Holistic Healing for Anxiety: Techniques, Benefits, and Helpful Tips

Holistic Healing for Anxiety: Simple Techniques for a Calmer Life

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Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the U.S., according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Treatment is not one size fits all, it can include traditional medical approaches though recently holistic healing has gained attention as an alternative or complementary approach. I’ve been sharing natural therapuetic modalities here for years because I have seen a difference in my own life too.

By addressing the mind, body, and spirit, holistic healing aims to treat anxiety from a comprehensive perspective.

holistic healing for anxiety

Holistic healing treatments for anxiety encompass a wide range of techniques and methods, such as meditation, yoga, acupuncture, herbal remedies, and alternative therapies. These practices can be tailored to suit your unique needs and preferences. By incorporating holistic approaches into your daily routine, you can cultivate a sense of balance and well-being that reduces anxiety.

To embark on your holistic healing journey, start by exploring various approaches and find what resonates with you. Read reviews and testimonials and even better, get referrals from trusted people in your life.  Remember, holistic healing is about discovering what works best for your mind, body, and spirit to create a harmonious and anxiety-free life.

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety can feel like being worried, nervous, or uneasy about different aspects of your life. Here are a few common symptoms:

  • Physical: rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, sweating
  • Emotional: feeling restless or on edge, irritability
  • Cognitive: difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts
  • Behavioral: avoiding situations that trigger anxiety, compulsive actions

Root Causes of Anxiety

Understanding the root causes can help you address your anxiety more effectively. Here are some possible factors contributing to your anxiety:

  • Genetics: Your family history might predispose you to anxiety.
  • Brain chemistry: Imbalances in neurotransmitters can affect how well your brain handles stress and anxiety.
  • Personality: Certain personality types may be more vulnerable to anxiety.
  • Life experiences: Traumatic events or chronic stressors can contribute to the development of anxiety.

It’s important to remember that anxiety can have a variety of causes. My therapist always reminds me that anxiety is information and you must get curious in order to discover its roots. By uncovering the root causes, building awareness, and understanding the symptoms, you can work toward a more holistic approach to healing your anxiety.

Holistic Healing Techniques

holistic healing for anxiety

Holistic healing is a comprehensive approach to managing the health and well-being of the whole person — body, mind, and spirit. In this section, we will discuss the basic principles of holistic healing.

Balance: Achieving balance is key to holistic healing. This means finding harmony in different aspects of your life, like work, relationships, and self-care. This could also mean horomonal balance, balance with food and balance with other substances. It’s important to recognize when you are off-balance and work on restoring equilibrium.

Self-awareness: Knowing yourself is essential for holistic healing. Pay attention to your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations and feel them, avoid burying them. Acknowledge how your actions and attitudes affect your health and well-being.

Connection: Holistic healing emphasizes the interdependence of all aspects of your life. Building connections with others, nature, and your higher self can lead to a greater sense of belonging and support.

Remember, always consult a qualified professional or your doctor before starting any new holistic healing practices. By exploring these principles and implementing suitable practices, you can work toward a more balanced, self-aware, and connected existence, ultimately helping to alleviate your anxiety.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Meditation Practices

Meditation practices can significantly help reduce anxiety. There are various forms of meditation, but I find it really hard to focus on some of these methods when my brain won’t shut off with anxiety. If you are in this mindspace, there are a few apps I recommend that offer beneficial anxiety focused guided meditations

  • Insight Timer – this free app has hundreds of anxiety focused meditations available.
  • Tapping Solutions – Tapping is an effective form of meditation that I’ve been using for years. It’s amazing! Here is a 14-day free trial for you to explore.
  • Anxiety Release – Recommended by my EMDR therapist, this app uses binaural beats to support you through a panic attack or anxiety. Used with headphones, this app is amazing!

Try setting aside at least 10 minutes each day to practice meditation and when you find yourself in a more stable headspace you can try self-guided meditation techniques.

Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises are another powerful way to reduce anxiety. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, practicing these exercises can help:

  • Deep breathing: Inhale deeply through your nose, filling your belly first, then your chest. Exhale slowly through your mouth and repeat at least five times.
  • Box breathing: Inhale for four counts, hold for four, exhale for four, and hold for another four counts. This exercise promotes relaxation and focus.

To enhance your practice, consider incorporating visualizations or affirmations that support relaxation and stress reduction. The key is to find what works best for you and make it a part of your daily routine. Practicing these mind-body techniques consistently will help you build resilience against anxiety and improve your overall well-being.

Physical Activity for Anxiety Relief

A person practicing yoga in a serene natural setting, surrounded by trees and a flowing river, with a sense of calm and tranquility

Exercise as Medicine

Regular exercise can act as a natural and effective anxiety treatment. Engaging in physical activity can help increase the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. In addition, exercise can improve your overall well-being by enhancing your physical condition and reducing stress. To help manage your anxiety, consider incorporating the following activities into your routine:

  1. Aerobic exercises: walking, running, swimming, cycling
  2. Strength training: weightlifting, resistance exercises
  3. Flexibility exercises: yoga, stretching, Pilates, ballet
  4. Balance exercises: tai chi, dance classes, core workouts

Try to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise most, if not all, days of the week. Vary your exercise routine to prevent boredom and maintain consistency.

