When you struggle with anxiety, it can seem as if it will never go away. That’s because you’re always feeling anxious, to one degree or another, every day. Over time, this can really wear you down, making it hard to enjoy life and get any relief.
Perhaps you’ve tried to get help—but nothing seems to work. And maybe you’d rather avoid medication.
Don’t despair. There are ways to find relief without drugs that you might not be aware of. These natural anxiety treatments, including neurofeedback and EMDR, can help you with finding lasting relief.
The trick though is not relying on just one technique. Rather, it’s important to have a full toolbox of solutions at the ready. Consider some.
Scents and smells exert a powerful influence over our central nervous system.
Over the years, some of my clients have found a way to capitalize on the this particular mind/body connection. They have found that full engagement of their senses helps them lower their anxiety. In fact, using your senses is a common emotion regulating skill used in both CBT and DBT. An example of this would be taking a hot bath, or a cool shower in order to break the stress cycle in your body and mind.
Here’s one of many natural anxiety treatments that you may not be familiar with—aromatherapy. Lavender oil, in particular, can be soothing and calming. Plus, it has a pleasant scent that isn’t overwhelming.
There are several options available for utilizing lavender oil, including:
- Burning a scented candle
- Using a misting device that combines lavender oil with water to create a vapor
- Applying lavender drops to areas of your body, such as the neck and wrists
- Using a plug-in device to keep a room (or your whole house) filled with this relaxing smell
For some people, a combination of a variety of scents, including lavender, can also be calming, relaxing, and refreshing.
Breathing Techniques- One Of The Most Portable Natural Anxiety Treatments
Another idea is practicing breathing techniques. This is actually an important skill to incorporate into your anxiety relief toolbox for those moments when your anxiety gets triggered.
For some, “breathing techniques” translates to “meditation,” which is not as “out there” as you may imagine. Keep in mind that professional athletes, members of the military and law enforcement, hunters, and more, all practice breathing techniques to keep themselves calm.
And it works for them!
One idea for deep breathing may look like this:
- Breathe in for five seconds
- Hold for three seconds
- Breathe out for five seconds
- Hold for three seconds
With time, you can increase those numbers as you get better with this technique. The method trains your body to know that you can still keep breathing, even when you feel anxious. This helps engage your parasympathetic nervous system and keep the anxiety from getting worse or blowing up into a full-on panic attack.
Exercise should definitely be one of your go-to’s when it comes to natural long-term anxiety treatments. When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins which help make you feel calm and happy, and thus, combat anxiety.
Moreover, according to the Harvard Medical School, exercise helps to activate areas in your brain that control executive functioning. Those areas keep your amygdala in check, which is responsible for identifying danger or threats. It’s useful if you need to fend off a saber-tooth tiger but can wreak havoc with anxiety.
Any kind of exercise or physical activity will help. You don’t have to run a marathon or do train for hours each day. Regular, low-impact exercise, such as walking, can be very powerful.
Drug-Free Therapeutic Approaches
Other options for finding lasting relief from anxiety include therapeutic methods, such as Neurofeedback and EMDR. Perhaps you haven’t heard much about either, but these approaches are effective natural anxiety treatments. And they don’t require medication. Rather, these therapeutic techniques harness the power of your brain.
- Neurofeedback –Our brains control everything we do. And you can learn to train your brain to help you feel calmer. With this form of anxiety treatment, a therapist reads data transmitted to a computer screen by sensors attached to your head. The screen displays your EEG brainwaves as they are occurring in real-time. In essence, you can see what happens in your brain when it responds to something that makes you anxious or calm.
- EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing can alleviate the negative emotions attached to traumatic memories, which may trigger anxiety. In effect, it gets to the root cause of your anxiety and eliminates that which causes you anxiety in the first place.
A therapist can use either method of these methods to teach your brain to be less anxious. Both are powerful techniques that can really help you find long-lasting relief.
As you can see, there are many natural anxiety treatment options available for finding anxiety relief. However, don’t just rely on one method. Rather, have some tools available, such as breathing exercises and aromatherapy, for when you feel anxious in the moment. But utilize exercise, neurofeedback, and EMDR to prevent and also treat the underlying causes of your anxiety.
If you are looking for ways to find relief from anxiety, contact me for more information on my approach to anxiety therapy.