According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), around 18 percent of the adult population has some form of anxiety. While all patients should seek out professional medical help to deal with their emotional disorders, you might be able to lessen the side effects of your anxiety with natural treatment options. Here is a look at three safe and effective strategies that can be used to help you overcome generalized anxiety.

Start Laughing

Laughing can improve your mood by stimulating the production of dopamine and other vital natural chemicals. Within just a few moments of laughing, your body will also begin to suppress the stress hormone known as cortisol. Those who have a tough time laughing on their own might want to consider using their smartphone or tablet to watch a funny video or listen to their favorite comedian. Whenever you feel as if a panic attack is about to take place, spending five or ten minutes listening to a comedy routine could help you avoid the episode entirely without taking any prescription medication.

Essential Oils

These oils have been used for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of disorders and ailments ranging from insomnia to colic. For those who have generalized anxiety, options such as lavender and chamomile often work wonderfully. Many companies even sell small kits that can be kept in your office or packed in your luggage while traveling. When you are shopping for essential oils, you should try to find products with no additives or mixers. These additional ingredients can dilute the oils and reduce their efficacy.


Grounding is the practice of diverting your attention away from your emotions for a short period of time. This can be done with practically any object you have nearby such as a pencil or car keys. If you feel like a panic attack is about to take place, then you should spend a few moments touching the object and focusing on its features. The reason why this method works so well is because your mind is not able to completely focus on two different sensations. Many patients also try to hold an ice cube for as long as possible until their feelings of anxiety fade away.

While medication can be an important component of treating anxiety, prescriptions generally work best when they are combined with therapy and lifestyle changes. These three natural strategies will give you the ability to take control of your emotions and potentially avoid future panic attacks.

Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. For essential oil kits, Emma recommends Davina Wellness. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2