Stress and anxiety is one of the most common conditions in modern society. People who are affected severely by these conditions can even face physical symptoms, including nervousness, agitation, tension, and chest pain.
In the United States, more than 18 percent of adults are affected by anxiety disorders each year. Yet still, not everyone who suffers from excess stress and anxiety is comfortable taking medication to treat their condition.
Courtesy of TMS Center of Lehigh Valley, here are five natural ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
It’s been said so often that you’d be forgiven for rolling your eyes at the thought of physical exercise somehow reducing the symptoms of your anxiety, but the science remains clear; exercise is a great way to burn off anxious energy.
A 2015 review of 12 randomized controlled trials found that exercise was shown to be an effective treatment for anxiety, and encouraged further research to evaluate its exact level of effectiveness. Another 2016 study found that physical exercise benefitted those who suffered from anxiety relating to quitting smoking.
Whether you are a fan of exercise or not, the research tends to suggest that it can in fact be considered an effective stress management technique.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Another great way to get a handle on anxiety is via meditation, which can slow racing thoughts,making stress easier to manage. A wide range of meditation techniques during yoga, for example, may be quite beneficial.
Mindfulness-based meditation is becoming increasingly popular, and a 2010 meta-analytic review suggests that such techniques can be highly effective for those who suffer from mood disorders and chronic anxiety.
Similar to meditation, progressive relaxation techniques can be quite useful in fending off bouts of anxiety, specifically panic attacks. Luckily, these techniques are quite simple to learn and master.
Start by lying in a comfortable position and slowly contracting and relaxing each muscle group in your body. Begin all the way at your toes, and slowly work your way up your legs toward the back, shoulders, arms, and eventually your jaw and face.
Did it help? Excellent! You’ve just experienced how progressive relaxation can be used as a centering technique.
Believe it or not, there is some evidence to suggest that soothing-smelling plant oils can help to ease symptoms of stress and anxiety.
For example, a 2012 study tested the effects of lavender aromatherapy on 67 women between the ages of 45 and 55 who suffered from insomnia. Results of the study suggested that the introduction of the lavender oil scent may be effective in reducing the heart rate in the short term, in turn helping to ease sleep issues in the long term.
Certain scents work better for certain people and conditions than others do though, so it’s important to find the one that seems to help you the most. Check out this recent article we wrote that offers a more detailed breakdown of how aromatherapy can benefit your mental health!
Other Non-Medical Treatment Options
Chronic anxiety and stress can interfere with a person’s ability to function in their daily life. Sometimes, feelings this intense warrant effective treatment.
At the TMS Center of Lehigh Valley, we have a passion for treating mental health through the use of non-invasive, non-drug treatments. TMS stands for transcranial magnetic stimulation, a scientifically-backed, FDA-approved procedure for patients who suffer from conditions like chronic stress, depression, and anxiety.
Our dedicated staff is made up of tireless advocates who, with our years of expertise and commitment to compassion, help people struggling with depression conquer their disease and get their smiles back. To learn more about what we do or how we can help, don’t hesitate to contact us today.