wikiHow to Beat Anxiety Naturally

Three Methods:Natural Remedies for AnxietyReplacing Anxious ThoughtsPreventing Anxiety

Anxiety disorders affect nearly 40 million Americans each year[1], and almost everyone deals with anxiety at one point or another. But the negative side effects of prescription anxiety medication are sometimes worse than the anxiety itself. By practicing positive thought and utilizing some natural remedies, you can push anxiety out of your mind and get back to enjoying your life.

Method 1
Natural Remedies for Anxiety

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    Do something you enjoy. The easiest way to fight bad thoughts is to do something else. Distract yourself from needless anxiety by finding the hobbies, games, and activities that you enjoy above everything else and go do them. Not only will this alleviate anxiety in the short-term, it can help manage stress throughout your life.[2]
    • Make time to do something you love every single day.
    • Draft a list of your favorite activities and relaxation techniques, from the big (go on vacation) to the small (enjoy a nice glass of wine). Reference this list when you feel upset to ground yourself in things you love and can do right now.
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    Go outside. Being outdoors has been proven to reduce anxiety and stress, so go for a walk, hike, or bike ride. Even sitting out on your porch gets you vital fresh air and natural light that can calm you down slowly.[3]
    • Find a view you like and visit it in times of stress.
    • Go for a quiet drive with the windows down.
    • Open your windows to bring fresh air into the house.
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    Use calming scents and music to create an atmosphere of tranquility. Your environment profoundly influences your levels of anxiety, which is why loud noises, crowded places, and uncomfortable situations breed nervousness and jitters. Make your environment a place of peace and comfort by:
    • Lighting candles or incense. Lavender, lemon, and peppermint are proven to reduce anxiety.[4]
    • Making a mix of music that is soothing or calming to you.
    • Lower the lights and avoid looking directly at computer or TV screens.
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    Focus on your breathing. Breathing exercises flood your body with oxygen and help you slow down your thought process. This is extremely useful during periods of anxiety, as your brain often feels like it just won't shut off. Simply let air in slowly, and then hold for a few seconds in your lungs. Let it out at a slow but comfortable pace, relax for a second, and then begin again.
    • Keep your thoughts on your breathing as you try and take deep, smooth breaths with every inhalation and exhalation.
    • Where is your breathing coming from? How deeply can you inhale and exhale? Try connecting to your body as you breathe instead of the thoughts that make you anxious.
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    Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation. This technique, often done in conjunction with breathing exercises, helps relax your body and gives you something to focus on other than anxiety. As you inhale, tense the muscles in your neck, then slowly release them as you exhale. Work your way down into the arms, shoulders, chest, stomach, hips, legs, etc. until you reach the feet and toes.
    • Massaging your hands, neck, and shoulders can achieve similar results.[5]
    • The more you practice, the faster the results will kick, helping you feel calm and relaxed before you get below your waist.[6]
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    Meditate once a day for at least 15 minutes. Meditation is the practice of letting go of your thoughts and finding peace in your internal monologue. There is no "goal," or "correct" way to meditate. Instead, it is a way to come to terms with your thoughts and find some measure of inner peace. Daily meditation, even for a few minutes, has been shown to lower anxiety and nervousness.[7]
    • Take 10 minutes to turn all your devices off and sit in silence.
    • Focus on your breathing, posture, and body, not your thoughts.
    • Acknowledge your anxieties without giving into them. In other words, see the thought but don't keep thinking about it. Just let it go.
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    Laugh away the anxiety. Having a sense of humor may be the easiest natural way to fight anxiety. Remember that most problems in life are not truly serious or traumatic, and that anxiety is often an overreaction to common problems. So find the funny side of things -- make a joke, laugh off a problem, and remember to smile -- it is proven to make you happier.[8]
    • Surround yourself with friends who make you smile or laugh, as they can help you put things in a more humorous light.
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    Try anxiety-reducing supplements and vitamins. Available over the counter at many vitamin stores and large retailers, there are a variety of supplements that may help soothe anxiety. While there is some debate in the scientific community about their effectiveness, low side-effects and positive personal testimonies indicate the following supplements may be useful to beat anxiety:
    • GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid has been shown to reduce stress in tests.[9]
    • Gingko
    • Melatonin
    • Omega-3s from cold-water fish (like salmon) or pills
    • Passionflower[10]
    • Kava[11]
    • Make sure these supplements do not interact with other medication before taking them by reading the labels entirely.
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    Try herbal remedies to fight anxiousness. Teas, herbs, and scents have long been used as home remedies for a variety of conditions and disorders, and anxiety is no exception. While there is not a lot scientific data on effectiveness, the Mayo clinic notes that relief can come from:
    • Lavender
    • Chamomile tea
    • Green tea
    • Lemon Balm
    • Valerian[12]

