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Anxiety symptoms: Five natural ways to help relieve the mood disorder backed up by studies

Jimmy Carr’s new book deals with anxiety and depression

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Anxiety is a normal emotion that causes increased alertness, fear, and physical signs, such as a rapid heart rate. However, the symptoms can, for some, become overwhelming and could majorly affect a person’s day-to-day-life, job and relationships. How can you naturally ease symptoms associated with anxiety?

Get more sleep

A study in National Library of Health investigated sleep deprivation and induced anxiety.

The study involved thirteen male participants who completed a State Anxiety Inventory following a full-night of habitual sleep, following 30 hours of sleep deprivation, and following a partial-night-sleep deprivation.

State anxiety was measured prior to each Wingate test.

“Our results suggest that 30 hours continuous wakefulness may increase anxiety level without impairing anaerobic performance, whereas one night of partial sleep deprivation was ineffective on both state anxiety and anaerobic,” noted the study.

It added: “Mean state anxiety scores after total sleep deprivation were significantly higher when compared to the baseline and partial sleep deprivation measurements.”

Balanced diet

One study looked at how certain dietary patterns showed association with anxiety symptoms among older adults.

In the present study, the evaluation of the association between dietary habits, energy intake, and anxiety symptoms using data from 1128 Greek older adults without pre-existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) or any other chronic disease was analysed.

The study found older people with anxiety were more likely to be sedentary, to be smokers, and to show symptoms of depression.

The study noted: “The saturated fat and added sugars dietary pattern was associated with higher anxiety levels.”


The effects of exercise and physical activity on anxiety was analysed in one study.

The study noted: “The beneficial effects of regular physical activity on health are indisputable in the field of modern medicine.

“Exercise is often the first step in lifestyle modifications for the prevention and management of chronic diseases.

“Regular exercise results in physiological changes and adaptations in the human body.

“Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise is associated with lower sympathetic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA).”

Reduce alcohol and caffeine

One systematic review looked at the effects of alcohol reduction on physical and mental symptoms.

Studies indicate that interventions aiming at alcohol reduction (including total abstinence as one possible therapeutic aim) resulted in positive effects in harmful, hazardous or alcohol-dependent drinkers.

The study added: “Major benefits were observed for reducing alcohol-associated injuries, recovery of ventricular heart function in alcoholic cardiomyopathy, blood pressure lowering, normalisation of biochemical parameter, body weight reduction, histological improvement in pre-cirrhotic alcohol-related liver disease and slowed progression of an already existing alcohol-attributable liver fibrosis.

“Furthermore, reduced withdrawal symptoms, prevalence of psychiatric episodes and duration of in-patient hospital days, improvement of anxiety and depression symptoms, self-confidence, physical and mental quality of life, fewer alcohol-related adverse consequences as well as lower psychosocial stress levels and better social functioning can result from reduced alcohol intake.”


A study published in the American Psychological Association looked at the effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety.

The studies objective was to conduct an effect size analysis of this popular intervention for anxiety and mood symptoms in clinical samples.

The study noted: “Effect size estimates suggest that mindfulness-based therapy was moderately effective for improving anxiety and mood symptoms from pre- to posttreatment in the overall sample.

“In patients with anxiety and mood disorders, this intervention was associated with effect sizes of 0.97 and 0.95 for improving anxiety and mood symptoms, respectively.”

The study concluded that that mindfulness-based therapy is a promising intervention for treating anxiety and mood problems in clinical populations.”
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