If you are suffering from anxiety, you may have had thoughts rush you through your head like “how to get rid of anxiety?”; this normal and there are methods that you can employ to get some anxiety relief.
Depending on what type of anxiety condition you are suffering from, the methods employed relating to how to deal with anxiety may differ. Having said this, you know yourself better than anyone so you can decide which ways will (or might) work for you. Usually, it is a case of trial and error.
Of course, there are many methods you could use to treat and support you during your life with anxiety, but these are the 5 that we believe are the best for you to make use of.
1. Using CBD Oil for Anxiety
CBD oil (formally known as cannabidiol) is a variety of cannabinoid that naturally occurs in cannabis plants (hemp and marijuana). Some research has been conducted into the effects of its ability as an anxiety treatment and the results have shown that it is utterly promising.
No, this oil will not give you a high or intoxicate you — the cannabinoid type that does that is called THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, for the scientific term.
How Does it Work?
Researchers have found that CBD reacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors that are found in our central and peripheral nervous system. However, the exact way in which it affects our CB1 receptors is not completely understood at this moment in time. Having said this, CBD has been shown to offer changes in serotonin.
Depression and anxiety can be caused by low serotonin levels. Doctors and clinical psychologists will usually prescribe sertraline (Zoloft) or fluoxetine (Prozac) for people with decreased levels of this but, some patients prefer to use CBD instead of going down this prescription route.
How Much Should You Take?
Before you make alterations to the things you put into your body for anti-anxiety, you should always speak to your doctor or psychologist. These people know you better than any online forum or general chat with your neighbour ever could. Trust us, it will save you a lot of complications in the future.
NORML (National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) does state though, that CBD products that are widely available to the public do not have enough actual cannabidiol to produce the same effects that are seen in clinical trials.
Unsurprisingly, more research is needed to discover the proper and useful dosage for those suffering from anxiety.
What Side Effects Come With CBD Oil?
Generally, cannabidiol is regarded as fully safe for use. But people have mentioned that they experience things like diarrhoea, changes in eating habits, changes in their weight and overall fatigue.
If you are on any prescribed medication already, proceed with caution, especially if you are on anything that thins your blood.
Never stop taking the medication that your doctor has prescribed to you without first speaking to them about the best ways to stop (if you can). You are very likely to experience withdrawal symptoms like dizziness, nausea or irritability if you do impede your medication course.
How Do You Buy CBD Oil?
As long as cannabis products are approved in your state for medical use, you should be able to buy it from specific dispensaries or clinics. However, you might need to be provided with a license from your doctor to purchase it — you will need to check your state’s laws before looking further into it.
2. Using Supplements for Anxiety
By no means, should any supplement replace medication that has been prescribed to you by a medical professional. However, they are useful as an addition to your care and wellbeing plan. Having said this, ensure you speak to your doctor before starting a supplement course as you don’t want them to react badly with any medicines that you currently consume.
What Supplements Should You Use?
Supplements shouldn’t be taken instead of eating a balanced diet, they should be taken in conjunction with this if you know that you aren’t giving yourself enough of a certain substance.
If you suffer from anxiety, you may lack this vitamin. As a result of certain research, it has been known to reduce symptoms that are associated with anxiety disorders.
Usually, you will take this once a day in the form of an oral tablet.
Since B vitamins help out your nervous system, they can improve any symptoms you may be experiencing as a result of anxiety and depression.
Again, like vitamin A, this will be orally taken once every day.
Oxidative damage to your nervous system can increase your risk of developing anxiety or the symptoms associated with it. Luckily, vitamin C does a great job at preventing this.
Sometimes you will take two of these oral tablets a day, but commonly, once a day is enough.
Vitamin D is necessary as it enables the body to be able to actually absorb the other vitamins. Hence why, if you have are vitamin D deficient, the chances of you lacking in others is very high.
Usually, like every pill listed here, you take it once a day.
Studies have resulted in patients noticing reduced anxiety after taking a course of fish oil thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids.
Once a day, you will take this tablet orally, however, some doses are split up into multiple pills.
If you do not take enough GABA, your anxiety will likely get worse.
Whether you are taking 500 or 750 mg, you may be required to orally ingest one or multiple tablets every day.
Magnesium is essential for our overall health — both in mind and body so, as a result, if you are deficient, anxiety symptoms can either get worse or develop.
Again, you will be required to take one tablet each day.
5-HTP is a neurotransmitter that aids the production of serotonin. Although taking this supplement can help with your anxiety, they usually only work if they are used alongside other therapies.
