This year has been a very different year for many. There are a lot of unknowns and stressors that can cause anxiety. Some anxiety is a normal part of life but with the chaos and uncertainty we are experiencing this year, it can leave many people feeling anxious. The good news is that there are many ways you can take control of your anxiety and help reduce those anxious feelings you may be having. Listed below are some natural ways to help reduce anxiety.
-Exercise. It is a great way to burn off that anxious energy and elevate your mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. If you exercise already, keep up the good work! If not, set small daily goals and try to jog, walk, dance or bike for 30 minutes, three to five times a week.
-Avoid caffeine. It is a stimulant and can cause nervousness and jitters which is never good if you are already feeling anxious. Caffeine stimulates your “fight or flight” response and studies have shown that this can make anxiety worse and can even trigger an anxiety attack. If you are a coffee drinker, try decaf. If you are not a huge fan of water, try adding fresh fruit to add some flavor or caffeine-free soda or tea.
-Meditate. The main goal of meditation is to remove chaotic thoughts from your mind and replace them with a calmness of the present moment and restore your inner peace. Headspace is a great app for guided meditation, and you can even select meditation for anxiety specifically.
-Eat a healthy diet. Chemicals in processed foods such as artificial flavorings and preservatives, and not drinking enough water can cause mood changes in some people. If your anxiety worsens after eating, make sure to check your eating habits. Stay hydrated, eliminate processed foods, and eat a healthy diet full of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates.
-Try aromatherapy. Aromatherapy uses essential oils to promote health and wellbeing and can be added to a diffuser or a warm bath. Studies have shown that aromatherapy helps you relax and sleep, boosts mood and reduces heart rate and blood pressure. Some essential oils to help relieve anxiety are lavender, bergamot, chamomile, ylang ylang and clary sage.
If you are feeling anxious, try some of the ideas listed above to reduce anxiety. Remember, these may help ease anxiety but do not replace professional help. If you or someone you know needs professional help with anxiety, please visit nebraskamentalhealth.com and find a provider that fits your needs.
Tiffany Dahir, Assistant Director for The Kim Foundation
Tiffany Dahir is the Assistant Director of The Kim Foundation. She received her Master’s Degree in Organizational Performance in 2018 and her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Management in 2013, both from Bellevue University. She has worked for The Kim Foundation since January 2020. Her previous experience through her work and volunteering includes marketing, event planning, fundraising, I.T., and operations. Tiffany’s role at The Kim Foundation includes daily office operations, marketing, coordinating event logistics and employee relations.