The Best Natural Remedies for Anxiety
Anxiety disorders impact 40 million adults in the United States alone. Roughly 2-in-10 people have some form of anxiety, and less than 37% of sufferers will seek treatment for their disorder. Natural remedies can work wonders for anxiety and safeguard sufferers from the side effects of anxiety medication. We've compiled this list of the best natural remedies for anxiety! Keep reading to learn more about how you can practice meditation for anxiety, use the best essential oils for anxiety, and the CBD benefits for anxiety!
Meditation for Anxiety
Meditation receives a lot of hype, and a lot of people overlook the practice because they simply don't believe that it works. Researchers have shown that meditation for anxiety – and a long list of other disorders – can and does work.
Multiple studies are cited by the NIH on the benefit of meditation for anxiety, including the following:
- 2014 review of meditation’s impact on anxiety and depression included 3,515 participants in 47 trials that were able to achieve moderate anxiety relief through meditation.
- 2012 review found that more than half of studies on meditation for anxiety found that meditation groups had better overall outcomes than control groups.
A 2013 study on mindfulness meditation and generalized anxiety disorder took a total of 93 participants over an 8-week period and found that mindfulness meditation was able to:
- Reduce anxiety
- Improve stress levels
- Improve stress reactivity
The study was conducted on people suffering from generalized stress disorder, so it’s unclear if the same benefits would be experienced across a wide array of anxiety conditions.
What is Mindfulness Meditation Anyway?
Mindfulness is a form of meditation, but the techniques used to perform this meditation can vary. There's no need for candles or essential oils, although adding in these key oils can help amplify the benefits of meditation.
Getting started is easy:
- Find a quiet place to sit where you’ll be free from distractions or interruptions
- Sit down with your back erect
- Focus on your breathing and clear the mind of other thoughts
- Become aware of your breath, stop uncomfortable thoughts
Thoughts can and will occur, and you should let them flow through you and not ruminate on them. For example, a lot of practitioners will view their thoughts as clouds or a leaf in the water that naturally flows away from you until it’s gone.
CBD for Anxiety
CBD is in the news almost weekly. New, promising benefits that people never knew about are being experienced by people across the world that are trying CBD for the first time. Pain relief and muscle tension are common topical benefits, but there’s another key benefit people are talking about: anxiety relief.
Cannabinoids are a natural relaxant that can promote a calm state and also lead to the alleviation of anxiety.
And CBD may be beneficial for multiple forms of anxiety:
The NIDA claims that CBD can reduce stress levels in rats and other animals. In one study, animals showed lower signs of anxiety and even experienced a reduction in symptoms, such as experiencing lower heart rate levels.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
A study on SAD, conducted in 2011, showed that oral doses of 400mg were able to reduce overall anxiety levels for people suffering from SAD.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD sufferers that are known for having nightmares and negative memories that greatly impact their lives were also able to find relief by using CBD. CBD was also used in conjunction with other forms of traditional treatments and was found to improve PTSD sufferers’ anxiety levels.
CBD for Anxiety Dosage Information
Experimenting with CBD dosage levels is recommended to find a dosage amount that works best for you. We saw, in one study on people suffering from SAD, that 400mg dosages seemed to provide the best relief for sufferers.
A 2018 study suggests starting slightly lower at 300mg to relieve anxiety levels.
The 2018 study gave CBD to people 90 minutes before a public speaking test that was known to cause anxiety in participants. It’s worth noting that those that received 150mg doses had little benefits, and 600mg doses also provided little relief.
Experimenting between the 200 and 400 mg range to find your own ideal dosage level is recommended.
Best Essential Oils for Anxiety
Anxiety is complex, and while essential oils can help promote relaxation and calmness, they can also be used in conjunction with CBD or meditation to amplify the calming effects even further. A few of the best essential oils for anxiety are:
An herb used for thousands of years for its ability to calm a person’s nerves and relieve anxiety. One study from 2002 found that giving people 50mg of valerian root three times daily was able to greatly reduce general anxiety.
Experimenting with dosage amounts is recommended to determine what dose works best for you. Some studies used slightly higher than the 50mg dose listed above.
Lavender essential oil is one that everyone should have in their home thanks to the oil’s natural healing properties. It's still unknown why this oil helps relieve anxiety, but a 2012 study showed that people that used this potent essential oil were able to greatly reduce their depression and anxiety.
It's thought that the oil may impact the body’s limbic system, causing positive effects on anxiety.
Bergamot is derived from oranges and has a pleasant, citrus aroma that can help energize and relax a person. Researchers conducted a study on the bergamot essential oil in 2015 and found that it was able to reduce the symptoms of anxiety while also improving participants' mood in the process.
Frankincense oil comes from the resin of the Boswellia tree. It’s an ancient oil that has a long history of medicinal use.
In one study, frankincense was used as part of an aromatherapy hand massage. Frankincense was combined with lavender and bergamot as part of the study. Researchers found that the aromatic essential oil blend helped improve depression, anxiety, and pain in people suffering from terminal cancer.
Jasmine is an interesting essential oil because it doesn’t cause the sleepiness that a lot of other essential oils cause when they’re used for anxiety. Jasmine calms a person’s central nervous system and was shown in one study to promote a general sense of well-being.
Chamomile, whether used in essential oil form or drank in tea, is a well-known option for reducing anxiety. When used for GAD, chamomile is shown to provide mild to moderate benefits.
A 2006 study showed that ylang ylang is one of the best essential oils for anxiety sufferers. The oil was inhaled, along with bergamot and lavender oil, by nurses in a high-stress environment. Researchers found that the concoction of essential oils was able to:
- Reduce anxiety levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower heart rate
- Relieve stress
The essential oil could be diluted and applied, or it could be added to a diffuser and inhaled directly to experience its anxiety-reducing effects.
Anxiety has a way of creeping into a person’s life and slowly taking control. If you don’t work to relieve your anxiety, it will only continue to get worse. Through meditation, CBD, and the best essential oils for anxiety, you’ll regain control of your life and finally kick anxiety to the curb!
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