At one time or another, we’ve all experienced that crippling and terror-inducing feeling of anxiety. Most people that have suffered through it say that sometimes it can even feel as if you are having a heart attack. The mental and physical intensity of these episodes can lead to all kinds of thoughts and panic.
Maybe you can identify with these explanations, knowing exactly what it feels like and are seeking to find some remedies without resorting to medication. It’s not that medications are bad – in fact, in many situations, they are a life-saver, literally. But if you are looking to get a grip on your anxiety without medication, there is good news.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve had anxiety for a month or 10 years. There are things you can do about it. There are multiple strategies to manage anxiety without medication and below we’ve listed 9 of them.
Here are 9 Tips to Manage Anxiety (Without Medication)
*As with any medical condition, be sure that if you have been prescribed medication do not stop taking it without talking to your doctor first.
Lower Your Anxiety Physically
1. Move Your Body
Studies prove that regular exercise significantly reduces depression and anxiety. Not only is exercise great for relieving stress and also great for all of your body systems, it is especially effective for reducing overall anxiety. See Spark by John Ratey for details on how it works and what to do.
2. Stop Moving Your Body
While #1 above says to move your body, this tip will advise you to stop moving your body, at the appropriate times. While it is necessary for you to exercise, it is equally important for you to take timeouts where you can commit to being calm and still. Using relaxation techniques in conjunction with this works brilliantly. Work on deep breathing, meditation and relaxing your body.
Did you know that the correct way to breathe is through your abdomen, not your chest? If you breathe through your chest it is more likely to make yourself increasingly nervous and unable to relax. Breaths from your chest are shorter and quicker. Breathe from your diaphragm in slow, deep, inhalations.
We know that depression, anxiety and many other mood disorders stem from bodily inflammation, especially in the gut. Many have found great success in reducing their anxiety by following an anti-inflammatory diets such as a paleo diet. One of the key components that makes this diet so helpful is the elimination of inflammatory foods including grains and dairy.
5. Take Your Mind Off It
When you are busy in a healthy and productive way, you are less likely to feel anxious. Figure out a few things you like to do and incorporate them into your life.
Lower Your Anxiety Mentally
A positive body breeds a positive mind, and a positive mind breeds a positive person, free from anxiety. Here are some tips you can perform mentally which will enable you to reduce your anxiety levels:
1. Practice Self-Love and Compassion
When you feel those anxious thoughts creeping in, take a moment to stop whatever you are doing and simply love yourself. Oftentimes, people with anxiety can create a vicious cycle of becoming frustrated and upset with themselves for feeling anxious. All this does is create more anxiety.
- A great resource for this is Matt Kahn’s book, Whatever Arises, Love That.
2. Talk It Out Or Write It Out
Talking about your anxiety has been shown to reduce it. Find people who are willing to listen to you and be sure you regularly express yourself. Whether it is your spouse, a parent or a friend, talking it out is a great way to lessen your anxiety. Likewise, writing out your stresses can also be effective.
- In Brene Brown’s book, Rising Strong, she talks about how simply talking about your problem reduces them and the same is true for writing out your problems on paper. (You can shred it afterwards.)
3. Become Learned
You can’t fight something you don’t know or understand. Read articles like these, ask your doctor for advice, research and find anything that will help you better understand your condition. When you know more you begin to feel more confident and on top of your problems.
4. Take Some Time Out
Take a few minutes every day to worry about all the things you have to. Write things down, figure out strategies to organize your day as well as your thoughts. Do a “mental dump” or unloading. Through doing this you can allow yourself to feel the stress that you need, but then you can carry on with the important things in your life in a more productive way.