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Holistic Alternatives for Treating Anxiety Disorders

Though medication has been able to help many, it carries various risks. This is why some people are searching for alternatives to treating anxiety disorders.

With the rise of mental health awareness and more Americans seeking medical help for social and psychological disorders, there has been a rise in prescription drug misuse. This can lead to several issues, including benzodiazepine addiction, opioid overdoses, and a toll on health care providers. 

Though medication has been able to help many, it carries various risks. This is why some people are searching for alternatives to treat anxiety disorders. There are holistic approaches that treat not just the side effects of anxiety disorders but try to get to the root causes and emplace healthy habits to combat the illness. 

Below we’ll explore some holistic ways to treat anxiety disorders. 

What Is an Anxiety Disorder?

Everyone at some point in their life has experienced anxiety. Maybe you felt nervous all week leading up to a big presentation or were overly excited about an interview. This may lead to a bad night of sleep or a day without eating. For most, this happens occasionally and isn’t a cause for alarm. 

However, those with anxiety disorders can experience feelings of uneasiness for a better part of the day, which may interfere with work performance, relationships, and new opportunities. Anxiety disorders can make any task, big or small, a nerve-wracking endeavor that isn’t something they can “get over” quickly. 

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, over 40 million Americans have an anxiety disorder. There are many forms of anxiety disorders, which can look different, depending on the person. 

Here are some different anxiety disorders:

    • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): People with GAD can experience feelings of dread for weeks or months. Symptoms include feeling restless, trouble concentrating, and experiencing headaches and pains. 
    • Panic disorder: This is characterized by sudden and frequent periods of extreme fear and feeling they cannot control their environment. Symptoms include a pounding heart, sweating, and thoughts of impending doom and terror. 
    • Social anxiety disorder (SAD): SAD can be recognized by having an intense fear that others are watching you. Speaking with an overly soft voice, trembling, and difficulty making eye contact are symptoms of SAD. 
  • Phobia-related disorders: People with phobias have an intense fear of a certain object or situation. Typical fears are flying, insects, or heights. 

Holistic Ways to Treat an Anxiety Disorder

Aside from prescription drug misuse, there are many reasons why some are seeking out alternatives to treat anxiety disorders. Medication has the potential to lead to extreme weight change, the development of other mental health disorders, and avoiding other forms of therapy. 

By trying out some of the holistic remedies below, you may find a healthier and more enjoyable way to treat anxiety. Let’s explore five natural alternatives for anxiety disorders. 

1. Time Management Strategies 

One of the leading causes of anxiousness is feeling there is not enough time to do tasks, or that time is not being managed correctly. In order to make the most of your time, try using a calendar or a planner that clearly lays out your week. This can help you to avoid feeling overbooked or uneasy about what the next day will bring. 

2. Journaling 

Often suggested by mental health professionals, journaling can bring peace of mind in times of extreme anxiety. By writing down what is running through your head, you can gain some fresh perspective and insight into the issue at hand. 

3. Meditation 

Meditation is one of the best ways to center the mind and bring a much-needed timeout from electronics and the daily grind of life. Meditation can be as simple as closing your eyes while sitting in a chair and taking deep breaths for five to 10 minutes. There are also guided meditations on YouTube that can induce more feelings of peace and serenity. 

4. Exercise 

Moving the body, even if it’s just for an extended walk, can burn off anxious energy while also helping you to feel healthier physically. Physical activity releases endorphins in the body, which sets off positive feelings throughout the brain. 

5. Eating Right 

Diets that have leafy greens, whole grains, and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids have been found to lower anxiety. Skipping meals is never suggested, as this can lead to lowered blood sugar and feelings of jitteriness and anxiety. 

Final Words 

These holistic approaches can, for the most, be coupled with responsible prescription medicine use. It’s always best to speak with a medical professional when deciding which approach to take. 

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