How to Overcome Social and General Anxiety Naturally

I enjoy having a list of everything in one place. I hope that I’m not the only one who this applies to, and that others will find this useful. Anxiety is a nasty burden to hold, but it’s not going to be your lifelong enemy (I assure you!) Whilst many sufferers, including myself in the past, will turn to medication, there are many alternatives to try first. After the side effects I’ve endured in the last year, I’m glad to say that I won’t be returning to anything pill-shaped (unless safe and natural).

  • Dedicate a set time to worrying – this may seem counter-productive, but if you quickly write down your worries and dedicate a ten minute daily time slot to dealing with them, it can be really helpful
  • Meditate: guided meditation on YouTube, alone, or as part of a group
  • Exposure therapy – if something is bothering you, it often means that you need to confront it 
  • Get a chiropractor or masseuse to relieve muscle knots caused by stress – you’ll feel less tense 
  • Drink enough water daily – dehydration can cause fatigue, decreased brain activity, and severe headaches.
  • Consume a minimum of five fruit and veggies every day – you know that they’re good for you!
  • Do some Pilates, yoga, or stretching 
  • Read a positive book 
  • Recently I’ve started occasionally taking 5-HTP. It’s a natural supplement, available in health stores, which works to increase tryptophan levels and therefore reduce anxiety and depression. It does work well, but I will warn that it can produce vivid dreams if taken at bedtime
  • Prioritise – if you need a rest, let yourself have one. Similarly, deal with the most pressing tasks first.
  • Watch a favourite film that makes you feel warm, smiley, and uplifted
  • Ban negative thoughts – they’re not worth your time
  • Enjoy silence – just sit and think, or perhaps read or journal in a quiet environment
  • Limit your sugar intake – it’s the enemy of calm and tranquil living
  • Aromatherapy – lavender, – I find roll-on oils useful, particularly this Tisserand one (even in the day!)
  • Rescue Remedy does tend to help me, even if what I feel is just a placebo effect
  • Avoid caffeine – herbal teas are a much better choice when you’re anxious, try chamomile, rooibos, or other calming and caffeine-free blends
  • Wear loose clothing – it makes you feel, and look, and lot more comfortable
  • Acupuncture
  • Get a massage from someone else, or give yourself one with sweet-smelling oils
  • Dance!
  • Listen to your favourite music, particularly if it’s relaxing or uplifting
  • For a short time only, pretending to be somebody else or a version of yourself without anxiety may be useful
  • Make sure to reward yourself for any progress you make
  • Make sure to leave the house every day
  • Socialise – enjoy spending time with friends and loved ones; try not to turn invites down and isolate yourself.
  • Think rationally – what will you think of a particular worry in a month’s time? 
  • Try a self-help book if you find them beneficial – I found Healing Without Freud or Prozac to be really insightful 
  • Ground yourself: I like to take note of my surroundings and understand how my body is feeling at a particular moment – feel the pen in your hand, your body as you’re sitting, and the contact between your feet and the ground as you’re walking
  • List your achievements of the day, week, month, year, and last ten years 
  • Have a hot shower to loosen your muscles
  • Get bath oils or bath bombs and take the next hour off 
  • Give yourself a makeover with new makeup, and/or get a haircut 
  • Exercise – do all you can to get your body moving and your heart rate up 
  • Listen to Mr Luhrmann and don’t read beauty magazines (they will only make you feel ugly) 
  • Nourish and take care of yourself – be your Number 1 person and act a little selfishly for once 
  • Care for something or someone – a relative, a pet, even a plant 
  • Do what’s holding you back, whether it’s rock climbing, bungee-jumping, or asking out that guy
  • Limit your screen time – there are so many books to read, people to meet, and experiences to have
  • List five things around you that are beautiful – they’re definitely there!
  • Start new hobbies – yoga, card-making, buy and experiment with art materials, 
  • Resume old hobbies – are there any instruments or sports you used to play?
  • Have a project on the go – fix something, improve something, or…
  • Create something – be creative, a baking goddess, or a lover of nurturing nature
  • Keep learning – TED talks, random Wikipedia articles
  • Have a clean of your living space – it’ll clear your headspace too
  • Constantly improve yourself – apply a computer game analogy to your life and always try to get yourself to the next level

      It's good to meet you! I started Tolstoy Therapy back in 2012 to share my healing journey through anxiety and PTSD with books. I also climb mountains, go on solo adventures, and write over at

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