Hands up if you’re ready for this year to be done? It’s just been too much. A global pandemic. Racial injustice. And the constant reality of the real inequalities we still face in this country. It’s just a lot to process.
Unfortunately, we can’t fast forward to better days. We’ve got to do the work to make our world more just. We’ve got to teach and share an anti-racist ideology. And we have to live with of all of that, while running a business and caring for our young children. To say this is stressful would be an understatement.
And, some days, that stress turns into something more like anxiety: for today and for tomorrow. Of course, we don’t have all the answers, but we do have one top anxiety tip to reduce stress and get through these really tough times. When in doubt, we stick to our daily CBD routine.
You see, it’s easy to let chronic stress consume you. But we’ve done our research on CBD and anxiety, and we’re here to help you understand more about the scientific connections between THC-free, broad spectrum CBD and anxiety relief. Let’s dive in, ok?
What is Anxiety?
First, remember: stress and anxiety aren’t the same thing. Stress is your body’s natural reaction to challenging or potentially hazardous events. In the short term, stress can help make you more productive, and find fast solutions to pressing problems.
Over time, however, chronic stress wreaks havoc on your body. It can trigger internal inflammation in your body, and research connects inflammation with many serious diseases.  It’s why we try to fight internal inflammation whenever possible. And it’s why we’re very excited about the way CBD interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system, potentially calming internal inflammation (more about cannabidiol and inflammation here.)
But it’s important to recognize that stress and anxiety are just different. Anxiety is an emotion that can appear out of nowhere. And it can cause physical symptoms, including a faster heart rate, difficulties breathing, nausea or even vomiting.
Anxiety is seriously challenging to your mental health. That’s why, if you suffer from chronic anxiety, you may have explored anxiety relief medication with your healthcare provider. But you may also be aware that these medications can trigger some serious and unpleasant side effects. So, if you’re hoping to avoid medications, we’re here to walk you through some effective methods of natural anxiety relief.
5 Tips for Drug-Free, Natural Anxiety Relief
When you want to reduce stress and relieve anxiety without a prescription, you’ve got options. Remember, we’re all different, so embrace what works for you and ignore the anxiety tips that aren’t in your wheelhouse.
1. Get Your Sweat On
Exercise is a crucial part of both our lives—it’s why we’re missing our gym so much during this COVID-19 shutdown. But exercise is about more than looking your best: it’s actually a great, natural form of stress and anxiety relief.
Now, we know its harder to work out right now. Like we said, between the kids, the jobs and all the endless meals and snacks we provide each day, just finding time for exercise, let alone space and equipment, is a challenge. But here’s the story: any way you move will help relieve anxiety. And walking and running, two movements that you can do anywhere, with or without kids, are extremely effective forms of natural anxiety relief.
What’s so special about pounding the pavement? Here’s a bonus anxiety tip: if you’ve ever hit that “runners’ zone,” then you know that putting one foot in front of the other is almost like meditating. You focus on the here and now, and nothing else, all while burning calories and building muscle.
In other words, you’re pushing aside those awful racing thoughts associated with anxiety. And you’re boosting your heart rate, which tamps down stress hormones like cortisol while releasing mood-boosting endorphins. Basically, something as simple as a walk around the block can help reduce stress and anxiety.
2. Look at your sleep habits
We’ve got two kids, and we don’t get as much sleep as we’d like. But when stress or anxiety come knocking, we know it’s the time to catch up on rest. Ideally, adults should get about eight hours of sleep each night. Go too far below that target, and you’ll see a rise in agitation, plus a reduced ability to cope with feelings of anxiety and stress.
Of course, anxiety can make it hard to fall or stay asleep. But sticking to a sleep routine (shutting down and waking up at the same time, every day) can help. It’s also a good idea to ban all screens in the hour or two before bed time, turning instead to relaxing rituals and self-care. Just don’t be too quick to reach for that wine glass, because you should…
3. Avoid alcohol and say farewell to cigarettes
Grabbing a drink to relax is kind of like binging sugary snacks when you’re starving. At first, you’ll get your desired effect. But, soon, your initial problem will come roaring back, probably worse than before. If you hit the sugary snacks, you’re likely to come back hungrier than ever in just a few hours. And if you turned to wine or liquor for its sedative qualities, within hours, you may find yourself more anxious than you were before that initial pour. So, while we love finding reasons to toast, it’s a wise anxiety tip to avoid alcohol when your symptoms are flaring.
Now, when it comes to cigarettes, we probably don’t need to tell you that smoking is simply awful for your health. For devoted athletes like ourselves, it’s a non-starter. But did you know that smoking can also trigger or increase anxiety symptoms? This is especially true if you started smoking at an early age. Which means now, more than ever, is the time to stub out for good. And here’s a great place to start if you need help quitting.
4. Focus on what you can control
When our kids get upset, we say, “take a deep breath.” And it turns out there’s some science to back up our advice. Remember how we talked about anxiety making it difficult to catch your breath? It’s because when you’re anxious, you tend to shorten your breaths and take them quickly. This new pattern can trigger other anxiety symptoms, like a racing heart, and that unsettling dizzy feeling. Now, just like anxiety attacks your breathing, you can fight anxiety by focusing on your breath. At the first sign of stress, pause and take a deep, steady breath. You can count while you do so, working to inhale and exhale for the same amount of time, with an equal hold in between. Quickly, you should see your breath return to normal, and find natural relief from anxiety symptoms. Need help with this mindful breathing? Check out these apps that support mindfulness and anxiety relief.
5. Explore CBD and other supplements
Just like vitamins can help fill nutritional deficiencies in your diet, supplements can help you round out your ability to cope with anxiety. And sometimes, you can combine both efforts! Research shows that B-complex vitamins support balance in your adrenal glands, which may help reduce your stress and anxiety. These vitamins can also help prevent infections, and may boost your energy levels…which sounds a lot like the suggested benefits of broad-spectrum CBD. Completely free of THC, 12Twenty’s broad-spectrum CBD oil maintains natural cannabinoids and terpenes. So, when you sample our range of CBD products, including CBD tinctures, CBD gummies and CBD lotions, you’ll experience CBD’s important connection to anxiety relief, as well as all the bonuses of the entourage effect. Ready to jump in? Browse 12Twenty’s online CBD store, from the comfort (or kid-crowded, work-strewn) of your own home.