All plans to have a well-managed productive day, a nice time out with loved ones, or a restorative night’s sleep go straight out the window when we are plagued with anxiety. Sometimes it creeps up slowly—we can feel the restless unease for days before it settles in.
Other times, it hits us like a ton of bricks at once, leaving hearts racing, overwhelm, irritability, and an upset stomach. Some of us even live with chronic anxiety— it’s become a normal part of our lives so much so that to be without it is unfamiliar, so we find things to worry about.
Stress is normal. All humans experience stress in some way throughout each day. It’s our bodies’ survival mechanism to make sure we stay out of harm’s way, or don’t fall behind on important tasks. Anxiety, however, doesn’t have to be a part of our daily lives.
In fact, it’s usually synonymous with fear, which ties into our insecurities—a future-oriented mode that promotes unnecessary catastrophic predictions, creating narratives in our heads about ourselves and others, and preventing us from living in and enjoying the present moment.
Because of our social media and FOMO-driven society, anxiety is higher today than ever before. Some of us are more prone to anxiety than others, and some people even experience anxiety at a level that can be categorized as disordered behavior, aka anxiety disorder.
If anyone feels like they may be bordering on chronic when it comes to their anxiety levels, definitely seek a doctor for professional help. However, mitigating occasional anxiety can be done at home, with natural herbs and remedies to keep our cortisol levels in check. Here are some go-tos:
This adaptogenic herb can be taken in a capsule form, a powder, or a tincture. It helps our bodies adapt to physical and emotional responses to stress, helping to bring us back to a harmonious state. This makes it excellent for anxiety and stress, as well as for hormonal support and building physical stamina.
Another adaptogenic herb that comes in powder, pill, or tincture form, ashwagandha root helps our body acclimate to stress and anxiety by actually reducing our cortisol levels significantly. While this herb can also help boost stamina and promote restful sleep, it’s a great supportive herb for hormone and mood health year-round, or when life comes at ya fast.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid, a compound known as GABA, can be found in sprouted whole grains, tomatoes, seaweed, and other food sources. But for the treatment of anxiety, we recommend taking this in concentrated supplement form. It’s been shown to significantly increase alpha waves (those affiliated with relaxation and rest) and decrease beta waves (associated with active thinking and high alertness).
This flowering herb is used most often in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for mood support. It helps to reduce cortisol levels and elevate mental capacity in terms of learning and memory retention. Also an adaptogenic herb, it increases our bodies’ resistance to stress. It does all this due to compounds called bacosides, which significantly increase enzymes in the brain that break down stress hormones.
This beautiful, alien-like flower that is the precursor for delicious passionfruit is a known, effective treatment for anxiety and insomnia. Many double-blind clinical trials have shown its effectiveness in reducing anxiety due to the anthelmintic, antispasmodic, and anxiolytic effects of the aerial parts of the plant, flowers, and even the fruit.
This calming herb is said to often impart a euphoric effect, similar to the initial buzz after a glass of wine. It’s commonly used for chronic conditions like anxiety disorder because of its efficacy. It makes us feel so chill via targeted actions on the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) pathway in the brain, meaning it works to activate this compound, all while being non-addictive and non-hypnotic—plus it’s totally OK to drive after taking a small regular dose.
This calming herb is excellent in nighttime tea, tincture, or capsule. Not only is it soothing, but it’s also powerfully antidepressive, helping to combat those dreary blues that typically accompany the chaotic feelings associated with anxiety. This makes it a mood supporter during the darker months (Seasonal Affective Disorder), PMS, insomnia, and of course, anxiety.
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