There’s nothing worse than an anxious feeling that cripples you with fear. For some, it’s an occurrence that happens occasionally, but for others, they live in a constant state of unrest as their body is in fight or flight mode continuously. If you’ve been to your doctor, you know that they want to put you on medications to control this mental health problem.
Unfortunately, many of the prescriptions used for General Anxiety Disorder come with side effects. One of the main problems is many of these drugs cause dependency issues. Thankfully, you don’t have to resort to padding big pharma’s pocket to get better. There are many ways that you can control your anxious feelings naturally.
Alternatives to Medicine for Anxiety
If you’ve struggled with your anxiety for any length of time, you will learn some coping skills or hacks. These little tips and tricks can help you get through stressful situations. Here are 15 things you can do to gain control over these anxious feelings without using medications.
1. Grab Some Ice
Grabbing a handful of ice when you’re feeling anxious might seem crazy, but it works. The same theory in this trick is why people cut for relief. The body is unable to process two different sensations at once.
When you hold ice in your hand, the cold nature is a shock to your system. The brain will focus on this sensation rather than your anxiety. It will almost immediately stop the angst you feel as the brain redirects its attention to the icy chill it feels.
People cut their skin to release anxiety because their body focuses on the pain and not the panic and terror they feel. The trick is to use something less harmful to get your mind off your anxious state.
2. Go Outside
Since the body is in fight-or-flight mode, it wants to go. Do you ever have panic attacks that make you want to run and get out of the situation you’re in? Many people can stop their angst by only going outside and taking a deep breath.
It’s incredible how much better you will feel when you breathe in Mother Nature’s goodness and expel all those negative energies holding you back. Who needs medicine for anxiety when you have nature on your side?
3. Drink Hot Coffee or Tea
Drinking something hot does similar things to the brain as holding ice. Grab a big cup of Joe and breathe in the aroma as you take small sips. The warm sensation pulsating through your body will get your mind off your anxiety and onto the fiery liquid, now rushing through your digestive tract.
4. Use Aromatherapy Oils
The use of essential oils in aromatherapy is quite rewarding for the mind. Did you know that by rubbing some lavender oil under your nose and breathing in that heavenly scent, you can get rid of anxiety?
These oils have a way of stimulating the brain to bring about calm. It would help if you experimented with a few of the most popular ones used for angst like lemon balm, valerian root, rosemary, peppermint, sage, patchouli, and ylang-ylang.
Do you ever feel like you just need to get out what’s eating you up on the inside? Why not journal your way to a calmer you? Who needs medicine for anxiety when you can journal out all that’s bothering you?
Write down all the things that are holding you back and keeping you down. It’s amazing how much calmer you can be when you release the negative feelings that are most likely behind your angst.
6. Use Breathing Techniques
One of the most powerful things a person suffering from anxiety can learn is how to do rhythmic breathing. Start by inhaling, holding your breath, and releasing it all to the count of seven. Doing a few repetitions of this will instantly calm you.
The key is that when many people are anxious, they don’t breathe right. When your body is deprived of oxygen, it can cause all sorts of problems. Thankfully, unlike medicine for anxiety, rhythmic breathing doesn’t come with any side effects and can be done anytime and anywhere.
7. Ground Yourself
Anxiety is a horrible feeling, and you need some robust mechanisms to ground yourself. Remember, your anxious state will cause you to think, perceive, and believe things that aren’t true. Take, for instance, being at a traffic light and surrounded by cars.
Your brain may tell you that if you drive forward, you will have a panic attack at the intersection and cause a wreck. The truth is that you are probably a particularly good driver, and you won’t wreck. The problem is that your mind is playing tricks on you.
No medicine for anxiety will give you the power to conquer things as it only masks the issue. It would help if you learned grounding techniques. To ground yourself, look at your surroundings.
Look around and say out loud five things that you see. Now, take your hands and recognize four things you can feel. What about three things you can hear, and finally, two things you can smell. When you get your mind busy on the grounding exercise, it will redirect it from the anxiety.
8. Take a Nap
Napping is a great coping skill for those who have anxiety. Your sleep is restorative, and it will help you to calm down. When you’re sleeping, your mind and body are resetting and repairing damage caused by life’s stresses.
Taking a nap is one of the best ways to treat anxiety. Chances are you will wake to feel much better. Plus, a little rest never hurt anyone.
9. Sit in the Sunshine
Once again, Mother Nature is the best way to combat anxiety. Do you know that many people who have Generalized Anxiety Disorder are often deficient in Vitamin D? This is, even more, a good reason to get outside and sit in the sun.
When you bask in the golden rays, you’re filling your body with the much-needed Vitamin D3. All you need is about 20 minutes in the sun to help with the anxiety and fill your vitamin deficiency.
10. Get Moving
Exercise is the key to managing anxiety. You naturally want to move about when you’re anxious, so use that extra energy for activity. As you’re running, your body is increasing the endorphins in your body to make you feel good?
Your brain’s chemicals are responsible for your anxiety levels. While many medicines for anxiety alter these neurotransmitters, you can do it naturally. Just 20 minutes of exercise three times a week can have a dramatic impact on your mental health.
11. Take a Hot Bath
When you’re in a heightened state of anxiety, your body becomes tense and feels the strain. There’s nothing more calming than a nice, hot bath. Light some candles around the tub and practice your rhythmic breathing while soaking.
Water therapy is something that everyone should invest in, as it’s so beneficial. Sit and relax for as long as you need. There’s nothing better than soaking away the cares of life.
12. Acknowledge the Anxiety
There are many great tips here, but one of the most beneficial things you can do to conquer your anxiety is to acknowledge it. Once you recognize what troubles you, then you can release it. For instance, imagine you’re sitting at a busy traffic intersection, afraid to move forward.
You should say out loud, “I know this is my anxiety, but nothing will happen to me if I go through this intersection.” When you switch roles and recognize that your fears are unfounded, then you take power over the things that often render you powerless.
13. Do Some Research
It’s best to be armed with knowledge. Since anxiety comes in many shapes and forms, you should know what to expect to understand how to handle it. For instance, stress can affect your gastrointestinal tracts as well as your muscles. When you know what’s causing your discomfort, then you can find ways to combat it.
14. Meditate Used Guided Imagery
Turn on meditation and kick back and relax. Allow someone to take you on a journey where you release your tensions. Meditation is a great way to learn breathing techniques, as well as how to deal with stressors. It’s one of the best medicines for anxiety that doesn’t cost a penny.
15. Hug Someone
Did you know that hugging someone for at least 20 seconds can be as powerful as taking an antidepressant? When you embrace someone, you are increasing the levels of oxytocin in your brain. It can help to improve your immune system as well as make your brain chemicals come into balance. Plus, hugging makes you feel amazing, and like you’re not alone in this world.
It’s easy to let panic and angst take control of your life. Don’t let stressful situations drive you mad. Some of the best medicines for anxiety comes in the way of tips and tricks to deal with it. Prescriptions only mask the problem, but you need to find effective coping mechanisms to stop it.