by Peter L
Anxiety is described as a feeling of worry or uneasiness over an event that can be imminent or uncertain. We may have encountered these episodes at some point in our lives. There really is no rhyme or reason as to why we get anxious about certain events, but it is human nature and completely normal. Benzodiazepines are the common form of treatment for forms of anxiety that become severe and interfere with our health. While medications certainly alleviate some of the underlying causes in our brains, there are other alternatives to addressing anxiety before starting a medication regimen. Non-pharmacological methods are recommended by some before seeking out medication. Here are some healthy alternatives to taking a benzodiazepine.
1. Guided Meditation
Meditation is a very popular exercise that contains an abundance of benefits for your health. There are studies that show that meditation can perhaps be even more powerful than medication. Among other benefits, it relieves anxiety and calms you down. A popular, specific kind of meditation is guided meditation. Guided meditation focuses on your breathing and calming your mind. Simply close your eyes, breathe in and out a set number of times, and relax. As you relax, your muscles and your mind will be at ease.
A massage is a general umbrella term for rubbing, pressing and manipulating skin, tendons, and muscles. Getting massages are great at relieving anxiety, muscle tension, and stress. Beyond its relieving effects, massages have also proven to be helpful in producing feels of comfort and connection. After a massage, your body becomes clear and your mind becomes relaxed. Almost every symptom of stress that is listed by the American Psychological Association can be relieved by a massage because of the amount of tension and stiffness that can be lifted as a result of anxiety. In addition, your brain responds to a massage by releasing serotonin and dopamine which produces feelings of calm as well.
3. Detox From Electronics
We consume electronics such as cell phones, television, and laptops more than we know. It becomes a part of our daily lives, and over time, we will find that we are on electronics for the majority of the time. But have you considered what may happen if you were to limit or completely detox your daily electronic routine? Of course, they are necessary for communication purposes, but casual use can waste hours and hours of your day. Try limiting the use of all electronics and try other behaviors such as reading and writing. Go outside and go for a walk or jog in your neighborhood. Doing this can significantly increase your productivity and lower your anxiety. Taking care of yourself is such a vital behavior, and you can begin to do that by putting down the phone for a few moments and picking up a book.
4. Essential Oils
Essential oils are natural oils obtained from plants naturally, and fortunately, they have a lot of benefits. They have a very aromatic fragrance that actually has the capacity to pass through the blood-brain barrier. The areas of our nervous system that control feelings of stress, panic, depression, and anxiety are all directly affected by the oil. Simply inhaling oils can have a very calming effect. Some of the more popular oils include the lavender, cinnamon leaf, and cedarwood variety.
5. Cut Back on Caffeine
Caffeine is highly popular, especially amongst college students. Why? Because it gives you a jolt of energy and has addictive qualities. Despite that, it can also make you very jittery and anxious. If you are not willing to completely remove caffeine from your diet, try limiting your daily intake to about one cup. Replace the caffeine that you’d normally intake with other beverages with even greater benefits to your health such as green tea and water. Be sure to watch for caffeine-containing beverages such as soda.
6. Hot Baths
Hot baths are very soothing to the body as it raises body heat and can help regulate your mood and anxiety. If you would like some added benefits to enhance your hot bath, try adding in some Epsom salts. The magnesium sulfate that is within the salts are capable of calming anxiety and lowering blood pressure. You can even add in the essential oils for an extra boost!
7. Monitor Your Diet
In addition to reducing the caffeine in your diet, there are other dietary requirements your body needs to combat severe anxiety. Anxiety disorders have often been linked to deficiencies in zinc, vitamin B12, and magnesium. Limiting alcohol, sugars, and saturated fats are also highly recommended.
8. Get A Pet
It takes a lot of responsibility to care for a pet, but pets also offer love and companionship when you need it. The pets of choice many like to look after are dogs and cats, but new research have alternatives for those who have potential allergies. Studies have shown psychological benefits to taking care of animals as small as crickets.
While prescription drug use is a common solution that people turn to for cases of anxiety, it is not always the best solution. Benzodiazepine addiction is a real threat. However, there are healthier alternatives to consider.