5 Natural And Effective Ways To Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety disorders affect around 40 million adults in the United States and about 300 million people worldwide.

Symptoms of anxiety can range from sweating and nervousness to panic attacks, gastrointestinal problems and selective mutism (usually in children). 

While there are prescriptions and medical treatments available for anxiety and panic attacks, there are also natural approaches that can help regulate the nervous system and prevent anxiety from escalating. 

  • Regular exercise. Getting active can release tension stored in the body and can release endorphins, which create a positive feeling. Regular exercise can also reduce blood pressure and lead to better sleep—which in turn may help keep the nervous system in a relaxed state. 
  • Time in nature. Nature is known to have a calming effect on the mind and body. Standing barefoot outside, hiking in the woods and taking walks are all ways to increase your time in nature. Even houseplants or pictures of nature can help you feel less angry, anxious or stressed, according to WebMD.
  • Touch. Prolonged human touch promotes the release of the chemicals serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, which are known for their calming and mood-boosting properties. Human connection can also reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. 
  • Meditation. When we are simply aware of our anxiety without judging it as good, bad, right, or wrong, we can begin to develop more acceptance of ourselves and our situation. Mindfulness practices such as meditation are one way to practice this awareness. 
  • Journaling. Expressive writing is a way to release emotion and tension without needing to solve anything and without worrying about other people’s reactions. A study of patients with high blood pressure found that systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly after one month of regular expressive writing. 

If you experience symptoms of anxiety or have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you’re not alone. Nearly 1 in 5 American also struggle with anxiety. Working these natural remedies into your routine may help reduce the symptoms you’re feeling and help calm your nervous system.