Psychologist: 4 Natural Ways to Relieve Tension and Anxiety

Routine thoughts can put tremendous strain on us. “If I don’t work hard, I’ll be sifted out.” “No matter how hard I work, I can’t get everything done.” We may wonder “Why do I feel anxious when nothing is happening?”

Stress leads to mental tension, and inner fatigue can lead to psychological anxiety. How do we adjust? Psychologists remind us to not let our emotions lead us by the nose.

Severe anxiety and stress can lead to increased blood pressure, accelerated heart rate, and other physical changes, including sleep disturbances, decreased concentration, and digestive and reproductive system disturbances. All of these can likewise lead to greater stress and anxiety.

Yu Jiarong, a psychologist in Taipei, Taiwan, told The Epoch Times that every emotion exists for a reason, but we can choose to not be led by them. She recommends four tips to help relieve tension and anxiety:

1. Focus on the Moment

Instead of worrying about how to stop worrying, focus on what you need to do right now. When we focus on what’s right in front of us, the thought of “I haven’t done this and that yet” doesn’t come to mind.

2. Keep Everything in Order of Priority

Make a list and prioritize. Do the important and urgent things first and the less important and less urgent things later. When you make a clear list of the things you’ve been thinking about, you won’t be distracted by what’s left to do while you’re doing things.

3. Do Your Best

“Do your duty and await the outcome.” If you constantly keep yourself on standby just in case there’s more you have to do, you’ll miss out on many wonderful things. Therefore, as long as you know that you’ve done your best, you needn’t concern yourself with the outcome. You can only adjust your own situation.

4. Set Aside Time for Yourself

Take care of your physical and mental health, as your health is more important than anything else. Don’t ignore what’s going on in your heart. Only by allowing time for yourself and talking positively to yourself can you adjust your own pace in a fast-paced society.

Yu cautions that any form of anxiety can lead to physical and mental health problems, and there are ways to relieve anxiety. But if you feel anxious for a long time, you should seek professional help from a psychologist as soon as possible to assess your situation and help you overcome anxiety.

Food Therapy

Food offers another way to prevent and relieve anxiety. Studies have shown that foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and lean protein can improve mood and mental health.


Fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to have positive benefits for metabolic diseases (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular disease), rheumatoid arthritis, neurological disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.


Eggs contain vitamin D, protein, and L-tryptophan. L-tryptophan helps produce serotonin, a chemical neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, sleep, memory, and behavior. Serotonin is also thought to improve brain function and ease anxiety.

Pumpkin Seeds

These seeds are one of the best foods to treat anxiety. Pumpkin seeds are rich in two minerals—potassium and zinc—essential for brain and neural development. Zinc, primarily stored in brain regions, can promote positive emotions and reduce anxiety. Potassium helps regulate the body’s electrolyte balance and control blood pressure, which is conducive to reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Epoch Times Photo
Pumpkin seeds are one of the best foods to treat anxiety. (Shutterstock)

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains magnesium, which helps reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety.


The curcumin in turmeric can help reduce anxiety by reducing inflammation and oxidation. A 2015 study found that consuming one gram of curcumin per day reduced anxiety in obese people.


Chamomile is a Chinese herb that can be used as a tea. Studies have shown that taking 1,500 milligrams of chamomile extract daily can balance mood and reduce anxiety symptoms.


Yogurt is one of the best foods to relieve anxiety. It’s a probiotic food, rich in Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and other healthy bacteria. Yogurt and other fermented foods have anti-inflammatory properties and support the body in producing mood-boosting neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which helps reduce inflammation in the body and reduce stress and anxiety.

A 2014 study shows that consuming probiotic yogurt products can trigger feelings of well-being in some people and eating fermented foods can reduce symptoms of social anxiety in teens.

Green Tea

The L-theanine in green tea has anti-anxiety and calming effects. A 2017 study shows that taking 200 milligrams of L-theanine per day reduced stress in participants.

green tea
Green tea has a compound that has been well-studied for its many effects in the body, including reducing stress. (KMNPhoto/Shutterstock)

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are rich in selenium and vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps treat anxiety. Selenium deficiency reduces the effect of antioxidant enzymes in the brain, causing high oxidative stress to brain cells, which can induce early Alzheimer’s disease. Selenium supplements may help relieve anxiety, irritability, mental fatigue, and even some symptoms of depression.

A June 2010 clinical study found that taking a daily dose of selenium in the first trimester of pregnancy could prevent postpartum depression.

Healthy people can get sufficient selenium by maintaining a balanced diet. However, it’s important to note that excessive selenium may cause nausea, fatigue, and neurological abnormalities. The daily intake of selenium shouldn’t exceed 400 micrograms.

Ellen Wan has worked for the Japanese edition of The Epoch Times since 2007.
Angela Bright has written for The Epoch Times since 2019.
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