Having anxiety is so difficult, especially when you don’t know how to help yourself. Of course there’s the meditation, the self-care and mindfulness, but sometimes it can get to be too much. I’ve often wondered if the quality of my life would increase with anxiety medication. Instead of going the prescription route, I wanted to find natural supplements to treat my anxiety. Prescription medicine works wonders for so many people, but in the end, you just have to find what’s best for you. Always be cautious when starting a new medication or supplement and consult your healthcare provider beforehand. Whether you just need a little something to control your anxiety, or you want to find an alternative to prescription medicines, these 7 natural supplements can give you a great start on your journey to better mental health.
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Over the past year, I have been using CBD oil regularly for my anxiety, and it really does help. Besides being proven to reduce generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder, it has so many other benefits including helping treat symptoms of PTSD, depression, insomnia and epilepsy. Research has shown that CBD can affect the serotonin levels in your brain, lowering anxiety and depression. You can get it in multiple forms, including oil, candy, teas, vapors and gummies. If you want to try, you can get 20% off CBD gummies here using the code Just2020, or browse through the other options if gummies aren’t for you!
L-theanine is a natural supplement that I just recently started using, and I immediately noticed a difference in my mood. Although it can be found in green and black teas, for higher anxiety levels it helps to take a higher dosage. Like CBD, it can help with a variety of other problems like depression and insomnia. L-theanine directly targets the brain, affecting serotonin and dopamine levels while significantly increasing alpha waves, which is what you experience during deep meditation.
Lemon balm may be lesser known than CBD and l-theanine, but it is a herb from the mint family that lowers anxiety and boosts your mood. It can be added to food or drinks, and also used in aromatherapy. You can buy lemon balm as an oil, dried leaf, capsules, and teas. The natural compounds in this plant have a calming effect on the brain, but you have to be careful not to take too much, as that could actually increase anxiety.
You’re probably getting enough B vitamins through your regular meals each day, but taking a B complex supplement will ensure that you’re getting what you need. Multiple studies have shown that B vitamins can reduce anxiety and depression. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, it’s possible that you’re not getting enough, since most B vitamins occur in meats. These vitamins are easy enough to find on your local Target or Walgreens shelves, or you can order them here on Amazon.
Passionflower has been shown to boost the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, which is a compound that lowers brain activity and promotes relaxation. It can be found in teas, extracts and tinctures. Taking passionflower can have a sedative, calming effect, so it is best to start with a low dosage and find out what works best for you.
St. John’s Wort
You may have heard of this herbal supplement, commonly used to treat depression. In recent studies, it has shown some evidence in treating anxiety, as well. St. John’s Wort results in a more effective use of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, dopamine and GABA. This leads to a better overall mood and lowered anxiety. This supplement could be dangerous with other medications, so make sure to check with your healthcare provider before using St. John’s Wort.
Yes, this GABA that is already produced naturally in our brains can also be taken as a supplement. It feels silly to even type this, but taking GABA supplements will boost the GABA levels in your brain. This will reduce anxiety and mental fatigue. Unlike many other supplements, GABA can’t be found in food. However, there are certain foods that can influence your GABA levels, such as fruits and vegetables. The supplements can be found in pill and capsule form, and you might even find it in a powder form. Again, it is always important to consult your healthcare provider before starting any new supplements.
Let me know in the comments if you have tried any of these natural supplements to treat anxiety, and how they worked for you!