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No Worries: 7 Natural Ways to Treat Anxiety

Although anxiety can be confusing and often scary, that doesn’t mean treating it has to be. Natural therapies are great for recognizing and reducing symptoms while helping to alleviate other health issues, too.

As simple as it sounds, taking a moment to assess what’s causing our anxiety is a large part of treating it, especially long-term. Pamela Connor from Connor Wellness Clinic tells us that it’s vital to get to the root of our anxiety, and “there can often be more than one cause.” We are all experiencing life at the same time but in a different manner, which means that the root of our anxiety is unique to us as individuals. This uniqueness is what makes recognizing it a crucial first step to treating it.

With multiple responsibilities and stresses, we’re bound to run into anxiety now and again. However, anxiety doesn’t always stem from external forces either. “Most of the serotonin produced in the body is produced in the gut. If our gut health is out of balance, our neurotransmitters may also be out of whack,” says Michele Raithel, ND, at Revolutions Naturopathic. She suggests nutrient therapy, balancing gut bacteria, recognizing food sensitives, or even identifying toxic environmental exposures to relieve anxiety. If our environment is in fact the cause of our anxiety, then Dr. Raithel encourages us to “remove [ourselves] from that influence,” and shake things up by going on a mini-vacation or exercising.

Breathing and relaxation are the foundations of meditation.


We’re breathing every second of every day but knowing how to control it allows us to recenter ourselves and ease our anxiety. “Our heart rate and breathing increase to protect us from perceived danger,” explains Therese Sorrentino, a licensed marriage and family therapist. Sorrentino advises clients to practice deep diaphragmatic breathing—a technique that helps relax muscles and encourages us to be mindful of what we’re feeling and why we feel the way we do. Breath control works out the feelings and thoughts muddled by anxiety through the easy task of inhaling deeply through the nose and drawing a breath from the stomach; when exhaling, keep abdominal muscles tight and allow the stomach to sink.

Sorrentino also teaches her clients with anxiety to meditate. Similar to breathing techniques, meditation can also be done at home or in a space we feel comfortable in. “Breathing and relaxation are the foundations of meditation. Meditating daily will start to change the neuro pathways in our brain to produce a calmer [mindset], lower our blood pressure, and make us more mindful,” she says. One of the other bonuses of this natural treatment is that meditation doesn’t have to take up too much of our time throughout the day; even 5-10 minutes of meditation is enough to achieve benefits.

After a 60-minute massage, cortisol will begin to decrease by an average of 30%


Not only is exercising good for our bodies, but it’s great for our mental and emotional physique, too. “Getting your heart rate up changes brain chemistry, increasing the availability of important anti-anxiety neurochemicals, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin,” says Lisa Robinson from Roseville Health & Wellness Center. These vital chemicals can influence our daily moods, which makes exercising a great way to ease stress. What’s more, working out helps transport us into a new setting where we can prioritize the activity at hand, acting as a temporary distraction, too.

Massage therapy is a great way to reduce pent-up stress that so often leads to anxiety. After a 60-minute massage, cortisol, a hormone produced in response to stress, will begin to decrease by an average of 30%. “By lowering cortisol and increasing serotonin, you’re boosting your body’s ability to fight off pain, anxiety, and feelings of sadness,” says Robinson.

CBD has also been proven to aid in anxiety-induced sleep problems.


Another way to treat anxiety comes from a naturally occurring chemical compound found in cannabis and hemp plants, known as CBD. It is often used to reduce inflammation and amplify relaxation and may be used in relieving anxiety. CBD has also been proven to aid in anxiety-induced sleep problems and been implemented in treating PTSD and social anxiety. “It is best when used as a supplement over time and not one time,” explains Eric Luchini, marketing and communications director at Kolas, and Dana Caylor, director of training at Kolas University.

by Bella Nolen

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