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Wellbeing activist, entrepreneur & author, Dr Lola Tillyaeva reveals 6 natural ways to overcome anxiety symptoms and achieve a positive mindset
Anxiety is a disorder that so many experience – especially nowadays with our fast-paced lifestyles.
It can manifest itself in several ways, with symptoms which range from feeling worried and on edge to heart palpitations or insomnia.
The condition can be mild or severe, sometimes requiring treatment like cognitive behavioural therapy or, in some cases, even medication.
If you suffer from mild anxiety, staying on top of it can be simple, and there is a growing body of evidence which suggests natural lifestyle changes can help to reduce your anxiety symptoms and help you feel more optimistic.
To explain more, Healthista asked Dr Lola Tillyaeva, wellbeing activist, entrepreneur, author and humanitarian, to share her top tips to overcome anxiety naturally…
#1 Add more plant-based foods to your diet
A growing body of evidence suggests your diet can help with mental health and, as a result, low mood and anxiety.
When this inflammation reaches the brain, it can cause feelings of anxiety and stress, as well as depression.
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#2 Take deeper breaths
How we breathe affects our bodies differently, and it is just as important as what we eat. Practising ancient breathing techniques could help us bring balance into our bodies and activate our self-healing mechanisms.
Breathwork is something that Western Medicine is slowly uncovering, trying to understand the science behind the effects of different breathing techniques and how they can help with everything from enhancing energy levels to easing anxiety and boosting immunity.
Our bodies were designed for us to breathe deeply whenever we want. Yes, we were born knowing how to breathe deeply, but most of us forgot that knowledge as we grew up and daily life took over.
taking deeper breaths relieves stress effectively and naturally
The daily habit of deep breathing into the diaphragm generates vast improvements in our overall health. It delivers fresh oxygen to cells, slows the heartbeat, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles.
It also cleanses the body by helping the lymphatic system eliminate toxins and stimulates the release of endorphins, the hormones produced by the central nervous system and pituitary glands that provide pain relief and feelings of general wellness.
Not only that, but taking deeper breaths relieves stress effectively and naturally, helping you to feel more positive and energised.
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#3 Sleep well and wind down before bed
Quality sleep is essential to our health and well-being. Our bodies and minds accomplish a lot while we sleep, and research shows that good quality sleep can reduce cortisol levels, the stress hormone in our body.
If you are struggling to get good quality sleep, various practical steps can help recover good sleep patterns:
- avoid caffeine after 2pm and remember that alcohol is the enemy of good sleep,
- try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, to instil a good sleep rhythm,
- keep the bedroom temperature between 18 to 22 degrees Celsius to induce deep sleep,
- switch off all screens 60 to 90 minutes before bedtime as the blue light interferes with your biological clock and circadian rhythms.
#4 Try gentle Yoga
Gentle exercise like yoga can help to ease stress, alleviate anxiety symptoms, and enhance your mood. Practising yoga can help clear the mind and introduce calmness into your life.
Yoga can also enhance your body’s serotonin (happiness hormone) level. This, combined with its stress-relieving benefits, can help you to feel better, calmer, and more positive.
Practising yoga can help clear the mind
Finding the motivation to exercise might be challenging if you’re feeling anxious, but yoga can help boost your energy levels and connect the mind and body.
Slower forms of yoga, like Yin Yoga, offer deeper access to the body’s functioning, which can be beneficial for eliminating anxiety and making you feel more in control and upbeat.
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#5 Eat more high-frequency foods
Our physical and mental health depends on the invisible energy we receive from food. There are high-frequency foods such as fruits, vegetables and berries that contain more prana, energy, and light absorbed from their surroundings and the sun.
And there are low-frequency foods such as processed meals, red meat and alcohol, thought of as dead foods devoid of prana, energy, and light.
There is a body of evidence that illustrates that to maximise the nutritional value of our diets, it’s essential that we choose foods that contain high-vibration energy.
fill your plate with different colours
Examples of high-frequency foods also include green leafy vegetables like kale and chard, berries, fresh herbs, beans, and seeds.
One thing you can do to add more high-frequency foods to your diet, is to fill your plate with different colours. A colourful dish isn’t just aesthetically pleasing but is also recommended for balanced nutrition.
Each colour of food contains a unique set of phytonutrients – chemical compounds that give plants their rich colours and aromas – meaning each colour has unique benefits for overall well-being.
This is why plant foods and their phytonutrients protect us from chronic diseases and fight inflammation caused by stress and anxiety.
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#6 Cut out or cut down on the caffeine
Anxiety naturally heightens your arousal, and so does caffeine. The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system, essentially ‘pulling the trigger’ on our bodies to speed up the release of cortisol.
This hormone intensifies our physiological stress responses, which we rely on to react quickly when in life-threatening situations.
pay attention to other ways caffeine sneaks into your diet
Cortisol is naturally higher in those who experience anxiety. Caffeine will exacerbate this, increasing the heart rate, elevating blood pressure, and increasing muscle tension, which is the last thing you need, especially if you suffer from anxiety.
Coffee’s not the only culprit. You might also want to pay attention to other ways caffeine sneaks into your diet. Think chocolate bars, protein bars, energy drinks, and even tea.