Battling Anxiety? 5 Natural Paths to Relaxation

Have a rough day at work? Maybe your coworkers have gotten on your nerves? Or perhaps parenting duties have left you feeling frazzled? Is your automatic response at such times to reach for the liquor cabinet?

While drinking wine or relaxing with a beer is a quick remedy, an over reliance on alcohol can be detrimental in many ways. For example, it could create an alcohol dependency, which can lead to nasty hangovers and long-term ailments. Healthline lists alcohol dependency risks that include obesity, liver disease, depression, and cardiovascular damage.
But what alternatives are out there? Are there healthy remedies that a person can take that will help to lower anxiety levels? Read on for 5 of the best natural remedies in Mother Nature’s closet.

  1. Kava.

If you are feeling anxious, restless, or have difficulty falling to sleep at night, studies suggest that kava is what you should be taking. Kava is a root plant that has many methods of preparation, including a kava tincture, as a tea, and even as a powder.
The calming properties of kava are equivalent to that of Valium or diazepam. It has the ability to both relax muscles as well as prevent convulsions. How does it work? Kava properties cause the levels of dopamine in your body to increase, which bring with it feelings of calm.

  1. Chamomile.

Sometimes, traditional wisdom is best. Chamomile tea has long been associated with helping to calm and relax a person before bedtime. And researchers in recent years have been learning why that is. Studies show that compounds found in chamomile behave in the same way as Valium does within the brain. One study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania observed patients dealing with anxiety. Those taking chamomile supplements had a notable decrease in symptoms compared to those in the control group.

The next time you are faced with the jitters, try a time-out with a cup of chamomile.

  1. Omega-3.

Not only good for one’s heart health, researchers are finding it can also help with stress levels. A study in Finland found a high correlation between sparse consumption of fish (a food high in omega-3) and depression. Other studies showing this correlation soon followed.

Depression and anxiety are both characterized by low levels of serotonin in the brain. Omega-3 plays a vital role in increasing serotonin’s functionality. Where to find this magical nutrient? Look for it in tuna, sardines, salmon, and walnuts.

  1. Ashwagandha.

Ashwagandha is a herb that is helpful in regulating the body’s reaction to stress. It is used in many traditional remedies in India. And is often referred to as the ginseng of India due to its stress-relieving and stamina-enhancing properties.

Aside from helping a person deal with stress, it has also been used to treat the following:

  • low or high blood sugar
  • anxiety and depression
  • low levels of stamina and endurance
  • cancer
  • brain cell degeneration
  • high cholesterol
  • low immunity

Ashwagandha is available as a powder or as a tablet. A popular method of taking this herb is to use it in its powder form and add it to milk with a bit of honey as a relaxant before bed.

  1. Magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency might be playing a role in your levels of stress and feelings of anxiousness. The current recommended daily amount of magnesium is 420 mg for men and 320 mg for women. But most adults only get about 250 mg of magnesium daily.

Magnesium plays a role in many metabolic functions and aids your nervous system in numerous ways. It also regulates the flow of stress hormones and can act as a filter to prevent too much from entering your brain. So where can we find this good stuff? Look for it in cashews, spinach, almond, peanut butter, avocado, and soy milk. Other sources include squash and pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, and black-eyed peas.

 

Image courtesy of [adamr] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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