Healthy Ways To Treat Anxiety And Stress
To condition your mind and body to cope with anxiety, without resorting to using drugs, focus on the following:
- Mental: There are things in life that you cant control realizing this is an important first step. Perfection may not be possible, but doing your best is, particularly when you maintain a positive attitude. Having fewer negative thoughts will help you feel less anxious, so challenging such thoughts will be worth it in the long run even if it is unpleasant in the moment.
It also helps to write things down. You might find solace in doing so, or perhaps you will notice a pattern that reveals certain triggers of feelings. You might also find that it helps you process your emotions or remember why you are so committed to your recovery.
- Physical: Alcohol and caffeine dont mix well with anxiety, so make an effort to cut them out, even if alcohol was not the drug you initially had a problem with. On the other hand, healthy eating can help with anxiety not only do you feel better and have more energy, but you get protein, vitamins, and minerals that can help you maintain a stable blood sugar level. This reduces your bodys physical stress response, which is one common trigger for anxiety. Avoid skipping meals and consuming sugar and refined carbohydrates to avoid any blood sugar highs and crashes that might lower your mood and drive you to a relapse of your addiction as you struggle to cope.
Managing Anxiety Vs Curing It
There is a considerable difference between managing anxiety and curing anxiety. Managing anxiety does not mean it no longer exists. It means that you have learned skills or utilized medications to bring your symptoms under better control.
Most individuals can learn to manage their anxiety. Curing anxiety insinuates that you will likely never suffer from anxiety again. Anxiety is just like most chronic illnesses there is rarely a cure, but almost always a way to manage it.
When To Contact A Doctor
Most people experience anxiety from time to time. When a person has anxiety so intense that it undermines sleep, daily functioning, or relationships, it is time to seek help. This type of anxiety is a medical condition. And while medication is an option, it is not the only treatment.
A doctor can help with getting the correct diagnosis, ruling out physical health issues, and finding therapy and other remedies.
A person should contact a doctor or healthcare provider if they experience the following:
- They feel chronically anxious for no clear reason or have constantly shifting anxieties.
- Their anxiety is disproportionate to the stress they feel, such as if a person who has a relatively safe and comfortable life is chronically afraid of violence or starvation.
- They experience panic attacks or physical anxiety symptoms, such as a racing heart or stomach pain.
- Their anxiety treatment does not work or suddenly stops working.
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How Do I Access Treatment
To get treatment on the NHS, the first step is normally to visit your GP. They will do an assessment, which might include asking you to fill in a questionnaire about how often you feel worried, anxious and nervous.
They should then explain your treatment options to you, and you can decide together what might suit you best.
See our pages on seeking help for a mental health problem for more information on how to prepare for an appointment and have your say in treatment.
Unfortunately NHS waiting lists for talking treatments can be very long. If you’re finding it hard to access talking therapies you could consider:
- Charities and specialist organisations. See useful contacts for a list of organisations that may offer therapy or be able to put you in touch with local services. Mind’s Infoline could also help you find services near you.
- Private therapy. Finding a private therapist is another option some people choose to explore, but it’s not suitable for everyone because it can be expensive. See our page on private therapy for more information.
What if my anxiety stops me from seeking help?
It can be especially hard to get treatment if making or attending an appointment with your doctor involves doing something that causes lots of anxiety for you. For example, you might not feel able to talk on the phone or leave the house.
Here are some things you could try:
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious potentially debilitating condition that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist incident, sudden death of a loved one, war, violent personal assault, or other life-threatening event. Symptoms can include anxiety, depression, flashbacks and nightmares.
These conditions often require help and treatment from medical professionals, and can be the cause of frequent episodes of poor sleep.
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Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and avoid procrastinating.
Procrastination may harm your productivity and leave you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
A study in 140 medical students in China linked procrastination to increased stress levels. The study also associated procrastination and delayed stress reactions with more negative parenting styles, including punishment and rejection .
If you find yourself procrastinating regularly, it may be helpful to get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time. Switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful in itself.
If you find yourself regularly procrastinating, staying on top of your to-do list may help ward off related stress.
What If I Don’t Feel Better
Your doctor should offer you regular appointments to check how you’re doing, and see how well any treatment is working for you.
Different things work for different people, so if a particular medication, type of talking therapy or particular therapist doesn’t work for you, your doctor should offer an alternative.
