Healthy Living

Overcoming Anxiety Attacks: 4 Tips On How To Deal With Anxiety Without Medication

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Have trouble overcoming your anxiety and don’t want to rely on prescription drugs? Get natural anxiety relief with these everyday habits, from exercising to getting an adequate amount of sleep. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

When we go to a job interview, do public speaking, or go on a first date, some of us may begin to get sweaty palms, shaky knees, and a fast heartbeat as our minds become filled with a continuous stream of negative thoughts. Worrying drains and wastes our energy, and as a result, we lose focus on how to solve our problems. Although anxiety is a natural mechanism designed to facilitate survival in humans, chronic worry and anxiety can deprive us of happiness as it starts to interfere with our ability to have a happy and functional life. To conquer your anxiety in any situation, follow these four everyday habits, from getting exercise to getting an adequate amount of sleep.

1. Exercise

Exercise is essential when it comes to coping with anxiety, and it’s not just limited to physical exercise. Partaking in mental exercises can help anxious people identify the source of their anxiety. “Cultivating an attitude of respecting one's feelings and fearlessly allowing ourselves to become aware of what we are experiencing, and then deciding what we are going to do about it, almost always relieves anxiety attacks,” said KC Avnayt, holistic health practitioner to Medical Daily. It’s the simplest, cheapest, and most effective way to combat anxiety.

If mental exercises are not your forte, physical exercise is just as safe and effective for combatting anxiety. Immediate and long-term exercises can help you become a calmer and happier person with control over your life. Exercise releases endorphins — feel-good brain chemicals — that help boost our mood, and reduce our stress and anxiety, according to the Mayo Clinic. To get the most out of exercising, do it on a regular basis to have more self-esteem and feel healthier.

2. Green Tea

The health benefits of green tea are numerous, ranging from weight loss to boosting brain power, but an amino acid in this healthy tea could help treat your anxiety. The ingredient in green tea, L-theanine, helps to aid concentration, causing you to feeling relaxed and alert for hours. “[T]heanine (derived from green tea) has significant calming properties without being sedating, making it an excellent choice for day time,” Dr. Charlie Seltzer, certified in obesity medicine and a clinical exercise specialist in Philadelphia, Pa., told Medical Daily.

A 2011 study published in the Journal of Functional Foods found 200 milligrams of L-theanine beforehand led to anxious-prone participants to become calmer and more focused during a test. These amounts can be obtained from green tea rather than supplements. However, you would have to drink anywhere from five to as many as 20 cups to obtain the same effect.

3. Comfort Eating

During an anxiety attack, blood sugar levels could drop vastly. Therefore, it is essential to have a quick snack on hand. Foods that you loved and ate a lot in childhood nearly always help. Foods that reduce inflammation and enhance brain function, such as nutrient rich fruits and vegetables, help with anxiety, Dr. Elaine R. Ferguson, a physician and author in holistic medicine, told Medical Daily. She suggests choosing berries (blueberries), green leafy vegetables (spinach and kale), and nuts (especially walnuts). In the long term, diet is essential in reducing anxiety levels.

4. Sleep

Getting an inadequate amount of sleep or being around too much ambient/or other noise, or even watching television that stirs up negative emotions can contribute to increased anxiety. Avnayt suggests a simple way to deal with all of this is to decide on a time every evening or night (at least two hours before bed time) when you will sign out of everything that you don’t actually like, and only do or think of what you like. “This helps sleep onset and in a week or two perception of life changes as you've had much more of waking and sleeping rest,” she said.

Although sleeping may seem impossible to do, you must find a way to break the cycle, starting by avoiding caffeine. Light to moderate exercise can help you fall asleep faster, too. Sleeping is essential to being happy and having a functional life.

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