A little anxiety can be good in particular situations. It alerts you to danger, helps you manage risks, and keeps you prepared for unexpected situations. However, if it becomes a daily struggle, it’s advisable to take measures before the condition becomes unmanageable. Anxiety treatment without medication is one of the best ways to take back control of your life.
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Five Drug-Free Ways to Battle Anxiety
The following complementary and alternative treatments will help you manage anxiety disorders such as panic attacks and phobias:
Regular exercise is beneficial to both physical and mental health. In some instances, it works just as well or better than prescriptions. One advantage of anxiety treatment without medication is that you don’t have to deal with potentially adverse side effects.
Your body enjoys the mental benefits for hours after a physical workout. That’s mainly due to the release of feel-good hormones known as endorphins. These activities also divert your attention from the subject of anxiety, which cures it in the long term.
By temporarily increasing your heart rate, regular exercise triggers your brain to produce anti-anxiety neurochemicals. They include serotonin, endocannabinoids, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Workouts also activate your brain’s frontal regions. This reaction influences the amygdala, the system that responds to real or imagined threats.
Deep breathing exercises help in controlling your heart rate and preventing panic attacks. This exercise involves taking measured breaths whenever your anxiety begins until your heart rate and breathing become normal.
2. Diet and Nutrition Changes
Your diet is an essential aspect of anxiety treatment without medication. Some foods and habits may worsen the condition by triggering mood changes. Examples include preservatives, food colorings, and artificial flavorings. It’s advisable to avoid alcohol consumption because it causes dehydration, which exacerbates the symptoms.
There are various diet and nutrition changes you can make to manage your condition. Natural anxiety-reducing foods, beverages, and additives include salmon, turmeric, dark chocolate, yogurt, green tea, almonds, oats, chia seeds, and turkey.
Most of them are sources of beneficial nutrients that regulate crucial neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Examples are Omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. Other than alcohol, caffeine can also have adverse effects on your mental health by increasing jitters. Eliminating it from your diet is a sure way of improving your symptoms.
Other healthy options include lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. Ensure you are monitoring your eating habits. Once you identify foods that aggravate your condition, make appropriate dietary changes.
3. Adopt Stress Relief Techniques
According to studies, a sense of humor is essential to achieving anxiety treatment without medication. Smile increases your dopamine levels, which ultimately reduces your anxiety. Some therapists suggest even a sad smile helps in reducing stress hormones such as cortisol.
Another technique involves creating some time for relaxation, no matter how busy you are. A half-hour is enough to perform fulfilling activities such as walking, yoga, socializing, and meditation.
Find a way of grounding yourself every time you feel an anxiety attack building up. For example, you can find something to hold that will occupy your mind. Since it’s harder for your brain to focus on more than one item, it will save you from mental distractions that fuel anxiety.
Sometimes, the best solution is to shout it out. Start facing your fears by deliberately engaging in the activities that trigger anxiety. If you feel shy, start going out more. Most times, you’ll realize your fear is largely unfounded.
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Nature is a good source of aromatic substances that offer various benefits, including anxiety treatment without medication. Essential oils come from the roots, leaves, and flowers of particular plants. Aromatherapy refers to its incorporation into stress relief techniques, among other health applications.
Although research is still ongoing, some theories exist about how this form of anxiety treatment without medication works. One states that the oils stimulate your smell receptors, which send positive messages to your nervous system.
Another theory suggests that aromatherapy triggers subtle changes in your body’s energy and chemical compositions. These characteristics make it a suitable remedy for anxiety and stress. The two main ways of using them are through inhalation and topical applications. Avoid ingesting them because there isn’t enough research to prove they’re safe to swallow.
Some of the best essential oils for anxiety relief include lavender, valerian, jasmine, jatamansi, holy basil, bergamot, and sweet basil. Others are rose, chamomile, frankincense, vetiver, lemon balm, fennel, marjoram, geranium, patchouli, ylang-ylang, and clary sage. It’s advisable to dilute them with a carrier oil to reduce the likelihood of irritating your skin.
5. CBD Oil
In the recent past, the benefits of medical marijuana have become more apparent. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid that occurs naturally in cannabis plants. Unlike THC, it doesn’t cause the intoxication that some associate with the plant.
CBD is suitable for anxiety treatment without medication because it interacts well with particular receptors in your brain. For some, CBD oil is a better option than prescription serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), CBD can successfully manage generalized anxiety disorder. It may also help with other types of anxiety, such as PTSD and social anxiety disorder (SAD).
CDB is generally safe, although some users might experience side effects such as fatigue and fluctuations in appetite. If you’re interested in this option, talk to your doctor for the proper starting dosage.
Other types of complementary and alternative treatments include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and meditation. It’s also advisable to give yourself a bedtime break because insomnia is a symptom of anxiety. Avoid sleeping only when tired, using electronics in bed, and taking caffeine or large meals before bedtime.
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Start Your Anxiety Treatment without Medication Today
At the Mango Clinic, we dedicate our efforts to solving mental health problems through various techniques, including anxiety treatment without medication. Our licensed, highly skilled, and experienced practitioners are renowned for creating customized treatment plans for our patients.