Looking for ways to manage anxiety without medication?
You’re in the right place.
Anxiety. Worry. That pit in your stomach, the heaviness in your chest, the sweat on your palms and the racing thoughts in your head. It happens to all of us at some time or another- it’s our body’s natural defense mechanism, warning signal, and safety net. We WANT it to be working- right? If there is a potentially dangerous situation- we want our body to alert and react. But what if it’s not life or death? Having symptoms of anxiety does not necessarily equate to a formal mental health diagnosis. Clinical anxiety however- if diagnosed by a medical and/or mental health professional, could be so invasive that the use of medication is necessary. Again- we repeat- in some cases, medication is needed to maintain a quality of life and manage invasive symptoms- but what else could you try to achieve your desired quality of life?
Here are 5 ways to manage anxiety without medication:
Okay, okay- we get it- it seems simple. But consciously breathing- instead of the automatic response our body does to keep us alive- is helpful in managing anxiety. It takes our focus away from our thoughts and into our breath. It slows down our body’s stress response- our heart rate and perspiration. There are different techniques to use and lots of resources on the old faithful world wide web. Our favorite is box breathing- create an imaginary box with your finger as you inhale (draw up), hold (draw across), exhale (draw down), hold (draw back across). This gives us a visual aspect to focus on as well!!
2. Talk it Out
Getting another person’s perspective can help. A friend, family member, or co-worker can help reality test the severity of your worry.
3. Write it Out
Sometimes it’s as simple as needing to get the thoughts out of your head and on to paper. Free write or “dump” all your thoughts and feelings onto the page- or the note section of your phone- to allow more space to open up in your head.
4. Walk it Out(side)
Go for a walk. Step outside. Feel the earth beneath your feet, the wind on your face. Notice what you see, the colors, the textures, the sounds. These grounding practices- the 5 senses- can help to bring our awareness back to this moment- and quiet the worry.
5. Talk to a Pro
Therapy is a great tool for managing stress, anxiety, worry. And it’s not just for those struggling with an invasive, identified, anxiety disorder. Having a safe space to explore thoughts and feelings, with an educated, compassionate professional can make all the difference. In addition to the space to freely process, a therapist can help provide more tips, tools, and awareness skills that can help you manage.
Connected, Seen & Heard can help you manage anxiety without medication and help you figure out if a referral for a medication evaluation is appropriate. We can also offer referrals for psychiatrists if needed. Check out our Anxiety section of the website for more information and guidance.