Anxiety is a mental state many of us have encountered at some point in our lives. In fact, according to a recent survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 27% of the American population suffers from ongoing anxiety issues. Whether a chronic condition or a rare, fleeting sensation, we can all agree that the feeling is unpleasant.
What is anxiety?
Occasional anxiety signifies that your body and mind are alert. It is a completely normal and healthy physiological response to certain stimuli. However, persistent, ongoing anxiety is unhealthy and can progress into a chronic anxiety disorder.
Anxiety is often described as a feeling of nervousness or restlessness. It may also manifest as a sense of impending doom, danger, or panic. Anxiety is typically accompanied by physical symptoms such as:
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Fatigue and insomnia
- Gastrointestinal problems
While anxiety can be distressing, you can take active steps to quell symptoms and reduce stress in your life.
One well-known anxiety treatment is CBD, or cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid derived from the hemp plant. Several studies, including this one, find CBD to be an effective treatment for anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Continue reading for some additional tips on managing your anxiety!
One: Build a solid daily routine
When you’re anxious, do you feel like your life is out of control? Or rather, does the unpredictability of life exacerbate your anxiety?
A lack of routine and structure often contributes to stress and anxiety. Without a solid routine, you may feel disorganized or chaotic, fueling that crushing sense of dread that often accompanies anxiety.
Overwhelmingly, research has shown that routines boost mental health overall. This study finds that routines help manage stress and anxiety by reducing hypervigilance. Routines also help you form better habits, become more productive, and feel more focused.
As you build your routine, consider integrating CBD into your daily practice. Check out this article to help you get started!
Two: Start your day with a dose of CBD
We just discussed building a daily routine with CBD in mind. Why not begin each day on a positive note, with a boost of CBD?
CBD interacts directly with the endocannabinoid system by targeting receptors in the brain that regulate fear and anxiety-producing hormones. It also triggers receptors that produce serotonin and dopamine, two primary mood-boosting hormones.
Because it acts as a potent anti-anxiety remedy, many choose to start the day by extinguishing those anxious feelings with a dose of CBD. Starting your day on a positive note can even help reduce the frequency and intensity of anxious feelings later in the day. If you want to have a little fun with your morning routine, try adding some CBD to your cup of coffee!
Three: Practice deep breathing
Deep breathing is one method for managing anxiety that provides short- and long-term relief. Breathing exercises only take a few minutes and can be performed anytime, anywhere.
For the first method, try breathing in for 4 counts and out for 4 counts repeatedly for at least 5 minutes. Taking even breaths slows your heart rate and reduces your anxiety on a physical level.
The 4-7-8 method is another powerful breathing exercise that is known to promote a deep state of relaxation. It works by forcing you to hold your breath for short intervals, which then replenishes your oxygen and compels your mind to stop focusing on anxiety-provoking thoughts and instead focus on your breathing.
First, open your lips and exhale while making a distinct whooshing sound. Then, close your lips and inhale silently for 4 seconds. Next, hold your breath for 7 seconds. Continue with another, longer whooshing exhale for 8 seconds.
Four: Prioritize a good night’s sleep
Sleep problems and anxiety disorders often go hand-in-hand. This is largely because one tends to fuel the other: a lack of sleep can make you feel anxious, and persistent anxiety can cause you to lose sleep.
Regular, quality sleep improves cognitive function, which in turn enhances your overall mood and decreases anxiety. Although it may be difficult to fall asleep if you frequently experience racing thoughts or if nighttime is a particularly stressful time of the day for you, there are some techniques that may help.
Maintaining a strict sleep schedule, even on the weekends, is a good place to start. Researchers also suggest avoiding caffeine, alcohol, large meals, and heartburn-inducing foods several hours before bed, and maintaining a sleep space free of distractions might also help. Additionally, several studies find that consistent CBD use combats sleep disorders.
CBD influences sleep by triggering the hypothalamus, an important region of the brain that regulates our circadian rhythms. By acting on the hypothalamus’ endocannabinoid receptors, CBD helps the body progress through sleep cycles without interruption.
If getting a good night’s rest is particularly difficult for you, we suggest trying these full spectrum Dream Gummies from Bee’s Knees Wellness. They’re boosted with CBD, CBN, and melatonin to help calm your mind and body before bed.
Five: Exercise regularly
A regular, consistent exercise routine is a powerful tool for combatting stress and anxiety. While some form of daily exercise is best, finding time for at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week will help maintain your physical and mental well-being.
Exercise alleviates anxiety by increasing your brain’s production of endorphins, or the neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of calm and relaxation. Physical activity also improves cardiovascular, digestive, and immune system functioning, which protects your body from the negative physical effects of stress and anxiety.
Getting regular exercise does not equate to overworking yourself or wearing your body down. Short walks, gentle yoga, and water aerobics are just some examples of mild exercises that keep your body in motion without overexertion.
If more rigorous exercise suits your lifestyle best, don’t forget to take time to ease muscle tension to avoid any potential injuries. CBD can be particularly helpful here: with extended use, CBD builds up in the endocannabinoid system to relieve the continuous muscle contractions that lead to chronic tension.
For sore muscles, we recommend this full spectrum salve from Bee’s Knees Wellness. Salves are great for targeting deep tissues to promote relaxation and ease muscle tension. This one is formulated with 500mg of CBD as an additional pain and inflammation reducer.
Six: Meditate daily
Meditation is a tried-and-true method of anxiety relief. It invites us to take time to simply observe our thoughts rather than ruminate or dwell on them, which more often than not leads to anxious spells.
There are many meditation techniques to try: guided meditation, mantra meditation, mindfulness meditation, qi gong, and tai chi are just a few popular methods known to reduce stress and combat ongoing anxiety. This study found that 13 minutes of daily meditation significantly enhanced mood and emotional regulation in participants with no prior meditation experience.
Seven: Set aside time to pamper yourself
It’s easy to become entrenched in the more monotonous aspects of daily life. Between work, kids, errands, and bills, life can start to feel automatic and mundane. For many of us, living life on autopilot sometimes means we begin to accept anxiety as part of our everyday routine. Fortunately, this does not have to be the case.
Taking time to pamper yourself is by no means a selfish act. Setting aside some alone time allows you to rejuvenate, body and mind, and return to your everyday life with a renewed sense of self.
Pampering yourself also does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. One great way to pamper yourself without disrupting your daily routine is to set up a spa day from the comfort of your own home!
Light a few candles, play some music, and prepare a warm bath to help ease your anxiety at the end of a stressful week. Better yet, incorporate some anxiety-relieving CBD into the mix! One fun way to relax with CBD is with this broad spectrum face mask from Bee’s Knees Wellness. We love it because it eases facial tension while reviving a healthy complexion.
Living with anxiety is no easy feat. Luckily, there are many ways to alleviate stress and promote relaxation, especially with the consistent addition of an anxiety-relieving agent like CBD. We hope that these tips help you as you try to find relief from stress and anxiety in your life!