Seven Ways to Beat Anxiety Naturally

SEVEN WAYS TO BEAT ANXIETY NATURALLY

beat anxiety naturally

Anxiety is something many of us deal with on a daily basis. The car breaks down, the baby gets sick, there’s too much month at the end of the money…

All these things can cause significant amounts of stress — and even some degree of anxiety when the effects or feelings of stress last long after the event that caused them has been dealt with. Some individuals are incapacitated by constant thoughts of anxiety. These people cannot find peace of mind, their activities of daily living are affected, so they need to actively try and get their anxiety under control. Maybe you’re one of these people.

While there is medication available to help with anxiety, it should not be the first line of treatment you seek out, as these drugs come with lots of adverse side effects (which you’ll know if you’ve read my blog post on my unfortunate experience with pain medication), and they may even lead to dependence.

The much better option is to seek out natural ways to beat anxiety- those that won’t have lingering negative effects and will likely improve your ability to better cope with stress in the future. 

Let’s examine a few:

GET MORE SLEEP

anxiety affects sleep

Lack of sleep causes your brain to go haywire, playing all sorts of tricks on you and decreasing your emotional tolerance as a whole. You may find that your performance during the day will significantly decrease even after just one night of poor sleep, and you will definitely be prone to anger and agitation. Aim for a minimum of 7 hours of per night to keep your brain functioning at its peak.

EXERCISE

beat anxiety by exercising

Exercise is one of the best medicines we have at our disposal, as there are few things that can even come close to comparing in terms of health benefits. Exercise, similarly to sleep, helps to naturally manage anxiety and depression by increasing levels of the feel-good, stress-busting chemicals known as endorphins.

High levels of adrenaline may worsen feelings of anxiety. But although exercise does temporarily increase adrenaline levels, the endorphins temper its effects and improve your mood for hours after you exercise.

EAT DARK CHOCOLATE

health benefits of dark chocolate

Yes, we actually have permission to eat more chocolate — as long as we stick to the dark stuff. Dark chocolate has numerous health benefits. It is particularly effective in reducing the impact of the stress hormone cortisol on our bodies. Cortisol’s mode of action of unique, as it relays relaxation from the stomach to the brain through the vagus nerve. Higher levels of cortisol leads to higher anxiety, so if we want to reduce anxiety we definitely want to reduce cortisol.  

GET OUT IN THE SUN

get out in the sun

People in colder climates often experience something known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the winter months when their sun exposure is limited. I know I always get a little down during December, January, and February, when it gets cold and gray here most of the time.

Symptoms of SAD include depression, irritability, and increased anxiety — all of which resolve with exposure to sunlight. If you do live in such a climate, and you are unable to get exposure to the sun when winter comes, artificial light therapy also helps improve symptoms.

CONSUME MORE OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

Omega-3 fatty acids are strong antioxidants that may help to block the causes of your anxiety. Typically, the two hormones that are elevated in response to stress and anxiety are cortisol and adrenaline, both of which respond negatively to the influence of oxidation.

Omega3 fats combat excessive oxidation and are antiinflammatory. As such, they help boost the production of serotonin and dopamine, which help keep your anxiety response down.

TRY AN ESSENTIAL OIL BLEND

essential oils

Essential oils have been used for centuries to treat and prevent a variety of health problems, including anxiety. One of my favorite essential oil companies provides an anti-anxiety blend that includes tangerine, bergamot, lavender, ylang-ylang, rosemary, cedarwood, and roman chamomile.

This can be used either topically (I recommend dabbing a few drops on the soles of your feet, and then cover your feet up with some warm, fuzzy socks) or in a diffuser. Just three or four drops for 30 minutes at a time will do the trick.

PRAYER/MEDITATION

do not be anxious about anything

Last, but definitely not least, let’s talk about prayer and/or meditation (note: the only type of meditation I recommend is meditation on Scripture) should be the cores of a natural strategy aimed at managing anxiety, since it helps ground your irrational fears and connects you to an outside, Higher Power. While we all may experience some apprehension when we’re thinking about the future, prayer and meditation help us refocus on the present.  And, more importantly, they help us refocus on the One who can truly help us overcome our anxiety.

