Five novel ways to tamp down daily anxiety.
Are you feeling anxious lately? Aren’t we all? As the New York Times recently noted, “Anxiety is easy to dismiss or overlook, partially because everyone has it to some degree.” To be human is to be anxious, at least on some level. Anxiety can rise to the point where it becomes considered a disorder, such as panic disorder or social phobias, and medical attention can help. But what to do about garden-variety, lower levels of anxiety? You may have tried the chamomile tea, the lavender oil, and the meditation already, so for this week’s Healthy Habits, here are five more novel ways to tamp down daily anxiety.
Try shankpushpi. Ayurvedic medicine turns to this herb for its support of the central nervous system, as a brain tonic, basically. It is often used to relieve stress and anxiety. The herb is available in preparations as a tea, syrup, powered, or in juice.
Ride a horse. A 2015 study looked at participants in equine-assisted therapy programs. They were working with horses for six weeks, in two-hour sessions. By the final session, participants reported less generalized anxiety and better coping mechanisms, such as using less alcohol.
Boost magnesium. Nearly 70 percent of Americans are deficient in this mineral, according to a 2016 meta-review of magnesium and anxiety. Foods high in magnesium include kelp, almonds, and brown rice, or you can take a supplement. The daily dose recommended varies by gender and age, so check with your doctor to ensure your levels are optimal.
Get a coach. Soccer players have coaches, entrepreneurs have coaches, and yes, there are coaches for people with anxiety. You can find one in your area doing one-on-one or group sessions. Another option is a podcast by a coach. Try “Not Another Anxiety Show” or “The Anxiety Coaches Podcast.” Recent topics include “Where Did Your Beliefs About Anxiety Come From?” and “4 Steps to Avoid Anxiety by Being Aware of Your Expectations.”
Rolfing. Rolfing, or structural integration, is known for freeing up muscle movement, but a lesser touted benefit includes anxiety relief. As with massage, rolfing can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It lowers blood pressure, aids in restful sleep, and improves immune function.