Don’t Worry, Be Happy
10 easy, natural ways to reduce anxiety
Well hello, worrywart.
Did you know studies show that women are diagnosed with anxiety disorders twice as often as men? Even those of us who don’t suffer from a disorder per se know what it’s like to be plagued by constant worry. And though there are some positive benefits to everyday angst — fear of wrinkles, for example, can motivate us to wear sunscreen — more often than not, anxiety is both unwelcome and unnecessary.
Passing out pills for this problem is not really our thing (strangely, they don’t license creative writing majors to distribute medication). Instead, we’ve put together a few easy tips for naturally neutralizing your nerves (say that three times, fast!).
Crank Up the Radio (and Sing Along): Music therapy has been proven to reduce stress in cancer patients, which leads us to believe it should be effective in battling our angst over mundane things like, say, parking tickets, a nasty boss, or an overdue bill.
Have More Orgasms: While this one’s potentially easier said than done, the oxytocin that’s released into your body with each orgasm is a natural antidote to stress hormones.
Go Nutty: Did you know that nutmeg has active compounds that are similar to those found in Prozac? Add a teaspoon into your diet daily.
Pet Something: Research shows that time spent alone with a pet can eradicate angst more effectively than can time spent with even the most supportive of friends or family members. Don’t have an animal of your own? Try fostering one through hard times.
Get Giggling: Whether you find humor in 30 Rock or watching your boyfriend eat sh*t (or both!) on the roller rink, a light-hearted laugh can work wonders in terms of fighting off those nasty nerves.
Just Breathe: Yoga and meditation are both excellent tools for re-focusing your breath. If you don’t have time for either, or you feel a panic attack coming on, simply hold your breath for as long as you can (within reason, of course!) to quickly alleviate anxiety.
Give Thanks: We don’t mean to sound like your mother, but making note of the things you’re thankful for really does help to ease angst. Write down at least three of them daily. (We suggest keeping a gratitude journal on your nightstand.)
Take a Hike: Or even just a walk. This one is especially helpful for alleviating work anxiety. A quick, 10-minute walk around your office parking lot will do the trick.
Supplement Yourself: Studies have shown that deficiencies in vitamin B, magnesium, and/or calcium can aggravate anxiety. Look to almonds, spinach, and whole grain breads for a magnesium boost; fish, meat, or dairy for added vitamin B; and dairy or leafy greens to up your calcium intake.
Inhale: Certain scents have been proven effective in reducing stress and anxiety. Among them are freshly cut grass and freshly baked bread, licorice (who knew?), and almost any floral scents.
xx, The FabFitFun Team