Method 2
Replacing Anxious Thoughts

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    Recognize feelings of anxiety as they approach. Everyone feels anxiety from time to time, whether they are stressed, over-worked, or nervous about an approaching deadline. But when feelings of anxiety make it difficult to live your life you need to find a way to deal with them. Common symptoms of anxiety include:
    • Feelings of fear or panic.
    • Problems falling/staying asleep.
    • Nausea, dizziness.
    • Sweats, clammy hands, dry mouth.
    • Heart palpitations.
    • Inability to sit still.[13]
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    Think about what is making your anxious. Examine your thinking, including beliefs, expectations, attitudes, judgments, values, and opinions. Try to pinpoint exactly what is making you nervous, on edge, or anxious. More often than not your anxiety is about the past ("I've done something terribly wrong") or the future ("Sooner or later my boss is going to fire me"), but every person is different. Think about your anxiety, don't run from it.
    • Are you anxious because of a project or deadline at work? Maybe it's time to take a short vacation.
    • Are you anxious about your relationship with someone? Maybe it's time to have a conversation with them.
    • Are you anxious about your future plans? Maybe it's time to sit down and think about what you want in your next year of life.
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    Remind yourself that you can only control the present moment. To make your thinking more realistic and accurate, think: "I can't change the past, and I can't control the future. I can just do the best I can right now". Letting go of control is an important way to adjust irrational or inaccurate thinking as you put focus and energy in the here and now rather than the "what ifs," "should haves," and "I'm not good enough."
    • How can you make your current situation better?
    • Is the past really "your fault," or are there a lot of variables that influenced what happened?
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    Soften the language of your thoughts. Reframing your negative thoughts with more positive language is a great way to take the power out of bad or anxious thoughts. Instead of thinking, "My mom is going to kill me for breaking that lamp," tell yourself that "Mom is going to be mad, but we will get a new one." While you know that your mom isn't going to actually kill anyone, the figure of speech "she is going to kill me" is loaded with negative thoughts that make you anxious. Extreme language is not only dangerous, it is rarely true.[14]
    • Instead of, "I'm worthless," after a failure, think "I've learned how to improve next time."
    • Instead of, "everyone hates me," think "not everyone can be best friends."[15]
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    Keep your physical spaces organized. You don't have to be meticulous, but keeping the environment around you free of clutter can help you keep your head free of clutter too. Take 10-15 minutes to calmly organize you desk or room, which allows you time to decompress and take control of your situation, physically and mentally.[16]
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    Talk to a trusted friend about your feelings. Just getting anxiety of your chest can make it more manageable. When you take the time to put your anxiety into words you give them shape, allowing you to figure them out and find a way to handle them. Find someone you know is a good listener, like a family member, friend, or loved one, and begin with "Would you mind if I got something off my chest for a minute?"
    • Don't feel like you need someone to give you guidance or advice. Simply having someone sympathetic listen to your anxiety is often enough.
    • Find a support group to enter a safe, open environment to share your fears.[17]
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    Write down one positive thought for every negative one. When you start feeling anxious, counter your negativity with something good. Work on kicking out the bad thoughts for the good. For example, you might start with "I'm going to fail my chem test." But remember the positives before jumping to the negatives: "I passed my last test," "I'm really good at English" and, "I still have 3 days to study." Finding the good in every situation gives you something to focus on instead of anxiety.
    • Writing down these lists, or "counter-attacks" can help you see the good more clearly.
    • Have these thoughts ready when anxiety creeps in and use them to fend off upsetting thoughts.
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    See a therapist if your anxiety persists or interferes with your daily life. If you have persistent anxiety or anxiety that prevents you from doing normal, everyday tasks, you may have an anxiety disorder.[18] While the tips and ideas here may help you manage or control your anxiety, talking to a trained, objective therapist is a great way to learn more about your feelings and find specific ways to manage them.[19]
    • There is no stigma to seeing a therapist. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans have seen a therapist or are on medication for anxiety.[20]

