Drug-Free Ways to Fight Stress and Anxiety

Oct 20, 2021 | Be Well

There are drug-free ways to fight stress and anxiety. According to studies, anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues Americans (and people around the world) experience today. With the increasing number of alarming news, stressful work,  and the looming pandemic, it’s not surprising to see people without anxiety or depression develop these conditions.  

So how can you fight off anxiety and stress without turning to drugs or medication? 

Easy Drug-Free Ways to Fight Stress and Anxiety

Fighting stress and anxiety is not the same for everybody. Some people can manage them easily while others cope differently. One of the most common ways people deal with stress is to turn to substance abuse. However, you don’t have to do that. Here are six ways to fight them:

Eat a well-balanced and healthy diet 

Anxiety can’t be cured by food, but what you eat plays a role in helping your body combat anxiety [1]. According to the Mayo Clinic, the type of food you eat can help calm your anxiety or trigger it. It is also the reason why you should be able to identify the kind of food you eat. 

So, to boost your mood, your diet must include the following: 

  • Chocolate
  • Magnesium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Folate and other B vitamins
  • Low-glycemic foods
  • Tryptophan
  • Complex carbs like whole grains and whole-grain cereals
  • Protein

Staying away from caffeine and other sugary drinks also helps you reduce the risks of developing anxiety. Keeping yourself hydrated at all times is also one way to keep your mood up. 

Foods high in zinc like cashews, oysters, liver, beef, and egg yolks are also said to help fight anxiety. 

Exercise to boost your mood

Keeping a regular exercise schedule helps fight stress and anxiety. Exercising is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety and stress naturally. Why? Physical exercises give your hormones serotonin and endorphins a kick, boosting your mood better. When you feel good on the inside, your outward appearance also changes. 

You can start with simple exercises like walking or jogging. Exercising is a painful task for someone with anxiety so instead of overthinking about what to do, aim to complete it within 30 mins. Don’t overdo your exercise either; any movement can help. Of course, once you feel like you’re ready to exercise in full swing, go ahead and do it.  Work with a personal trainer; they can help with your exercise routines and meal planning. 

Practicing meditation 

Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years and is one of the best ways to release anxiety and stress. It also gives you a sense of calmness, balance, and peace. Meditation helps untangle your jumbled thoughts that could be stressing you and giving you anxiety. As a result, this process enables you to achieve enhanced emotional and physical well-being [2].

When you meditate, you are: 

  • Building ways to manage your stress and anxiety
  • Increase your self-awareness
  • Enhances your imagination and creativity
  • Help you stay focused
  • Sees new perspective in stressful situations
  • Help increase your tolerance and patience

So take time to relax, practice meditation, and try other drug-free ways to fight stress and anxiety.  Use a variety of meditation techniques like imagery and breathing exercises. The more you practice mindful meditation, the more self-conscious you will be when stress comes. 

It’s okay to say no

Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and say no to other people. The reason why we get anxious or stressed is that we allow others to fill up our space. You can only do so much, and dealing with your problems is stressful enough. So, why should you allow others to add more drama to your life? – It does not mean you stop helping others. It simply means you have to take care of yourself first before you take care of others. 

Know your limitations, be there for others but always set your boundaries. If others cannot respect your boundaries, then walk away. Know your worth and value yourself; you will see how less stressful your life will be in the long run [3]. 

Set realistic goals 

Realizing that you cannot meet or do everything 100% is okay. Sometimes, we get anxious because we expect too much from ourselves when we can only do so much in reality. 

It’s perfectly okay if you can’t give it all, and realizing that you will make mistakes along the way helps lessen your stress. Just be aware of the things you can control and let go of those that you can’t. Life is not always perfect; learn to let go. 

Live each moment – Be present

There is no use in worrying about the future. Worrying about the bills to pay, your work, people, and even the pandemic is pointless at this moment. You can only live each day and be present while you are here. 

Live each moment by spending time with those you love. Making memories and enjoying each company is the best thing that you can do for now. Take time to relax and remind yourself of what you can do. Worrying about tomorrow is not going to help, and it only harms your mental health. Do what you can today; that is enough. 

Drug-free Ways to Fight Stress and Anxiety is the Best Option

With the current events happening in our world, the stress of losing jobs or not having any, the threat of the pandemic, and losing loved ones because of this disease are among the reasons why we feel stressed and hopeless. Being anxious about everything is normal but never let this fear overwhelm you. 

Anxiety and stress are crippling at times, but there are plenty of ways to overcome this. Taking medication for this can help but, the long-term side effects of these drugs are also debilitating. Modifying your behavior, changing your outlook in life, taking care of yourself, and changing your lifestyle are the best alternatives to ease your anxiety without using medication. 

Remember, you are not alone in this. When your thoughts are consuming you, take a break. Get some fresh air, enjoy nature and recharge yourself. Talk to your friends and family, be present for others as well. Meditate and learn relaxation techniques to help calm yourself. If you believe in God or a higher power, pray. All of these are helpful – you have to be open to the possibilities, and sometimes, you need to make a little effort to make it all work out. 

So, what is making you anxious? Are you going to let it take over you? Or be in control? – The choice is always yours.