Anxiety Treatment Without Medication
Over the last two or three decades, we have witnessed an increase in the demand for anxiety treatment without medication.
That means more people are looking for alternatives to supplement or even replace traditional treatments like psychiatric medication and psychological therapy.
Although natural treatments for anxiety have been around for centuries, experts have only recently discovered the underlying biochemical mechanisms that explain why certain physical practices and natural supplements prove so useful in alleviating the unpleasant symptoms associated with this condition.
But not all supplements or natural treatments for anxiety that you buy from pharmacies or online marketplaces are effective or safe.
That is why its essential to do some research and consult with a medical professional before you try any alternative practices or over-the-counter supplements for anxiety.
When Is Anxiety Medication Needed
Not all cases of anxiety need to be treated with medication, especially when symptoms are mild, transient, or dont cause functional impairment. In fact, many people can reduce their symptoms with cognitive behavioral therapy alone.
According to 2014 research, the most common anxiety disorders include the following:
- specific phobia
- panic disorder with or without agoraphobia
- social anxiety disorder
- generalized anxiety disorder
The study also reported that most people who seek professional help for anxiety tend to have GAD, panic disorder, or social anxiety disorder. People with specific phobias are least likely to seek professional help.
Social Anxiety Disorder Or Social Phobia
Those who suffer from social anxiety disorder fear being judged by others or embarrassed in public. Its more than just shyness or being nervous talking in front of a huge audience. People with social phobia are afraid that people think badly about them or that they wont measure up in comparison to other people.
In social anxiety disorder, fear and anxiety lead to avoidance that can disrupt ones life. Typical signs of a social phobia could be
- Avoiding certain situations, events, and activities
- Typical symptoms are blushing, trembling, sweating, fast heartbeat, or muscle tension.
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Add Greenery To Your Home Or Office
You may also find it helpful to add indoor plants to your home or office environment. Natural settings are associated with improved mental well-being, so it makes sense that “bringing the outdoors in” might help improve your mood.
Studies have shown that adding indoor plants to your home or office can help in a variety of ways, including:
- Improving the workplace: Research has shown that office spaces enhanced with indoor plants improve worker concentration and workplace satisfaction.
- Reducing stress levels: Another study found that actively interacting with indoor plans by caring for them can reduce both physiological and psychological stress.
- : Research has found that students who spent most of their time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic had better mental health if they were exposed to more green plants. While about a third of the participants reported symptoms of moderate depression, those exposed to more greenery had lower levels of depression and anxiety.
Choosing certain plants may provide additional benefits. For example, research suggests that the scent of a lavender plant can help people feel calmer and more relaxed. No matter what type of plants you choose, greenery can be a great way to beautify your surroundings and potentially improve your mood.
How To Get Over Anxiety Exploring The Avoidance And Escape Profile
Avoidance and escape are behaviors where people suffering from anxiety either do not enter a situation or leave situations after they have entered . Avoidance and escape are common and natural mechanisms for coping with anxiety.
Avoidance coping typically involves doing something, like extensively washing ones hands to try to get rid of all bacteria to avoid disease. It can also involve not doing something like not going to certain social events like parties to avoid awkward conversations and being perceived as stupid.
These behaviors become problematic when used too frequently.
The avoidance instantly decreases anxiety because they have not put themselves in a distressing situation. Avoidance and escape make anxiety better in the short term but will make it worse in the long term.
The reason is we become more and more unwilling to confront the anxiety in the future. As one doesnt disprove their feared catastrophic outcome the anxiety may increase and also be transferred to similar situations and make the problem even worse.
Becoming aware of ones avoidance and escape profile is an important step to overcome anxiety. .
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How To Ease Anxiety: 5 Ways To Feel Calmer Right Now
When we’re anxious, our breath becomes rapid and shallow. Deep belly breathing helps decrease anxiety by stimulating the bodyâs relaxation response, lowering our heart rate and blood pressure. Itâs a powerful technique that works because we canât breathe deeply and be anxious at the same time. There are many variations to try, including this simple exercise:
Inhale deeply for a count of 4. Hold your breath for a count of 4. Exhale for a count of 4. Repeat several times.
Exercise is one of the best anxiety remedies, immediately and long term. Going for a walk creates a diversion from worries and releases muscle tension. Grab your headphones or earbuds on the way out:studies show that listening to music brings its own calming effects.
Long term, regular exercise triggers the release of feel-good neurochemicals in the brain, building up resilience against stormy emotions. It boosts confidence and mood, and we donât need to run a marathon to feel the benefits. Washing the car, hiking, gardening, a pick-up game â anything that gets us moving counts. Research shows that 30 minutes, 3 to 5 days a week can help to significantly improve anxiety symptoms, but even 10 minutes can make a difference.
