30 Ways to Manage Anxiety Naturally – Herbs, Supplements + Tips

In today’s fast-paced society, many people struggle with anxiety. Natural remedies can holistically help manage anxiety symptoms. Whether it’s soothing herbs, supportive supplements, or intentional lifestyle changes, there are numerous ways to naturally alleviate anxiety. If you’re looking for tips on how to manage anxiety naturally, this is your go-to guide! And no – we won’t just tell you to meditate… there’s a LOT more you can do to relieve your stress and nurture your body. 

Keep reading to learn more about managing anxiety naturally with herbs, supplements, and more. 

Manage Anxiety Naturally

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This article is co-authored by Kendall Bierman and Catherine Power.

Summary: 

  • There are many ways to manage anxiety naturally (most of which are free and accessible to all).
  • Incorporating practices such as regular exercise, healthy nutrition, adequate sleep, and stress-reducing techniques like meditation and laughter can significantly alleviate anxiety symptoms.

Table of Contents

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a mental health disorder categorized by intense or constant worry that is difficult to stop or control. There are many different types of anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety, agoraphobia, and specific phobia disorders. Most people have experienced anxiety at some point in their life. Who hasn’t felt some stress before a big exam or work presentation? That type of anxiety is “normal”. In fact, it can even be motivating, in the way that it may cause you to study for your exam or prepare for your presentation.

Anxiety becomes disordered, when it significantly impairs a person’s functioning or well-being. 

Believe it or not, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the USA. A whopping, 19.1% of the US population aged 18 and older suffer from an anxiety disorder. Even more concerning, 31.9% of adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 years old are affected by anxiety disorders. With large numbers like these, you would imagine that many people are receiving treatment; however, only 36.9% of those with an anxiety disorder receive treatment. Nonetheless, there is hope, as anxiety disorders are highly treatable! [1]
Manage Anxiety Naturally 101

Symptoms of Anxiety

As mentioned before, there are many different types of anxiety disorders. However, all anxiety disorders share an essential feature of excessive fear and anxiety which cause behavioral disturbances. When discussing symptoms of anxiety, we will be referring to symptoms related to generalized anxiety disorder, as it is one of the more common anxiety disorders.

For every mental health disorder there is a diagnostic criteria that must be met in order for a person to be diagnosed with that disorder. A list of each psychiatric disorder and their diagnostic criteria can be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5-TR). This is essentially the bible for mental health professionals.

According to the DSM, a person diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) faces excessive anxiety and worry that occurs more days than not for at least 6 months, and the worry may include a variety of events or activities. An individual with this diagnosis also finds the worries difficult to control. Additionally, according to DSM-5-TR, anxiety/worry are associated with three (or more) of the following six symptoms:

  1. Restlessness or feeling on edge
  2. Being easily fatigued
  3. Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
  4. Irritability
  5. Muscle tension
  6. Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep).

 

Finally, as with any type of disorder, the symptoms associated with this diagnosis must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

While the identifying feature of GAD is excessive anxiety and worry, it’s important to note the physical symptoms that an individual with GAD may experience. In addition to muscle tension, “there may be trembling, twitching, feeling shaky, and muscle aches or soreness.” Other physical symptoms may include sweating, nausea, diarrhea, an exaggerated startle response, accelerated heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness, irritable bowel syndrome, and headaches.

Ways To Calm Anxiety Naturally

When it comes to reducing anxiety levels naturally there are quite a few ways that are both restorative and effective. Don’t overlook the natural methods – they can work too! Let’s dive into the 30 natural approaches and techniques to soothe your mind (without potential negative side effects). 

1 - Regular exercise, such as:

  • Yoga
  • Cardio
  • Dancing
  • Nature walks
  • Link to cycle syncing article

 

Exercise helps decrease anxiety in a number of ways, such as decreasing muscle tension, increasing your heart rate, which in turn increases the availability of serotonin. This helps to divert your attention away from the thing that you are anxious about. [2, 3]

2 - Eating A Healthy Diet

Did you know that carbohydrates are thought to increase the amount of serotonin in your brain? Eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates (like organic vegetables, quinoa, lentils and sweet potatoes), rather than simple carbohydrates (like sugary treats or white bread). [4]

3 - Staying Hydrated

Dehydration can disrupt the balance of electrolytes in your body. These are essential to maintain proper nervous system function (which targets anxiety). Additionally, dehydration can trigger the release of stress hormones like cortisol, which can further exacerbate symptoms. Drink up!

