Medication-Free Anxiety Support Options: A Guide

Updated December 26, 2022by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Many people who live with anxiety disorders may choose to medicate with various kinds of medication. However, opting to go a medication-free treatment route is valid and can still provide relief of anxiety disorder symptoms for some. If you are seeking anxiety disorder treatment without medication, there may be many options available to you. We do want to note that treating an anxiety disorder without medication can offer you more benefit when supervised by a clinician or your physician, which may also give you a higher sense of safeness and confidence. 

Below, we discuss the different methods of treatment and support available to those who live with anxiety disorders, all of which can be used without the inclusion of pharmaceutical intervention. 

Experiencing Anxiety Disorder-Related Symptoms?

What Medication-Free Support Strategies Are Available For Those With Anxiety Disorder? 

While medication can be helpful to those with anxiety disorder, it is not always necessary for symptomatic relief. You may consider speaking with your practitioner regarding any of the following forms of supportive strategies for extra help in your personal clinical experience. 

Online Therapy

There are many forms of therapy that wellness professionals can utilize to help patients through the symptoms of anxiety disorders. A scientifically supported form of therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. This form of therapy that can support those living with anxiety disorders as they work to change their methods of thinking. This can result in a decrease of anxiety disorder-related symptoms.

How does this happen? Many patients that have an anxiety disorder attend CBT sessions over a period of several months. Sessions can be catered to the needs and personal experiences of the patient for a more personal and potentially effective experience. With repetition and therapeutic strategies that can be given by their therapist, individuals can feel less nervous, and may feel more prepared and equipped to reach a higher overall quality of life.

Exercise And Movement

Going for a run, hitting a heavy bag, or hiking the trails are forms of physical activity that may promote less anxiety disorder-related symptoms. Because of the endorphins that are released when you exercise, the body may naturally improve your mood during and after exercising. This process can also ease anxiety, reduce stress and manage physical symptoms that can be associated with anxiety disorder. 

Exposure To Sunlight

Sitting in a darkened room can make some feel safer from anxiety disorder-related symptoms. However, allowing yourself a good amount of sunlight every day can help your body to release serotonin, which can be  a natural mood-booster

To accomplish this, you might consider sitting on the porch, going for a drive, or opening a window. 

Meditation And Mindfulness

Practicing meditation and focused deep breathing has been scientifically suggested to help individuals to relax the body and mind. Anxiety disorder-related symptoms and rumination can lead to shallow breathing, which may worsen anxiety. 

Making an attempt to control your breath through strategic breathing techniques can promote greater physiological control in some.

Sleeping Well

Staying awake for too long can worsen existing anxiety disorder-related symptoms in some. Although insomnia sometimes accompanies anxiety, ensuring that you have gotten enough sleep can help you to reach a higher overall quality of life. 

If you struggle with sleeping, consider eliminating caffeine from your diet. Caffeine has been shown to potentially disrupt sleep, and may worsen anxiety disorder-related manifestations. 

A regular sleep schedule can produce anxiety-reducing benefits for some. You may try speaking with a clinician to determine any possible lifestyle changes that may help you reach a more restful state of sleep.

Dietary Management 

Did you know that what you eat can impact the prevalence of anxiety disorder-related symptoms? 

A sugary diet or a diet that is high in artificial chemicals can have a negative impact on your mental wellness. 

Sugary diets can cause blood sugar drops throughout the day in some, which can sharply affect energy levels, induce anxiety and may promote unhealthy heart rate variation. 

Consuming a diet that includes healthy fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins, may positively effect the mental health of some.

Lavender Aromatherapy 

Experiencing Anxiety Disorder-Related Symptoms?

Recent scientific literature has shown that lavender can offer calming effects for many living with anxiety disorder in the study’s test groups. You can find this plant-based compound in baby lotions, bubble bath products, essential oils, and diffusers, or you may purchase its essence directly and topically apply. The presence and aromatic properties of lavender have been scientifically associated with positive effects for some living with anxiety disorder, so you may try incorporating it into your daily routine to determine if it's a viable or helpful option for you. 

Don’t Skip Meals

Do you often feel more anxious when you’re hungry? Many may choose to. However, by skipping meals, those with an anxiety disorder could be offering new opportunities for symptoms to manifest. By making sure you’re well-fed, you may experience an upward trend in your mood, as many may experience balanced blood sugar levels that can promote this effect.

Classical Music As A Relaxation Technique

Soft, classical music has been scientifically suggested to soothe the symptoms of anxiety. If you’re feeling nervous, you may choose to try putting on a slow classical song to see if it is able to help distract you from your symptomatic experience. You may also determine if this is a suitable lifestyle change to pursue during your daily rhythms and routines to promote a better overall quality of life.

Get A Massage

If you're experiencing stress and anxiety disorder-related symptoms, you may consider getting a massage.  Although this is generally a form of temporary treatment for some, regular massages can facilitate less overall stress for many individuals.

How Can Online Therapy Support Those Living With Anxiety? 

It can feel completely overwhelming attempting to leave the house while experiencing symptoms of anxiety disorder. This can provide a blockage to care for some. However, online therapy can provide a more accessible option, directly connecting patients with licensed professionals virtually through telemedicine platforms. This can help patients to feel more comfortable, as they can hold their sessions in a familiar space and can support those who have difficulty leaving the home. 

Is Online Therapy Effective? 

Online therapy has been scientifically suggested to be comparable to in-person therapeutic intervention. Studies have even shown that online therapy patients in the study’s test group may require less overall time with virtual therapy appointments compared to those seeking traditional, in-person methods in the study’s control group. While results may vary based on individual patient experiences, scientific literature does suggest that there is no major differences between the efficacy of online therapy vs. in-person therapy.    


With so many therapeutic avenues to choose from to treat anxiety disorders, it can feel overwhelming to some as they decide which option to choose. For many, the decision is between you and your health care provider. Your therapist might recommend therapy in addition to a number of alternative suggestions or could suggest other unlisted supportive strategies based on your own unique experience. However, there are a variety of methods that are scientifically supported and that could lead you to attaining a higher overall quality of life. Licensed therapists from BetterHelp can support you as you continue to live with anxiety disorder. 

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