Natural Ways to Manage Anxiety

Dr. Mimosa Tonnu

 

Born Naturopathic Associates

Anxiety is the most common mental condition in the United States, affecting approximately 40 million adults, and costs the U.S. more than $42 billion a year. There are many pharmaceutical medications that a doctor may prescribe to manage anxiety, but many people choose to forgo this route due to side effects, personal beliefs or they want natural treatments in conjunction with their medications. 

Below are some very easy interventions to employ on a daily basis.

Diet

  • Reduce sugar, which is very inflammatory for the body.
  • Reduce food additives such as MSG, aspartame, dyes and high fructose corn syrup.
  • Increase fermented foods such as kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles and kimchi. These produce beneficial bacteria for the intestines which have a positive effect on brain health. 
  • Increase healthy fats such as avocados, walnuts, seeds and omega-3 eggs.
  • Increase organic fruits and vegetables; the more colorful the better.
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Breathing exercises can be done in the morning, throughout the day during stressful situations and before bed.
  • For deep abdominal breathing, sit down in a quiet and calm space and put one hand over the abdomen and one hand over the chest. Inhale slowly while expanding the abdomen for 5 seconds. Hold your breath for 2 seconds and then exhale slowly for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
  • For alternating nostril breathing, cover the right nostril while inhaling in the left nostril for 5 seconds. Hold for 2 seconds, then release the right nostril, cover the left nostril, and exhale in the right nostril for 5 seconds. Continue covering left nostril and inhale in right nostril. Hold for 2 seconds. Release the left nostril, cover the right nostril, and exhale in the left nostril for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

Exercise

  • Do what you enjoy as long as you are moving. Bike, jog, hike, stretch, take walks or do yoga. 
  • Spend time in nature, whether it be at the beach, in the forest or in the mountains. 
  • Natural Remedies
  • Teas. There are excellent teas that can decrease anxiety and stress (do note, that if you are on medications, some of these botanicals may enhance their effectiveness for which your medication may need to be adjusted). These include: passionflower, chamomile, lemon balm and holy basil.
  • Essential oils. Lavender, ylang ylang, bergamot, frankincense and rose are examples of some oils that can help decrease anxiety when inhaled.
  • Epsom salt baths. Fill up a warm bath and pour in 2 or 3 cups of Epsom salt. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil and relax in the bath for 30 minutes.

The above advice covers just some basics. There are many more natural and integrative approaches including vitamins, minerals and herbs that can be combined for best results. Make an appointment today to discuss other strategies and options.

 

 

Dr. Mimosa Tonnu utilizes naturopathic, integrative and holistic medicines to treat the whole family. She sees patients for both acute and chronic health conditions at Born Naturopathic Associates, Inc., in Alameda. Find out more at www.bornnaturopathic.com, or by calling 550-4023.