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

306 Answers
Last Updated: 08/18/2020 at 6:18pm
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
calmingPerspective94
November 12th, 2016 1:34am
Exercise most definitely. Its a natural stress relieving mood booster. Even a 10 minute walk in the fresh air daily will help reduce anxiety.
SassyCherry
November 18th, 2016 1:01am
Ways to personally cope with anxiety vary from person to person, I recommend trying things that are calming and soothing that interest you. I find that talking to mellow, older adults is very soothing. I also exercise, listen to anxiety related music, tend to my garden, and cook warm foods to calm down after a panic attack. It stops the shaking.
Anonymous
November 20th, 2016 11:39am
Yoga, meditation, some natural herbs, teas, reiki, therapy, mindfullness, excercising regularly, hugging (yes, really), loving.
Rosieee22
November 23rd, 2016 5:38pm
Often times, thinking about calming yourself down when you are anxious only makes it worse. A helpful trick I have learned is tricking yourself into thinking that you aren't actually anxious, curbing mental anxiety and therefore the physical symptoms. For example, if you are anxious about presenting a project in front of a class, be happy about it. Never admit that you are nervous, and you won't be. Trust me, it works. Acting confident makes you confident.
Bubblyviolet
November 26th, 2016 7:53am
I go on walks or listen to music or play ukulele or piano when I get anxious, I also sometimes read, drink a warm drink or wrap up in a blanket to feel safe.
cooljulia
December 2nd, 2016 8:21am
Deep breaths. I know it sounds silly but it's the oldest way to help and it really works. Try to focus on one single thing, it helps to have a distraction. Focus on your breathing and the way your muscles feel, and try to relax them.
sereneLilac45
December 3rd, 2016 7:57pm
There are several ways which can help you with your anxiety, so you may want to try them out to find the one which is the most suitable for you. For example, some people feel a lot better when they excercise. Moving your body helps you not only burn some calories, but your brain distributes some hormones of "happiness" afterwards, so you feel a lot better than before. If you excercise in nature, you also gain more oxygen, so that's really great as well. When talking about oxygen - try taking deep breaths. Find at least several minutes in your busy schedule and stop doing whatever you're doing, and focus on your breath. Breathe deeply, fully in, fully out, feel the air filling your lungs.. it may seem a bit silly, but it really does help. It also helps when you're really stressed. Relaxing music helps a lot, too. Try playing some on youtube, and just relax. You can listen to instrumental music, sounds of nature (rain, storm, birds singing..), anything you like. Other things I recommend are - doing something creative (drawing, sculpting, ...), eating healthy food (fruits, vegetables) and drinking a lot of water, drinking (herbal) tea, maybe aromatherapy or yoga, etc.
TheWaySheSmiles
December 7th, 2016 3:05am
I use physical activity such as walking or yoga. Meditation and certain breathing techniques really help!
Anonymous
December 7th, 2016 9:19pm
Calming down your breathing and counting out your breaths. Or holding onto something and running your hands across to help ground yourself.
Catareta
December 17th, 2016 9:19pm
Homeopathy, but I find mindfulness very helpful. Thinking on your senses during an anxiety attack. Maybe do a panic bag with things of your senses. Mints, lavender, crunchy noise, marbles.
Anonymous
December 29th, 2016 3:15pm
To draw or doing something to love that distracts you. Many people find grounding helps which causes you too take control of the things happening around you that make you feel anxious.
Anonymous
December 30th, 2016 8:12am
Grounding yourself. Becoming aware of your environment and focusing on yourself. Trying to connect with your surrounding to help ease up the attack.
Anonymous
January 1st, 2017 11:59am
There are many ways you can deal with anxiety symptoms that aren't medication. Meditation and yoga are great for anxiety relief. Eating healthy, exercising, and spending time with loved ones are other ways you can deal with physical symptoms of anxiety. Lastly, deep breathing can calm you down. Inhale through your nose for 7 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, and exhale through your mouth for 7 seconds. Repeat this until you feel more calm and under control.
friendlyPerspective32
January 8th, 2017 5:26am
Have you ever heard of exposure therapy before? You should look it up! Basically, you list your fears (ranking them from least scariest to scariest) and tackle each of them gradually with or without a therapist to guide you. You find that, as you move up the list, you become more comfortable facing the very thing that scares you the most. I also find that having an optimistic approach/mentality helps you to deal with your anxiety. If you think about it, we as humans all have fears of our own. It's natural. But (and this may sound MUCH easier said than done) if you arise above them and act in spite of these fears, you start to realize that the object of your concern most likely won't hurt you. You become stronger for dealing with your anxiety head-on, rather than avoiding the things that make you feel uncomfortable. To better deal with the more physical symptoms of anxiety, it helps to practice meditation or exercise. These activities not only will help you clear your mind, but they can help you soothe your symptoms.
SmileYoureWorthIt
January 17th, 2017 5:56am
Hi there! As a person who deals with anxiety quite often, some ways I deal with it are: essential oils (you would be amazed at their power,) drinking hot tea to calm my heart, taking a warm shower to open up my lungs and help me breathe, and meditation and yoga can help a lot too. In the middle of a situation, I use grounding (it is a technique where you focus on an object with all your senses,) and most importantly mindful, deep breaths. Breathing is important because it can slow your heart rate, calm your trembles, and many other lovely things! I hope this helped!! You can do this! I believe in you! Keep smiling!
