If statistics are to be believed, it seems as if most of America suffers from some form of anxiety disorder. Okay, while this may be a slight exaggeration, at least 40 million adults have a form of anxiety disorder, and about 25 million of them don’t seek treatment. Moreover, 70% of adults experience stress or anxiety at least once a day.
The thing is, you don’t necessarily have to pump yourself full of Xanax or spend hours in a therapist’s chair. There is a ton of DIY ways to calm anxiety, and we provide you with ten below.
1 – Exercise
Believe it or not, putting your body through physical stress is a great way to ease mental stress. Your body is filled with adrenaline when you’re anxious, but when you exercise, you can put the adrenaline to good use. Exercise reduces your body’s level of stress hormones (such as cortisol) and releases feel-good endorphins which improve your mood and act like an all-natural painkiller.
On top of everything else, exercise improves your quality of sleep. If you are stressed out and anxious all the time, sleep is one of the many things to suffer. Finally, exercise helps you feel more confident in your body which enhances mental well-being. Walking, jogging, and resistance training are all good choices.
2 – Cut Down On Your Caffeine
There are a lot of people who don’t feel ‘alive’ in the morning until they have a cup of coffee. While one or two cups a day can have beneficial effects, too many people overdo it, and the result is an increase in anxiety. If you find that caffeine makes you nervous or jittery, cut down ASAP.
3 – Have a Laugh
The last thing you want to do when anxious is to laugh, but by doing so, you will reduce your anxiety level. Laughing relieves stress by bringing more oxygen into your organs, stimulating and relieving your body’s stress response, and relieving tension by relaxing the muscles. You need to spend time with funny friends, watch a funny movie or TV show and try to find humor in everyday life.
4 – Smoke a Joint
We recommend finding a high-CBD strain or marijuana as high-THC strains could increase your sense of paranoia. There have been several studies that show the positive impact CBD has on people with social anxiety. CBD exerts a variety of actions in the brain that outline why it is so effective against anxiety.
Not only does it make you feel better, but it also changes the way your brain responds to anxiety. The only issue is that there is limited long-term data available, but most research suggests it is an excellent short-term solution at worst.
5 – Yoga
Yoga most certainly isn’t a ‘fad’ as it has been around for thousands of years! If you’re getting brought down by the rat race, consider taking a yoga class. It helps you increase body and breathing awareness, and various studies has shown that yoga not only enhances mood, but it could also be as effective as anti-depressant drugs!
Although experts are not in full agreement, it seems as if yoga has a beneficial effect on the body’s nervous system and stress response. It could help reduce cortisol levels, blood pressure, and your heart rate. Also, yoga can increase your body’s level of gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) which is a neurotransmitter that is lowered if you suffer from a mood disorder.
6 – Put on Some Soothing Music
Instrumental music that is slow-paced can help reduce your heart rate and blood pressure which induces the relaxation response. It also lowers your rate of stress hormone production. Although the best response comes from classical and Celtic music, even listening to the music you love can be enough.
7 – Cuddle Your Partner
Again, there is a host of studies that show the positive impact that hugging, kissing, cuddling and having sex has on anxiety and stress. Positive physical contact is an excellent way of releasing oxycontin and lowering your production of cortisol. The result is a reduction in physical symptoms of stress such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. Did you know that chimpanzees cuddle their stressed-out friends?
8 – Consume Some CBD Oil
The trouble with marijuana is its legal status! It is illegal in 21 states, even for medicinal use. Fortunately, CBD oil has come to the rescue. It is legal in all states (barring Indiana where you must have epilepsy to take it), and it comes in handy oil form.
You should look for reputable companies such as PureKana and Elixinol who sell CBD oil that is extracted from industrial hemp using supercritical CO2 extraction. It is the gold standard of extraction and leads to high-quality golden oil. Finally, make sure you are purchasing full-spectrum CBD oil as this is the best kind.
Once you have your CBD oil, it is important to experiment with the precise amount you need as there is no benefit to overdosing. Begin with a small amount; hold a few drops beneath your tongue for a few seconds before swallowing. You should begin to feel the effects within 20 minutes. If not, wait a few hours and increase the dose.
9 – Take Control of Your Life
If this means becoming Doctor ‘No,’ so be it! While you can’t control every single thing that causes stress, you can take action against some of them. One of the single biggest causes of stress is our propensity to try and become Superman. We take on far more than we can reasonably handle and home and at work. By being smart and selective about what you can take on, you can gain control of your stress levels.
At home, see if your partner can do more; you won’t know until you ask. At work, stop being everyone’s ‘go-to’ person! If you have five projects on your plate, it is okay to say ‘no’ to a colleague in need of help.
10 – Add Select Supplements to Your Diet
While we have already discussed how the marijuana plant, and CBD in particular, can help with anxiety, there are also a handful of excellent supplement options. Add a couple of the following to your diet:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: One noteworthy study showed that medical students who increased their level of Omega-3 consumption experienced a 20% reduction in their stress levels!
- Green Tea: It contains polyphenol antioxidants which provide you with an array of health benefits. It can also help increase your serotonin levels which is an excellent way to reduce stress.
- Valerian Root: This is a powerful sleep aid as it provides users with a tranquilizing effect. Its valerianic acid alters your GABA receptors and reduces anxiety.
Final Thoughts on Calming Anxiety
In the modern era, the average person suffers from a great deal of stress. Some of it is self-inflicted while the rest is a result of the fast-paced world we live in. One of the best ways to calm anxiety is to slow down and take stock of life once in a while. While you don’t have to use all ten tips above, we recommend using as many as possible because the less anxious you are, the happier you will be.
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