Monday Mind Talks: 9 Home remedies to subdue anxiety symptoms
Here are 9 home remedies to subdue anxiety symptoms.
Our mental health is facing many challenges, and among them, anxiety is one of the most debilitating one. It has plagued millions of people from time immemorial and has become far worse a problem in these uncertain times. Anxiety is an emotion that is often defied by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety usually have uncontrollable recurring thoughts or concerns.
In this state, people are always preoccupied with “what-if” thinking: “What if something awful happens to a loved one” or “What if I fail, what if I lose a job”, what if I never get married, what if I never conceive, what if people judge me etc. Samar Hafeez, a Psychologist and a Certified holistic health coach, helps us understand home remedies to subdue anxiety.
Few at-home tips to subdue anxiety symptoms:
1. Try 4-minute body scan meditation: Sit comfortably and take two deep breaths through your nose, and out through the mouth. As you breath out, slowly close your eyes. And mentally scan yourself from head to toe by noticing any pains, aches, stiffness or muscle twitching. This technique helps in recognizing when and where you feel the physical effects of anxiety and help you in tackling them. An interesting study found that practicing body scan meditation on a regular basis decreases the presence of stress hormone (Cortisol) in the body.
2. Mindful eating: It is not uncommon to overthink during our free time. Multi-tasking makes us less mindful and more anxious. Mindfulness is a technique that helps us enjoy the present moment without being too assertive on ourselves and others. Mindful eating is one of the best ways to begin. Mindful eating means being fully attentive to what you eat- its texture, taste, colours, aroma etc. It facilitates self- awareness, reduces anxiety and also renews our experience with the pleasure of eating. Similarly, Mindful walking is a practice of becoming aware of your surroundings and how your body and mind feels (the sensations) while walking. It is interesting to know that meditation is not always about being still or sitting in a particular posture.
3. Using imagination to Relax: Using your imagination is a good way to help you relax. One way is to use visualization exercises in which you imagine pleasant, relaxing imagery that brings in immediate relief, it could be an image of the beach, hill, garden or whatever may soothe a person. Guided imagery serves to redirect people’s attention away from what is stressing them and towards an alternative focus. This practice is extremely portable, as it relies on nothing but one’s imagination.
4. Shift from passive to active perspective: Talk to yourself in a positive and self- assuring way. Know that the ‘what- if’ disaster does not validate or guarantee a disaster. Awfulizing things real or imagined will aggravate anxiety symptoms.
5. Reduce or stop using nicotine: Nicotine in cigarettes tobacco, and caffeine in coffees, teas and soft drinks can exasperate anxiety symptoms.
6. Sleep well: Lack of sleep is known to negatively affect mood and emotional health. So, try getting 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep on a daily basis.
7. The gut-brain relationship: You must certainly have noticed how your stomach reacts when you are upset, angry or anxious. Your gut and brain are very closely linked. When one gets negatively affected, the other one is affected too. Research shows that foods rich in probiotics (good gut bacteria which keeps immunity strong) can help reduce anxiety symptoms. Foods like Greek yogurt, curd, fermented foods, and buttermilk are great sources. However, you also will be needing prebiotics, which are a form of dietary fiber, that acts as a fertilizer for good bacteria. Prebiotics can be found in chickpeas, lentils, peas, beans, bananas, apples, custard apples, pomegranate, watermelon, dried fruits (such as dates, figs), oats, barley, onion, garlic, flax seeds.
8. Play soft music: Whenever you feel you are getting keyed up, try playing soft music or nature sounds.
9. Nature for healing: Spending time in nature can help relieve anxiety symptoms. Nature has a unique calming effect on everyone irrespective of age. Being in nature or even watching scenes of nature bring back pleasant sensations. So, enhance your well-being in nature, you can also bring nature indoors.
Try above mentioned at-home remedies for improved anxiety symptoms. If you are still not able to manage your symptoms, then try to find a medical expert’s help.