Dealing with some anxiety is a normal part of life. In fact, anxiety isn’t all bad. It can alert you of danger, motivate you and help you make decisions. But when anxiety becomes a daily struggle and interferes with your daily living, it can trigger emotional eating and other harmful coping behaviours such as avoidance or social isolation. If your anxiety is at this point, you may consider asking someone for help. Speaking and working with a qualified practitioner or therapist can help you learn to manage your anxiety and ease anxious thoughts as they arise.
If you find that anxious thoughts are triggers for your emotional eating, you’re not alone!
Here are 7 things I find helpful for easing anxiety naturally:
Anxiety often has physical symptoms. You may feel your heart start to pound harder, your muscles tense, your stomach flip and your breathing get faster. A simple way to ease these symptoms is to practice deep breathing. Why? Deep breathing is the key to relaxation (the opposite of anxiousness). Try my breathing exercise that you can find in my Free Emotional Eating Toolkit here.
2. Yoga and Meditation
Meditation is known for easing anxiety by stilling your mind and bringing yourself into the present moment. Yoga nidra is a guided meditation that is perfect for beginners! Here is a guided meditation you can try: Yoga Nidra Meditation
Make getting a good night’s sleep a priority. Sleeping recharges your brain and improves your focus, concentration, and mood. To sleep more soundly, block out seven to nine hours for a full night of uninterrupted sleep, and try waking up at the same time every day, including weekends. When you get enough sleep, you’re better able to manage stress and anxiety (without the unhealthy coping like turning to food).
Regular exercise is good for not just your physical health but your mental health too. Researchers have found that regular aerobic exercise (think jogging, walking, swimming or cycling) has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Only five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects!
Aromatherapy is the practice of inhaling the scent of essential oils to improve your well-being and can be a natural remedy for anxiety and stress. Lavender essential oil, for example, is thought to alleviate anxiety by inducing a calming effect on the central nervous system. I like to diffuse lavender in a diffuser or use lavender infused bath salts to help me de-stress and unwind after a long day.
6.Eat the Right Foods
Imbalanced blood sugar levels, food intolerances and poor-quality foods can all cause changes to your mood. Balance your mood by eating mostly whole foods and eating at scheduled times throughout the day. If you struggle with anxiety, it may be a good idea to try ditching caffeine for awhile and seeing if that helps. Caffeine is a stimulant which means it can cause similar symptoms associated with anxiety, such as feeling nervous, nauseous, light-headed, jittery and anxious.
People who struggle with anxiety often beat themselves up over it. But this only makes your anxiousness worse and can trigger emotional eating. Instead of criticizing yourself, try to show yourself some self-compassion. When you’re feeling anxious, what you really need is self-soothing. Treating yourself with self-compassion is just the self-soothing practice you need! Try positive self-talk and ample amounts of self-care – treat yourself like a small child or a loved one if they were in pain.
If you’re feeling anxious, these ideas may help! Not only can this help manage emotional eating, but it results in better overall mental and emotional health. Remember that natural remedies may help ease anxiety, but they don’t replace professional help. If you experience increased or persistent anxiety, please talk to your doctor about your concerns and treatment options.