Seeking The Best Treatment For Anxiety Without Medication
Updated July 13, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Dawn Brown
Many people think that the most natural treatment for people with anxiety disorders is to medicate with various kinds and brands of antidepressants and sedatives. While medication can be helpful in many cases, it is not always necessary. Medication may also come with numerous unwanted side effects. If you are seeking the best treatment without the use of mediation, there are great options available to you. Treating an anxiety disorder without medication requires some effort and helpful tools. Whether you suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, or other forms of anxiety disorders, treatment is available without the use of medication.
Therapy As Primary Form Of Treatment
There are many forms of therapy that psychologists utilize to help patients through anxiety disorders. A common and successful way of treatment is Cognitive Behavior Therapy. This is a kind of therapy that teaches anxiety disorder patients how what they think makes an impact on their anxiety. The therapist’s aim is to help the individual change their way of thinking, thus decreasing anxiety and its symptoms.
How does this happen? Many patients that have an anxiety disorder attend CBT sessions over a period of several months. Sessions are often catered to the needs and personal experiences of the patient. These sessions are commonly just an hour a week for less than a year. By the time Cognitive Behavior Therapy has been completed, individuals tend to feel far less anxious and prepared to handle the cause of their anxieties.
If you are hesitant about seeking help from a mental health professional for CBT, it’s understandable. This is especially true if you feel anxious about leaving your home or if you must use public transportation to get to the psychologist’s office. However, studies have shown that CBT conducted over the telephone is feasible and successful. Without the need for medication, a mental health professional can treat anxiety over the phone, in an online chat, or even by email.
Given the various anxiety disorders that exist, having the option to be treated from the comfort of your own home can be beneficial. With this particular kind of therapy, being home can be easier because it is more than talking freely about whatever is on your mind. Instead, CBT requires addressing the causes of anxiety and setting specific goals to move past them. It can be easier for patients to do so when they are in a familiar and comfortable environment.
Because of the existence of such goals, a therapist will likely ask the patient how they feel in regard to the process. It’s imperative that the therapy work over the short time it lasts. Without the addition of medication, patients also often have tasks to complete outside of sessions. These tasks might be keeping a journal of specific times anxiety set in. It could also involve facing a cause of anxiety. Treating anxiety requires the patient to put in a lot of work, but making a real attempt at healing can change their life.
Alternative Ways To Treat Anxiety
When you want to avoid the use of medication to treat anxiety, there are a number of natural ways to do so. Aside from therapy or counseling, people that suffer from an anxiety disorder can find a way that might work best for them. While these natural treatment options have proven to be helpful, it is typically best to consult a mental health professional to ensure the best treatment is being utilized.
Exercise To Treat Anxiety
Going for a run, hitting a heavy bag, or hiking the trails are great forms of exercise. Did you also know that they are great ways to reduce anxiety? Because of the endorphins that are released when you exercise, the body naturally improves your mood while exercising. It requires no medication to get this antidepressant, and it is good for the body as well as the mind.
Sunlight Decreases Anxiety
Sitting in a dark room might make you feel safer from your anxiety, but it can actually cause more harm. By allowing yourself a good amount of sunlight every day, your body releases serotonin, which is a natural mood-booster. Sit on the porch, go for a drive, or simply open a window. Getting that natural light helps your body to regulate your serotonin levels.
Meditation As Treatment For Anxiety
Practicing meditation has proven to help individuals to relax and find a real sense of tranquility. By achieving this state of relaxation, your mind is no longer focused on the anxiety and allows your body the time to recover from any negative thoughts. Making a real attempt at meditating can change your mind immensely.
Staying awake for too long can worsen existing anxiety. Although insomnia sometimes accompanies anxiety, ensuring that you have gotten enough sleep can help. If you struggle with sleeping, try eliminating caffeine from your diet. Caffeine not only aids in preventing sleep but can worsen anxiety. It can also be difficult to fall asleep if you remain in bed while you’re not tired. Instead, move to another room and get something accomplished prior to attempting to sleep again.
Be Wary Of What You Eat
Did you know that what you eat can have a huge impact on your anxiety? In fact, a sugary diet or consuming artificial chemicals in food can have a negative impact on your mental health, in general. By ensuring that your diet is packed with healthy fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins, you may notice a positive effect on your mental health.
Lavender As A Treatment Option
Many individuals have heard that lavender has calming properties. It can often be found in baby lotions, bubble bath products, essential oils, and diffusers. Whether you decide to grow lavender on your windowsill, soak in a lavender bath, or diffuse it in your bedroom, you may find that it has a calming effect on your anxiety as well.
Don’t Skip Meals
Do you often feel more anxious when you’re hungry? A lot of people do. By skipping meals, those with an anxiety disorder could be unknowingly making things worse. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and remember to have a small snack once or twice a day. By making sure you’re well-fed, you may experience an upward trend in your mood.
Address Your Anxiety
This one sounds scary. However, when you are experiencing negative or anxiety-inducing thoughts, you might find yourself in a never-ending loop. Instead of continuing to feed into your mind’s worries, address your thoughts head-on. Having a sense of awareness of your anxious thoughts can allow you to slow it down. This is often a first step in getting help, but learning to stop your anxiety by naming it can help in the long run as well.
Classical Music As A Relaxation Technique
Listening to music can harm or heal those with anxiety, often depending on the kind of music you choose to listen to. When you listen to soft, classical music, our mind has a way of relaxing itself. It can even slow your pulse and lower your blood pressure. If you’re feeling anxious, stop and turn on a slow classical song. The effects you may experience might convince you to make this part of your regular treatment.
Get A Massage
When stress and anxiety build up and cause tension in your muscles, a massage is a great way to release that tension. Since a message is often accompanied by a stress-less environment and soothing sounds, your mind can relax along with your body. Although a massage can be a temporary treatment, regular massages can teach your mind how to destress.
Choosing The Best Treatment Option For You
With so many alternatives to medication for treating anxiety, it can be hard to decide which to choose. Ultimately, the decision is between you and your health care provider. With a generalized anxiety disorder, your therapist might recommend therapy in addition to a number of alternative suggestions. With minor anxiety, you might attempt to exercise more. Whatever you decide, it is essential that you truly put forth the effort to get through the anxiety. It can get worse if proper treatment is not sought out.
In many cases, proper treatment starts with Cognitive Behavior Therapy. If you don’t have a therapist, finding an online mental health professional might be an excellent option to seek out. It can be faster than finding someone local to fit you in, more convenient, and more comfortable. Trusted online counselors and therapists are modern forms of treatment that have proven to be helpful with various mental health disorders.
Seeking out help is brave. Perhaps the idea itself gives you anxiety. However, if you feel as though you require a bit of help to get through your anxiety, please do not hesitate to reach out to a counselor or medical professional for assistance. Taking the first step is often the start of healing. You may find that your anxiety can be decreased more than you ever thought possible.