You’re a bundle of nerves. You can’t seem to quiet your mind from the troubling thoughts of what you are going to do about your retirement. It’s hard to relax because your brain is riddled with negative thoughts about your future. You desperately want peace of mind, but you keep thinking about the job you can’t quit, or the money you don’t have.
However, (if you are like me) the thought of taking a psychotropic drug manufactured by Big Pharma with horrendous side effects such as dizziness, nausea, sexual dysfunction, blurred vision, confusion, and falling (yes, falling!) is out of the question. You want natural remedies for relieving your retirement anxiety.
Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies that are safe and beneficial for combating retirement anxiety. I’ve tried numerous remedies, and I know which ones work and which ones don’t. To help retirees struggling with this sense of dread and fear, I’ve collected a quick list of natural remedies that actually work.
What does it mean to feel anxious?
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
It’s normal. It’s our body’s way of responding to a dangerous situation.
You’ve heard of the fight or flight response. Also known as acute stress response, it’s a physiological reaction in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.
Your sympathetic nervous system kicks into high gear and your body speeds up, tenses up, and goes into high alert. Your stress hormones take over and you prepare to fight or make a run for it. Hence, the term “fight or flight”.
This is your body’s natural defense to danger and is very useful if you are confronted with a rabid dog in an alley – you need to take action – and you need to take action fast.
Retirement shouldn’t be scary, but the mainstream retirement fearmongering directed at baby boomers is enough to give anyone anxiety.
If you take all of it as gospel, you could spiral into a state of misery.
Causes of retirement anxiety
- Worrying about how much money you’re supposed to have to retire, and knowing that you’re not even close.
- Wanting to take Social Security at age 62, but think you shouldn’t because everybody tells you not to.
- Praying that you stay healthy to 65 so you can take Medicare.
- Fearing that your spouse wants to move, but you don’t.
- Afraid you’ll be alone.
- Reflecting on your life and thinking your legacy sucks.
- Worrying if you can still retire if the stock market crashes.
Common symptoms of retirement anxiety
- Chest tightness
- Hyperventilation/panic attacks
- Heart Palpitations
- Inability to concentrate
- Muscle Tension
As I’ve said, anxiety is natural. And, we all experience it from time to time. However, it drags us down during a time in our lives when we should be enjoying life to its fullest.
With that being said, the following natural remedies are excellent for helping you relax. They are beneficial for overall health and well being, without the dreadful side effects of prescription drugs.
6 Natural Remedies for Retirement Anxiety
If you’re feeling anxious, force yourself to get moving. Exercise in any form lifts the spirits. Dancing, running, walking, hiking, gardening; all are excellent methods for relieving stress and boosting mood. If you can’t get outside, don’t let that stop you. The internet makes exercising indoors and at home a breeze.
Check out Youtube for the many options available or bookmark my article Best Yoga and Workout Videos to get you pointed in the right direction.
Did you know that Yoga is a natural remedy for anxiety? A study in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that it is better for reducing stress than walking.
Walking is great, and I do a lot of it. However, I do know that yoga is a wonderful stress reliever. I practice yoga 3 to 4 times a week, not only to improve my strength and flexibility, but for the calming effect that yoga produces.
Getting on the mat is not always easy, but after I challenge myself with balances, twists, and inversions, I am glad that I did. I feel good!
Here’s the science behind why yoga works for reducing stress.
The way yoga relieves stress is by boosting GABA in your brain. GABA is an acronym for Gamma-aminobutyric acid, a chemical messenger that is widely distributed in the brain. Some researchers believe that one of the purposes that GABA serves is to control the fear or anxiety experienced when neurons are overexcited. Levels of GABA are higher after doing yoga poses.
Therefore, the natural chemical reaction in the brain after practicing yoga helps reduce anxiety and stress.
Yoga Journal states that 20.4 million Americans practice yoga. Of those 20 million people, 56.9% said they started yoga for stress relief.
A regular yoga practice is definitely a powerful way to manage retirement anxiety.
