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5 tips on how to reduce your anxiety, naturally

Holistic ways to reduce anxiety

With the holiday season clearly in sight, many of my patients are asking about how they can naturally reduce their anxiety in anticipation of all the stress it can bring. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve shared with them that can naturally reduce their stress.

1) Nature’s beauty

Study after study has shown that time spent in nature reduces stress and improves resilience. Find a quiet place under the trees or by any body of water and you will find the day feeling a whole lot better!

2) While you’re out enjoying nature…

If you are able to move your body, your body will love you! Exercise of any sort can be a powerful anti-anxiety tool. Getting your blood pumping on a walk, or really any way, reduces inflammatory chemicals throughout your body and increases BDNF, a neuro-peptide instrumental in natural resilience. Combining this with a hike in the woods can double your return!

3) Take a moment to breathe

It surprised me to find that I was unconsciously holding my breath when I felt stressed. This is something we all do without thinking about it and, as studies have found, can have an impact on your health and anxiety. An easy, natural fix for this is to take 10 conscious breaths a few times a day. You don’t have to breathe deeply, or do anything fancy, just count out ten whole breaths. You’ll be surprised to find how much this can take the edge off of even the hardest day.

4) Warm cup of tea

While studying biofeedback, one of the coolest things I learned was that when our hands are warm, we feel calm! Try it! Hold a cup of tea or soup (not too hot!) or just run warm water over your hands, you’ll soon discover that without even trying, your muscles will relax and you will feel a whole lot calmer, no big effort required.

5) Dark chocolate for the win!

Dark chocolate really does everything. It’s amazing how this treat is powerful medicine for our minds and bodies, just as long as its 80% dark chocolate or more. Why? Though we don’t know for sure, it seems as though one of the naturally occurring compounds in chocolate can actually reduce the level of cortisol, our body’s stress hormone, when we let a little bit of dark chocolate melt in our mouth.

Washington Integrative Mental Health Clinic,

Dr Benjamin Bregman

Our holistic mental health and wellness clinic headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.

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