As the Bible says, in Phillippians 4:6-7 (NAS): “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Be anxious for nothing ... Philippians 4:6-7 (NAS) Click To Tweet

Get started first thing tomorrow morning. Just sit peacefully for 5 minutes at the beginning of your day. Let thoughts enter your mind freely, but do not let them linger. Pray them away, and let God replace them with His comfort and more peaceful thoughts.  Don’t give your anxious thoughts the power to ruin your day.

So, tell me: Have you tried any of these? What are YOUR favorite ways to reduce anxiety?

You might also want to check out my post on 3 Ways to Quickly Relax Your Body When You’re Stressed.

Drink These 5 Beverages Every Day for Better Health

This list should give you some ideas to work with when you’re looking for a good water substitute. Not only do these provide hydration, but they provide added health benefits, as well. And I’m all about getting the most bang for my buck, especially when it comes to healthy stuff.

drink your way to health

Drink These 5 Beverages Every Day for Better Health

 

When people get tired of drinking water, they often choose to drink sodas or other types of unhealthy drinks filled with overwhelming amounts of sugar or harmful chemicals. Although it’s completely normal to get sick of water from time to time (I know I do), you should be more careful about choosing a substitute for it.

However, you should be aware that nothing can replace water. It’s without a doubt the healthiest option and is needed by your body in order to function properly. Nevertheless, if you’re looking to add some variety and spice up your waterlogged palate, then you should consider adding these five healthy drinks to your diet.

orange juice

Orange Juice

Drinking a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice in the morning is the perfect way to start your day. Some people don’t want to put in the effort to prepare orange juice on a regular basis. If you don’t have enough motivation to do so, then at least try to make it when it will be most useful. For example, making it during allergy season is always a good idea, since the  quercetin and vitamin C content in this drink is known to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms. If you’re anything like me, you can take all the help you can get in dealing with (or even preventing) seasonal allergy problems!

Need a juicer? This is one of the best on the market today … and it’s very reasonably priced.

It’s also worth mentioning that as an excellent source of vitamin C, orange juice can strengthen your immune system and make you less vulnerable to different diseases. If you’re buying orange juice instead of making it yourself, make sure to buy the low-sugar, calcium-fortified version, like Simply Orange. That will give you added health benefits, like improved bone health.

green tea benefits

Green Tea

The next time you feel like drinking a cup of coffee, try to prepare a cup of green tea instead. Not only will this provide you with the energy boost that you would seek in a cup of coffee, but it will also provide you with some great health benefits.

Green tea represents a great source of polyphenols and flavonoids, which are natural antioxidants that help protect your cells from various harmful substances. Due to its high antioxidant content, green tea can reduce the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease and cancer, and it can even improve bone health.

Green tea contains pretty significant amounts of fluoride, so it can have a positive impact on the health of your teeth. And you don’t even have to worry much about fluoride toxicity because while green tea has twice the amounts of fluoride black tea has, neither one has anywhere near the amount in it that would be even remotely dangerous to humans.

pomegranate juice

Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate juice has become increasingly popular during the last several years. Not only is this drink very tasty and refreshing, but it also offers a lot of different health benefits. Some of the most notable health benefits include improved heart health, strengthened immune system, and lower risk of cancer. Consuming pomegranate juice on a regular basis can also help you maintain normal blood sugar and blood pressure levels. If you’re not making your own pomegranate juice, then you should be careful when buying it. Some manufacturers dilute the drink with other liquids or add excess sugar. The purest stuff is going to be the most expensive (that seems to be the case with anything, these days), but the extra cost is worth it if you’re aiming for the most health benefits.

whole milk is good for you

Milk

As a child, you were encouraged to drink milk because of its vitamin D and calcium content. However, whole milk can be a great drink for grown-ups as well. This drink has gotten a bad rap recently because of the added fat and calories it provides, but recent studies have shown that whole milk may actually be healthier for you than the lower fat versions. And, let’s face it, whole milk tastes a whole lot better. Skim milk isn’t much more than colored water!

Whole milk provides you with all the macronutrients your body needs (protein, carbohydrates, and fat). And it will keep you feeling fuller longer, which will surely prevent you from overeating.

beet juice

Beet Juice

Beet juice is without a doubt one of the healthiest drinks you can consume. However, it often isn’t found in grocery stores, so it’s not always easy to find. Amazon has a good selection of some organic bottled beet juices. 

