Drug-free ways to beat anxiety
By Teresa Carr
From healthline.com – When in doubt, shout it out! 8 Drug-Free Ways to Beat Anxiety – Between work, bills, family, and trying to stay healthy, the daily pressures of life can turn you into an anxious mess. You’re not alone. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults.
Like so many others looking for relief, you may have turned to medication for help. Although anti-anxiety drugs can relieve your anxiety, the serenity can come at a price in the form of side effects. The good news is that taking pills isn’t the only way to control your fears and nerves. Here are eight simple and effective ways to beat anxiety without medication.
1. Shout it out – Talking to a trusted friend is one way to deal with anxiety. But there’s something even better than talking: screaming. We are talking about a healthy release of emotions in a controlled environment. The more you fight anxiety, the more overwhelming it can become. Instead, accept anxiety as part of your life, then let it go. Scream loudly, punch a pillow, stamp your foot, or punch your chest. Do whatever helps you get him out!
2. Get active – Physical activity increases endorphin and serotonin levels to help you feel better emotionally. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity three to five days a week. Any kind of movement is good, so put on your favorite jam and move around the house or grab a mat and have a blast in your favorite yoga poses.
3. Break up with caffeine – Caffeine gives the nervous system a jolt, which can boost energy levels. But under pressure, this nervous energy can induce an anxiety attack.
4. Give yourself a bedtime – Humans need sleep to function properly, so do yourself a favor (and everyone around you) and get eight to nine hours of sleep each night. Develop a bedtime routine to read a book or do something relaxing before bed.
5. Feel good saying no – You will have little strength to take care of your personal affairs if you spend most of your energy taking care of others. That’s not to say you should never help anyone, but know your limits and don’t be afraid to say “no” when you need to.
6. Don’t skip meals – Skipping meals can make anxiety worse. Your blood sugar drops when you don’t eat, causing the release of a stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol can help you perform better under pressure, but it can also make you feel worse if you’re already prone to anxiety.
7. Give yourself an exit strategy – Sometimes anxiety is due to feeling out of control in certain situations. You can take steps to identify your triggers and deal with the circumstances that cause anxiety. For example, instead of carpooling with your friends to get to a party, drive yourself. This way you can leave if your anxiety starts to rise. The more in control you feel, the less anxiety you will have.
8. Live in the moment – You can’t control the future, and you can’t borrow a time machine and change the past, so here’s a thought: Take each day as it comes. That’s not to say you can’t be proactive and avoid problems, but don’t focus too much on what has been and what will be to create anxiety for you. Mindfulness and meditation are rooted in living in the moment and have been proven to relieve anxiety. Try to practice a few minutes a day and increase the duration over time.
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Just a thought: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller, Let’s Have Faith, 1940