (Cognitive behaviour therapy)
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.
Meditation works in a similar way, regulating your breathing and your brainwaves to give yourself a more clear mind and cleaner thoughts.
With CBT it doesn’t necessarily completely eradicate anxiety or depression but its aim is to try to think more positively and rather than think about things in a worse case scenario you start to think of a situation in its best light.
If you would like to undertake some CBT speak to your GP and they will be able to guide you to recommended CBT specialists. If you want some more insight into CBT the NHS ( UK Health Service ) give a more detailed insight into how CBT works.
Cognitive behaviour therapy helps you to take negative thoughts and think in a different way.
3. Exposure to your trigger
Exposure therapy is a form of CBT but ideal for those with phobias or traumatic experiences that stops them living life fully.
Exposure therapy involves starting with items and situations that cause anxiety, but anxiety that you feel able to tolerate.
As a previous sufferer of severe anxiety I found that exposure to what it was causing you to feel anxiety or fear, starting at a low level, building up to more intense feelings of anxiety really helped to reduce the feelings of anxiety and make it more manageable.
How I began my exposure therapy was writing down 10 things that I had anxiety with, identifying different trigger levels of anxiety and began to slowly change the feelings I got from them situations by exposing myself to each level until gradually, I realised no situation was as bad as I was imagining it in my mind.
Again, I recommend speaking to a GP and finding a specialist who can help you with identifying your triggers and working on them, possibly with the support of another to give you strength at first.
Knowing what caused your anxiety in the first place can be difficult to identify and incredibly frustrating if you are determined to get well.
There can usually be one or several traumatic situations in your life, dating right back to your childhood, that became the cause to your anxiety of current situations. You are not born anxious or depressed, it is something we learn from experiences we didn’t want.
Hypnotherapy allows you to access your subconscious, deal with things correctly that we may have buried and identify times when your problem with anxiety or depression started.
Again, the founder of BoM has experienced this therapy and recalled several things from before he was 7 and realised the connection to why things still bothered him today. There was a great connection between what happened as a child and in his teen years to why he was reacting to certain situations as an adult in the way he did.
I personally find hypnotherapy a great tool to identify causes to anxiety, depressive and addictive problems if you find a reputable hypnotist.
5. Breathing correctly
When we become anxious our heart begins to beat faster, we can sweat, our mind goes blank and our breathing goes fast and unregulated, basically we lose control.
To regain control when anxious learning how to breath correctly is important and BoM created a short video of a breathing exercise ( you can find it on the YouTube channel ) and also wrote an interesting article about why conscious breathing is so important for a mind that is at ease and functioning at its best here.
Exercising releases natural anti-depressants and anti-anxiety chemicals into your brain whilst also boosting your confidence.
Some studies show that exercise can work quickly to elevate depressed mood in many people. Although the effects may be temporary, they demonstrate that a brisk walk or other simple activity can deliver several hours of relief
Exercising of all types, whether a long intense gym workout or simple 10 minute walk can work wonders on reducing feelings of anxiety or depression. It is not a cure on it’s own but can be part of a greater recovery plan. Here Battle of Mind founder discusses 12 ways to exercise without going the gym.
The great thing about exercising is that not only does it help you improve your mental fitness but can also help you look your best!
It is no secret that BoM is a huge advocate of music that is positive. It is known to slow blood pressure, reduce negative thoughts and release endorphins in the brain.
Throw in some dancing moves, really feel the good lyrics and you are exercising AND listening to feel good songs! It is highly recommended to have positive music available whenever you feel anxious as it can help you to feel better in anxious situations or when you feel low.
Here is a blog post about how to create your own music playlists via YouTube
8. Reduce sugar and caffeine intake
Sugar and coffee according to research, create difficult thinking, increase heart rate and cause shaking and tension in the body. Not a direct cause of anxiety but by reducing your intake of these foods you will help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety alongside other known tools.
Research has established a correlation between sugar intake and anxiety. In a 2008 study , rats that binged on sugar and then fasted displayed anxiety, and in a 2009 study rats fed sucrose compared to high-antioxidant honey were more likely to suffer anxiety.
9. Get good sleep
Anxiety, is exhausting! Your consciousness is heightened and by the end of your day out , challenging your thoughts and trying to identify threats in your area your mind is fatigued.
Sleeping is a great tool for helping with anxiety and scientists have proven that it is highly important to try and get regular amounts of 8 hours sleep a night for your brain to function at it’s best
To read more about the importance of sleep you can read this blog post here.
10. Focus on the good in life
Gratitude is a hugely powerful tool to help you change your thoughts from negativity to positivity. It may seem patronising to consider something so simple being able to change your life and feelings of anxiety but having tried this and reminding myself that there is many good things in my life and that I have affected many people in a positive way.
Whenever you feel anxious I believe trying to focus on the positive, be grateful for what you have and let the anxieties fall to the back of your mind.
To read more about gratitude and focusing on the positive you can read this blog post.
Natural cures for anxiety
Do you know of any other natural cures for anxiety? Do you have any experiences of the above tools? I would love you to comment below if you do and please do share this post. Thankyou!