If you have anxiety, you know what it’s like when it hits unexpectedly.
Your day could be going along just fine, but then you come across a trigger and instantly feel anxious.
Or you wake up in the morning just not feeling quite right.
No matter when it hits, knowing how to manage your anxiety is essential.
Using medication is a common way to help with relieving anxiety symptoms.
But, what if you can’t afford medication, don't like how it makes you feel, or want to try a different approach?
It’s definitely possible to reduce anxiety naturally.
The only thing is it will require more effort, and a commitment to working at it.
I’ve had moments in my life where I really didn’t want to be put on medication and couldn’t afford a therapist.
I normally do suggest seeing a therapist who has the right tools to guide you, especially if you have a lot of anxiety.
But, I understand the complications that come with finding the right therapist and the money it takes.
So, here are some way you can naturally reduce anxiety that are affordable, too!
What you eat every day matters.
It can definitely affect your anxiety levels, in a few different ways.
Partly from the hormones in your body reacting badly to certain foods.
And, partly how you feel about food personally.
A lot of people have food anxiety and for good reason!
We are often pulled in twenty different directions when we’re told what the right thing is to eat.
Try to keep it as simple as possible for yourself.
The moment you start making it complicated is when you get confused and eventually give up on trying to have it all figured out.
Start by increasing the amount of water you drink every day. Dehydration causes a number of issues, including feeling fatigued.
When you don’t have energy, that could make you anxious and eventually lead to depression.
Then move onto fruits and vegetables.
As you focus more on putting the right foods into your body, you will notice a difference in how you feel.
This isn’t about losing weight or eating less than you usually do.
It’s just about eating the right foods that make dealing with your anxiety much more manageable.
Increase Your Vitamin Intake
If you’re focusing on eating right, you’ll most likely meet the daily requirements for nutrients.
But, sometimes our specific diets make us deficient with certain vitamins which can affect your anxiety.
Some common deficiencies are Magnesium and Iron. Especially if you’re vegan/vegetarian.
Iron can make you feel fatigued, light-headed, and weak.
Magnesium can also affect your energy levels and is scientifically shown to reduce anxiety.
These are some simple changes you can make daily to help improve your energy levels and lower levels of anxiety.
Take Action Every Day
Anxiety prevents you from trying new things. It also can convince you to stop doing the things you do on a daily basis.
Listening to your anxiety makes the most sense, because you feel scared when you do things out of your comfort zone.
But, if you listen to your anxiety too much, you stop doing things.
When you stop trying, that’s when depression starts.
That’s why taking action is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.
I understand that it sucks.
But, even if it’s just going outside for a 10-minute walk, that’s doing something.
You can’t let your anxiety completely take over.
That’s why taking steps every day towards ignoring those powerful thoughts will help reduce your anxiety.
Choose 3 things every day to try, even if your brain is telling you no. Do it anyways, no matter how you feel.
Get outside, cook a meal, clean the house, or just blast some music and dance around your room.
These small movements make a huge difference in fighting against your anxiety.
Try Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
CBT focuses on retraining your negative thoughts and turning them into positive ones.
Once you learn to change your thinking, you then focus on changing your behavior.
The cool part is CBT is something you can start doing today, in the comfort of your own home.
There are numerous books out there about how to use it to help manage your anxiety.
It’s proven to be very effective in helping with common mental health struggles, especially anxiety.
CBT also brings positive results quickly, and provides you the right tools to work through your anxiety going forward.
CBT is what a lot of therapists use to help their clients through mental roadblocks.
If you’re interested in learning more about CBT, here are two books I have tried and recommend (by the same author):
Mindfulness goes hand in hand with CBT. The books above also focus on the importance of mindfulness.
Being mindful helps keep you in the present moment, instead of letting your brain wander to dark thoughts.
Mindfulness doesn’t always mean meditation, even though that’s one way to do it.
You can also practice with yoga, deep breathing techniques, or while you are busy doing other things.
Anytime you can think of it, work on being present in the moment around you.
What do you hear?
What do you smell?
What do you feel?
This allows you to stay in reality and appreciate the moment for what it is.
We are often caught up in our thoughts. They control what we do and how we react to things.
But, the power of being in the moment will give you the control.
It will also help you see that nothing is really that big of a deal, and that all of the thoughts floating around in your head are just that… thoughts.
They don’t need to mean something every time.
Talk to Someone Close
It’s always important to reach out to others when you aren’t feeling your best.
If you’re an over-thinker (like me!), you can easily convince yourself of anything.
That could mean talking yourself down, devaluing your self-worth, or wondering what the point of your existence is.
That’s why getting out and talking to someone you trust is always a good idea.
Other people can get you out of your head. And it helps to know someone else understands.
If you don’t have anyone close you can talk to about how you’re feeling, I definitely recommend reaching out to a therapist.
I personally use BetterHelp and recommend it to anyone who needs to talk to a professional about their mental health.
BetterHelp is an online counseling platform that will connect you with a counselor who has knowledge in what you’re going through.
Start a Work-Out Routine
Ok, let’s be honest. Working out isn’t always the best option.
It takes so much energy to just get up and face another day, so working out sometimes sounds impossible.
Trust me, I know.
But, working out does help.
It’s not something that will work right away. Just like anything on this list, it requires work and patience to see a difference.
But, getting your body and blood moving helps in numerous ways.
Including improving your mindset, reducing anxiety levels, and just overall feeling better about yourself.
Exercising doesn’t have to be about losing weight and getting into great shape.
If you can go in with a different mindset, it might motivate you to work at it.
Think of working out as another way to help your mental health, and that’s all you’re doing it for.
Taking a 30 minute walk every day or doing HIIT 3 times a week will help.
You could even try a 21-Day Fitness challenge to help motivate you. Some people like challenges.
I would just suggest to find other ways to stay motivated after the challenge is up, possibly by starting another challenge.
If you’re intimidated about going to the gym, try to find a friend who’s willing to go with you for the first couple of times.
Related: How to Deal With Anxiety at the Gym
When in doubt, work on distracting yourself from your thoughts.
You don’t have to be drowning in them 24/7, and there are healthy distractions out there.
Avoid unhealthy distractions, like drinking or partying, because they will only make your mentality worse.
If you’re stuck at home alone, try putting on some headphones and playing good music.
I know that when I have music blasting in my ears, I can’t focus too much on what I’m thinking about.
Or go hang out with some friends, read a new book, start a new hobby or hang out and watch a new Netflix show.
I used to think that any distraction wasn’t healthy for relieving my anxiety. I just thought I had to suffer through it and work on my bad thoughts.
This only created more bad thoughts, though. And now I’m realizing that healthy distractions are great for an anxious mind.
Usually we are just too wrapped up in our thoughts to feel ok about chilling out for a little bit.
When it comes to your anxiety, you have to take it easy sometimes.
Anxiety is draining, and it takes a lot of effort to work on it. That’s why taking breaks is important and going easy on yourself will help.
Did you enjoy this article, or have any questions? Leave them in the comments below!