Natural Remedies for Anxiety and Stress: Exploring Effective Non-Pharmacological
In a time when stress is coming from all sides, finding ways to balance your feelings and manage
stress and anxiety can be challenging. For many, our mental healthcare as well as our physical probably comes on four legs. And while there is now doubt that our furry friends make wonderful counsellors and companions, sometimes you may need a little bit more help. If your feelings of stress and anxiety are overwhelming, there are a range of natural remedies for anxiety that you can explore.
Recognising stress and anxiety
The first step to coping with stress and anxiety is to recognise it in the first place. This can be
challenging, as often it can feel like a “them” problem rather than a “you” one. If you are
experiencing some or all of the following, you could well be stresses:
- Intolerant, angry or irritable
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Unable to switch off and enjoy yourself
- Disinterested in life
- Feeling depressed
- Feeling as though you have lost your sense of humour
- Feeling anxious or nervous – and you don’t know why.
Treating stress and anxiety
There are a few different ways to treat stress and anxiety. These include therapy such as Cognitive
Behavioural Therapy (CBT) alternative therapies, lifestyle changes, and medication such as
antidepressants or sedatives. According to Oxford Online Pharmacy “When it comes to addressing
physical and mental health, alternative therapies and holistic solutions can often help. Oxford
Online Pharmacy, offer a range of vitamins and supplements to support physical and mental
wellbeing at all stages of an adult’s life.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) focuses on the interconnection of our thoughts, emotions,
physical sensations, and the belief that negative thoughts and feelings can create a cycle of distress.
The process of CBT helps people to address problems by breaking them down into smaller,
manageable components and teaching patients effective techniques to modify the negative
patterns, thereby leading to improved emotional well-being.
Unlike certain other therapeutic approaches, CBT concentrates on addressing current challenges
rather than delving into past issues and the aim is to equip patients with practical strategies to deal
with daily life. CBT has been shown to be effective in treating a range of conditions including stress,
alcohol misuse, schizophrenia, OCD and eating disorders.
Non-pharmacological medications to treat stress and anxiety
Feelings of stress and anxiety come from a range of sources; external factors such as stressful jobs,
relationship problems or anxiety about health or money, as well as a complex balance of hormones
and chemicals that can make you feel great, or feel detached or unhappy. Your hormone cycle can
play a role in your stress and anxiety levels, too, so it can be useful to keep a diary of your emotions.
For mild stress and anxiety, supplements can be known to help, however it is important to
remember that different people react differently and what may work for one person, may not be
effective for another. Natural and nutritional products that are often used to alleviate anxiety
● Vitamin B12, which supports the nervous system and could reduce anxiety and depression,
● L-theanine, an amino acid that is found in black and green tea,
● Omega-3 fatty acids, which are needed for nervous system development,
● Essential oils such as chamomile and valerian,
● CBD products
● Ashwagandha – can help to boost serotonin, the feel-good hormone
Lifestyle changes that can help with stress and anxiety
Ironically, many of the lifestyle elements that can help to alleviate stress and anxiety are things that
often fall by the wayside when we are feeling especially busy, stressed or anxious. These include:
Regular exercise – you don’t have to run a marathon, but setting aside time to walk, run, swim or go
to the gym is a great way to find space for you, especially when you are feeling under pressure. As
tempting as it may be to hit the treadmill, fresh air and open spaces are best to give you that feeling
of space and perspective.
feeling overwhelmed can naturally lead to you having less time to sleep, and getting worse
quality sleep because your mind struggles to switch off. Setting a sleep routine that works for you in
terms of timing and resources (switching electronics, having a chamomile tea, reading in bed, or
enjoying a relaxing bath) can all be useful ways of preparing your body and mind for a restful night’s
If you have a tough day, it is almost a natural response to reach for a glass of something. Alcohol is a
natural sedative, so it is one of the first methods that we deploy to take the edge of our stress or
anxiety. However, too much alcohol can worsen anxiety and a dependence on it can lead to much
longer-term problems. If you feel as though you may be becoming dependent on alcohol, try quitting
for a week, month or even year – if you can’t, seek medical advice.
Look at your diet
Just like alcohol, for many of us, stress is a trigger to eat unhealthy food. A bad day can mean a tub
of ice cream, or fish and chips for dinner. The ensuing blood sugar rollercoaster, not to mention the
possible self-loathing associated with bingeing can only worsen your over physical and mental
wellbeing. Of course, you are allowed to indulge in food that you love, but make sure it is because
you are enjoying it, and not a stress response.
Natural remedies for anxiety
There are many complementary therapies which are excellent for relaxation and wellbeing. Find one that suits you and offers you some previous me time. How about reflexology, massage or reiki?
The best way to cope with stress and anxiety is to look after yourself. Self-sabotaging techniques
may feel as though they are effective at the time, but in the long term they will have the opposite
effect. Make space for you, give yourself time to reflect and most of all, be kind to yourself.
Remember, whatever you are going through, there is no shame or harm in reaching out for support.