Anxiety is the number one mental health challenge facing Americans today. Studies show that over 18% of adults in the U.S. will struggle with anxiety in a given year, and 23% of American will face it within their lifetime.
There are medical solutions to anxiety, including antidepressants and benzodiazepines. However, these medications often come with side effects and other potential problems. The good news is that if you don’t want to take prescription medication for your anxiety, you do have other options.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
The first line of defense against anxiety disorder is often cognitive-behavioral therapy, also called CBT. This therapy can be provided by a doctor or therapist, and generally, you will need multiple visits to start experiencing the results. The best thing about CBT is that it works. In fact, studies show that cognitive behavioral therapy is useful for numerous mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, and personality disorders. The downside to CBT is that it takes some time to work, requires effort, and works best when performed by a qualified professional.
This is another option that your doctor may recommend. While hypnosis is considered a form of alternative, or complementary, medicine, it is also a legitimate method of treating anxiety according to the medical establishment. Hypnosis works by putting you in a deep state of relaxation and using that opportunity to target your subconscious mind. Like cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis is a risk-free option for anxiety sufferers to try. Look for a certified hypnotist for the best results, although some people see benefits from working with online programs as well.
Mindfulness Meditation at Home
If for some reason, you’re unwilling or unable to see a medical professional or therapist, home meditation may be the best option for you. Studies have established its effectiveness for treating the symptoms of anxiety in both the short and long-term. If you’re interested in meditating at home, there are dozens of free website and apps available. Experiment with a few of them until you find one that works for you. Meditation can produce results very quickly, and it works well enough that most practitioners will continue with it for the rest of their lives.
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a chemical found in cannabis, but it does not have any of the psychoactive properties that people associate with marijuana. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that the use of CBD oil minimizes the symptoms of Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder, or GSAD, the most common type of anxiety disorder. For example, in one 2011 study, subjects with GSAD who consumed CBD oil before a public speaking event experienced markedly less anxiety and discomfort than subjects who consumed a placebo. Unfortunately, CBD is only available in some areas of the county. If you live in an area where cannabis and cannabis products are legal for medical or recreational reasons, you may want to consider this treatment. In fact, we have an overwhelmingly popular article we published on legal CBD from Hemp and how you can get it delivered to your door in all 50 states, so take a look at it here.
Almost everyone can avail themselves of this treatment for anxiety. Many studies have shown that exercise can lower both the symptoms of anxiety and the frequency of anxiety attacks. The exercise begins to relieve the symptoms of anxiety almost immediately, and the effect lasts for hours. Unlike medication, exercise has only positive side effects and little risk. Best of all, any type of physical activity counts as exercise, so running, swimming, dancing, and even walking will do the trick. The only disadvantage to exercise is that it may not be as effective as treatment by a doctor or therapist.
Don’t let your skepticism about medication keep you from getting the help that you need. Anxiety can be managed and even overcome with enough help, hard work, and determination. If one treatment isn’t working for you, try another. And don’t be afraid to ask for help, since everyone needs it sometimes.