Anxiety is a natural response to stress, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get out of hand to the point where it’s diminishing your quality of life. For extreme levels of anxiety, it’s important to speak with your doctor to discuss treatment plans and options, as there are many routes of therapy and/or medication that can often be crucial in treating this common but potentially devastating condition. However, if you’re coping with more mild levels of anxiety, or if you’re already in a treatment plan, you may be wondering what natural remedies for anxiety actually work.
First of all, if you’re an anxiety sufferer, know that you’re not alone: Just in the United States, around 40 million adults are coping with some manner of an anxiety disorder, making it the most prevalent mental health issue in the U.S according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. I have to admit I’m a bit biased when it comes to which treatments are effective; I’ve been an anxiety sufferer for most of my life, with a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), so I have plenty of personal experience. I’ve found both therapy and medication to be critical in helping me cope with my anxiety, but I also take a holistic approach in making lifestyle changes. Often my therapists have offered what I’ve found to be helpful suggestions, such as meditation and exercise, so I wanted to find out which lifestyle/natural methods of helping address anxiety are likewise recommended by experts.
“There’s a point at which medication has done what it can do, and other things can push it the extra mile. Medications have more symptomatic relief, but there can still be so much going on in your life that is contributing to your symptoms. If you’re still having a lot of negative thoughts, if you’re still in college and your life is full of stress, you can’t fix that all with medication.”
Dr. Gold believes certain at-home remedies can be helpful, but warns against anything that claims to be a magical “cure-all” supplement: “People often think of natural remedies as something like taking supplements. But sometimes, these can actually have negative effects and can interact with medications. If you’re going to start a supplement that claims to help anxiety, run that by your doctor.”
So, according to the experts, here are some natural remedies that are actually proven to work.