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How To Deal With Anxiety Without Medication

How To Deal With Anxiety Without Medication

How do you get through the day? Are you popping pills, drinking too much, or are you ready to punch the guy who didn’t say thank you after you held the elevator door open for him?

Life is hard. There are plenty of reasons that make you feel like you want to scream.

You turn on the television to watch Game of Thrones, but instead you find out that there was another blizzard, draught, tornado or fire. Not a great way to end the day.

The never-ending demands and deadlines of the day can weigh you down and drive you crazy. From the moment you put your feet on the floor each morning until the time you put them under the covers at night, your life feels like it’s spinning out of control.

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Everyone feels stressed out, overworked and exhausted but the real question is…did your stress turn into anxiety? Would you take an Ativan before heading out to dinner to tell your fiancé that you are breaking off the engagement? Or would you have the strength to face her drug-free?

Modern medicine provides you with a quick fix for anxious times (a 12-hour flight is certainly one of them). Once in awhile it’s ok, but sooner or later you find yourself wanting more, and before you know it you are sitting in the back row of an NA meeting reciting the Serenity Prayer.

Anxiety is a sneaky little creep.

You could be sitting quietly reading a book when suddenly your heart starts pounding.

There are different types of anxiety.

Sometimes anxiety comes from familiar nervous moments; before taking a test, going on a job interview or driving through unknown neighborhoods without a GPS.

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There is also the butterflies-in-the-stomach kind of nervousness you feel that could have a good outcome like a successful presentation, a positive pregnancy test or an exciting African safari.

However, these potentially joyful events can also bring on incapacitating anxious thoughts.

Anxiety is a mind trip that attacks the body.

You have to heal both; your body and your mind.

The first thing to do is to visit a doctor. Rule out any physical conditions that might be causing your rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, and hyperventilating dizziness. While you do, follow the next steps and learn how to deal with anxiety without medication.

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1. Find your breath.

Breathing exercises such as pranayama and qi gong are easy to learn and can instantly calm your anxious thoughts.

2. Learn 3 restorative yoga poses.

Buy a yoga book or go to a yoga class. Restorative yoga slows down a racing heartbeat and an overactive mind.

3. Don’t get too hungry, tired, hot or cold.

These physical discomforts cause a reaction in the brain that causes anxiety.

4. Be prepared, be on time, stop rushing.

Give yourself time to take a more relaxing route home. Rushing triggers anxiety.

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5. Start a conversation with your anxiety.

Hello anxiety! I know you’ve come to haunt me, but I’m in charge today. Identifying anxiety puts you in control of it. You become the captain of the ship, instead of a passenger.

6. Find a good therapist or support group.

Make an appointment with an anxiety specialist, someone you can be honest with as you spill your guts.

7. Meditate five minutes every day.

Sit comfortably. Lock the dogs and cats in the other room. Shut your phone. Count your breaths.

It can’t be that bad if Oprah, the Dalai Lama, LeBron James and Paul McCartney do it.

Note: There are times when medication is necessary. Certain conditions are severe and require pharmacological intervention. Seek appropriate medical attention.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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