Calm Work Anxiety with These Easy Natural Remedies

Calm Work Anxiety with These Easy Natural Remedies
by Sarah Berneche
December 31, 2015

IT'S THE MOST...ANXIETY-RIDDEN TIME OF THE YEAR. SURE WE'RE ALL WRAPPING UP FINAL DECEMBER DEADLINES, BUT AS WE RING IN 2016, LET'S  MAKE A RESOLUTION TO LET GO OF SOME OF OUR WORK STRESS. 

Anxiety, like depression, can feel unconquerable. Especially when you’re in the midst of a career transition or feeling the pressure of a massive deadline, it often seems as though there's no way out of the tunnel, save for medication or therapy. Whether your anxiety is biochemically rooted or temporarily aggravated by fear, it's possible to support your mental well-being and lessen neurotic tendencies holistically. {Click to Tweet}

Here are four tips to naturally calm your anxiety today and return your mind to a peaceful state so you can keep your productivity on high and your health in check.

1. EXPERIMENT WITH ESSENTIAL OILS DAILY

Many essential oils have a reputation for calming anxiety and supporting the central nervous system. In particular, lavender oil is effective against anxiety, irritability, depression, and stress. Because some individuals experience heightened stress and irritability due to poor or restless sleep, lavender can serve a dual purpose by both calming existing anxiety levels and supporting good sleep habits.

To use it, consider diffusing a small amount (between 4-6 drops, depending on the size of the diffuser) at your desk or apply a couple drops to the soles of your feet before getting dressed each morning. You can also add a few drops to a spray bottle filled with water and apply to your pillow, clothing, or around your office. Enjoy baths? Try adding a couple drops or combining with Epsom salts for a soothing spa experience when you come home.

Other recommended oils: grapefruit (uplifts, eases depression); orange; chamomile; frankincense; any sort of calming blend.

Be sure to use consistently for best results.

Some believe that anxiety is created by concentrating too much on the future—yoga and meditation encourage the participant to be present and let go of ego. 

2. INCORPORATE MAGNESIUM-RICH FOODS INTO YOUR WORK MEALS

Magnesium is a monster mineral, responsible for over 300 chemical reactions within the body. Some signs of deficiency or sub-optimal intake include poor sleep, muscle cramps, facial tics, constipation, and chronic pain. Approximately 30% of adults in the United States are not getting enough of this crucial nutrient, present in high fiber foods such as vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. Broccoli, squash, green leafy vegetables, almonds, and raw cacao are especially great options. Because magnesium has a relaxing effect, it's helpful for calming us down and alleviating anxiety and related symptoms. 

Some ways you can increase your magnesium consumption:

  • Start your day with a simple green smoothie or green juice
  • Enjoy a serving of vegetables with every meal
  • If you’re stuck at your desk for lunch, snack on raw seeds and nuts or hummus with vegetables
  • Supplement with magnesium citrate or bysglycinate
  • Avoid carbonated beverages from the office vending machin, since most dark coloured sodas contain phosphates, which bind with magnesium and render it unavailable
  • Avoid the break room’s cakes, pastries, cookies, and sugary foods, which encourage the kidneys to excrete magnesium
  • Limit consumption of coffee and black tea, which cause us to lose magnesium 

3. PRACTICE YOGA OR MEDITATION AT YOUR DESK

Yoga and meditation are amazing practices for everyone, but especially those who battle with anxiety. Some believe that anxiety is created by concentrating too much on the future and what could happen; yoga and meditation encourage the participant to be present and focused, as well as to let go of ego. Certain yoga poses also help to clear cortisol from the body and promote a more restful state. Consider some yoga poses you can do from your desk or office to reset when you hit the 3pm slump.  

4. SUPPORT YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM WITH HEALTHY FATS

Healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, are crucial to the central nervous system. Although dietary fat was demonized for many years, we now know how important this macronutrient is for good health—especially mental health, given that your brain is made up of roughly 70% fats.

Some tips to increase your intake of healthy fats:

  • Supplement with a high-quality fish oil or algae oil (ask a qualified practitioner or nutritionist at your local health food store for a recommendation)
  • Add hemp, flax, or chia seeds to your morning smoothie or bowl of porridge
  • Eat pastured eggs regularly, unless you are sensitive or intolerant. Consider packing hardboiled eggs for office snacks (tip: the CC office loves them sliced on top of avocado toast)
  • Make curries and soups with full-fat coconut milk to take for lunch.

Note that these are temporary ways to reset. Anxiety can be caused by several factors, and until the underlining reasons are addressed and eliminated, anxiety will continue to persist. But trying some of these remedies should at least get you through the long weekend with in-laws. 

* * *

Which tips from this list are you most interested in trying? Leave a note in the comments below!