How to Treat Anxiety Holistically: A Beginner's Guide


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Tell your doctor you have anxiety, and odds are they'll have no problem prescribing you something that might help. But what if you don't want to go on medication?

If you're not interested in going the traditional route to treat your anxiety, it can be tricky knowing where to look for advice. That's where our unique panel of holistic gurus comes in. Whether your anxiety is situational or a bit more serious, "a great question to ask ourselves is what are the underlying factors that are triggering an anxiety response?" says Kishan Shah, a resident practitioner of Ayurvedic holistic medicine at wellness festival Lightning in a Bottle. "Has this been going on for a long period of time, and what actions have I taken to remove the causative factors or communicate with them?"

If you want to look at an anxiety from a metaphysical perspective, you can think of it as stemming from a "current spiritual crisis," says Loraine Van Tuyl, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist, certified depth hypnotherapist, and shamanic healer at the Sacred Healing Well in Berkeley, California. "Rather than paying attention to guidance from our inner mystic—our wise, soulful voice—we let our inner critic—our overprotective, logical mind—run the show," she explains. According to Tuyl, most quick-fix anxiety treatments don't get the job done because they don't target the heart of the problem. Addressing the source of your anxiety is the basis for all our holistic gurus' healing techniques.

Whatever the heart of your anxiety is, our gurus promise that there are simple things you can do to shift the way you handle stressful situations (and their impact on your daily life) in a meaningful way. Keep reading to discover six holistic anxiety remedies you can try today—no prescription needed.

Establish a centering morning routine.

Trade caffeine for adaptogens.

Focus on getting high-quality sleep.

Practice deep breathing.

Try essential oil therapy.

Seek out professional guidance when needed.


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Of course, sometimes all the deep breathing and lavender oil in the world aren't enough—and that's okay. "Self-compassion and deep listening to the longings of your soul are challenging for most of us because they're like underused muscles," Tuyl says. "As with learning any new skill, don't be afraid to ask for help or join a support group."

Seeking professional guidance doesn't have to mean seeing a psychiatrist and going on medication—there are mental health experts of all different backgrounds and philosophies who can be of help. (A therapy app like Talkspace can help you connect with the right match.)

Of course, if you're having panic attacks or feel like your anxiety is consuming your life, consider having an open discussion with your doctor about how to proceed in a way that aligns with both your health and your values.

Now learn how to deal with politically induced stress, because it's definitely a thing.

This story was originally published at an earlier date.


This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions.

Amanda Montell
Features Editor
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