7 Ways to Handle Anxiety After Quitting Xanax
- 1. Meditation Helps With Anxiety
- 2. Exercise
- 3. Attend a Yoga Class
- 4. Plan Your New Life
- 5. Spend Time With Loved Ones
- 6. Indulge an Old Hobby—Or Find a New One
- 7. Give Fido Some Love
What is Xanax?Xanax is a benzodiazepine (commonly known as a 'sedative') that is usually prescribed for anxiety and insomnia.
Doctors write almost 50 million prescriptions for Xanax every year, making alprazolam—the generic name for Xanax—one of the most popular, and most popularly abused, drugs in the world.
Xanax users going through withdrawal face a double whammy.
- Not only must they grapple with the typical stress of withdrawal; they must also manage life without anti-anxiety medication.
- It's normal to feel anxiety, even of an overwhelming variety, during this difficult process.
The good news is that the stress of withdrawal is short-lived, and your willingness to navigate the process can free you from the pain of addiction—as well as the anxiety that often accompanies it.
1. Meditation Helps With Anxiety
Quieting your anxious mind might feel impossible in the midst of withdrawal-induced panic. Meditation, though, can calm even the most relentless of anxious thoughts. There's no right way to meditate, but some simple options to get you started include:
- Take 20 slow, deep breaths, ensuring your exhales are at least as long as your inhales and that your stomach expands when you breathe in.
- Sit in a quiet room and clear your mind of all thoughts, focusing on your breath. When you think of anything, bring your attention back to your breath.
- You may even want to practice expressing gratitude for things in your life which you are grateful for. Mentally make notes or write them down. This can be a powerful practice of restoring our bodies and mind.
- Opening ourselves up to our internal state can allow difficult sensations and emotions to arise.
- If this is the case, ease up. You may need to find other ways to induce relaxation, such as exercising.
- Remember that learning to tolerate our anxiety is a gradual process that should be approached in a slow, incremental way.
When you're struggling with withdrawal, it's easy to burrow under a blanket fort, cry, and focus on nothing but your anxiety. Withdrawal tempts you to do the very things that are most harmful to you.
- Aerobic exercise—the kind that gets your heart pumping, such as swimming, jumping rope, running, or walking—has been shown in numerous studies to Aerobic exercise—the kind that gets your heart pumping, such as swimming, jumping rope, running, or walking—has been shown in numerous studies to combat anxiety and depression. Exercise may also help speed up the length of the withdrawal process.
3. Attend a Yoga Class
4. Plan Your New Life
You've made a bold, brave decision, but even the best decisions can yield unpleasant consequences. Keep your eye on the prize by considering the ways your life will change for the better when you're off of Xanax for good. Don't just fantasize. Sit down and make a plan. The more detailed, the better.
5. Spend Time With Loved Ones
Relationships can be your saving grace when the challenges of withdrawal feel unbearable. Don't shut yourself away to suffer alone. Reach out to the people who love you the most, who may not know you need help unless you ask. Keep your time together light; rather than focusing on your pain, do something fun and distracting together. Even just a few hours may help remind you of how good life can be without drugs.
6. Indulge an Old Hobby—Or Find a New One
Xanax takes you away from the things you love most. But now that you have more time, and don't have to spend your hard-earned cash on drugs, reward yourself by embracing an old hobby or finding a new one.
- Sign up for a class. Join a local meetup.
- Watch online tutorials.
- The goal here is to master a new skill so you can feel more confident, less fixated on Xanax, and hopeful about a brighter tomorrow.