Ways To Overcome Anxiety Without Medication

While medication can be helpful for many people with anxiety disorders, it is not always the best option for everyone. Some people may find that medication causes undesirable side effects, while others simply do not care for the idea of taking a drug or prefer to give alternative methods of anxiety control a chance first. There are a number of lifestyle and therapeutic interventions that have been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety, and most of them are very safe alternatives to medication that may improve quality of life without negative side effects.

The most well-established non-medication treatment for anxiety is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Conducted by a trained psychologist or other therapists, CBT focuses on identifying and challenging the negative patterns of thinking that underly most anxiety disorders. CBT has been proven very effective in treating anxiety and often begins showing results after just a few sessions.

Another promising method of treatment is biofeedback. Biofeedback therapy makes use of sensors that measure physical responses like pulse, breathing, and muscle tension. This teaches awareness of the body's physical response to anxiety, making it easier to recognize signs of anxiety and learn to control them with relaxation techniques.

Relaxation techniques on their own can also be helpful. These include deep breathing exercises, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation. It can also help to make time for a massage or just spend some time doing activities that you enjoy.

A great alternative to medication that can be done without hiring a therapist is exercise. Research has shown that exercise relieves anxiety in both the short and long term, and it also provides a host of other physical benefits that may improve quality of life.

Finally, just focusing on taking care of your physical and mental health in little ways can have huge benefits. Eating a healthy diet (which includes limiting caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and nicotine), reaching out to friends and family, and getting a full night's sleep are all essential components to an anxiety-free life.

Photo: Pixabay

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