Two Ways To Help Relieve Your Anxiety And Stress

If you suffer from chronic anxiety, it will drain your body's energy reserves and leave you in a constant state of stress. Both anxiety and stress can be treated by pharmaceutical drugs, but with adverse side effects. A 2010 report found those who take anti-anxiety medication have a 36 percent increased risk of dying. Here are two natural ways to help relieve your anxiety and stress without pharmaceutical drugs.

Participate in Yoga

When you don't exercise your body, the effects of anxiety are magnified. While anxious, your muscles become more tense, and your breathing may remain constricted most of the day. Yoga can help to regulate your breathing and relax your body by allowing your muscle groups to release tension that has built up. 

Studies have shown yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety. As an extra bonus, yoga can help your balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength, and can help chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, insomnia, and depression.

Hatha yoga is one of the most common types of yoga, and is the best type to help ease your stress. It is also one of the most simple forms of yoga, so it is easy to do if you are a beginner. When you hold a yoga pose, breathe normally and don't hold your breath, then, inhale as you stretch and open your body, and exhale as you contract your body.

The Tree pose is an uncomplicated yoga pose to start with that can also help your balance. Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Shift your weight onto your left leg and bend your right knee to place the sole of your right foot on the inside of your left thigh. After you are balanced, place your palms together in front of your chest. Then reach both arms above your head with your palms facing each other, but not touching. Hold this pose for 30 seconds, then repeat it on the opposite side.

A more challenging yoga position that will work every part of your body is the Downward-Facing Dog. Start the pose on your hands and knees with your fingers spread out flat on the mat. Place your toes flat on the mat and lift your knees off the floor. With your knees slightly bent, focus on pushing your heels down to the floor and hold for one to three minutes. 

You can do yoga on your own at home with the help of yoga videos or online instruction, or you can take yoga classes at a local spa or yoga retreat center.

Drink Tea

For some people, the act of drinking a warm drink is enough to help them relax, but the type of herbal tea you drink can increase your tea's relaxation effects. As you begin to research different types of herbal teas, you will find you can make your own tea mixture, or buy pre-made mixtures. If you make your own tea using one of these stress and anxiety-reducing herbs, use one tablespoon of dried herbs or three tablespoons of fresh herbs with one cup of water. Then, steep the tea for five to ten minutes.

Kava is the best herb for treating moderate to severe cases of anxiety. There have been many studies showing its effectiveness to treat both anxiety and stress. While other types of herbal teas will only reduce the symptoms of anxiety, kava reduces your anxious thoughts to help improve your mood better. Although there have been some reports of liver damage from long-term use of kava tea, it has been recommended for use to treat mild to moderate anxiety by The American Academy of Family Physicians. The AAFP states Kava is safe to use for up to 24 weeks, and the short-term risks do not outweigh the benefits.