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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 December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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