I’ve had mild (and maybe a few instances of extreme) anxiety since second grade.
It all started when one of my teachers wouldn’t let me go home when I told her I was feeling sick. She made me stay and I ended up puking in front of EVERYONE in the lunchroom. To say I was mortified was an understatement.
Ever since that moment I had separation anxiety and dreaded going to school.
Somehow, I outgrew that once I left elementary school. Surprisingly, I even enjoyed most of middle school. I no longer feared school. However, I remember watching a movie that triggered what I now know was a panic attack at age 13. Panic attacks and anxiety are scary when you’re young because you don’t really know what it is. You just know that you feel uneasy and terrified and often there’s no good reason.
Thankfully, I moved on from that season of my life thanks to long walks and talks with my mom. #Blessher
Now, I deal with just the normal stress and anxiety that comes with being an adult. I’d say I’m pretty lucky really. I don’t have major anxiety, I’m healthy, and would say I do pretty well with my emotional and mental health. (Besides the normal occasional breakdown lol)
If you’ve had similar experiences or are just looking for some natural ways to reduce anxiety here are some of my favorites tips that have helped me the most over the years!
Natural Ways to Reduce Anxiety
Talk it out
Don’t be afraid or ashamed to reach out to someone. Talk to your family, friends, a therapist. Talking it out can really make a difference and can help you work out any issues or even be less afraid of the thing that is bothering you.
As a kid, explaining how I was feeling to my mom helped me through my anxiety. Now, when something is stressing me out, talking to my husband helps me too. Sometimes you just need to talk out loud, voice the concern, and work out the problem.
This one is my favorite and I seriously credit regular exercise to a HUGE help in reducing my anxiety.
I can’t recall any instance of being stressed over some issue that taking a jog, lifting, or doing some yoga hasn’t fixed.
Of course, the problem or anxiety didn’t always go away, but I felt refreshed, hopeful and better able to deal with the issue at hand.
Exercise triggers the release of chemicals called endorphins which act as your body’s natural painkillers. This results in less worry, anger, and negative stress!
Exercise does more than just release endorphins. It can help clear a foggy mind burdened with stress.
There have been numerous studies suggesting that exercise improves brain function, which means after an exercise bout you will be better able to solve complex issues with better clarity and perception.
Feeling stressed? Stop. Take 5 deep breaths. Repeat this: “Everything will be okay. I am fine. I am strong. I am tough.”
Breathing helps reduce stress, releases tension, and repeating a powerful mantra in your head can really give you the strength to overcome tough situations or negative thoughts.
When I struggle with negative thoughts or anxiety, simply just going outside helps calm me down. I focus on the beauty of the sky, the sound of the wind and birds, and suddenly everything seems so much better.
Even better? Go for a walk and grab a friend! Sometimes a walk with a friend or companion is the best stress relief. You can chat, vent, get stuff off your chest. Walking has been known to improve blood flow, boost energy, and helps reduce anxiety.
I’ll be honest, I’m not the best at this one. I mean, when you’re super focused on what’s bothering you, going out and doing something for someone else might seem like the LAST thing you want to do.
But ya know what? It really does work. Serving others helps me forget my own problems. It makes me more grateful. It makes me HAPPY. So if you can muster up the energy and if it’s appropriate, try and focus on another person and how you can help them when you’re feeling low.
I started gratitude journaling when in college for a class assignment. I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal off and on for years now. I’ve noticed I’m happier, I have a better attitude, and am less worried when I’m writing in my journal every day.
Try to find 1-3 things EVERY DAY that you are grateful for and write them down.
They can be simple or grand, but over time you will begin to see just how blessed you really are.
Studies have found that those who regularly voice their gratitude, whether vocally or writing it down, have significant immunity boosts, less anxiety and depression, improved sleep, and more social satisfaction.
If you need a place to start, you can download my Gratitude Journal Workbook for free here!
Wrapping it Up
If you struggle with anxiety, girl, my heart goes out to you. I get it. It sucks. Know that you are not alone. I hope these natural ways to reduce anxiety help you!
If you need to, get professional help. If it’s manageable, try some of these natural remedies I’ve mentioned above. Know that you are loved, strong, and capable of amazing things. You got this!