Have you ever experienced your heart racing, blood pumping, body shaky, sweaty or cold, dry mouth, stomach churning, mind hazy, overwhelmed or foggy? These are some of the symptoms of anxiety. Nobody likes them, they are very uncomfortable and at worst could lead to a Panic Attack.
Below are Five Ways to Deal with Anxiety Without Medication
Meditation- Meditating is deceptively simple and best done when you are feeling calm, and not in a heightened state of panic. Finding a quiet place to simply be alone with your thoughts, following a guided mediation found online or from an app like Headspace, or taking a nature walk are all ways you can practice meditation. Mindful meditation specifically, focuses on breath and body sensations and to non-judgmentally evaluate distracting thoughts or emotions, and loving-kindness meditation focuses on compassionate thoughts towards yourself. As you embark on learning to meditate, be patient with yourself as it may feel difficult at first.
Deep breathing- According to The American Institute of Stress, “Abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes each day will reduce anxiety and reduce stress. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body—it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind.” Schedule a time to practice deep breathing everyday, even if it’s while you’re doing dishes or folding laundry.
Exercise- There are hundreds, if not thousands, of studies out there that show that exercise reduces stress. Not only will you reap the physical benefits of a workout, but your mind will feel it’s effects too. Your body releases feel-good hormones called endorphins when you exercise that boost your mood, and while its effects aren’t long-lasting, the mood boost you get will likely alleviate the stressed feeling you had before your walk, run, or yoga class. Find an exercise activity you really enjoy doing so you are likely to stick with it.
Grounding techniques- Often times our anxiety is related to either thinking about something in the future, or that feeling of wanting to flee from a situation. When you use grounding techniques it keeps you in the present moment and helps reorient you to the here-and-now. To try it, if you are in a room, count all the tiles on the floor, or start naming the colors of objects in the room. If you are driving, begin to find all the red cars that are on the road with you, or if you are sitting somewhere begin to list all the things you can physically feel, like the itchy couch cushion against your thigh, or the fabric of your shirt on your arm. Another option is to ask yourself “What day is today? How old am I? What is the year?” etc. and answer them. All of the above keep you grounded in the present moment and aware of your surroundings.
Nutrition- Eating nutritious food that fuels your body with the proper energy is crucial to fighting anxiety. Often when we are stressed we crave sugary foods or foods we know are bad for us, but that temporary high comes crashing down into deeper depression and anxiety. Do your research to know which foods provide you with mood boosting vitamins and amino acid. Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which aides in uplifting your mood, Greek yogurt and high protein foods improve alertness, mental energy, and reaction time. Combine those with a complex carb like a sweet potato or brown rice for the ultimate boost.
If you’ve tried any of these and are still suffering with symptoms, The A Treatment Center, located in Pasadena CA and New Port Beach CA (Corona Del Mar) can help you overcome your anxiety!
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The A Treatment Center
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We treat all types of anxiety and phobias. Go to our home page for links to specific types of anxiety: