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Anxiety

Question:

Hello sir, I want to ask you how I can overcome anxiety without medication?

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Answer:

You are asking an excellent question. In many cases, but not all, it is possible for people to overcome or reduce anxiety without medication. In fact, I want to point out that many of the anti anxiety medications are addictive in nature and best not used or used with extreme caution. There are some anti depressant medications that have the additional benefit of reducing anxiety but the best approach with or without medication is to follow some of what I will point out next.

Reducing Anxiety:

There are many non medical techniques that are helpful in reducing anxiety. Among them are:

1. Learn and make good use of meditation. There are many classes around the country that you can attend and learn how this is done. In addtion, there are many popular books available that describe and and why this is useful. Get into the habit of using meditation twice per day, morning and evening starting for about 5 minutes.

2. Here, in our self help section of Mental Help.Net, you will find a section that describes deep breathing and muscle relaxation techniques. In fact, these tecniques can be applied prior to a meditation. Combined, the two are wonderful ways to reduce tension. As you become more skilled in meditation and deep muscle relaxation, you can apply them during the day if and when you feel anxious.

3. If you are in good physical health and have your MD’s approval, use exercise to burn off tension. Aerobic exercise is best for this although a good exercise program should include some weight lifting as well.

4. Stimulants such as coffee and tea can increase anxious feelings. It is best to either reduce or eliminate the amount of caffein you take in. By the way, there are many sodas that are caffeinted and add to the problem. Try to subsititute with non caffein drinks.

5. Alcohol may seem to be a way to reduce anxiety but it actually adds to feelings of both anxiety and depression. This is true of many other substances such as marijuana. In fact, it is well established that marijuana can bring about a vast increase in anxiety and paranoia.

6. It is important to get good sleep each night. That translates into 7 hours per night. Do not eat prior to sleep as that interferes with sleep, as does alcohol.

7. In our self help section or in the book stores, there is a lot of information on cognitive behavioral psychotherapy. The manual by Burns, The Feeling Good Handbook, is really excellent in teaching how to use cognitive behavioral methods to alter the kinds of thinking that cause or increase anxiety.

8. Finally, there are many excellent clinical psychologists and licensed clinical social workers who use cognitive behavioral methods to help clients reduce their anxiety and without medication.

Best of Luck

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