Published in  
Wellbeing
 on  
1/20/2023

Easing Anxiety Without Medication

Anxiety can be a challenging experience to endure, with unpredictable and often seemingly uncontrollable panic attacks coming on without warning. Whether it is an occasional run-in with a panic attack or an everyday struggle that keeps you from doing things you want, finding a way to relieve and manage anxiety is of the utmost importance. However, many methods for treating anxiety do not rely on medications or long-term mental health therapies. Exercising has been shown to improve moods and alleviate anxiety symptoms. Just 30 minutes of daily exercise reduces the cortisol levels in the body, which is responsible for feeling stressed out and anxious. Sources of stress include physical, emotional, and spiritual factors. By exercising, you can rid yourself of some of these sources of stress, leading to a sense of relief. While you do not technically have to exercise daily, maintaining five days a week is recommended. Exercising less may still benefit anxiety but is likely to be less pronounced.

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Caffeine is a stimulant, and anxiety is a state of overstimulation. In specific doses, caffeine can contribute to and increase the effects of acute and chronic anxiety. Excessive caffeine intake also worsens anxiety symptoms by causing a spike in cortisol levels. Caffeine consumption should be reduced or stopped in people who are chronically anxious or have panic disorder. You can replace it with decaffeinated herbal tea and if you drink caffeinated beverages, try limiting yourself to two cups daily.

The sense of smell plays a special role in the human body. This sense is more directly related to the brain than any other sense. Smells allow our brains to gather important information about our surroundings and how we should respond to them. For example, in a state of anxiety, the sense of smell is disrupted to detect threats. Pleasant and soothing scents can be helpful in breaking this cycle. Eliminating scents associated with threats and replacing them with scents related to comfort, pleasure, and safety can reduce anxiety.