4 Lifestyle Changes to Curb Anxiety Naturally

About 40 million American adults ages 18 and older suffer from anxiety disorders and many millions more suffer from less severe symptoms. The good news is that anxiety is often highly treatable.

While many pharmaceutical options are available and readily prescribed by doctors, some people may prefer not to take drugs, while others may decide to try natural remedies first.

One reason some people go the alternative route is because they don’t trust pharmaceutical companies. This wariness goes hand in hand with an increase in inappropriate or overprescribing of drugs in the United States to treat mental health issues. In some cases, patients may receive prescriptions for medications without getting evaluated by a mental health professional or without becoming informed of other alternative treatments that might deliver results.

When this is the case, patients may end up taking unnecessary medications or higher doses than needed. “Mental health drugs are valuable tools in treating diverse mental disorders, but inappropriate prescribing can cause serious harm” and patients should be aware of this so they can make an informed decision, explain malpractice attorneys Langer and Langer.

There is evidence that shows that alternative or complementary remedies may be helpful to some individuals dealing with anxiety. Yoga, meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing exercises are commonly recommended. Here are some other measures you can take that may be helpful.

Sweat it Out

Getting into the best shape possible can help alleviate anxiety symptoms. Running, swimming, cycling or walking are all great options that can be done individually and at your own level, while taking an exercise class or joining a sports team will offer the added benefit of socialization, also beneficial to curbing anxiety for some people. While regular heart pumping exercise will release feel good endorphins it’s also important to identify and eliminate underlying causes that could be contributing to anxiety symptoms. For instance, environmental toxins, medications, imbalanced hormones, inflammation, or food allergies could create symptoms similar to feelings of anxiety This process can be kickstarted by going to the doctor to get a physical. The doctor can review medications you take that may be affecting your mood, and can test for various deficiencies and other abnormalities that may be contributing to anxiety.

Clean Up Your Diet

Eating healthy is always important but even more so when you suffer from anxiety. That’s because alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, unhealthy fats, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutamate and other chemicals can interfere with your mood and contribute to systemic inflammation. In addition to eliminating unhelpful foods and substances, adding foods with omega-3 fatty acids and certain supplements, in addition to regular healthy fare like dark leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, could help you feel calmer. It is also important to drink adequate water to prevent dehydration which can make you feel less than your best.

Routine, Goals, Work & Sleep

Getting into a daily routine and having a schedule is important because it provides structure which is reassuring and calming. Setting goals can help you identify where you want to be, help you notice your progress, and give you a sense of accomplishment. Having meaningful work – whether paid or volunteer – or other responsibilities will give you purpose and motivation which may help steady your mood. While keeping busy during the day is important, not clocking enough sleep can leave you irritable, moody, depressed or anxious so getting quality shut eye should be a priority.

Do Something Fun (even in you don’t feel like it)

People suffering from anxiety sometimes get stuck in a rut because it feels safe. If this is the case then it may seem impossible to get yourself to do something new, exciting or fun. Oftentimes, however, that push can give you some much needed momentum to change your course in a more positive direction. Choose something you used to enjoy doing, or something totally fresh that sounds like it could be interesting. Going to a concert or local fair, meeting a friend, going out to eat at a new restaurant, learning a new skill or taking a class may spark chemical changes in the brain. Eventually, the fun outings won’t feel so much like chores but will really be enjoyable.