What are alternative ways besides medication to deal with the physical symptoms of anxiety?

304 Answers
Last Updated: 04/21/2019 at 10:01pm
What are alternative ways besides medication to deal with the physical symptoms of anxiety?
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Kristin Noyes, MSW, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

Depression and anxiety can feel overwhelming even on the best of days. I believe in helping clients understand these disorders and help them to reduce and manage symptoms.

Top Rated Answers
JourneyWithFriends
July 20th, 2016 5:22pm
After 20+ years of living with Panic Disorder I have found several coping skills very helpful. The effectiveness of each method varies with the level of anxiety you are experiencing. Among them are: Deep Breathing Making note of one's surroundings - noticing and speaking aloud that there are no actual dangers. Reciting Positive Affirmations Magnesium Supplements Epsom Salt Baths Cold Showers I truly hope that some combination of these will work for others reading this. In my work here as a Listener....many members have stated that they are quite effective for them as well. Best of luck to anyone out there living with any form of anxiety!!
sereneCupcake48
July 28th, 2016 8:56am
The physical symptoms of anxiety can be lessened by practicing controlled breathing. Find a quiet place to sit or lay down. Breathe in slowly through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth.
Blynng
July 13th, 2016 9:53pm
There are several alternative methods to handle physical symptoms of anxiety. Mindfulness and meditation training can really help one to bring calming habits into their life; meditation isn't just about laying down! Making sure you are adequately hydrated, have regular exercise habits, and have a healthy vitamin profile can also help, because these habits can constitute underlying causes as well as remedies for anxiety. Exploring and utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) tactics has also proven to be very beneficial for people with anxiety; this often requires similar mindfulness training to regular meditation, as well as learning to understand the triggers for anxiety. The key is, more often than not, to stage an intervention on cyclical thinking before it escalates to a panic attack... Mindfulness, distraction, and habits are reactionary, and then working with a therapist to identify the triggers for your anxiety to help prevent the symptoms from happening in the first place, can help you get on your way effectively.
Anonymous
July 21st, 2016 2:27am
Running, pinching yourself, intense exercise, and being mindful of the moment, usually this monent there is nothing wrong, it's the thoughts of the future and past that create the.anzxiety
CherishedDream
December 1st, 2016 11:15pm
Reading, writing, playing video games, deep breaths, petting a cat, counting, doodling, drawing, playing with clay.
cheerfulPerspective48
August 10th, 2016 2:40pm
I feel that excercise, and or just trying to stay busy doing something you enjoy will help to alleviate the anxiety. Sometimes simply giving our minds something else to focus on, something else to process, will help to alleviate the moments that we are anxious about a particular subject.
Anonymous
August 22nd, 2018 10:08pm
I like to use breathing exercises, for example: breathing in for 4 Seconds, holding the breath for 4 more, breathing out for 4, and then again holding for 4. As well as that, to ground myself I like to listing that which I can see. For example, 5 things you can see, smell, touch, hear and taste. Or, looking at things in detail - like for each thing I see, how would it feel - smooth or rough? Hot or cold? Damp or dry? How would it smell? Would it make a noise if I touched it? Things like that. Hope this helps!
Patty24
August 18th, 2016 6:39pm
If a person is experiencing physical symptoms of anxiety they can regulate their breathing through slow exhalations, practice meditation, or talk with a trusted friend.
Dawn04
September 21st, 2016 2:33pm
Finding a supportive person to chat with about your feelings. Meditation is also recommended to help relieve stress. Yoga also could be beneficial.
HannahPear
April 21st, 2018 9:25am
Meditation and practice mindfulness! Exercise and eating right also help physical symptoms! There’s apps to help with mindfulness too!!
Alexsilver101
May 10th, 2018 1:12am
Exercise, meditation, colouring, breathing exercises, or chores. These are only a few options, but they generally help me whenever I'm experiencing anxiety
Anonymous
August 11th, 2018 5:06pm
personally i listen to comedians with my headphones whilst out and about, just so i'm not thinking about what may happen just smiling a lot, which probably looks weird but its better than how i usually look :)
GuardianofCreative
August 25th, 2018 6:29pm
Learning what can lead to increased anxiety and learning what helps you personally lower your anxiety. Avoiding your triggers and focusing on what can calm you really helps to manage the anxiety you face on a daily basis. If possible, talking to a therapist can help you to figure out what increases and decreases your anxiety, as sometimes it can be difficult to come to those conclusions on your own. Taking time out of your week to recharge and look over how you have been managing your symptoms can help. Taking warm baths, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep can all help with both the physical and mental symptoms of anxiety.