If you’ve tried a range of treatments and none of them have helped, your doctor might refer you to a community mental health team . This is made up of a number of different healthcare professionals, such as psychiatrists and clinical psychologists. Your CMHT can assess you separately and offer you a personalised treatment plan.
This is particularly recommended if:
- your symptoms are making it very difficult to carry out everyday activities
- you have a serious physical health problem or another mental health problem
- you’re having thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
It’s important to remember that recovery is a journey, and it won’t always be straightforward. For example, you might find it more helpful to focus on learning more about yourself and developing ways to cope, rather than trying to get rid of all your symptoms.
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Other Strategies To Overcome Anxiety
This is just a small sample of the many strategies for reducing anxiety. Some people find relaxation exercises like visualization and progressive muscle relaxation to be helpful. Others find goal setting, staying socially active, and spending time with fun distractions to be all they need. Others need to consider herbal supplements like kava and passionflower that can help control anxiety.
But the most important thing to realize is committing to changing your anxiety is the most important step.
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Final Thoughts On How To Treat Anxiety Without Medication
Anxiety treatment without medication is valid in certain situations however, if youre thinking about going off of your prescribed medication, consult your doctor. If youve never been prescribed anxiety medication, starting with the natural approaches in this article can minimize your anxiety and increase self-awareness. Consistently practicing these tips will help build a strong foundation and increase your feeling of emotional regulation and control.
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Color In A Coloring Book
Sticking to the topic of feeling like a kid again, purchase a few coloring books and set of colored pencils for yourself. Coloring is known to reduce stress and anxiety by relaxing the fear center of the brain. While you color, youll also notice that you enter a more meditative state, which quiets your mind and allows you to take a break from your worries.
Alpana Deo Mothers Gurukul
In my opinion, depression or anxiety starts with baby steps, but if it is not addressed in time, then it can get bad. The first step for anyone suffering from this state is to realize that yes, there is a problem. Until and unless that realization not there, no-one can help the person.
Second is the readiness to make a change. If they go into their shell, it gets tough to take them out, and for that, they have to talk. Thats the third point. Talk, share they fear, feeling with anyone they feel comfortable with.
And if, after taking every possible step, there is no change, seeking professional help in must. Because there is always a difference between dealing and treating.
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When To See A Doctor
While natural treatments can help with anxiety symptoms, some signs may indicate that you need to call your doctor:
- Your anxiety is chronic , and it interferes with your ability to function daily
- Your symptoms have persisted for six months or more
- Youâre experiencing physical symptoms such as rapid heart rate, difficulty sleeping, stomach issues, or chronic fatigue
- Youâre avoiding people or places
- Youâre having thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Your doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety medications or refer you to a specialist. In some cases, the natural remedies described above may be used along with more conventional treatments to help you manage your symptoms.
Put Together A Puzzle
Speaking of puzzles, why not put one together in your free time? Puzzles help the brain by bringing peace and offering a sense of accomplishment. They may even help prevent cognitive disorders in later life. Plus, since the brain has a hard time focusing on two things at once, doing a puzzle can redirect your attention away from negative thoughts.
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Where To Get Help
For mild to moderate anxiety, these strategies might be enough to manage your symptoms. Still, it’s a good idea to discuss your efforts with your primary doctor, who can make more personalized suggestions about anxiety treatment without medication.
If these strategies don’t work, or if you have severe or worsening anxiety, talk to your doctor immediately. He or she will want to screen you for underlying medical conditions that could contribute to your anxiety. Your doctor might also recommend prescription medications or refer you to a mental health specialist for therapy.
Just remember that you’re not alone. Anxiety disorders are common and treatable. There’s no shame in seeking help, and nothing to gain by suffering in silence.
Watch Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine might be the most commonly consumed drug in the world, but its psychological effects are often underestimated. While low to moderate doses can make you feel more alert and energetic, too much can leave you feeling jittery and anxious.
It is important to remember, however, that everyone’s tolerance for caffeine is different. Some people may be able to drink a moderate amount of coffee each day, around four or five cups a day, without noticing any ill effects.
For other people, just a small amount of caffeine can cause feelings of shakiness or nervousness. If you feel like caffeine might be contributing to feelings of anxiety, consider gradually reducing your intake. Slowly lowering your intake over time can help minimize the unpleasant symptoms of caffeine withdrawal.
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Learning To Be Assertive
Being assertive means communicating your needs, wants, feelings, beliefs and opinions to others in a direct and honest manner without intentionally hurting anyones feelings. A person with an anxiety disorder may have trouble being assertive because they are afraid of conflict or believe they have no right to speak up. However, relating passively to others lowers self-confidence and reinforces anxiety. Learning to behave assertively is central to developing a stronger self-esteem.