This is my favorite.

Some of the most notable health benefits of beet juice include increased stamina, lower blood pressure, and increased blood flow to the brain.

Want to make your own beet juice? Check out this recipe. It has some other stuff in it besides beets, but it’s all good. And you don’t even need a juicer. You can use your blender, or if you prefer (I know I do), your Ninja Master Prep.

The above should give you some ideas to work with when you’re looking for a good water substitute. Not only do these provide hydration, but they provide added health benefits, as well. And I’m all about getting the most bang for my buck, especially when it comes to healthy stuff.

What’s your favorite healthy water substitute?

Looking for the perfect gift for people who like to drink their way to health? You might be interested in this article. 

Best Gifts for Drinking Your Way to Health

Six ideas for the perfect gift that will help your health conscious loved one drink their way to health. The gift of health is always one that is appreciated — and it’s one that keeps on giving day after day, year after year!

BEST GIFTS FOR DRINKING YOUR WAY TO HEALTH

**This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information.**

drink your way to health

The human body is made up of about 60% water, and it needs constant fluid replenishment to keep functioning correctly. Dehydration is a serious problem, and all the more so because most people are chronically dehydrated and they don’t even know it!

If you know someone who’s really into improving their health and wellness, why not consider buying them something to help them improve their hydration? You’ll get the satisfaction of knowing you did something to help them feel better, and they’ll love you that much more for it.

 

Everyone needs water to survive, and every health nut knows that they need to drink about half their body weight (in ounces, not pounds) to stay adequately hydrated.

But, let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard to drink that much water each day. I love drinking water, but even I admit sometimes I just want something with a little FLAVOR. That’s where this Hydracy fruit infuser water bottle comes in. You just add in the fruit and you’re good to go. You get flavor AND the added benefits of vitamins and minerals from the fruit you put in!

This particular model holds 32 ounces (which means the average person only has to fill this up 2 or 3 times). While that might seem big to some, I love carrying that size around with me because it means I’m more likely to remember it’s there so I drink more… and I’m less likely to leave it, forgotten, somewhere. I’m kind of scatterbrained like that.

I also love that this model comes with an ebook gift containing 25 infused water recipes, so if you (or the people you’re buying for) don’t know where to start, you’ll have some ideas to get you infusing and drinking more water right away!

personalized water bottles

Don’t like the look of the fruit-infused water bottle (or don’t want everyone to know that you’re drinking the stuff? Infuse it, and then pour it into one of these stylish personalized water bottles. And if you have a strangely spelled name like I do, everyone will know whose bottle is whose, so there won’t be any confusion!

If you’re buying the infuser bottle as a gift, consider buying one of these to go with it. That way your gift recipient will be able to choose how they’re going to drink their water.

And speaking of water, do you know what’s in your city’s tap water? I do now, thanks to the Environmental Working Group’s Tap Water Database, and it’s totally disturbing.

Of course, you can always try to just drink bottled water, but that would get pretty expensive. Plus, you’d be doing an awful lot of bad things to the environment with all those plastic bottles, unless you recycled them all.

To my way of thinking, it’s much easier and less expensive to just get the water out of your tap. After all, you’re already paying for that water. Why not drink it? But, if your local water is anything like mine, there are an awful lot of things in it that you don’t necessarily want to put in your body, like chlorine and fluoride. So, you need a water filter that will take all that stuff out.

Years ago, I looked into getting such a filter, but the only ones available at the time were expensive (costing hundreds and THOUSANDS of dollars) whole-plumbing reverse osmosis systems that just weren’t feasible. Fast forward to about a month ago, when I discovered the ZeroWater 23-cup water filtration dispenser and almost literally jumped for joy. This thing is affordable (and even more so when you read and learn from its top review), and it uses 5-stage ion exchange technology to remove 99.6% of total dissolves solids, including lead, fluoride, and more from your water. Ditch the bottled water habit and try this thing out instead … and buy one for all your friends while you’re at it, so they can experience the benefits of cheaper, more accessible, chemical-free water!

yerba mate

Once you get your water filtered, if you don’t decide to diffuse fruit into it, you can brew some delicious, healthful tea. I was introduced to yerba mate more than a decade ago when I visited Uruguay. I fell in love with it then and have continued to drink it ever since – mainly because it has a ton of health benefits. You can read about some of them here.