Yoga and Tai Chi

Yoga and Tai Chi offer effective methods of combining physical activity with mindfulness techniques to alleviate anxiety symptoms. These ancient practices enable you to cultivate mental clarity, focus, and self-awareness through various postures and breathwork. Regular practice can foster a sense of inner calm and balance, helping you navigate stressful situations more effectively.

Herbal Remedies and Supplements

Before you start any herbs or supplements, you must consult with your physician or naturopath. I also suggest having your blood work done to look for inbalances in horomones, copper, vitamins D and B, and other root causes of mental health disorders. You have to know what is going on inside your body before you start taking anything!

Common Herbs for Anxiety

There are various herbs that might help alleviate anxiety. A few popular ones include:

  • Valerian root: Known for its sedative effects, valerian root can help you relax and reduce anxiety levels.
  • Chamomile: Often consumed as a tea, chamomile has calming effects that can lessen agitation and restlessness.
  • Passionflower: Believed to reduce anxiety and improve sleep, passionflower can be consumed as a tea or a supplement.
  • Lavender: Its soothing aroma has been shown to help induce relaxation and reduce anxiety. You can inhale essential oil or incorporate dried lavender into a warm bath.

Many of these herbs can be found in various teas and I’ve used some great ones over the years for anxiety. Here are my favorites!

Nutritional Strategies

Dietary Changes

To help ease your anxiety, it’s essential to make a few dietary changes. Here’s a list of food recommendations:

  • Complex carbohydrates: Incorporate whole-grain foods, like whole-wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, and quinoa into your diet. These carbs help stabilize your mood by regulating blood sugar levels.
  • Antioxidant-rich foods: Fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants, such as berries, spinach, and kale, can reduce inflammation and help protect your brain.
  • Healthy fats: Choose sources of omega-3 fatty acids, like wild-caught fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, which can help in reducing anxiety symptoms.
  • Probiotics and fermented foods: Include probiotics like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and fermented vegetables, as a healthy gut microbiome plays a role in mental health.

It is also crucial to limit the intake of the following:

  • Caffeine and alcohol: Both can exacerbate anxiety symptoms and impact sleep quality.
  • Refined sugars: Sugary foods can cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, leading to mood fluctuations.

Supplements for Anxiety

holistic healing for anxiety

In addition to dietary changes, supplementing your diet with specific nutrients can further support anxiety relief and I’ve experienced big changes myself by doing this. This is where a trusted medical professional and your bloodwork will be key! Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Magnesium: Helps in regulating stress responses and improving sleep quality. Make sure it’s a slow release formula!
  2. Vitamin D: Plays a role in maintaining a balanced mood and has been linked with alleviating anxiety symptoms.
  3. L-theanine: Found in green tea, this amino acid promotes relaxation and reduces stress without causing drowsiness.
  4. Methylated B-Complex – Methylated B-Complex supplements are commonplace for those with anxiety. I like this one because you only have to take one a day.

Following these nutritional strategies can make a positive impact on your anxiety levels but speak to your doctor first!

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles at specific points on your body. In the context of treating anxiety, the idea is that by targeting certain meridians or energy pathways, acupuncture can help to release blocked energy (also known as Chi), allowing your body’s natural healing processes to restore balance and alleviate your anxiety symptoms.

Some benefits of acupuncture for anxiety include:

  • Non-invasive treatment
  • Few side effects
  • Can be used in conjunction with other therapies

You can read more here about the benefits of acupuncture from my practicioner Dr. Mykayla Werner.

Massage Therapy

Another alternative therapy you can consider is massage therapy. By applying pressure and various massage techniques to your muscles and soft tissues, a certified massage therapist can help to calm your body and mind. The soothing atmosphere, pleasant scents, and relaxing music often present during massage sessions can enhance the overall stress-relief experience.

I recently experienced a cranial sacral massage, which has been show to relieve mental health conditions in additon to headaches, and it was the most beneficial massage I’ve had in years.

Tips for choosing a massage therapist:

  • Look for certified professionals
  • Check reviews and recommendations
  • Inquire about their specialization (some focus on anxiety relief)

Accupressure

Accupressure is similar to acupuncture, but it doesn’t involve the use of needles. Instead, the practitioner applies pressure to certain points on your body, working to release blocked energy and promoting relaxation. You can also learn to perform self-acupressure to ease your anxiety symptoms on your own.

Accupressure Points Location Effect
Union Valley Between thumb and index finger Relieve stress and tension
Inner Frontier Gate Two thumb-widths above the wrist Calm heart palpitations
Hall of Impression Between the eyebrows Rebalance and restore calmness

I’ve also found ear seeds provide great accupressure relief and have practiced it on my own and on my family and friends for years.

holistic healing for anxiety

Accupressure mats are also a great tool that provides holistic healing for anxiety.

holistic healing for anxiety

When considering alternative therapies, don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for your individual needs. Remember, everyone responds differently, so don’t get discouraged if the first therapy you try doesn’t provide immediate relief. It’s essential to be patient and open-minded throughout the healing process.

