The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Remedy your anxiety the natural way

James Johnson discusses some effective, natural remedies to help with those anxious thoughts

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Anxiety. Even the word itself is enough to evoke an involuntary reaction of worry or panic.

The daily rollercoaster of anxiety, as many are all too familiar, is a path of self-discovery, as much as it is an exercise in uncertainty. Self-reflection allows you to become more in-tuned with patterns in your behaviour but anxiety is unique. It can often thrust you into trepidation concerning the smallest of the decisions. A curveball is thrown without a moments notice.

The symptoms and effects of a struggle with anxiety cannot be singularly noted. It would be to misunderstand its complexity entirely. Living with a disorder as such may have led you to consider yourself a  qualified and well-versed expert in the field of mental health. Yet, experience tells us that we neglect remedies for fear their obvious nature is too simple to warrant success.

Alas, from a self-proclaimed master of the anxious mind, there may be a selection of obvious remedies; all too natural, all too obvious. Perhaps that’s why you may not have considered them. Here’s a selection of some personal favourites. Try them out. If they work, great! If they don’t, try another; anxiety is about self-development after all:

Lavender

You know, that unmistakable scent, reserved to line the drawers of your grandma’s house? This humble plant is your one-stop shop for all your natural anxiety remedies. Cosmetic companies lay on its benefits for a reason!

Avoid those flashy price tags and head straight for the pure, essential oils instead! Sprays, lotions, essential oil. The latter is a pocket-sized weapon to calm your worry in your time of need. It might just be your anxieties kryptonite and it is often available for less than five pounds; an investment that will pay you back in calming those moments of existential crisis.

Cut-down on the caffeine

Coffee, in all its encouraging glory, is often the most consistent element of being a student. It pushed you to get to class, to finish those midnight essays but it can also cause unnecessary panic about the most unnecessary of things.

It begs the question; why does a person drinking 3-4 cups of coffee per day still need to take a nap in the early afternoon? Each person will react differently to an infusion of caffeine. Uncomfortable as it may be; reducing your caffeine intake for a herbal alternative may actually help you to wake up and ‘stay woke’, as they say.

Vital Vitamins

A, B, C, D. The list is endless. Taking a cautionary glance at a stores supply of vitamins may lead a person to think they might need to set aside an hour just to put away one of each.

However medically unprofessional this advice; consider maximising on those vitamins that aim to promote good brain function and prevent general fatigue. A good B-Complex and a healthy Omega-3 might help you to boost your potential for concentration.

Relax. Give yourself a break.

Part of the deal, as an anxious person, is to burden yourself with guilt and to unnecessarily overwork yourself. Try and teach yourself to take less seriously the idea of ‘taking a break’.

Do the things you enjoy doing; switch the academic literature for a book you’ve been meaning to read; make sure your room is as cosy it can be so it’s there to welcome you home after a long day; reward yourself for reaching small daily goals. There are hundreds of ways for you to take it easy for a while.

Get outside, even if only for a little while.

Winter can be tough. Sometimes a late wakeup can mean just a few hours of sunshine. Make the most of the day and head outside for a while. Just 21 minutes of exercise can help to ease the symptoms of anxiety. As much as it is tiresome to say. A little exercise may not be such a bad idea.

Share your problems. Share your solutions.

Chances are, somebody you know has suffered a similar trouble as you. Your personal solutions may seek to help someone you know. Sharing your troubles with a close friend or family member often helps you to rationalise those irrational worries. You’ll thank yourself for sharing, and they’ll get to know you just a little bit better.