This particular brand of yerba mate hails from Argentina, but I still love it … mainly because of the brand name. It’s the same as the name of my firstborn!

Last, but not least, how about giving the health-conscious individual in your life the gift of smoothies?

I’ve loved smoothies for almost two decades now. The whole idea of getting a meal in a drinkable form, chock full of essential vitamins and minerals has always appealed to me. I’m not going to lie, I love food. But a smoothie is kind of like a healthy version of a milkshake (depending on what you put in it), so if it’s a choice between food and smoothie, I’m probably going to pick smoothie every time. Now, if it’s a choice between milkshake or smoothie, I might have a harder time picking, but smoothie will definitely win out over food. It’s more convenient, more compact, easier (and quicker) to fix, and it’s just awesome!

My favorite tool to use when making smoothies is the Ninja Master Prep. This thing is reasonably price, super fast, easy to use, and (perhaps most importantly) easy to clean! Plus, it’s really durable. I use mine just about every day, and I’ve had it for over a year now. There are no signs of this thing giving up on me. It’s just that good!

Sometimes it’s hard to know just what to put in to make the perfect smoothie — especially if you’re just starting out with them. That’s why you might need to add this book in if you decide to buy the Ninja Master Prep It’s the perfect complement, with over 100 recipes in it to help you create delicious, nutritious drinks that help you gain energy, lose weight, and just generally get healthier!

Hopefully, by now, you have some ideas to get you started picking the perfect gift that will help your health conscious loved one drink their way to health. The gift of health is always one that is appreciated — and it’s one that keeps on giving day after day, year after year!

What do you think? Do you like to improve your health through drinking? Are there any awesome gifts I’ve left our of this list? Let me know in the comments!

5 Things That Make Soy Candles Awesome!

soy candle benefits

Almost everyone loves candles … and for good reason. They are a great way to add warmth and comfort to your home. Plus, they are affordable and can last for a very long time. But the best part is they look good, both lit and unlit. In fact, if you’re anything like me you get a little sad each time you light a candle because you feel like you’re ruining its beauty.

Candles are both practical and gorgeous, and they can be made from different types of wax. Most candles have traditionally been made from paraffin wax, but soy candles are the most sought-after candles these days. The main reason for this is because soy candles are healthier than other types of candles.

Did you know that candles made from paraffin wax can be dangerous to your health, the health of your children, and even the health of your pets? Some of these candles have been known to kill pet birds! Paraffin is not good for people to be inhaling because it is a petroleum byproduct, and some candles even contain lead wicks. Lead has been known to cause decreases in IQ, learning difficulties, and behavior problems. Candles with lead wicks emit 500-1000 micrograms of lead per hour. Compare that to the maximum safe exposure level for children and adults, one-half to one micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air, and you’ll see how much of a problem this can be.

Note: I know of one company that makes candles from food-grade paraffin wax (not nearly as dangerous as regular paraffin wax) that does not use lead wicks. These candles are gorgeous, and I highly recommend them. For more information, read this blog post.

However, with soy candles you really don’t have to deal with any of these worries. Soy candles were created in the 1990s to combat the growing problem of inferior cheap candles. These days, you can experience all the glory of good candles and the light they produce without all the dangerous components. You can even get soy candles that have amazing scents and rings hidden inside.

jewelscent candles

There are so many reasons for you to choose soy candles over regular run-of-the-mill candles. For instance, did you know that soy candles can last twice as long as other candles? It’s true, and that makes them a very cost-effective home decor choice.

Have you ever noticed how the fragrance of some scented candles gets a little overpowering? That is because those candles burn so hot and fast. When you are using soy candles this is not a problem. Soy candles burn at a lower temperature, so the scent is dispersed at a much better rate — one that will keep your home smelling fresh all day long.

The biggest complaint that most people have about most traditional candles is the soot factor. How many times have you had to try and scrub off soot after lighting a candle? Well, the good news is that you will never have to do this again when you switch over to soy candles. Soy candles have no soot production. They will never stain anything at all.