Professional Help

When to Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, anxiety can still feel unmanageable. It’s essential to recognize when it’s time to seek professional help. Here are a few signs to look out for:

  • Persistent worry or fear that interferes with your daily life
  • Avoiding situations or experiences due to anxiety
  • Experiencing panic attacks
  • Feeling like anxiety is controlling your life
  • Difficulty with relationships, work, or school due to anxiety

If you experience any of these, it’s time to consult a professional to get the support you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most effective natural remedies for anxiety?

There are several natural remedies for anxiety that you can try. These include:

  • Herbal supplements: Valerian root, passionflower, and kava can help alleviate anxiety symptoms.
  • Aromatherapy: Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and bergamot can help induce a calming effect.
  • Exercise: Regular physical activity can improve mood and reduce anxiety.
  • Breathing techniques: Deep, slow breaths can help you to relax and reduce anxiety levels.
  • Mindfulness practices: Meditation and yoga can help focus your mind and alleviate anxiety.

What dietary changes can help alleviate anxiety symptoms quickly?

To help manage anxiety, consider making the following dietary changes:

  • Eliminate alcohol and caffeine – focus on your hydration with plenty of water and herbal calming teas.
  • Incorporate complex carbohydrates: They can help regulate brain chemistry and promote a feeling of calm.
  • Increase foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids: These fatty acids (found in fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds) can help reduce anxiety.
  • Eat more probiotics: Foods like yogurt and kefir can help improve gut health, which may have an impact on anxiety.
  • Stay away from processed foods and sugar.

What are some proven techniques for immediate anxiety relief at home?

To quickly alleviate anxiety at home, try these techniques:

  • Deep breathing: Focused, slow breathing can help calm your nervous system.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation: Tensing and relaxing muscle groups can help release tension and anxiety.
  • Grounding exercises: To divert your anxiety, focus on your physical surroundings and sensations.
  • Visualization: Imagine a calm, peaceful scene to relax your mind and soothe anxiety.
  • Accupressure: Invest in some tools or learn points that work for you.
  • Journaling: Writing down your thoughts can help you identify and manage anxiety triggers.

How can one interrupt anxiety thoughts effectively?

Interrupting anxious thoughts is crucial for regaining control. Try these techniques:

  • Cognitive reframing: Challenge negative thoughts and replace them with more constructive ones.
  • Mindfulness: Stay present in the moment and focus on your current surroundings.
  • Distraction: Engage in an activity that requires your full attention, like reading, exercise, or a creative hobby.
  • Timeout: Take a break from the situation or environment that’s causing anxiety.

Is it possible to completely overcome anxiety without pharmaceutical drugs?

While it’s challenging to completely eliminate anxiety, many people find significant relief through lifestyle changes, therapy, and non-pharmacological treatments. It’s essential to work closely with a healthcare professional to determine the best approach for your unique situation.

What is the 3-3-3 rule and how does it apply to managing anxiety?

The 3-3-3 rule is a grounding technique for managing anxiety. It involves:

  1. Identifying three things you see around you
  2. Naming three sounds you hear
  3. Moving three parts of your body (e.g., your fingers, toes, or neck)

The 3-3-3 rule works by refocusing your attention on your immediate surroundings, thereby interrupting anxious thoughts and helping you regain control.

Final Thoughts

I’ve been living with anxiety for much of my adult life and have learned that a combination of medicine and holistic healing methods, and therapy, has helped me heal tremendously. Approaching anxiety from many different angles is most beneficial in managing anxiety symptoms.

Holistic healing offers a fresh and gentle approach to managing anxiety. With a variety of techniques to choose from, you have the power to find what works best for you.

When beginning your holistic healing journey, it’s essential to be patient and kind to yourself. It might take time to experience significant improvements in your anxiety levels, but keep exploring different approaches, as holistic healing is all about embracing balance and harmony.

As you navigate this journey towards anxiety relief, don’t be afraid to reach out for support from those around you. Friends, family, and experienced professionals can provide valuable insight and encouragement. Sharing your experiences and challenges with others can be empowering and help reinforce your efforts.

Lastly, always remember that you are not alone in your struggle with anxiety. Millions of people experience anxiety, and I know how lonely it can feel. Seeking holistic approaches reflects your commitment to personal growth and well-being. So keep exploring, stay open-minded, and keep believing in yourself and your ability to overcome anxiety.

holistic healing for anxiety

Elena Breese

Elena is a Boston Marathon bombing survivor and lives with post-traumatic stress disorder. Through her website, Still Blooming Me, Elena shares how she learned to embrace her trauma and mental challenges, advocate for herself, and grow from her experience. She is passionate about bringing awareness about PTSD and sharing resources that have helped her heal. Elena has contributed to various blogs, podcasts, and speaks publicly.

Elena is a dedicated wife and mother. Her family lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

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