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alternatives to anxiety meds

6 Alternatives we LOVE for our Anxiety

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That anxious, stomach flipping, heart like a box of frogs feeling feeling is no joke. 

Over the years we have struggled with anxiety. Triggered by surgery, pregnancy and even a global pandemic! 

We like to find a natural solution as much as possible. After all, we know that some anxiety medications have unpleasant side effects.

In this blog, we are going to take a look at how we have helped ease our own anxiety over the years. 

The meds

There is a whole list of medications and methods that can be used when it comes to treating generalized anxiety disorder. We have tried and tested alternatives to anxiety medication and we will share what we thought of them.

We found that some anxiety medication, such as SSRI’s, can have unpleasant side effects. Mayo Clinic reports the following: 

  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness, agitation or restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Sexual problems, such as reduced sexual desire, difficulty reaching orgasm or inability to maintain an erection (erectile dysfunction)
  • Impact on appetite, leading to weight loss or weight gain
  • Dependency on drugs (in case of Benzodiazepines)

While we know that sometimes meds are the only way, we wanted to see if there were some alternatives to anxiety medication that could help.

According to a study, alternative and complementary therapies are used more as compared to conventional therapies by people now a days. Another study published in 2013, has shown it to be a better way of treating anxiety disorder as compared to treatment using just medication.

Alternatives we love for our anxiety

Here are a few home remedies for anxiety we have tried, tested and highly recommend.

Mostly they are free too so you won’t need to shell out lots of cash to beat your anxiety.  

Meditate

meditation as an alternative to anxiety meds
Taking time out each day to meditate has been said to improve anxiety levels 60% of the time

Taking time out each day to meditate has been said to improve anxiety levels up to 60% of the time according to recent stats. Keeping up with meditation for 6 months or longer may help manage to reduce those anxiety levels for the long term. 

There are many researches on effects of meditation for treating anxiety disorders with positive results proving it to be one of the best therapies for anxiety. One of them is done by a team from Harvard showing the credibility and importance of meditation for anxiety.

I use the Headspace app, available both on play store (android) and app store (iOS), which you can pay for, or the free version has a few sleep stories and meditation exercises. Spotify also has some free ones. 

There are also lots of meditation groups popping up in village halls if that’s your bag. They are usually between £5-10 a session. You might learn some good takeaways from it for your own practice. 

Eat a healthy diet

alternatives to anti anxiety medsication
What you eat directly impacts how you feel

What I put into my body really can affect how I feel. Eat crap, I feel crap.

According to Harvard Medical School’s published paper, alternatives to anxiety medication can even be food. Some foods to add to your diet to help beat the unease could be:

Published researches are cited with each option to prove the authenticity and credibility of our stance.

While sometimes all I need is a decent pizza and a bag of chocolate buttons, I know this diet isn’t an everyday diet. I need to balance it out with healthy meals that are full of veggies. 

Get some sleep

Everything is harder when I am tired. Decisions are harder, emotions are off and my food choices go out the window.

For me, getting a good amount of shut-eye may well be the cure to those daily worries.

Having a good sleep routine is key for me. I also make sure I turn off my phone before bed and don’t check my emails or socials past 8 pm. Otherwise I can be kept awake thinking about the email I just read or the Instagram post I saw. 

Skip the coffee 

Caffeine is a stimulant proved by researches conducted by American Psychological Association (APA). Ever had one too many coffees in a day and felt jittery and sick? I know too much coffee is going to heighten my feelings of anxiety. Instead, I try herbal tea, decaf or just a nice cold glass of water. 

Skipping the coffee (takeaway coffees are always 10 x worse for me!) also saves a few pennies as well as plastic lids and cardboard cups (if you forget to bring your own!)

St John’s Wort 

natural alternative to anxiety meds - st jons wort
St John’s Wort is a natural alternative to anxiety meds

St John’s Wort has been used for years and years to treat mild-anxiety, SAD, low mood and depression.

It is thought to work in a similar way to antidepressant meds. It may increase activity of brain chemicals, including  serotonin and noradrenaline. Both of which help to regulate our mood. Read more here.

One person on the Mind website reviewed the herbal remedy writing: “When I could no longer take SSRI’s due to side-effects, I tried St John’s wort as an alternative. It has definitely helped with my depression and my mood has lifted quite a lot.”

The clinical trials done on its effectiveness also prove these results.

Relaxation techniques 

There are many ways to naturally relax during anxious times. We have gone into detail about this on our blog “7 ways to reduce stress naturally”. These will help you to manage your stress levels, for me, they also act as an alternative to anxiety medication.

What you might avoid when feeling anxious

When you are feeling anxious there are things you might want to avoid that can heighten your feelings. 

Such as:

  • Alcohol (Beer fear is real!) 
  • Caffeine
  • Foods high in sugar 

Is it time to eat the frog?

Have you ever had something on your to do list that is triggering your anxiety? Sometimes the only way to feel less anxious is to get that job ticked off (if no one else can do it for you!)

The eat the frog phrase is one of my favorites. The idea is that you do the thing you least want to do first (like eat a frog) then everything that comes after will be easier. 

Have you tried any alternatives to anxiety medication?

Have you tried an alternative to anxiety medication that’s worked for you?

Message us on the gram and let us know, we’re @itsourremedy

Lots of love, 

xxx

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