Constant worry over or a nagging fear of the unknown is psychologically termed as anxiety. Small anxieties are experienced by almost everyone during our everyday lives such as nervousness before an important deal, but unnecessary constant worries affect health- cause gastric and respiratory troubles, sleep problems and disturb life.
It is wise to seek the services of a trained psychiatrist to treat the anxiety disorder that you or your loved one might have. However, there are a few things that you can do at home to reduce anxiety-
1. Eat right
What you eat affects your mental health to a great extent. To relieve anxiety, it is perhaps the most important thing that you eat foods that are healthy for your nervous system. To keep anxiety at bay –
- Include walnuts, fatty fish and flaxseeds in your diet. The omega-3 fatty acids in them reduce levels of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
- Onions provide potassium which is a boost for the nerves.
- Have green tea instead of caffeine-containing drinks. Caffeine increases feelings of anxiousness.
- Eating oats and whole grains regularly increases production of the feel-good hormone serotonin in the body.
- Have a cup of warm milk blended with almonds at bedtime.
When you feel anxious, have these for instant calming effects:
- A cup of orange juice mixed with a tsp of honey- calms down the nerves instantly.
- Dark chocolate – reduces cortisol levels.
- Chamomile or rosemary tea.
- A poached egg and avocados.
- Peaches and blueberries.
2. Relax with a massage
Having a massage with lavender oil or sesame oil reduces blood pressure and relieves anxiety.
3. Soak yourself
Prepare a hot bath with some magnesium sulphate (also called Epsom salt) and soothing oils such as lavender or vanilla essence oil, or alternately, with equal amounts of baking soda and crushed ginger, and soak for a few minutes.
When you feel anxious, nothing beats the age-old therapy of taking your feelings out in front of someone you trust. Call up or visit a friend /relative/ loved one and talk. Another alternative is to write out your emotions on a piece of paper that you can tear away later.
5. Calming fragrances
Sit in a dimly lit room filled with calming fragrances that soothe the soul. For this, dab a few drops of lavender essential oil on your wrists, or burn rosemary incense in the room, or inhale the peel of an orange.
Any form of light or heavy exercise releases endorphins in the system, that makes you feel good and calm. Get up and going- go for a walk, do some light aerobics or head for the gym.
7. Distract yourself
It is a good idea to turn your attention elsewhere when you feel anxiety attacks taking over. Try not to think of negative things, and instead move away from the current anxiety inducing environment. Go out of the house, start listening to some soothing music, or call up a friend.
Dab a few lavender oil drops on your pillow and take a nap or a good night’s rest.