Natural remedies to reduce anxiety

We have at our disposal different techniques to counteract anxiety and panic, which ones? For example, making with hands, creating or cooking, but also herbal teas prepared with herbs of proven anxiolytic and relaxing action, not to forget different essential oils and pranayamas, the yoga breathing techniques.
What to do in case of anxiety? Especially now, in this difficult period, it can happen that you have worries, you may experience difficulty sleeping and poor concentration, but you can also notice symptoms such as an increase in heart rate or stomach problems. Chronic stress has been triggered and this situation should be counteracted for your mental calm but also for the health of the body. In fact, chronic stress worsens inflammation that has negative repercussions on the immune system. What to do in these cases?

Create and make with your hands

One of the greatest psychiatrists that we have in Italy, Dr. Raffaele Morelli, suggests a simple and affordable remedy for everyone, the most important thing is to make and put your hands in motion. Then kneading the bread, cooking, embroidering, taking care of the garden, painting or writing are all interesting possibilities. If you continue to dwell on the problem, you create stress. The solution is to break yourself away from the problem by drawing on your creativity. We are not chasing away thoughts or suffocating an emotion, but momentarily braking ourselves away from the problem by developing imagination and creativity, this is one of the most powerful medicines. Being in the here and now, in the activity that is requiring all the attention and we can be sure that anxiety will gradually fade away.

Herbal teas against anxiety

Natural remedies also help against anxiety. In fact, we can prepare herbal teas useful to calm and relieve tensions. For example, lavender herbal tea has a sedative action but very useful in this time could be also lemon balm herbal tea. In fact, lemon balm is able to increase a particular neurotransmitter, called GABA, which reduces excitability by putting a brake on the network of neurons during stress and decreases the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, so called because its production increases precisely in times of stress (Alramadhan et al, Med Sci Monit, 2012). And don’t forget the skullcap. Also this plant, indeed, is able to increase the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA. Finally, we can mention also the hop as an anxiolytic remedy (Alramadhan et al, Med Sci Monit, 2012). The preparation of the herbal teas is always the same, bring a cup of water to a boil, remove from the heat and add a tablespoon of dried plant, leave to brew for ten minutes, then filter and drink. We have proposed several anti stress plants knowing that it is now difficult to find all the remedies. Maybe you have one of these plants at home or you can find at least one of the proposed remedies offered in shops and supermarkets. If you do not find the plant in the form of loose leaves it is also good a tea in bags, in this case follow the instructions on the package.

Essential oils and aromatherapy for anxiety

Aromatherapy with essential oils can help to restore calm and counteract anxiety. You can diffuse essential oils in the rooms by using an oil burner lamp. The best essential oils to relieve anxiety and stress are lavender, or Lavandula angustifolia, rose, or Rosa damascena, orange, or Citrus sinensis, bergamot, or Citrus aurantium, lemon, or Citrus limon, sandalwood, or Santalum album, sage, or Sage sclarea, Roman chamomile, or Anthemis nobilis, and geranium, or Pelargonium spp (Setzer et al, Nat Prod Commun, 2009).

Pranayama

Pranayamas are yoga breathing techniques and help in case of stress and anxiety, as shown by numerous scientific studies. There are several types of pranayama. Here we speak about the Kapalbhati pranayama. Sit comfortably cross-legged or on your knees, your torso is erect and your hands are resting on your knees. Breathe in a natural way, exhale through your nose by contracting your abs as if you want to bring your stomach closer to the spine. Relax your abs, the inhale will follow automatically, breathe out by contracting your abs and so on. Start by repeating the cycle 10 times, then you can increase it to 30 times when you will be more trained. Focusing on breathing slows down the continuous and sometimes obsessive crowding of thoughts and relieves anxiety, not only, kapalbhati pranayama improves oxygenation of the tissues, detoxifies the body, helps keep the nasal cavities clean and improves the functionality of the lungs (Ansari et al, Int J Yoga, 2016).
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