9 Science-Backed Strategies to Deal with Anxiety

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Science / Health

The feeling of anxiety that we experience occasionally is totally a part of life.

However, it may turn out different for some others that experience it excessively and frequently.

It’s at this point that it’s referred to as a disorder and can affect the quality of life.

Common symptoms of anxiety include a sense of impending doom or danger, constant feeling of helplessness and panic, trembling, hyperventilation, sweating and increased heart rate.

However, leaving anxiety to linger for a long time can interfere with our daily activities and affect almost every area of our lives.

There are different strategies that can be employed to deal with anxiety, and some of the best of them are scientifically backed up.

Here are eight science-backed strategies to deal with anxiety.

1.   Yoga

The overall practice of yoga can stimulate the relaxation response, which allows both the body and mind to gain a level of calm and ease.

Yoga is a type of therapy that can help people with anxiety because it’s a tool that helps them recognize the thoughts, feelings and actions that lead to intensified anxiety, and bring about effective self-soothing methods.

Several studies have demonstrated the clinical value of yoga as an anxiety treatment.

For example, a 12-week yoga intervention showed greater improvements in mood and anxiety when compared to a metabolically matched walking exercise.

2.   Meditation

The practice of meditation intends to help you enter a deep state of relaxation or restful alertness. Constant practice helps to reduce the stress and fatigue you feel, which is quite useful to those with generalized anxiety disorder.

Over the last eight years, studies have shown the benefits meditation has for anxiety disorder.

Once, a trial was conducted with 90+ individuals with DSM-IV identified comprehensive anxiety disorder, where they had an 8-week manualized mindfulness and meditation group program.

The resultant effect was that there was an expressively greater lessening in anxiety for the participants and they also showed a greater increase in positive self-statements.

3.   Exercise

Science facts show that regular participation in aerobic exercise can help to decrease the overall level of tension, stabilize the mood, and improve sleep in people who participate in it. In fact, just five minutes of aerobic exercise can cause an effect on anxiety levels.

Also, there’s evidence that people who are physically active have lower anxiety and depression rates than inactive people. Exercise generally helps to improve mental health because it helps the brain cope better with stress.

4.   Tai Chi

Tai chi is a type of exercise that began as a Chinese tradition. It entails martial arts, with a good deal of slow movements and deep breaths.

Tai chi has many physical and emotional benefits, one of which is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety.

The earliest research shows that regular practice of tai chi can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Slow and mindful movements and breathing have a helpful effect on mood-regulating hormones and the nervous system in general.

A 2018 study showed that the effects of tai chi on stress-related anxiety were superior to traditional exercise because tai chi also includes meditation and focused breathing.

5.   Nature Bathing

Nature bathing is as simple as going into nature and being present with all five senses. It’s a non-strenuous stroll that has frequent breaks for you to observe what’s around you. There’s no end goal in sight.

In a recent study, partakers who consistently walked through nature showed evidence of lowered blood pressure.

Exposure to the tree oil and strolls through the forest also contributed to a reduced level of anxiety.  Also, earlier research showed that nature bathing reduces stress hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline in the body.

6.   Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a timeless shrub that grows in the Middle East, India and parts of Africa. It has a long history of use in traditional medicine for different purposes.

It has a calming effect on anxiety symptoms when compared with regular sedatives and other anxiety medication.

In 2000, a study showed that it had a more anxiety-reducing effect on users than regular lorazepam medicine.

Also, a 2019 study showed that a daily dose of 240 milligrams (mg) of Ashwagandha reduced people’s stress levels significantly when compared with a placebo.

7.   Art Therapy

Over the years, art therapy has been shown to considerably help people who struggle with anxiety disorder.

Research into art therapy has shown that this complementary treatment option has been useful to people of different ages and backgrounds.

Art therapy helps to develop a good sense of calm, self-expression and awareness that can work to heal anxiety.

It can become a part of a comprehensive treatment plan that can truly transform those who seek healing from anxiety disorders.

While different creative expressions can be beneficial to us in different ways, art therapy goes a long way than people give it credit for. It’s a little more than just spending introspective time coloring.

There’s a body of studied, proven, and professionally practiced research that shows it as a treatment option that is helping a lot of people all over the world get over anxiety.

8.   Aromatherapy

In addition to being used as fragrances for different products, a good number of essential oils also have health applications.

When essential oils are utilized to help well-being, the process is referred to as aromatherapy.

The feasible uses of essential oils in aromatherapy include pain management, help with digestion, and stress and anxiety reduction.

The theory of how aromatherapy works is that the essential oils stimulate the smell receptors in the nostrils, which in turn send messages to the nervous system.

Also, essential oils are believed to have a subtle effect on the body’s energy systems.

As a result, aromatherapy is regularly used as a natural remedy to relieve anxiety and stress. Inhalation is the most common way that essential oils are used for aromatherapy.

9.   Icing

According to Neuropedia.com, you can reduce anxiety by icing your vagus nerve. ​​They state that sudden cold exposure stimulates it and can reverse the physiological symptoms of anxiety and help you get back in control.

The vagus nerve runs from the base of your brain all the way down to your stomach.

Because of its length and reach, it influences a variety of body functions, including your heart rate, digestion, mood and sense of relaxation.

Angela is a senior editor at Dreniq News. She has written for many famous news agencies.