Nagisa
February 1st, 2017 6:16am
Grounding exercises, mindfulness and breathing techniques are all very useful coping strategies for anxiety symptoms.
Anonymous
February 2nd, 2017 5:00pm
You can practice self care. Self care can be whatever makes you feel better. It does not make you a selfish person when you are practicing it. Try researching breathing techniques to help you during an attack. Use games or other things to help distract yourself from anxiety. And last but not least, take some time for yourself to wind down so it doesnt snowball together.
Anonymous
February 5th, 2017 8:35pm
Find a grounding method. For example, i have a necklase my mother gave me that has a smooth stone on it. I like to hold the necklase between my fingers while consentrating on my breathing. 4 seconds in, 7 second hold and 7 seconds out. Make sure to keep the breathing even
Anonymous
February 21st, 2017 10:12pm
I like to do things repetitively--tapping a pattern, clicking a pen, signing the alphabet over and over with my hands. I've also found that having something to fiddle with really helps me; I get little nubby balls from Target for a dollar and they're great! I also have a puzzle ring that I can fiddle with and that works really well for me, too
greynarwhal
February 23rd, 2017 7:11am
I use medication, and I still get some physical symptoms of anxiety. Occasionally my chest feels really tight, or my body shakes, or my heart races. One thing that really helps me is focusing on my breathing. When I start to hyperventilate, everything else gets worse very quickly and I get a lot more physical symptoms. I try to meditate every day, even for just 5 or 10 minutes. That helps me stay in tune with my body, and seems to have lessened the physical symptoms. Recently I feel like I have finally been able to accept my anxiety as a part of me, instead of constantly fighting against it. Now when I'm feeling anxiety, instead of being angry at myself for feeling that way, I try to show love and compassion for myself. This also has helped lessen my physical symptoms.
Gabrielle2019
February 24th, 2017 2:41pm
I personally have found meditation and guided breathing helpful! Google some videos online that will guide you through the process of watching your breathing and focusing on relaxation.
Monday100
February 26th, 2017 6:04pm
In my experience regular exercise like walking helps to reduce anxiety. Also eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and getting enough sleep can help with anxiety. Try to reduce your intake of alcohol and avoid situations that may make you feel tense or vulnerable. For example taking the bus instead of the underground to and from work or school may reduce anxiety. Put aside some time in your day to relax and meditate and be kind to yourself.
UnderstandingFriend
February 26th, 2017 7:56pm
Try breathing exercises to slow your heart beat and calm down. One method of relaxation is to lay down and imagine you are an ice cube dissolving/melting in the warmth of the sun. Start at your feet and work your way up to your head. You could also try saying all the reasons you are anxious in your head, and then think about why it's unreasonable/what you can do to help fix the problem.
Anonymous
March 4th, 2017 8:13pm
Go outside and take a walk in nature. Head to a coffee shop and order some decaf tea and just read. Sing a song that you love as loud as you can. Deep breaths from the diaphragm. Connect with an old friend or call a lifeline that you trust. Hit up a local gym and get a workout in. Write a list of things you are grateful for - and why.
Anonymous
March 8th, 2017 9:24am
Expel the negative energy through physical exercise or relaxation techniques such as yoga or tai chi. Engross yourself in an enjoyable activity. Journaling is also a useful tool to acknowledge the thoughts and feelings when they present themselves.
Jc2989
March 16th, 2017 2:32pm
Exercise is a big one here! Physical activity and exercise can get you out in the open and helps you find ways to really break out of that shell. It also will help you find ways to cope with certain situations that may trigger your anxiety
BlissfulPerspective7
March 16th, 2017 4:04pm
Exercises like light aerobics/cardio along with light to medium-weight training help a lot. Additionally, practising breathing exercises and certain forms of yoga are beneficial too. These activities reduce the level of cortisol(stress hormone) in the body and improves your mood.
CalmLily
March 18th, 2017 4:15am
There are several different ways to deal with the physical symptoms of anxiety. One is to practice mindfulness. Initially, it is difficult to practice; however, the more you do it the more it will feel like second nature to you. Basically, mindfulness is the practice of being in the now. Secondly, practice relaxation techniques or find something that you enjoy. For me personally, when I am stressed, I like to watch comedies. The important part is to be able to identify the feeling of anxiety before it becomes uncontrollable. This, again, is the practice of mindfulness. Thirdly, practice yoga. Yoga is good for the mind as well as the body. That is all I can think of. I hope that this can help someone. Take Care all.
Leenient
March 22nd, 2017 5:35am
Taking a deep breath helps. Find a place where you feel safe and comfortable. Be mindful, your body is reacting irrationally because your brain thought you were in danger or unsafe when you're actually not. Take deep breaths slowly and calmly. Remind yourself, you're safe and not in any actual danger.
HereToListen333
April 5th, 2017 7:09am
Try listening to music or even focus on something intently. If you're able to put your attention towards something, then it is possible your anxiety will go away.