ImACow
September 5th, 2018 4:12am
Your first bet would be to find a coping mechagnism, or better so; one that works for you. Anxiety makes it hard to try new things and get out there. A constant fear of something going wrong perhaps. You can fight this fear by doing something distracting, perhaps something that lets you get your thoughts down and help you better understand the thoughts running through your head. This gives you time to think straight. A suggestion would be finding a hobby that allows you to express yourself. Art? Writing? Sports? It doesn't matter what it is. To find a way to cope, you need to try new things which often comes as a form of motivation. If this fails, perhaps some occupational therapy would be good. This way, you can have specialists help you find that mechagnism. They could help you get back out there and try new things with support incase things do go bottoms up.
OpalOrchid
July 15th, 2016 9:33am
I totally agree with Blynng. I would just like to add that there is there also is a great anxiety self-help guide here on 7 Cups which can be helpful to learn more about anxiety and how to overcome it. It has very interesting and simple exercices too. https://www.7cups.com/anxiety-help/
HopieRemi
July 16th, 2016 9:46am
There's different things you can try for anxiety. Taking a stroll for fresh air, taking a nap when you're feeling anxious, drinking some water and taking deep breaths. Soak in a hot bath or shower. Also, think about your diet. Sometimes too much soda or coffee can make your anxiety worst.
Elyse27
July 18th, 2016 5:15am
The best thing you can do for anxiety is to simply breathe. There are many different breathing techniques that can be used but breathing is the most immediate and biggest relief you can get.
Anonymous
July 20th, 2016 1:21am
If you are seeing a counselor, asking them about different ways to control your breathing, and calming techniques. If not, plese go look at our anxiety forum page!
BreatheEasy247
July 20th, 2016 4:51pm
I believe breathing techniques do help to some extent. or to find activities to do when you are anxious that can help distract you from those anxious feelings.
Anonymous
July 20th, 2016 5:33pm
Cognitive restructuring, part of the 7Cups guides here, has helped me analyze and, over time, manage my anxiety better. As my mental grip over anxiety gets better, so do the physical symptoms.
RhinocerosWings
July 20th, 2016 8:16pm
If you can get to a dark room, do so. Sit comfortably, your hands in your lap. And breathe. Take a slow breath in for 4 beats. Hold it for 4 beats. Let it out for 4 beats. Do it again. Do it again. Do it again. Slow it down. Do it again. Do it again. Do it again. Slow it down. Do it again. Keep going.
BalancED
July 20th, 2016 11:28pm
Some of the physical symptoms can be better managed with breathing and grounding exercises. Try to breathe from your diaphragm (your tummy will puff out), and use a long inhale and a long exhale. Try three in a row, it might help :)
Anonymous
July 22nd, 2016 1:44am
A couple of things comes to mind when dealing with anxiety. One way to calm anxiety is to meditate early in the morning. Just notice your breathing and concentrate on it for 15 minutes.
wishfulVision48
July 22nd, 2016 12:22pm
Deep breathing , cognitive behavioural therapy CBT and meditation are all goo ways to help with this.....
MarcHT
July 22nd, 2016 2:38pm
Exercise, diet, and getting enough sleep. Which, ironically, are things anxiety can make harder, but they're well worth trying. Many people also find meditation, mindfulness, and even hypnotherapy useful non-medical ways to be more comfortable when dealing with anxiety.
Anonymous
July 23rd, 2016 12:27pm
Deep breathing in through your nose hold it 3 seconds back out through your mouth, distraction, relaxing
Baileybug
July 27th, 2016 2:32am
Some people find that doing yoga and other types of exercising is very relaxing and rewarding.
ACESiT
July 27th, 2016 6:24am
One helpful way to relieve yourself of the physical symptoms is an exercise called box breathing. It's very simple and very helpful! You breathe in for three seconds, hold it for three seconds, breathe out for three seconds, hold it for three seconds, and repeat. During an anxiety attack, your mind is likely racing, so it would be good to grab a timer, or watch a clock, so that you don't start breathing too fast again!
softNutella25
July 29th, 2016 12:57am
Physical symptoms of anxiety can be awful; I know, I've been there and still am. Although I am not personally pro medication for myself, I respect individuals who choose to use it if it helps them. There are many alternative methods that you can use to help with physical symptoms of anxiety. Meditation, deep breathing, visualization, positive affirmations, etc. can all help.
Anonymous
July 30th, 2016 12:39am
i don't know if it works for everybody but it works for me: - take deep breaths, slowly, About 10 to 15 times. - Close my eyes and imagine that i'm in a very calm and nice place. Visualize myself there.