With that being said, if they are recommended to you, take one pill every day.
Bacopa extract has been studied for its ability to protect neurons within our bodies. The results found that not only does it do this, it also reduces cortisol levels too.
You will be advised to take 500 mg usually will be split up into two pills or just the one.
Chamomile is born from Matricaria chamomilla or Chamaemelum Nobile species and is accepted around the world for its anxiety-fighting properties.
You can drink this herbal remedy in a cup of tea, or take a tablet once a day.
Kava Kava comes from the Pacific Islands. You might not have heard of it before but it is a calming tonic.
It works by activating GABA receptors that are responsible for dealing with symptoms of anxiety and thus, increases our body’s natural ability to manage it.
Taking this comes with a warning — do not take this every day for more than one month (four weeks).
Officially known as Lavandula officinalis, lavender is an age-old stress soother. Why? Well, it has a tendency to mildly sedate the central nervous system will allow your anxiety symptoms to calm down.
Commonly, it is mixed in with other anti-anxiety herbal blends but, if you do take it on its own, you will be looking at around 400 mg every day.
In 2017 a study was conducted on passionflower’s ability to reduce anxiety and the results were shocking. According to the findings, it is as effective as the prescriptions that are usually supplied by your doctor in managing your symptoms.
You will take this once a day at a dose of about 500 mg.
Rhodiola comes from the alpine regions and has been used to soothe the nerves for many, many years.
Usually, the dose is about 500mg which is taken once a day in capsule form.
3. Mindfulness for Anxiety
Mindfulness is really effective for those wondering how to deal with anxiety as it will bring you back to the present moment and focus on what is really happening, versus your racing thoughts.
How Does it Work?
Mindfulness allows you to have the time and space to open up, notice and then accept our emotions, thoughts and feelings. By doing this, we are allowing our brain to point out, experience and then process these emotions in a healthy way.
What Areas Does Mindfulness Benefit?
This is when you notice even the smallest sensations within your body and ‘jot them down’ in your mind. Enabling yourself to become in tune with how you are feeling in yourself is essential if you want to regulate behaviour and emotions.
Perception of Yourself
Through various research methods and studies, results have shown that practising mindfulness for two months increases your self-esteem, as well as self-acceptance.
Meditating in a mindful way will decrease your blood pressure and your cortisol levels (this is the hormone that secretes when you are stressed).
Mindfulness practices will activate the area of the brain that is used in executive function and attention (known as the anterior cingulate cortex). By being able to control your attention better, you will find it much easier to focus on the here and now, rather than the worry.
How Do You Practise Mindfulness?
Any activity can become a mindful practice. You don’t need to sit down cross-legged and repeat a mantra over and over again in order to be mindful. Take eating as an example. Take a small bite and consider the texture, the taste, even the smell — after a while, you will notice that you feel much more grounded and connected. Plus, you will enjoy your food more than you thought you ever could. It is a real win-win situation!
4. Counselling and Therapy for Anxiety
Of course, as we are sure you know, counselling and therapy is the standard form of treatment for anxiety disorders.
You may receive CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) or a mixture of both counselling and therapy.
Your therapist or counsellour will walk you through how your mind and body react to certain triggers. Together, you will come up with strategies that you can use to cope when these triggers are unavoidable which will ultimately help you to manage your levels of anxiety in the long term.
5. Exercise and Sleep for Anxiety
Not only is regular exercise important for physical health, but it is also an essential part of your mental health and wellbeing too.
Attempt to partake in up to 5 (the minimum being 3) 30-minute workouts a week. Do not push yourself to pump iron in the gym if this isn’t something you actually enjoy — you will only put off going and so will not actually complete the regime. Try to find movements and exercises that you genuinely look forward to. This could be anything, including:
- Elliptical work
- Horse riding
- Body Combat
- Body Pump
- Body Balance
- Body Attack
- Tai Chi
- Kung fu
- Playing a team sport
- Dog walking
- Cleaning the house (yes, this does count as exercise)
As you can see, there are lots of things you could take part in to get your weekly exercise! You are bound to find something you enjoy.
In fact, sleep goes hand in hand with exercising and is more than necessary for your mental health and stability.
It is not just quantity that is important when it comes to sleeping, it is also quality. Health care professionals advise that you get, on average, 8 hours of good quality sleep every night.
Struggling with anxiety may make it difficult for you to fall (or stay) asleep so you need to ensure you develop a nice routine that you do each night before bedtime to help you get there.