Untreated Anxiety And Fear Can Lead To
- sense of doom and difficulties concentrating
- headaches from constant worry and stress
- breathing problems
- feeling wiped out and fatigue
- increase in blood pressure
- poor quality of life
Fortunately, there is a solution: Fear and anxiety are treatable with medication or professional coaching or therapy. We will focus on anxiety disorder treatment without medication, but with proven techniques adapted from cognitive-behavioral therapy which has turned out to be one of the best methods.
Recommended Reading: When Should I Get Anxiety Medication
Thought Journals / Thought Records Are Incredibly Valuable Anxiety Exercise For Kids And Adults
Thought diaries or thought records are a perfect approach to addressing the negative cognitions often associated with anxiety disorders. In the Tools , clients are asked to write down their thoughts and anxiety periods, the situation in which they had the thought, the symptoms, and emotions associated with the thought or anxiety/worry episode.
They also track and become aware if, and how they attempted to cope, and the actual outcome of the event. Journaling and keeping track is incredibly valuable for helping clients become aware of the specific situations that cause them anxiety or worry. They find out which techniques work to help them calm their worries.
Normal anxiety is intermittent and is expected based on certain events or situations. Problematic anxiety, on the other hand, tends to be chronic and irrational. It often interferes with many life functions. Avoidance behavior, constant worry, and concentration problems may all have their origin in problematic anxiety.
Thats why we designed a tool to let anxious people compare normal anxiety with their problematic anxiety. How do they feel? How do they think? How do they react?
Exercise 15 will help to distinguish normal anxiety from problematic anxiety and help them learn that their anxiety is often irrational.
How To Get Rid Of Anxiety Without Medication
To get rid of anxiety can seem like an impossible dream when were in the midst of struggling with it. While medication is a legitimate treatment option, it doesnt work for everyone, and some people would rather not have to take it. To get through anxiety and come out on the other side, think in terms of things you can do, ways you can be, and how you can replace it with something else to get rid of anxiety without taking medication.
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Final Thoughts On How To Treat Anxiety Without Medication
Anxiety treatment without medication is valid in certain situations however, if youre thinking about going off of your prescribed medication, consult your doctor. If youve never been prescribed anxiety medication, starting with the natural approaches in this article can minimize your anxiety and increase self-awareness. Consistently practicing these tips will help build a strong foundation and increase your feeling of emotional regulation and control.
Psychotherapy Can Help You
As affiliates for BetterHealth we may receive compensation from BetterHelp if you purchase products or services through the links provided. This blog provides educational information it is not a substitute for therapy.
If you are in need of professional help I recommend BetterHelp. They will match you with a therapist that you can meet with you in a video session, email or on the phone for an affordable monthly price.
Hi, Im Tamara the creator of Empowered Single Moms, a single mom, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the author of Thriving a Single Moms Guide to a Happy, Positive Life and Thriving a Single Mom Journal. I have a solo private psychotherapy practice where I treat anxiety, depression, and relationship issues.
As a member of the Empowered Single Moms community, I believe you can stop carrying the weight of the world alone and build a life you love. Join my mailing list and get 5 Keys to Single Mom Success.
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Changing The Voice In Your Head
Social anxiety is often caused by the way you talk to yourself internally, particularly in regard to what others think of you and how you perceive certain situations. After telling yourself that nobody likes you after several years, it becomes a habit, and a very unhealthy one at that. However, it can be reversed with positive thinking.
Consider the following if you’re guilty of doubting yourself, criticising yourself, or believing that others think badly of you:
- Think or list compliments that others have given you. Pay attention to the happy, pleasant feelings that fill your body when you think of them.
- Think of situations in which you’ve felt happy, anxiety-free and confident. Let the good feelings fill your body, and pay attention to how it feels.
- Consider Stoic philosophy. The Stoic philosophers had a vital role in the development of modern CBT .
You can also try something called a “butterfly hug,” which is often used in trauma therapy. I use the technique regularly, and find it so useful for difficult moments.
Strategies For Treating Depression Without Medication
Verywell / CSong
In the Ask a Therapist series, Ill be answering your questions about all things mental health and psychology. Whether you are struggling with a mental health condition, coping with anxiety about a life situation, or simply looking for a therapist’s insight, submit a question. Look out for my answers to your questions every Friday in the Healthy Mind newsletter.
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Treating Anxiety Without Medication
If you suffer from anxiety, the constant, nagging feelings of worry can be troubling and hard to control. These feelings are usually intense and out of proportion to the actual troubles and dangers in your everyday life. They can make it hard to function at home, at work, or in social situations.
