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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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