3. Lavender Aromatherapy
Lavender is an herb known for its pleasant fragrance and medicinal value. Used worldwide throughout the ages, lavender has many wonderful qualities. It’s frequently used for insomnia, anxiety, depression, and as a natural remedy to relieve stress.
Research has confirmed that lavender produces a slight calming, soothing, and sedative effect when inhaled. This makes it the ideal natural remedy for relieving anxiety at bedtime.
Keep a lavender diffuser in your bedroom to help you relax and fall asleep. What I like to do is place a cotton ball dipped in lavender oil inside my pillow-case so that its pleasing aroma fills the air as I drift off.
The University of Maryland Medical Center has an excellent article on the many benefits of lavender, that you may find useful.
4. Herbal Teas
Need to relax and unwind? Teas made with peppermint, lemon balm, and chamomile are all wonderful for relieving stress and retirement anxiety.
-Peppermint tea has a lovely aroma and its menthol flavor is very pleasant to most people. Due to its overall sedative quality, drinking peppermint tea makes you feel calm. The anti-inflammatory nature of peppermint tea helps reduce blood pressure and body temperature, therefore helping you relax.
-Lemon balm is a member of the mint family, used since the Middle Ages to relieve stress and anxiety. In traditional Austrian medicine, lemon balm is used to treat disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, nervous system, liver, and bile. Other medicinal uses include lemon balm as a sleep aid and digestive aid. Try a cup of lemon balm tea for its ability to calm your nerves.
-Chamomile tea is widely thought to help you relax and encourage sleep. Many researchers believe that chamomile tea may act as a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines, also called benzos, are psychoactive drugs prescribed by doctors to reduce anxiety and induce sleep. I much prefer the natural remedy of having a cup of chamomile tea to relieve anxiety than taking a drug with adverse effects such as feelings of turmoil, difficulty in thinking constructively, agoraphobia, and increasing anxiety!
Recipe to make a medicinal infusion of tea:
- Get a quart jar (a canning jar works well)
- Pour boiling water into jar and fill to the top
- Add 4 to 6 tablespoons herbal tea of your choice
- Brew for about 30 to 35 minutes
- Remove herbs
Refrigerate any left-overs for another day. Simply warm the tea and enjoy when you feel the need to unwind.
5. Laughing Yoga
This natural remedy for retirement anxiety is so easy it ain’t funny! We’ve all heard the expression that laughter is the best medicine. But, how can something so simple be the best?
Let me explain.
Laughing releases endorphins (the feel-good hormones), and other opioid peptides into the brain. Activating your body’s opiate receptors produces, an analgesic (calming ) effect. Consequently, you feel better.
Spontaneous social laughing is great. However, you can get the same mood-enhancing benefits by laughing alone. Laugh in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in your car! For best results, try laughing for at least one minute.
This laughing yoga guru was my first experience with laughing yoga. Hopefully, his video will give you the giggles as well.
Unlike psychotropics, Ashwagandha is found in nature. For centuries, this natural remedy has helped with various conditions including stress relief. The herb is native to the dry regions of India where it is commonly prescribed to boost immune system function after an illness. A study found in PMC, concluded that “Ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves an individual’s resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life.”
After an embarrassing menopausal meltdown, I knew that I needed to balance my hormones. Most of all, I had no intention of using conventional methods of hormone replacement therapy. Therefore, my search began for an alternative.
As a result, I discovered Organic India’s Ashwagandha supplements and began taking them. Especially relevant is that I immediately noticed an overall balance with less irritability. Ashwagandha is amazing!
Thus, if you want to feel relaxed and balanced without using unnatural drugs, I highly recommend you check out the price and ratings of these Ashwagandha supplements on Amazon.
Anxiety is real and worrying about your retirement plans can cause a lot of stress. As a result, your body produces a variety of unpleasant symptoms that make you feel ill and/or keep you awake at night.
While planning for retirement is good, retirement anxiety is not. Instead of taking pharmaceuticals with horrendous side effects to calm your nerves, there are alternative natural remedies that work very well to relieve retirement anxiety.
We all deal with anxiety and stress at some time or another. I would love to hear how you deal with it. Please share your natural remedies for anxiety in the comments below so that we may all benefit from them.