Edit Your Social Media Feeds
Because there are benefits to being on social media, you dont have to cut it out of your life completely. But, we do recommend editing your feed so that its healthier for you. For example, you can prioritize accounts that share motivational and inspirational messages. You can hide or mute a humble bragger theyll never know! Even with these changes, you should still limit your time scrolling through your news feed.
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Tips To Control Anxiety Without Medication
I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.-Mark Twain
So, how do we control anxiety when Twains wisdom escapes us?
This List of 6 is a rhyme to remember because these items will help reduce your anxiety without medication of any kind. Actually, medication is a solution that people turn to when these basics are ignored or forgotten. Then, medication becomes a surrogate for the real thing: relaxation. These simple techniques are well documented as effective tools to combat anxiety. Each causes the relaxation response in the body and the mind.
Dipika Singh Gleeful Blogger
Anxiety disorders are mental healthy related red flags, that should be taken seriously. An anxious mind is always in the battle with itself, over-reacting to a regular stressful situation, feeling depressed, low on energy, socially disconnected, and feeling suicidal are some of the common symptoms of anxiety and depression. Though experts treat mental disorders medically, but there are some natural ways to keep anxiety at bay.
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Can You Deal With Anxiety Without Medication
Yes, but if you have an anxiety disorder, you need treatment from a mental health professional for the best outcome. Otherwise, you can cope with anxiety by journaling about your emotions, moving your body, and practicing mindfulness and meditation. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep can also help with anxiety.
Why Pursue Treatment For Anxiety Without Medication
Although anxiety disorders are common and treatable, certain medications for anxiety may cause undesired side effects, and some may worry about what these adverse affects from medication might feel like. Seeking consultation from your doctor about medication and all of the potential side effects is important. Research and ask as many questions as possible to avoid complications and figure out what works best for you.
Anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines may have adverse effects like weakness, slurred speech, and anterograde amnesia. Therapists should also warn patients in advance about possible risk of tolerance, which can lead to rebound anxiety or withdrawal symptoms upon abrupt discontinuation.1,2
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor can have side effects like increased anxiety or agitation, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, sweating, and sexual dysfunction.3 While these side effects arent necessarily common, theyre a reason why many people make the decision to receive treatment for anxiety without medication.
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Ways To Relieve Anxiety Without Drugs
Do you need anxiety relief? If so, youre not alone.
The number of people suffering from mild, moderate, and severe anxiety has sky-rocketed in recent years.
Per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.
Whats worse, anxiety is also affecting teens and children, the tune of 25.1% of children between the ages of 13-18thats 1 in 4 teenagers.
I know I am not alone in my concern over this disturbing trendboth as a medical doctor and as a parent.
Although we all experience anxiety at some point in our lives, this level of chronic anxiety is anything but normalespecially for growing children and teens.
But there is great hope. Despite what we have been led to believe, the majority of anxiety disorders can be remedied without resorting to side-effect-laden drugs.
I know, because I was able to resolve my own anxiety and panic attacks by making specific lifestyle changes, and I have helped countless patients do the same.
Read on to learn how to address the root causes of anxiety with my top 12 ways to treat anxiety without drugs.
Natural Remedies For An Anxiety Disorder
Though taking medication to reduce anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of, for many people, holistic techniques are enough to ease anxiety significantly. Mindfulness, which involves a deliberate focus on the present moment as opposed to letting thoughts of the past or future take hold, can help some people to prevent anxiety by taking their attention away from potential stressful situations back to the here and now.
One powerful method for improving mindfulness and well being is meditation, a period of deliberate focus intended to train your capacity for attention and awareness. A Harvard medical school study found that meditation has a beneficial effect on the brain, shrinking the area responsible for fear, stress, and anxiety while bolstering areas involved in positive feelings like empathy, compassion, learning, memory and emotional regulation.
Meditation can also improve sleep, which can be another important factor when it comes to brain health and anxiety. Making an effort to get a good nights sleep will increase your energy levels at well as reduce anxiety. But since anxiety can interfere with sleep, it can also perpetuate a cycle in which lack of sleep leads to more anxiety ad infinitum.
Sensory input can also distract from acute anxiety and allow someone to calm down, including in the form of exercise, which has also been demonstrated to have its own mental health benefits, including for issues like anxiety.
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