Is it possible to overcome anxiety without drugs?
Before I go into some techniques that may help, let me ask you: How are you feeling? If you are like others, you may be feeling anxious, stressed, overwhelmed. If this sounds familiar, I want to discuss how to overcome anxiety without drugs.
Are you riding the coronacoaster? In addition to my clients’ and friends’ experiences, I also keep reading about so many of us feel hopeless, depressed, or anxious. There are so many things that are contributing to these low-level emotions including the lack of control over what is happening around us and the energy of fear that is surrounding us.
If you are an empath you may be feeling the emotions of others, the collective trauma, and are most likely dealing with your own challenges. When you feel these difficult emotions what do you do?
You may have tried meditating, mindfulness, yoga, or other strategies and don’t feel like anything is helping or it just isn’t helping enough.
It is vital to take care of your mental/emotional health while safeguarding your physical health. If you think that they are separate and don’t impact each other, that is simply false. We are whole beings and our systems are interconnected. Your overall health is interconnected just as we are all connected. If you haven’t tried any strategies and want to start with the basics, read this post “4 Powerful strategies for Overcoming Anxiety.”
You may be saying, OK I get that my emotional health is important but if all my strategies are not working than what can I try now? Keep reading, I have some suggestion to help you overcome anxiety without drugs.
Shifting your Perspective: The Story is the Key
You may have heard that saying by Carl Jung “what you resist, not only persists but grows in size” which essentially means if you focus on the negative, the fear, and what isn’t working you get more of that. If you focus on what is going well, gratitude, and service to others than you get more of that in your life.
So ask yourself what is your perspective, or the lens that you look at the world?. When you experience an event, hear a story, or even have a memory this has to go through your brain to be processed before you can perceive it. What have you been focusing on? Be honest with yourself.
In order to work on your perspective about events, pay attention to the stories you are telling daily or even hourly. What are your discussions with friends and family? Take a good look at what you are saying and thinking. What are you telling yourself about the external events? Your thoughts and the stories you tell impact how you feel and can make you anxious.
If you want to feel less anxious, tell yourself a new story. Think about how you can see things from a different perspective. Maybe focus on what is working vs. what isn’t. Our brain’s default is to focus on all that isn’t going well which is not going to help you overcome anxiety without drugs.
It is time to focus on what is working in your life, your community, and your family. When something happens that is not the way you would like things to be, going down a negative spiral of thought is not going to make the situation better. Instead, acknowledge the thought that this event didn’t go the way you wanted, allow yourself to feel the sadness or whatever emotions come through. Then think of what is good, what if anything you can do to contribute to others to improve the outcomes, or if there is anything you can do to change the situation.
Listen to your Physical Body
Our physical bodies are an essential source of wisdom when we choose to pay attention to. Most of us go through our days lost in our heads, or in thoughts. We tend to ignore bodily sensations regularly while focusing on our work or inner world. HSP’s and empaths are known to have a rich inner life so it becomes easier for us to ignore our body’s wisdom.
I am going to recommend that you pay attention to what your body is telling you, it is key to your well being.
For instance, if you are feeling hungry then your body is telling you something. Take a look at your diet, did you eat what your body needs today? Are you dehydrated? Hungry? Or just need a break? Hunger is a signal to pay attention to. It may not mean you need to eat, but you must take care of your body decipher the message.
Listen to your body for the emotions it communicates as well. Your body will tell you when you are stressed, we have a physical response to stress. Your heart rate will increase, your muscles tighten, and maybe your stomach hurts. When you are in that state, notice and make changes necessary to move into a more aligned and calmer state.
How many physical sensations a day do you ignore? Try paying attention to when you are tired, hungry, thirsty, or feeling pain. Your body is communicating with you, pay attention. When you receive a physical sensation, take a few moments, and check in to see what your body is telling you.
Release and Process the Anger (In a Healthy Way)
Anger can go hand in hand with anxiety. Are you feeling irritable, do the littlest things frustrate you? You may have pent up anger. It is time to pay attention and release anger in a healthy way that harms no one.
You can use your body, the kinesthetic, to release the anger. If you are not sure how to do this, here is a list of some things you can do to process the anger and release it from your body. First, it is important to recognize what is happening, notice the anger, and then choose a safe way to release it.
Throw things safely: Can you go into nature and through acorns? How about stuffed animals against a wall? How about a baseball or tennis ball at a court wall?
What can you throw safely?
Whatever you choose imagine that your anger is being thrown out of your body. The object you choose to throw is a conduit for your anger.
Scream: I am going to recommend your scream in an empty room and not direct this at anyone else. This is not meant for you to take your anger out on someone else, it is to get the frustration out of your body.
Punch a pillow: take some pillows to imagine you are punching your source of anger. Imagine the anger is leaving your body and going into the pillow.
Stomp your feet: You can imagine you are stomping out the anger.
Go for a run, spin, or other meditative movements. You can use the exercise to move the energy out of your body. Set the intention before Your begin and imagine the energy moving.
Once you release the anger you may notice the emotion underneath the anger. Is it a disappointment, hurt? Then you can really work through the emotions and then the anger is not stuck in your body.
Use Essential oils
Use your sensitivity to your advantage. Essential oils work really well for many sensitive people and empaths. There are some great essential oils that help with relieving stress. My favorite is Lavender, and or a chamomile blend. When I am feeling out of my body, I love a grounding blend.
Make sure that you use a high-quality essential oil, it is important that you invest in what you put into your body, what you breathe in or on your body.
You can diffuse the essential oil into your room, if it has safe ingredients you can wear it like a perfume, or some oils are safe to ingest.
Access and Channel your Creativity
Use your creativity to express how you are feeling. You can draw, paint, color, or make a collage. Be creative, play with the medium you choose, don’t worry about the end result. Use the creative tool to have fun and release the emotions from your body. We store emotions which can cause health issues, including anxiety. According to Dr. Gabor Mate, a lot of stress and disease can be linked to childhood trauma, anxiety and stress, unexpressed emotions. Here is his video on the topic. Overcoming anxiety without drugs will take some effort, but it is definitely worth the effort.
There are so many ways to overcome anxiety, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and exercise are often recommended. In this blog, I discuss some other strategies to try before you take medication. If you choose medication, I am not here to shame you. Try some of the strategies I describe such as: shifting your perspective, expressing your anger, screaming, essential oils, and creativity. I would love to hear how it worked for you.