Don’t let anyone tell you that medication is the only way to treat your anxiety. While it can be helpful, medication is really only a short-term solution, and it comes with a host of side effects. Not only that, but some types of anti-anxiety medication can be addictive. You don’t want to end up with a drug addiction on top of your anxiety, so the best way to prevent such a fate is to be very careful with pharmaceutical drugs, and explore alternative options.
A simple and natural method of tackling anxiety is watching your diet and getting enough sleep at night. Although many people may brag about not needing sleep, the simple fact is that most of us do not function up to our capacity without seven to eight hours at night. A lack of sleep can wreck our nervous system in so many ways, and it can heighten anxiety. To ensure a good night’s sleep, it’s important to disengage from the “real world.” Turn off the television set and the laptop, smart phone, and other devices at least an hour before going to the bed. If you can’t get to sleep, try reading or listening to relaxing music. Meditation is a great way to calm your mind and body, and it’s a fantastic method of treating anxiety in general. As for your diet, you can start by cutting out the caffeine. Many people do not think of caffeine as a drug, but it truly is. Not only that, but it’s classified in the stimulant class of drugs that are designed to boost your nervous system and get your heart racing. This is absolutely terrible for anxiety sufferers, as their goal is to calm down. Also, remember to consume a well-balanced diet that include fruits, vegetables and whole wheat.
Exercise is another great way to defeat anxiety. Most health experts recommend that you engage in some type of cardiovascular activity for at least 30 minutes every day. This encompasses any type of activity that gets your heart rate up, such as walking, running, swimming or riding a bike. Yoga may not technically be a cardiovascular exercise, but this centuries-old exercise calms and soothes the mind and body, and can be of great help to anxiety sufferers.
There are a variety of herbal remedies on the market that can also address anxiety issues. These remedies include kava, fennel, hops, passionflower, St. John’s Wort, Valerian root and chamomile. Chamomile, in particular, can be brewed into a tea that is very soothing to drink after a long, stressful day.
Finally, cognitive-behavioral therapy can be very helpful in attacking cognitive distortions that so often plague anxiety sufferers. With the help of a trained cognitive-behavioral therapist, you’ll learn how to discover these cognitive distortion in a more positive and realistic way. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, unlike many other types of therapy, is set up with a very clear goal in mind, and that goal is to help you retrain your thoughts long after your therapy sessions cease.