Method 3
Preventing Anxiety

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    Know that anxiety is not your fault. Anxiety, like most mental illnesses, is not the cause of "weak character" or personal flaws. While its exact causes are not completely known, doctors agree that a variety of influences, from brain chemistry to environmental influences, affect anxiety. Blaming yourself for your anxiety is only a sure-fire way to make things worse.[21]
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    Eliminate high-energy, anxious chemicals like caffeine or nicotine. Both of these chemicals are addictive, which can cause anxiety when you can't get them and make your brain speed up. This nervous energy is often a breeding ground for anxiety and feelings of fear. Quitting smoking and cutting back on coffee can help curb your anxiety.[22]
    • Refined carbs and sugars, like candy, white bread, and sugary cereals, from your diet. Like caffeine and nicotine, refined carbs are stimulants and will worsen your anxiety.
    • Avoid alcohol, as it is a depressant that can promote anxious thoughts.[23]
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    Take care of you physical health. This simple step may be the best thing you can do for your physical and mental health. Your mind and body are linked, and neglecting one will lead to problems with the other. Skipping meals, dehydration, and not getting enough sleep have all been linked to anxiety.[24] Look at your daily life and note if you are skipping out on any of the following:
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    Determine your personal triggers for anxious thought. Do you have an anxiety attack after every phone call with your mom? When you come home from work? When you're studying for exams? If you notice a pattern in anxiety attacks or anxious periods in your life, it's time to make some adjustments specific to your triggers.
    • Call your mom instead of waiting for her to call you. This puts you in control of the time and setting of the conversation so you can choose something comfortable.
    • Take 10-15 minutes after you come home from work for "me time," where you listen to music, read a book, or watch TV by yourself to calm down.
    • Break studying up into chunks-- 1 hour studying, 15 minutes relaxing. This is not only more relaxing, it may help you learn better as well.[27]
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    Break your life into more manageable chunks. Your calendar is your friend. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope with stress and anxiety, take an afternoon to schedule out your life in more manageable chunks. Keep track of everything that needs to get done, and map out how you'll do it in a timely fashion so that you don't end up with one night to do lots of work.[28]
    • What can you eliminate from your schedule? Giving yourself more time to relax is a great way to lower stress and anxiety levels.
    • What are the days in your life you know will be stressful? What can you do to prepare in advance?
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    Set small, meaningful goals to accomplish. Don't try and conquer anxiety all in one day. Think of things that you can accomplish within a week or month and set yourself to those tasks first. For example, if you want to begin meditating daily, start by setting aside just 5 minutes every day. This will not only relax you, but help you build up to 10, 15, or 20 minutes daily down the line.
    • Make a list of your "major goals," and then, in a separate list, write down smaller goals that you need to reach to make your major goals possible.[29]
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    Set aside time to worry and time to play. Anxiety and worry are natural. And they can be good emotions when used productively that help us examine life, dodge problems, and prepare for the future. The problem arises when you let anxiety take over your life, so instead of letting it creep into everything, make time to address your worries. This paradoxical approach of accepting anxiety often helps you deal with it. Put aside 20 minutes of "worry time," where you think of all possible scenarios and ways to deal with them. When that 20 minutes is up, stop and go play or talk to friends.[30]
    • Stick to your timeframe -- give yourself time to worry, but move on when you are done.
    • Scheduling time to worry allows you to acknowledge your fears while taking control of them at the same time.


  • Remember that, while you usually expect the worse, the worst is not what usually happens.
  • Think of other times you've felt anxious. Was the reality really that bad, or were you worrying too much?


  • If you feel like your anxiety is overwhelming you and life is not worth living, call a therapist or suicide hotline now. Anxiety is not your fault, and there are ways to manage it.

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Categories: Alternative Health