While you’re at it, hydrate with some high-quality reverse osmosis purified water. You can learn more here: What To Look For In A Water Filter or Purifier and The Best Mineral Drops For Reverse Osmosis Water.

4 - Finding the root cause of gut imbalance

Gut imbalances can also impact the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin. Plus, an unhealthy gut microbiome leads to inflammation that impacts the brain, which can potentially worsen anxiety symptoms. Your gut health is fundamental for whole-body physical and mental health. It’s all connected!

If you’re interested in getting to the root-cause of your gut imbalances, check out this article: Is A GI-MAP Test Worth It? Gut Test Explained

5 - Supplements

While dietary supplements aren’t always studied as robustly as over-the-counter medications, they can greatly help you on your journey to be anxiety-free. As always, chat with your doctor (naturopathic doctor) before starting a new herbal supplement routine.

  • Saffron, like in Organifi Happy Drops
  • Magnesium glycinate – Easily absorbed and may help with enhancing relaxation and improving sleep quality
  • CBD – You can learn more about CBD here: Pros And Cons Of CBD Oil For Anxiety
  • Vitamin B – Supports the nervous system and aids in the production of neurotransmitters
  • Omega-3 fatty acids –  May help to lower inflammation and promote the healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system
  • Probiotics – May improve gut health
  • Reminder: the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements like they do with food, so ensure you’re sourcing your supplements from high-quality brands.

6 - Breathing Exercises

When people are anxious, breathing tends to become shallow and rapid. This type of breathing may cause dizziness, muscle tension, and an increase in your heart rate. Deep breathing exercises, on the other hand, can help alleviate this anxiety. Try breathing exercises such as alternate nostril breathing, belly breathing, and box breathing. Tip: if you need guidance, try watching YouTube examples of breathing exercises! There are many great ones available for free right online. [5]

7 - Sleeping 7-9 hours per night

Not getting enough sleep has a huge impact on our day-to-day lives. It impacts our emotional functioning, mood regulation, and can make us more anxious. [6]

8 - Journaling

It’s hard to manage your anxiety if you’re not aware of how you’re feeling or what is making you anxious in the first place. Journaling is a great tool to increase your self-awareness and assess your needs.

9 - Focus on building a strong community of friends

Having high-quality friends in your life will impact your mental health in substantial ways. They’ll provide emotional support, foster a sense of connection, and allow you space to share what is giving you anxiety. Don’t isolate yourself… and if you don’t have friends, get involved locally to find some. They’re out there! 

10 - Manage caffeine intake

Ever get that anxious jittery feeling after drinking too much caffeine? Yeah, us too. Reducing the amount of caffeine your consume (which is a stimulant) can reduce anxiety and lower your heart rate.

If you need caffeine to start your day, try opting for matcha or green tea, which provides less of spike in caffeine than other stimulants. Learn more here: 15 Green Tea Tips: What Green Tea Is The Best For Weight Loss?

11 - Sauna

Saunas are great for both your physical AND mental health. They promote relaxation, improve circulation, and encourage the release of endorphins, which boost mood and reduce stress.

Learn more about the best saunas (and the science behind them) here: Sauna Health Benefits & Who Should Not Use A Sauna


12 - Meditate

No, meditation isn’t too “woo woo” or “hippie” for you. It can help calm your mind, lower stress hormones, and promote a sense of inner peace and mindfulness. Give it a try. Who knows, you may love it. 

Here are some apps to help you get started: Best Mental Health Apps of 2024 for Well-Being & Therapy 

13 - Aromatherapy, like lavender

Anxiety often occurs in the context of worrying about the future. When we lean into our senses, such as smell, we become grounded in the present moment, and our worries about the future are likely to decrease. Organic lavender essential oils are great to start with!