Anxiety can be treated with medication, but several mind-body approaches may also be effective.
Hypnosis is sometimes used along with cognitive behavioral therapy to treat anxiety. It can help people focus their attention, rethink problems, relax, and respond to helpful suggestions. Hypnosis relies mainly on your ability to concentrate and on the trust you have in the therapist. If you are interested in hypnosis, discuss it first with your psychiatrist or psychologist. She or he can help you find a qualified practitioner.
Biofeedback measures specific body functions, such as heartbeat or breathing, and feeds this information back to you in the form of sounds or lights. This can help you become aware of your body’s responses and learn to control them using relaxation and cognitive techniques. You can practice different relaxation techniques while attached to biofeedback equipment and get immediate sensory input about which techniques produce the desired results, such as slowing the heart rate or relaxing tense muscles. The hope is that this extra feedback helps people find and refine techniques that can calm the body and reduce anxiety.
In Sum Natural Ways To Soothe Anxiety That Work For You
In brief, there are several natural ways to calm anxiety without medication. Try implementing at least two of these tips into your daily routine.
You can even combine them!
As long as you do your part by following through with each step, Im confident that youll start noticing positive changes within no time.
Remember: The key here isnt necessarily how fast you achieve results rather, its whether or not you stick to your plan over time. So, commit to doing whatever works for you.
They may not seem like much, but implementing them consistently over time can start making a difference.
I hope this article helped you calm your nerves without medication. Feel free to share any other ways that worked for you below.
Thanks for reading
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Aromatherapy And Essential Oils
Heres a fun one. If you find yourself struggling to relax at home and take your mind off things, consider looking into aromatherapy or an essential oils diffuser. We know this may seem like a hoax, but the ever-increasing popularity of this concept in addition to some recent scientific research seems to suggest that there is something to it.
According to one 2012 study, which tested the effects of lavender aromatherapy on middle aged women with insomnia, suggested that the soothing scent of lavender oil reduced short-term heart rate and eased long-term sleep issues.
Relinquish Your Control Of Everything
One of the causes of anxiety is an overwhelming fear that something bad is going to happen. The thoughts start racing through your head as you consider all the possible bad outcomes. Then, you begin rehearsing your potential response to each one. Before you know it, you are paralyzed with fear, and your brain is on overdrive.
Everyone wants things to work out for the best, whether it is something as simple as getting to work without any traffic tie-ups or the desire for a positive outcome from a serious medical test. Unfortunately, there are many things that are beyond your control. Worrying about something for which you cannot possibly affect the outcome can cross the line into anxiety.Control is a big issue for people in addiction recovery. In some respects, they are learning to take control of their lives and get on a better path. In other ways, they need to give up control to a higher power to unburden themselves. Like many other things in life, control requires striking the right balance.
In the case of anxiety, relinquishing control will have a positive outcome. Realize that you cannot control the outcome of every situation, and thatâs okay. It is not your responsibility to decide when or how bad things happen. Your job is to take what happens in your life and look at it in the most positive light, feel your emotions, learn your lessons and keep breathing.
Ok Im Feeling Depressed So Now What
Now that you know the symptoms of depression, some positive coping skills can be useful. All of the following techniques are supported by scientific research and medication prescribers like psychiatrists and these skills are frequently recommended as important parts of treatment even for patients who continue to take antidepressant medications.
WARNING: Do not suddenly go off your prescribed antidepressant medications without first talking to your medical provider. Discuss any questions or concerns about the side effects of your medications with your provider.
Practice These Coping Skills Every Day
I recommend doing many if not all of the following coping skills and techniques once a day when experiencing depression. Its important to know you probably wont be motivated to do any of them at first because depression frequently saps motivation. In other words, know that its normal to feel unmotivated until youre halfway done.
The patients I work with who frequently practice these coping skills get better.The seven techniques can be memorized with the acronym MY PEERS.
1. Meaning: Find small ways to be of service to others.
Find personal meaning by serving something larger than yourself. Remember service doesnt have to be big to count. Consider this, Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued it must ensue as the unintended side effect of ones personal dedication to a course greater than oneself. Viktor E. Frankl, Mans Search for Meaning
2. Your goals: Find workable goals that give you a sense of accomplishment.
Most people feel guilty when talking about goals because they set unreasonable or unworkable goals. A goal is workable if its:
If something goes wrong with your goal, adopt a what can I learn from this? attitude . Also, be careful when comparing your progress with others. We usually compare our biggest weakness with another persons biggest strength. This is unfair .
3. Pleasant Events: Schedule pleasant activities or events.
4. Engagement: Stay in the present.
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