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  • Writer's pictureBright Light Counseling Center

6 Ways to Manage Anxiety without Medication

Managing anxiety is difficult because it often involves changing long-standing habits and coping mechanisms that feel familiar but are not always healthy. Additionally, anxiety can be persistent and overwhelming, making it challenging to address all its triggers and symptoms simultaneously. Understanding these symptoms and learning how to manage anxiety without medication can help you feel better and improve your quality of life.


What Is Anxiety?


When we perceive stress, our body automatically alerts our nervous system, triggering anxiety. It is an uneasy feeling, sometimes fear and panic, about the future or what is happening presently.

In some situations, anxiety is a benefit as it heightens awareness and focus, but if you are constantly anxious, it means your nervous system is working overtime. For some people, their experience with anxiety is minimal and for others, it’s disruptive to their lives. This can affect their ability to function in daily life.


Common Symptoms of Anxiety


a woman sitting on the floor holding her chest

Mental Symptoms

  • Constant worrying

  • Feeling restless or on edge

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Irritability


Physical Symptoms

  • Pounding heart

  • Upset stomach

  • Sweating

  • Trembling or shaking


Managing Anxiety without Medication


Here are six effective ways to manage anxiety without relying on medication:


  1. Deep breathing helps to calm your nervous system and can reduce anxiety. Try this simple exercise:

  • Sit or lie down

  • Lay one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.

  • Inhale deep and slow through your nostrils, and feel your stomach expand.

  • Exhale slowly through your mouth, noticing the fall of your stomach.

  • Repeat these steps for a couple minutes or whenever anxiety arises.


2. Move Your Body


Many people rely on exercise to help manage their anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. If you can squeeze in 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week, you will notice an improvement. Regular exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often also disrupted by anxiety.


3. Limit Caffeine and Sugar Intake


Caffeine and sugar can increase anxiety levels. They can cause spikes in your energy followed by crashes, which can leave you feeling jittery and anxious. Reducing your intake of caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, and soda may help. Also, be mindful of your sugar consumption and try to eat balanced meals to keep your blood sugar levels stable.


4. Get Enough Sleep


Lack of sleep will make anxiety worse. Get into a regular routine by consistently waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day. Create a relaxing end-of-day routine to look forward to, such as reading a book or taking a bath with candles. Make sure your room is a comfortable temperature, dark, and quiet. Try to avoid screens for at least an hour before bed, as the blue light can interfere with your sleep.


5. Engage in Activities You Enjoy


Doing things you love can help distract you from anxious thoughts and improve your mood. Make time for hobbies and activities that bring you joy, whether it’s reading, going thrifting, gardening, or cooking. Engaging in creative activities can be particularly effective in reducing anxiety as they allow you to express yourself and focus your mind on something positive.


6. Talk to Someone You Trust


Sometimes, talking about your feelings can help you manage anxiety. Reach out to a friend, family member, or therapist who can provide support. Sharing your worries with someone you trust can make them feel less overwhelmed. It can also help to get a different perspective on the issues causing your anxiety.


Next Steps


Managing anxiety without medication is possible with the right strategies. It’s important to find what works best for you and to be patient with yourself as you try different methods. If your anxiety persists or worsens, consider seeking professional help from our clinicians. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!


 

Disclaimer: Our content is on and related to the topic of mental health. The content is general information that may or may not apply to you. The content is not a substitute for professional services. This website does not contain professional advice, nor is any professional-client relationship established with you through your use of this website.

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