What is best natural remedy for anxiety?

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. It is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at some point. However, for some people, anxiety becomes excessive, persistent, and disruptive to daily life. This is when anxiety transitions from a normal emotion into an anxiety disorder.

Some common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Feeling restless, on-edge, or jumpy
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep problems

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting over 40 million adults each year. The most prevalent anxiety disorders are generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobias.

What causes anxiety?

The exact causes of anxiety disorders are complex and varied between individuals. However, researchers have identified some key factors that may contribute:

  • Brain chemistry – An imbalance in neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine is associated with anxiety disorders.
  • Genetics – Anxiety disorders tend to run in families, suggesting a genetic predisposition.
  • Environmental factors – Stressful or traumatic life situations like abuse, death of a loved one, divorce, or job loss can trigger anxiety disorders.
  • Medical factors – Some medical conditions, medications, and substance abuse may produce anxiety symptoms.
  • Personality – People with certain personality types like perfectionism and introversion are more prone to anxiety.

In many cases, anxiety likely arises from a combination of biological and environmental influences interacting together in a complex way.

When to seek professional help for anxiety

Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, if anxiety becomes excessive, difficult to control, and interferes with daily function, it may indicate an anxiety disorder. Signs that anxiety has progressed beyond normal levels and may require professional help include:

  • Anxiety that causes significant distress and impairment
  • Intense anxiety episodes that seem to occur randomly without trigger
  • Avoiding situations, places, events, or people due to anxiety
  • Spending excessive time worrying
  • Physical symptoms that interfere with sleep, work, or relationships

If anxiety has reached distressing levels or led to avoidant behaviors, it is a good idea to seek professional help. A combination of therapy and medication is usually most effective at treating anxiety disorders. Working with a professional can help identify root causes of anxiety and develop healthy coping strategies.

What are natural remedies for anxiety?

Many people experiencing anxiety prefer to look into natural remedies as a first step in managing symptoms. Natural remedies come with little to no side effects and can provide relief in milder cases of anxiety. Some examples of natural remedies for anxiety include:

Herbal supplements

Popular anti-anxiety herbal supplements include:

  • Chamomile – Has anti-anxiety and sleep-inducing effects. Typically taken as a tea.
  • Valerian – Reduces excitability and relaxation. Best taken before bedtime.
  • Passionflower – Has sedative and relaxing effects without drowsiness.
  • Kava – Reduces nervousness and induces calm feelings. Should not be taken with alcohol.
  • Lavender – Has calming, soothing aroma. Used as essential oil.

Always check with a doctor before trying herbal supplements to ensure safety and correct dosage. Effects may take 2-4 weeks to notice.

Mind-body practices

Mind-body techniques leverage the mind’s ability to affect the body’s physical response to anxiety:

  • Yoga – Mix of breathing, meditation, and movements to reduce stress.
  • Tai chi – Relaxing form of self-paced exercise.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation – Reducing tension by tensing then relaxing muscle groups.
  • Meditation – Focusing the mind on the present to achieve calmness.
  • Breathing exercises – Controlling rate of breathing to stabilize mood.
  • Guided imagery – Visualizing calm/peaceful scenes reduces anxiety.

Mind-body approaches require practice but can provide lasting anxiety relief over time. Taking a class can be helpful for learning proper techniques.

Lifestyle changes

Making positive lifestyle adjustments can have anti-anxiety effects:

  • Increase aerobic exercise – Releases endorphins that relieve tension.
  • Improve sleep routine – Lack of sleep exacerbates anxiety.
  • Reduce caffeine – Stimulant that increases unease.
  • Eat healthy diet – Avoid sugar, processed foods, and alcohol that negatively impact mood.
  • Limit media intake – Reduces exposure to disturbing/stressful news.
  • Try journaling – Writing feelings down provides perspective.

Even small, consistent lifestyle changes can make a difference in managing anxiety levels. Give changes a few weeks to take effect.

Best natural anti-anxiety supplements

The most well-researched natural supplements with anti-anxiety effects are:


Probiotics contain healthy bacteria that support gut health and brain function. Two strains shown to reduce anxiety are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Probiotics are available as capsules, powders, or fermented foods.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Found abundantly in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. Omega-3s support brain health and can elevate mood. Useful for people whose anxiety is heightened by inflammation. Available as fish oil supplements.


