One of my favourite things about blogging is being a part of a community. You name an interest, way of life or hobby and there will be some lovely people writing their thoughts and advice on it somewhere online. Since I started Em In Real Life I have been growing more active in this community and have had the chance to get to know some fantastic writers and creatives. One of these is Ri who writes at Happy Mentality, Ri is an open and supportive blogger who writes about mental health and body positivity. I met her in a Twitter Chat and we got messaging about writing a guest post and I knew I wanted to get her on board.
Some of you who know me know that I hit a low point about a year and a half ago, single Mum life was taking it’s toll alongside the stress of a very demanding full time job and I started to really struggle. With some time off I was able to give myself the time to focus on my wellbeing and with a clear head I was able to make the changes to my lifestyle and job that I needed to make. More recently as you might have read on the blog I’ve been looking to make more eco-friendly and natural choices in our every day lives so I asked Ri to help me with some natural ways I can manage my anxiety when it creeps up and she has written this great post that I hope will help you too.
Everyone gets stressed sometimes and a lot of people have anxiety. However, many people don’t know how to cope with the symptoms of stress and anxiety. I’ve been down the road of ignoring my stress levels and hiding my anxiety symptoms. I’ve tried to push it down until I nearly burst with the effort. The one thing I’ve learned about anxiety is that it doesn’t go away if you ignore it. Its bound to come back and burst out of you in some way when you least expect or want it. So therefore I think it’s so important to learn how to accept your anxiety and treat the symptoms before they get too much. This post will talk through some of the natural remedies to tackle the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Obviously I am not a doctor and if you are worried about your symptoms please do seek professional medical advice. What are some of the symptoms of stress or anxiety?
- Difficulty breathing
- Tightness in your chest
- Increased heart rate
- Crying uncontrollably
- Sweating or ‘cold sweats’
- Feelings of panic/distress despite no physical danger
If you experience these symptoms there could be a hundred reasons why. So it’s always best to seek professional help, but before going down the medical route you could try some of these natural remedies to try to calm down.
- Drink chamomile or green tea
Research has actually shown that drinking these natural teas can help with your anxiety. I always drink chamomile tea before bed and I find the ritual of it calms me and gets me in the mindset for sleeping. Also it smells divine.
- Eat some chocolate
Have you ever fainted at school and the first thing the nurse hands you is some chocolate to nibble on? Well the same applies for anxiety. When your body is stressed it desperately craves comfort and this sweet treat can provide a quick fix. Now this is not an excuse to go mad and eat 10 bars of chocolate. I mean take a square of chocolate and nibble on it… take some time to taste it, savour it and feel the way your body starts to relax. Mindful eating will also being your attention back to the present, where your body can see that there is no physical danger to be stressed about.
- Breathe deeply
What I usually do is get a paper bag and literally breathe into that until I can feel my breath regulating again. Hyperventilating is a symptom of stress and anxiety and breathing into a paper bag or putting your head between your knees will help you to get your body back to its natural state.
Hello! I’m hyperventilating here, how does exercising help me get calmer???
- Well, it won’t work immediately. But I find if I’m lying in bed at night unable to sleep and panicking about something, the best thing I can do is to get up and go for a short walk or run or stand on one leg and close my eyes. This exercise is called ‘tipping’ and it can help bring your attention back to the present also. Have you ever tried concentrating on something and panicking at the same time? No? That’s because you can’t physically concentrate on panicking when you are concentrating on something so physical. Seriously… try it.
- Eat eggs
This is not a quick fix but if you have eggs in your diet the protein of an egg can help ease anxiety. How? Because if your diet is high in protein and complex carbs you are less likely to have low blood sugar… which exacerbates the symptoms of anxiety such as shaking, sweating and feeling faint.
If you’ve ever smelled lavender you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say it makes you feel calm. Lavender is an ingredient in so many relaxation products these days and you can see why. I usually burn a lavender incense stick and the smell permeates my house and makes me feel calmer and more relaxed.
I use Olbas Eucalyptus oil in the bath when I am bathing. I often use lavender too, but I find the eucalyptus helps my whole nasal system which allows me to breathe more deeply and calmly and this helps with my anxiety.
I know, I know. I recommend this in every blog post, but there really is nothing more natural than sitting with your own thoughts and mindfully breathing. It may not come naturally at first but with practice you can become a meditation master. I use the Headspace app on my android phone or available on iPhone. Or you can use one of the many free meditations on YouTube to get you going. Becoming Mindful will again bring your attention back to the present where your body knows it’s safe. I hope those eight natural remedies help you if you’re feeling stressed or anxious. If you feel a panic attack coming on, try breathing deeply and ‘tipping’ and seek professional help if the symptoms persist.