The most common mental illness in the USA is anxiety with an estimated 40 million adults struggling with the problem.
Even though the figure above represents adults, anxiety can and does impact people from earlier ages. It also has no regards for sex, income, class, color, or ethnicity.
Regrettably, most people suffer in silence because:
- They are ashamed to speak of it.
- Anxiety disorders can make you question your ability to control what’s going on with you.
- Because it’s an internal struggle people wonder if it’s even real enough to mention to someone else?
- The symptoms that accompany an attack are not easily explained.
If you are suffering with any form of anxiety on a regular basis, these are
9 Hacks to Help You Manage Anxiety Without Medication
Sometimes medication is essential to exist and function with an anxiety disorder. Include these 9 hacks to manage your anxiety even if you are taking medication for better results and strong possibility of ending he problem.
1. Know Your Triggers
Knowing common triggers for your anxiety puts you in a position to sidestep them or plan for them.
Some common anxiety triggers to look out for:
- Procrastinating/putting things off
- “Recreational drugs”
- Conflict with other people
- Public events
Those are just a few of many that come to mind. The thing to do is start to start thinking about what goes on in your life that triggers your own anxiety attacks.
To be honest, most people are just so happy when it finally leaves, that they never stop to think about what may have caused the attack.
To manage your anxiety and get it to the point that it leaves for good — think about starting a journal. Keep a record of every bout you have with anxiousness and you will soon discover your own triggers.
2. Make Exercise Part of Your Life
Exercising most days of the week is one of the key methods to control anxiety and stress.
How Does Exercise Help Anxiety?
- Exercise releases 2 natural “feel good” chemicals that it’s been holding back. The Endorphins and Serotonin both elevate your mood and decrease stress.
- Make going to the gym, running, walking, bicycling, or any other vigorous exercise a daily routine — and forget your worries.
- When you implement exercise into your lifestyle (vs I exercise sometimes?) you gain a confidence in your ability to control your mind and body. Confidence gives you the courage to face, manage, and beat your anxiety.
If you’ve made managing your anxiety your goal, now is the time to start a regular exercise regime.
And don’t think you need to spend your life in a gym, either. All it takes is a short walking program.
Adding more exercise to your life is often a great anxiety alternative to prescription medications.
Short walks or even some sort of exercise inside your house will do wonders. The key is to sit less and get up and move more.
Both yoga exercises and Tai Qi are great ways to reduce anxiety. But the most important thing is to find some physical activity that you can stick to for the long haul.
3. Learn Better Ways to Breathe
A key to managing anxiety with or without medication is with deep breathing techniques.
In fact, you should take a few minutes to practice deep breathing every day.
Practicing breathing techniques will help make deep breathing an automatic response when anxiety raises its head and is your first step to taking control of the situation.
The most natural thing to do when an anxiety attack shows up is to start fighting against the symptoms, which is also the worst thing to do.
As soon as you notice any anxiousness, make it your first step to take deep, slow breathes.
This can have the effect of calming your fear, nerves, and heart rate to help you feel more at ease about what’s happening.
Avoiding any sense of panic over the anxiety will put you in a position to make rational decisions about how to manage the symptoms.
Here’s a simple and valuable deep breathing exercise that works.
Like most methods to reign in anxiety naturally, the key to effectively using deep breathing is regular practice before you’re stressed or anxious.
4. Share Your Struggles With a Confidant
It’s easy to suffer through your anxiety alone because you fear friends can’t relate or understand.
However, there are a lot of benefits to locating someone with whom you can have honest and open conversations about the problem.
Of course, every person you know won’t be a good fit, and if you realize you may have chosen the wrong person, just chose again. (Personally I would rather have someone who can listen and then offer suggestions rather than a shoulder to cry on that starts crying along with me.)
If you just don’t have anyone at home or someone you know to help, try looking for local support groups.
I consider local anxiety support groups the best alternative, but if you can’t find one — there are plenty online.
One drawback to reading about anxiety online is that it’s easy to read and read, and not follow any of the tips and methods suggested.
To manage your anxiety, you must take real steps and be proactive with what you read and learn. Try different techniques until you hit on one that works for you.
5. Take Control of the Symptoms
The thing about an anxiety attack is that can come from nowhere and hit you with no forewarning.
These sudden onslaughts can overwhelm you with a sense of powerlessness. It feels like the symptoms have managed to take over all of your attention and ability to focus on anything else.
The anxiety is managing you, but you can definitely learn to take control.
Anxiety itself is your subconscious mind sending signals that your brain is getting ready to fight or run.
But those signals are usually based on incorrect or highly exaggerated information.
Face it — it’s your brain, your subconscious, and your life. That means you get to be in control.
The key is to be proactive, don’t fight against the symptoms, but caress them into understanding that you are safe, and in control.
Here’s another post about taking your life back from anxiety.
6. Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Most people in general do not realize how important it is to maintain stable blood sugar levels. It’s not only critical for good health, but erratic blood sugar levels turn anxiety levels on and up.
In fact, every time your blood sugar falls you will experience some degree of anxiousness. When you suffer with anxiety disorders, the effects can be drastic.
Find out if your anxiety is an anxiety disorder.
You can take control of your anxiety and your blood sugar levels by adding plenty of proteins and fats to your diet while avoiding refined carbs and sugar.
7. Avoid Caffeine
You can’t minimize the effects caffeine can have on anxiety. Most people with or without anxiety problems find that caffeine will rev up their nervous system.
In fact, isn’t that the very reason we drink caffeinated beverages?
Energy drinks of every kind are a definite no-no! I am amazed at the people who contact me about serious anxiety disorders and are still drinking energy drinks? If that’s you – stop it.
If you’re a coffee or a normal soft drink user, I would suggest gradually reducing your intake over a week or two until you aren’t drinking any caffeine at all.
Now you can see for yourself if your anxiety levels are any better. That’s known as managing your own anxiety.
After a couple of weeks without caffeine in your system, you will know for yourself if you can afford to go back to drinking your coffee.
8. Check Your Sleep
Are you getting enough sleep? If you’re under 60 you need 8 hours of sleep most nights of the week.
This is another trigger for anxiety that people rarely think of, but enough sleep is your best guard against anxiety symptoms.
Turn the TV and computer off at least an hour before bed and find you get more restful sleep because you’re relaxed when you get in the bed.
Cutting out caffeine and relaxing before you go to bed could have a dramatic effect on your anxiety levels.
9. Boost Your Magnesium
Did you know that most people in the USA are magnesium deficient?
It’s true! The food we eat is deficient because of the chemicals used to grown and then highly process it. But then we eat waaaay too much sugar which requires magnesium in our body to process it, and then medicines we take depletes magnesium in our body.
And this deficiency of magnesium naturally leaves us with a long list of health problems that includes high anxiety.
The good news is how easy it is to fix. We need to be taking a daily magnesium supplement, or even a daily epsom salt bath.
Personally I love an Epsom salt bath several times a week because it seems to melt away stress that causes anxiety attacks.
I’m guessing I need not tell you of the impact anxiety can have on your life?
For most people finding ways to manage anxiety without prescription medication is the best route to go.
But it’s vital to remember that if you are taking medication for your anxiety making a few simple changes like the ones I’ve listed here can make a real difference in your quality of life.
What about you? What methods are you using now for anxiety relief? Tell us how you’re dealing with anxiety attacks in the comments below.