“I Am In The Process Of Becoming The Best Version Of Myself!”
Medications come with a lot of side effects that can have an adverse effect on our quality of life (although there is always a time and place for them). It is especially harmful in people with psychological conditions like anxiety. Below are targeted ways on the beginning stages of how to beat anxiety without medication.
1. Take care of the digestive system, especially the gut
Recent studies have shown the connection between how we feel and gut health and gut flora. It is now known that the bacteria and other organisms in the digestive tract have a definite impact on mood. They also have an integral role to play in varied anxiety conditions.
One can improve healthy flora in the gut and heal the digestive system by following the below listed measures:
- Eating a diet that consists of foods that soothe the digestive tract. These include starch-rich tubers like white potatoes, sweet potatoes, plantain, yucca, and taro; fermented items like kimchi, sauerkraut, beet kvass, apple cider vinegar, miso paste, kefir, and kombucha; and bone broth.
- Avoiding food items that irritate the digestive tract, like sugar, gluten, industrial vegetable oils, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners.
- Taking probiotic supplements
- Treating any underlying digestive tract infections
- Efficient management of stress through getting back in touch with nature, meditation, yoga, etc.
2. Getting enough sleep
Anxiety and sleeplessness have a dual relationship, i.e., anxiety can cause insomnia as a symptom, while lack of sleep can lead to anxiety. It is therefore important to get good quality nighttime sleep for at least 6 to 8 hours and to reset your circadian rhythm.
Ensure proper lighting in the bedroom, at night and in the morning; using blackout curtains or wearing an eye mask; keeping the blood sugar levels stable; and winding down before going to bed can all help you to sleep better and further your understanding of how to beat anxiety without medication.
Studies have shown a co-relation between exercising, anxiety, and anxiety management. People who do not stay active or exercise on a regular basis are at greater risk to suffering from anxiety conditions. Exercise is one of the best ways of how to beat anxiety without medication, and it has proven to be very useful in efficient management of depression.
Exercise is good for anxiety alleviation because it tires the muscles and helps avoid the symptoms of anxiety; it increases secretion of neurotransmitters that help uplift the mood; and it gets rid of stress hormones which may activate anxiety.
Regular exercising does not mean, running a mile everyday or working out at the gym.
People can opt for mini workouts or minor sessions of exercise in their own home or even go outside for a 30-minute walk. The important thing is sustainability. It is good to walk to places whenever it is possible, sit less, and stand more. Lowering your expectation of what exercising is about can help remove the fear of exercising and get you started. Tai Qi and Yoga are effective options for easing anxiety, but it is important to find exercises that are enjoyable for the self and not cumbersome.
Breathing exercises are excellent tools on how to beat anxiety without medication, particularly those who experience hyperventilation. Individuals who suffer from panic attacks often hyperventilate which may lead to physical symptoms that can trigger and worsen anxiety. Breathing techniques are helpful in calming down the body and decreasing the chances of hyperventilation.
4. Stop/reduce drinking coffee. Stop/reduce the intake of caffeine
Anxiety and caffeine also have a close relationship. The presence of caffeine in the body system prepares the nervous system for the fight (of fight or flight) response. When a stressor gets introduced in such a situation, the caffeinated person may suffer from a full blown anxiety episode as a response to the stressor.
When discussing a strategy on how to beat anxiety without medication, limiting/stopping caffeine is a crucial step in the right direction
It is very challenging to suddenly stop the intake of caffeine/coffee. It is however possible for anxiety sufferers to gradually reduce the amount of caffeine they consume every day. Replace coffee with green tea, chamomile tea (here’s great video on the benefits of chamomile tea for anxiety), or other herbal teas during this period of gradual reduction, and it will avoid the occurrence of caffeine withdrawal symptoms.
After some weeks, anxiety sufferers may experience a significant reduction in their anxiety levels. They would have stable, renewed energy, improved sleep, and enhanced tolerance for stress.
6. Increase magnesium intake
Research indicates that people with deficient nutrition are more prone to suffering from anxiety. Magnesium deficiency is one of the most prominent causes of nutrition deficiency that triggers anxiety symptoms. Most of us do not get sufficient magnesium because of the way our food gets processed as well as due to cultivation of our foods in magnesium-exhausted soil.
Magnesium levels in the body tend to reduce during hyperventilation and stressful periods in a persons life.
Thus, people with magnesium deficits are at increased risk for a further drop in their magnesium levels when suffering from prolonged bouts of anxiety. Lack of magnesium does not directly trigger anxiety, but it may be the cause of certain sensations and symptoms which can then activate or worsen anxiety.
Magnesium can be supplemented by using a topical magnesium gel, taking a supplement of chelated magnesium, and/or taking a bath with Epsom salt in the water.
The road towards how to beat anxiety without medication must come with a set strategy rather than a a mindset based around hoping and trying. When the strategy is in place and implement for a period of a few weeks to a few months you can gauge your progress and see what needs tweaking in order to become more than anxiety once and for all!