Soy is also a renewable resource. It grows in the USA, and there is an abundance of it. You will never have to worry about hurting the environment when you are using soy candles. The only problem will be if the soy for the candle comes from a Monsanto-infected field. You should be able to contact customer service and found out. Jewelscent candles, for example, are made from soy that’s grown in California, which is one of the states that’s really against the Roundup Ready crops. … And we probably should all breathe a sigh of relief (and we can safely).

Soy candles are awesome for so many reasons. You can’t go wrong with buying one — and especially if you buy from Jewelscent. And don’t forget you get a free ring inside every classic or luxe candle. That’s reason enough for me to buy them! How about you?

Can You Avoid the Doctor by Taking Vitamins?

avoid the doctor

Medical doctors have very strong opinions about the value of vitamins and supplements. Some of them as helpful tools for preventing illness. Others see them as a new way to practice alternative medicine. Then there are those who discourage their use entirely, except for the standard daily multivitamin.

This leaves the patient in an awkward situation because if that person is serious about finding an alternative to traditional western medicine, a doctor can’t help them. Doctors can’t prescribe vitamins and supplements like they would medication. In fact, they can’t even recommend that you take them. The vitamin and supplement industry isn’t regulated like the drug industry, so if a doctor tells you to take vitamin C for a cold, it is really just an informal suggestion; not a prescription.

Talking to a doctor about vitamins puts them in an awkward position as well. Whether they believe in the healing powers of vitamins and supplements or not, if you come to them with a medical condition they have a legal obligation to prescribe the correct medication for re\medying your situation. If not, they open themselves up to all kinds of malpractice lawsuits. Even when doctors do get creative and try to prescribe an alternative drug or treatment that they know will heal someone, the insurance companies will often refuse payment — at least until all the traditional protocol has been followed (which generally consists of drugs).

This leaves patients who want to explore alternative treatments for illnesses to fend for themselves. However, there is alternative help if you want to try options other than traditional medicine. While a doctor can’t recommend a heavy vitamin regimen, he can give you tests to monitor your progress. Treating an illness with vitamins or supplements takes a lot longer than methods using traditional medicine. For example, it can take up to two years to lower cholesterol using only vitamins and supplements. As long as you get regular tests from a doctor, you can monitor your progress periodically.

Always tell your doctor which vitamins you are using and how much you are taking. He may not like it, but unless he has a valid medical reason for why you can’t take them, he’ll have to understand and approve of your method of trying to take care of yourself. If he doesn’t, then find another doctor. Alternatively, you can talk to your pharmacist about what you are taking and what you hope to accomplish. These professionals can be very helpful in assisting you in choosing the right vitamins and supplements and checking to make sure that any vitamins you are taking don’t conflict with your current medications.

You can also go to a holistic practitioner if you are looking to remedy a minor situation or are looking for preventative medicine help. Holistic practitioners are licensed professionals who can recommend more specific vitamins and supplements and more radical forms of alternative treatments. The vitamins and supplements they will recommend will be more organic and potent, so make sure to follow their directions specifically and seek medical attention immediately if you experience any side effects or other symptoms. Holistic practitioners are caring, knowledgeable professionals, but they aren’t substitutes for medical doctors.

important vitamins and minerals

This is the right way to go about using the healing power of vitamins and supplements to help prevent or cure a serious illness. If you suspect you have a medical condition, you should never try to heal it by yourself by using vitamins and supplements. Not only is this dangerous, but it can be life threatening. Vitamins and supplements are mainly used to prevent illnesses and promote overall body strength and health. They are not to be used as a substitute for medical drugs or treatment.

Even when they are, they are best used under a doctor’s supervision, usually in addition to more traditional medicines. So, I wouldn’t recommend staying away from doctors altogether, although the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has a ring of truth for a reason. You should, however, make sure your doctor is knowledgeable about vitamins and supplements and believes in their incredible natural ability to heal. That way you know you’re both on the same page, which is important in any relationship — especially the doctor-patient relationship.

Want to know more about vitamins and how they can help you lead a healthier life? Get THE 411 ON VITAMINS for free when you sign up for my email list below.



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