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Holistic Ways to Treat Anxiety

Discover non-pharmacological and holistic ways to treat anxiety and promote overall wellness in this comprehensive article.

Holistic Ways to Treat Anxiety

Article Contents

Introduction to Treating Anxiety

Anxiety can be a very challenging condition to live with. Many individuals are starting to explore holistic ways to treat anxiety. These holistic ways to treat anxiety focus on the whole person—body, mind, and spirit.

They offer empowering, natural strategies to manage anxiety symptoms. Many people and doctors prefer to try holistic healing remedies before recommending medication.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion. It is characterized by feelings of tension and worry. Anxiety also may result in physical symptoms such as increased blood pressure or nausea.
It’s an emotion everyone experiences at one point or another, often as a response to stress or perceived danger.

When Does Anxiety Become a Mental Health Disorder?

However, when people regularly feel disproportionate anxiety levels, it might be a medical disorder. Anxiety disorders form a category of mental health diagnoses.

Also, if someone feels anxiety and it starts to negatively impact their daily life in various ways, this can also be classified as a mental health disorder.1

There are several types of anxiety disorders. Many of them can be treated with holistic ways to treat anxiety. These include the following:2

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

This is characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry, and tension. This may occur even when there is little or nothing to provoke it. 

People with GAD are often overly anxious with everyday matters. This includes matters such as health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work.

Panic Disorder

People with this condition often have feelings of terror. This terror strikes suddenly and repeatedly without warning. 

Other symptoms of panic disorder and panic attacks include:

  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations 

Also, many individuals often feel like they can’t breathe during a panic attack or during extreme symptoms of panic disorder.

Phobia-Related Disorders

A phobia is an excessive and persistent fear of a specific object, situation, or activity that is generally not harmful. People with phobias will often go to great lengths to avoid the object or situation they fear, to the point where it restricts their lives.

Other Disorders

It’s important to note that anxiety is a broad term that covers a multitude of different experiences and disorders. 

Other disorders in this category can include:

  • Social anxiety disorder: Fear of social or performance situations
  • Separation anxiety disorder: Fear of being parted from a person to whom one is attached
  • Selective mutism: A consistent anxiety about speaking in certain situations where speaking is expected

Anxiety disorders can interfere with daily activities. They can also be difficult to control and be out of proportion to the actual danger. 

If you think you or your loved one may have an anxiety disorder, it’s crucial to seek professional help and support.

Holistic Ways To Treat Anxiety: What Factors Contribute To Anxiety?

Anxiety is a complex mental health disorder with numerous potential causes. It’s often due to a mix of physical, mental, genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. 

While everyone experiences anxiety differently, common contributing factors include:


People with certain genes may be more prone to developing anxiety. This predisposition can be inherited through generations. 

This means that if a family member also has anxiety, you are also more likely to develop the disorder as well.

Brain Chemistry

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers in the brain that transmit signals across nerve cells. If these are out of balance, messages may not be transmitted properly, leading to anxiety symptoms. Neurotransmitters associated with anxiety include serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.


Certain personality traits can make individuals more susceptible to anxiety. People with certain personality types, such as perfectionists or those with low self-esteem, may be more prone to anxiety disorders.

Life Events

Traumatic or stressful events can cause anxiety disorders. Examples include divorce, changing jobs or schools, or other major life changes.

Health Conditions

Certain physical health conditions can lead to anxiety symptoms. Examples include:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid problems
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Chronic pain conditions

Moreover, anxiety can co-occur with other mental health disorders like depression.

Substance Use

Certain drugs can cause or exacerbate anxiety symptoms. This includes both illicit substances and prescription or over-the-counter medications. Alcohol and caffeine can also cause anxiety symptoms.

Childhood Development

Experiences during childhood and adolescence can impact the likelihood of developing anxiety. This includes experiences of neglect, abuse, poverty, or witnessing traumatic events.

Environmental Stress

This could include stress at work, school, or personal relationships. Chronic exposure to stressful environments can increase the risk of anxiety.

Cognitive Factors

Patterns of thinking can contribute to anxiety. Examples include constant worry or catastrophizing. 

Cognitive distortions can also be a factor. This is when people consistently interpret situations more negatively than is accurate.

Lack of Social Support

Social isolation or lack of a supportive social network can contribute to the development or exacerbation of anxiety. 

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and everyone’s experience with anxiety is unique. Many people will have a combination of these factors. 

Also, the presence of one doesn’t necessarily mean an individual will develop an anxiety disorder. The understanding of mental health and its causes is always evolving with new research and insights.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety can present a wide range of symptoms. These can vary significantly from person to person. Some symptoms may be able to be treated with holistic ways to treat anxiety. The symptoms of anxiety can be categorized into physical and psychological symptoms.

Psychological Symptoms

These include the following:3
  • Excessive Worry: This is often the primary symptom of GAD. The worry is often hard to control, and more days than not, it is related to various activities or events.
  • Feeling of Restlessness or Being On-Edge: People with anxiety often feel a persistent sense of restlessness and tension.
  • Difficulty Concentrating: Anxiety can make it challenging to focus on tasks. Those with anxiety often report their minds going blank or feelings of freezing.
  • Irritability: An individual with anxiety might be easily agitated.
  • Fear: This refers to a disproportionate fear of specific things, situations, or places.
  • Obsessions and Compulsions: Repeated thoughts or actions can be a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), another type of anxiety disorder.
  • Panic: Intense feelings of terror that develop suddenly could signal a panic disorder.
  • Avoidance: Avoiding social situations for fear of being embarrassed, humiliated, or judged may indicate social anxiety disorder.

Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms of anxiety often include the following:
  • Fatigue: Even after proper rest or sleep, people with anxiety often feel extremely tired or worn out.
  • Muscle Tension: Anxiety frequently manifests as physical symptoms like muscle stiffness, aches, or trembling.
  • Sleep Disturbances: This can manifest as difficulty falling asleep and frequent waking. It also manifests as nightmares, or not feeling rested after sleep
  • Palpitations: An unusual awareness of the heartbeat or feeling like the heart is pounding or racing can be a symptom.
  • Shortness of Breath: This can occur during particularly intense anxiety episodes or panic attacks.
  • Sweating: Excessive perspiration often accompanies anxiety.
  • Nausea or Diarrhea: Gastrointestinal problems like nausea, diarrhea, or IBS-like symptoms are commonly associated with anxiety.
  • Headaches: Recurrent or chronic headaches can sometimes be associated with anxiety.

Holistic Ways To Treat Anxiety

Holistic ways to treat anxiety encompass a variety of methods. These methods consider the whole person in the quest for optimal health and wellness.

By focusing on the person as a whole rather than focusing solely on the symptoms of anxiety, the goal of holistic treatment is to bring balance to the patient’s life. 

Here are some holistic ways to treat anxiety:4

Physical Activity

Engaging in regular physical activity is one of the holistic ways to treat anxiety. Exercise can improve mood, act as a natural anti-anxiety remedy, and improve a person’s sense of well-being.

Balanced Diet

What you consume can significantly affect your mood and energy levels. A balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats can act as a holistic way to treat anxiety.

Meditation and Mindfulness

These practices can help people focus on the present moment. Thus reducing worries about the future or regrets about the past. Regularly practicing meditation or mindfulness can be a holistic way to treat anxiety.


Yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. Regular practice has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, making yoga another holistic way to treat anxiety.


Certain essential oils, like lavender and chamomile, are known for their calming effects. Aromatherapy can be a relaxing, holistic way to treat anxiety.

Herbal Remedies

Some herbal supplements, such as passionflower, kava kava, and valerian root, are often used in holistic ways to treat anxiety. 

It’s crucial to important with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen. This is because they can interact with other medications.


This traditional Chinese medicine technique involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. Acupuncture can be an effective holistic way to treat anxiety.


This technique teaches individuals to control their body’s functions, like heart rate. With practice, biofeedback can help adjust the body’s response to stress and anxiety, another holistic way to treat anxiety.

Therapeutic Massage

Massage can help reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation, thus making it a beneficial holistic way to treat anxiety.

Art and Music Therapy

Engaging in creative outlets can help people express themselves and reduce feelings of anxiety. These types of therapy are other holistic ways to treat anxiety.

Sleep Hygiene

Establishing good sleep habits is another of the holistic ways to treat anxiety. This is because lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep can exacerbate anxiety symptoms, especially over time.

Social Support and Healthy Relationships

Building and maintaining strong, positive relationships and seeking support when needed can be holistic ways to treat anxiety.

Can These Holistic Ways To Treat Anxiety Complement Traditional Therapy?

These holistic ways to treat anxiety can and often do complement traditional therapy. This combination is sometimes referred to as integrative therapy. It aims to utilize the benefits of both traditional and holistic approaches for a comprehensive treatment plan.

For example, exercise can boost the mood and act as a natural anti-anxiety remedy. This works to enhance the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is a common type of psychotherapy.

CBT helps people learn to identify and change thought patterns that lead to harmful behaviors or feelings of anxiety.

Other Examples of Traditional and Holistic Ways to Treat Anxiety

Also, maintaining a balanced diet can improve overall physical health. It can also potentially reduce the side effects of some anti-anxiety medications. 

Also, meditation and mindfulness practices can help a person stay focused on the present. This helps reduce worry and enhance the effectiveness of CBT.

Yoga, along with therapy, can help improve the body’s response to stress and reduce anxiety symptoms.

A Deeper Dive

Some other ways that these therapies can interact include:

  • Aromatherapy can be used alongside other relaxation techniques taught in therapy. This combination is used to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.
  • Some herbal remedies may complement traditional medications for anxiety. However, it’s critical to discuss this with a healthcare provider due to potential interactions.
  • Acupuncture can help reduce anxiety symptoms and may increase the effectiveness of traditional medications or therapies.
  • Biofeedback techniques can complement CBT by helping people learn to better control their physiological response to stress and anxiety.
  • Massage can be used alongside other relaxation techniques taught in therapy to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.

Depending on your specific needs, symptoms, and if you have any co-occurring disorders, your doctor may recommend some forms of holistic or evidence-based therapies over others. These are just some of the ways that these types of therapies can interact.

Holistic Ways to Treat Anxiety

How Can Iris Healing Help?

Are you looking to explore holistic ways to treat anxiety? If you are, then you’ll need a treatment center that offers these holistic therapies. This is where Iris Healing comes in. 

At Iris Healing, we expertly combine holistic therapies like yoga and meditation with traditional approaches like CBT. This guarantees you’ll always have access to integrative treatment that provides total, whole-body, comprehensive effects.

What Else Do We Offer?

But that’s not all we offer; we also believe in a patient-first treatment approach, so you can be certain your needs will always be a priority with us. We believe in a holistic way to help treat various substance use or mental health disorders.

This way, you can get the best and most comprehensive care that you need for overall recovery. We will help you devise an individualized treatment plan for your needs.

Get in Touch Today

Contact us today and learn more about our holistic ways of treating anxiety.

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