14 - Join support groups

If you prefer chatting through your anxiety in a group, support groups can help to provide a great sense of community. You’ll be able to gain empathy from others in a similar situation, while learning about valuable coping strategies and emotional support. Check your local area to see if there’s a support group you can join.

15 - Quit smoking

Nicotine is a stimulant, which, like caffeine, chemically increases anxiety symptoms. Plus, smoking impacts your respiratory system (and many other systems) which can impact your breathing regularity and nervous system regulation. 

16 - Get outside

Fresh air always helps! Getting exposed to natural light can improve your mood and lower your stress. While you’re at it, take off your shoes and do some grounding. Connect with the Earth and take some time to reflect. 

To learn more about grounding, check out: Grounding To The Earth (Earthing) – Techniques & Benefits

17 - Go to therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the golden standard for anxiety treatment, in part because of its high level of evidence-based effectiveness. By targeting maladaptive thoughts and behaviors, CBT, teaches patients to manage their anxiety. Seek help – you are not alone.

18 - Drink herbal teas

Herbal teas, like chamomile tea, can naturally help reduce anxiety since they’re a more natural gentle sedative. Other teas, like lemon balm, may boost your mood and promote a sense of calm. Experiment with herbal teas to see what works for you (just keep in mind, if you’re on medication, some herbs can impact medicine absorption – so chat withy your doctor). 

19 - Stop late-night screentime

Blue light exposure from your screen impacts your natural sleep-wake cycle (aka circadian rhythm). It can boost stress levels, impact your sleep quality, and throw you into a more anxious state. Instead of late-night scrolling or watching TV, opt for a book instead or use blue-light blocking glasses, which you can learn more about here: Blue Light Glasses Benefits – Do They Work?

20 - Start your day with morning sunlight

As mentioned above, sun exposure impacts your natural sleep-wake cycle. While you should never stare directly into the sun, getting exposed to morning light can naturally boost your serotonin levels and tell your brain that it’s time to wake up. It can be a powerful (and free) mood booster. Give it a try for a consistent month – you won’t notice changes overnight.

21 - Have strong boundaries

Don’t let people walk all over you. Having strong, respectful boundaries at home, with friends, at work, and in public will help protect your emotional wellbeing. Burnout and overcommitments can lead to anxiety and stress. Work with a therapist to improve your self confidence and fortitute to maintain these boundaries. 

22 - Try acupuncture

There’s a reason acupuncture has been used for centuries through Chinese medicine! It can stimulate specific points in the body to balance energy flow (“qi”) and help you release endorphins. By reducing muscle tension, it can be a great holistic approach to managing anxiety naturally.

23 - Get regular massages

Like acupuncutre, massages can significantly reduce muscle tension and stress. It can improve circulation, lower cortisol levels, release endorphins, and promote a sense of relaxation. Who doesn’t love a good massage?! Plus, it’s great for your lymphatic system. 

24 - Cold plunge/Cold exposure

Cold plunging (or taking a dip in a very cold, icy bath) can trigger the release of endorphins and norepinephrine, which enhance mood. It’s great in helping to reduce inflammation, while boosting stress resilience and mental clarity. Now, cold plunging isn’t for everyone (especially if you’re already stuck in a constant loop of fight or flight). Use it sparingly and with caution.

To learn more about cold therapy, check out: Cold Therapy Benefits & Cryotherapy Side Effects

25-Weighted Blankets

Cozying up on the couch with a weighted blanket – what could be better? Weighted blankets are an underrated, but powerful tool with anxiety management. It gives you a feeling like you’re being hugged, which increases serotonin and melatonin levels. This calming effect is great for preparing for sleep and having a sense of security. 

 

26 - Laugh!

This goes hand-in-hand with point #9 – laugh with your friends, family, or community members. It’s truly free therapy. Laughing releases endorphins (your natural feel-good chemicals) which will alleviate stress and anxiety. Turn on a comedy movie or set up a date with friends for some good ol’ belly laughs. 