An essential dietary mineral that assists in muscle, nerve and brain function. Deficiency in magnesium is linked to increased anxiety. Topical forms like magnesium oil also offer anxiety relief.

Green tea

Contains an amino acid called L-theanine that boosts alpha brain wave activity, creating a state of calm, relaxed focus. 2-3 cups of green tea per day or a supplement form is recommended.


An adaptogenic herb used in Ayurvedic medicine renowned for its ability to stabilize mood and reduce stress. Effective for anxiety relief particularly in high-stress situations.

How to use natural remedies for anxiety relief

Some tips for using natural remedies to effectively manage anxiety:

  • Be patient – Natural products may take several weeks to reach full effect.
  • Take consistently – Effects wear off if usage is stopped abruptly.
  • Use moderate doses – More is not always better with natural substances.
  • Avoid mixing – Don’t combine multiple products without approval.
  • Consider interactions – Some natural remedies don’t mix with medications.
  • Keep journal – Track changes in anxiety to optimize natural regimen.
  • See professional – For severe anxiety, natural remedies should complement therapy and/or medication if needed.

Natural does not always mean risk-free. Always discuss using supplements, herbs, and mind-body practices with your doctor, especially if taking other medications.

Lifestyle changes to relieve anxiety naturally

In addition to natural supplements, making certain positive lifestyle adjustments can help minimize anxiety.

Get regular exercise

Make time for moderate aerobic exercise like brisk walking, swimming, or cycling for 30-60 minutes most days of the week. This releases endorphins which boost mood naturally.

Improve sleep habits

Not getting enough sleep worsens anxiety. Stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule, limit screen time before bed, make your sleep environment comfortable and free of distractions.

Reduce stimulant intake

Cut back on stimulating substances like caffeine, energy drinks, and nicotine which can trigger nervousness and jitteriness.

Eat a healthy diet

Limit sugar, junk food, and refined carbs which cause blood sugar spikes and mood crashes. Focus on anti-inflammatory foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins.

Try relaxation techniques

Carve out time each day for relaxation practices like light yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation. This activates the body’s relaxation response.

Connect with others

Make an effort to regularly connect face-to-face with family and friends who uplift you. Social isolation and loneliness tends to exacerbate anxiety.

Limit media exposure

Take breaks from following disturbing or upsetting news which can heighten anxiety unnecessarily. Be mindful of social media use as well.

Keep stress journal

Writing down thoughts, feelings, and stressors each day allows you to process emotions and gain perspective. Review the journal to identify triggers and patterns.

When to seek professional anxiety treatment

For moderate to severe anxiety, natural remedies alone are usually not sufficient. Professional treatment is advised when anxiety:

  • Causes extreme distress
  • Disrupts work, school, relationships
  • Triggers avoidant or unhealthy behaviors
  • Feels uncontrollable or irrational
  • Persists for over 6 months

If anxiety has seriously impacted quality of life, seeking help from a mental health professional is crucial. They can provide therapy, medication, or dual-approach treatment tailored to your needs. Some types of therapy shown to effectively treat anxiety disorders include:

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

Targets dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns contributing to anxiety. Uses strategies like exposure therapy and mindfulness.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)

Focuses on accepting anxious feelings and committing to valued life directions. Teaches distress tolerance skills.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)

Develops coping skills, emotional regulation, and cognitive restructuring. Particularly useful for trauma-related anxiety.

Do not hesitate to seek professional help if anxiety is overwhelming or impacting normal functioning. Combining natural remedies with anxiety disorder treatment can offer optimal relief.


In conclusion, anxiety disorders are very common and make daily life difficult for millions of sufferers. Mild anxiety can often be mitigated with natural remedies like herbs, supplements, mind-body practices and positive lifestyle changes. However, those with moderate to severe anxiety usually need professional treatment as well for full relief. Working with both a therapist and psychiatrist allows the creation of a tailored anxiety management plan. Natural remedies can serve as a helpful complement. With perseverance and a holistic approach, most people find significant anxiety relief and improvement in their quality of life.

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