27 - Test your environment for mold

Mold is a hidden environmental toxin that can have a major impact on your mental wellbeing and anxiety. It’s not talked about enough! Mold spores and mycotoxins can trigger allergic reactions, respiratory problems, whole-body inflammation (including in your brain), immune system dysregulation, and so much more. The constant exposures (especially if you live in a moldy home or work in a moldy office) can increase your anxiety levels tremendously, whether you’re aware of it or not. 

Addressing mold issues in the home through testing, remediation, and ensuring good ventilation/moisture control can not only alleviate physical symptoms but also contribute to a healthier indoor environment that reduces your anxiety.

To learn more about mold, check out: Mold Detox Protocol & Chronic Immune Response Syndrome & Mycotoxin Testing from Mold Exposure – MycoTOX Profile

28 - Face your fears

One of the best ways to lessen your anxiety is to face your anxiety! The more you do something that scares you, the less scary it becomes. Exposure allows you to confront and challenge your anxiety head-on. Over time, repeated exposures (known as exposure therapy) can reduce your anxiety and improve your quality of life. Stop treating yourself like a victim and start facing your fears in baby steps.

29 - Limit alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant, and like any sedative, it affects the central nervous system. As your blood alcohol content (BAC) rises, we might feel excited or relaxed, but as our BAC begins to fall back down feelings of depression may occur.  Alcohol changes your levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters resulting in worsened anxiety once it begins to wear off. Hangovers may also leave you feeling physical symptoms that increase your anxiety levels. Additionally, increased anxiety is a symptom of alcohol withdrawal. [7]

To learn more about the health impacts of alcohol, check out: What Is The Healthiest Alcoholic Drink? Alcohol On Gut Health

Some people replace alcohol with kava, which has pros and cons. Learn more about kava here: What Is Kava And Is It Safe?

30 - Keep your living space clean and clutter-free

Last, but certainly not least, keeping your home clean can reduce anxiety by creating a sense of order and control in your environment. A clean, orderly environment helps create a calm, clear mind. Additionally, a clean living space supports better physical health by minimizing dust, allergens, and potential sources of indoor pollutants, which can contribute to improved respiratory function. 

If you’re looking for non-toxic cleaning products to clean up your home without unnecessary chemicals, check out the In On Around Shop

Final Thoughts: Manage Anxiety Naturally

As you can see, there are many ways to manage anxiety naturally (most of which are free and accessible to all). Incorporating practices such as regular exercise, healthy nutrition, adequate sleep, and stress-reducing techniques like meditation and laughter can significantly alleviate anxiety symptoms. By using natural strategies that focuses on your body and mind holistically, you can learn to manage anxiety so it doesn’t control you day-to-day. 

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Can you manage anxiety naturally?

What are your favorite natural anxiety remedies?

Let me know your thoughts and key takeaways in the comments below!

xoxo,

In On Around Signature

Want to read more? Check out our other articles here! 

Other references on Manage Anxiety Naturally:

Healthline, Mayo Clinic, Medical News Today, Forbes, Verywell Health, Dr. Axe, American Psychological Association, National Institute of Mental Health, ADAA, Harvard, Health

Copyright In On Around LLC 2024 ©. The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration). They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information provided by this website should not be used as individual medical advice and you should always consult your doctor for individual recommendations and treatment. The information contained in this site is provided on an “as is” basis. Related to this site, there are no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness, or timeliness. In On Around LLC assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site.

Frequently Asked Questions – Naturally Manage Anxiety

Click on the below FAQs to learn more about: generalized anxiety natural remedies, traumatic stress systematic review, and natural anxiety remedies.

There are many natural ways to alleviate anxiety, such as meditation, herbal remedies, daily movement, sun exposure, and more.

Some of the best herbs for naturally managing anxiety include chamomile, known for its calming properties, and lemon balm, which helps alleviate stress and promote relaxation. 

Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate sleep have a profound impact on anxiety levels and overall mental health.

Yes, mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation can alleviate anxiety by promoting relaxation, reducing stress hormones like cortisol, and increasing awareness of the present moment. 

About Catherine Power

Catherine Power is the Founder and CEO of In On Around. She is a Harvard-educated Ingredient Safety and Environmental Toxins expert. Catherine has a background in Food Science, Personal Care Quality, and Regulatory Compliance.

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