One of the most common mental health conditions in the US is anxiety.
It has been shown that over the age of 18 there are more than 40 million people who have some form of anxiety disorder, and as the condition becomes more and more destigmatized, more and more people are open about their symptoms.
If you have anxiety which does not need a traditional medical treatment, or if you have anxiety which is being treated, but you want to know what you can do as well as this to improve the situation, then you might want to consider complementary (see also: Is Mindfulness Considered A Complementary Therapy?)treatments.
These treatments will help improve general health, and will also aid in relieving anxiety symptoms for certain people.
While you do not have to worry about side effects like you would with traditional medical treatment, you do have to keep in mind that not every treatment will work for everyone, and this is why research is important!
You want to consider that it may take some time to see results, and if you have severe anxiety, these treatments will work much better as a supplementary effort instead of as the only treatment.
Before starting any treatment, it is also worth consulting a medical professional who understands your medical history so you can get the best recommendation possible.
Best Complementary Anxiety Treatments
Throughout this guide we will be covering all the best complementary treatments for anxiety. Anxiety is a natural response your body will have to stress, however, different people suffer from anxiety to differing degrees and this can lead to anxiety disorders.
This can manifest in different forms like; general anxiety disorder, phobias, panic disorder, separation or social anxiety.
These all have varying causes and symptoms, but the treatments recommended in this guide should be able to aid with certain symptoms depending on severity.
While a lot of us can end up relying on caffeine in its varying forms to help us get through the day, it can also be decreasing how well we are able to cope with our anxiety.
If you end up having too much caffeine, this can end up leading to worsened symptoms of anxiety like; fidgeting, nervousness, hyperactivity, sleep disturbance, as well as restlessness.
The more caffeine you have, the more likely you are to suffer from these symptoms, so if you find yourself suffering from anything on that list more than you should, then it is recommended that you try avoiding or limiting the caffeine you are ingesting, especially if it is in concentrated amounts.
If you are looking for other forms of energy than caffeine, there are alternatives and lifestyle changes you can make to supplement.
Avoid Nicotine And Alcohol
Similarly to the previous point, but if you regularly consume alcohol or nicotine, then these can also worsen the symptoms of anxiety.
While these products have been shown to occasionally help with symptoms of anxiety, this is only temporary, and the long-term effects have been shown to make the symptoms even worse in the long run.
It was shown in a 2019 study that teenagers who regularly use alcohol and nicotine were shown to have higher cases of mental health issues, and these often manifested in anxiety.
This is not telling you to completely stop using nicotine or alcohol right away, however, reassessing how often you use it is well worth doing as part of the recovery process!
Balanced Diet & Water Intake
Studies have shown that eating patterns can have a direct impact on mental health and fulfilling certain dietary requirements can aid with treatment of conditions like anxiety and depression.
It has been proven that there is a link between nutrition and mental health, and this is why your diet is so important to your mental health.
For example, omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to help regulate dopamine and serotonin which helps with anxiety.
Also, if you get key nutrients like B vitamins and vitamin C these can also help with anxiety. Avoiding saturated fats has also been shown to aid with decreasing the risk of anxiety.
Eating at regular intervals has also been shown to aid with mental health conditions. You also want to be keeping up your water levels as hydrating liquids help our body perform properly and this can relieve stress as well.
One of the best ways to regulate stress is to do cardiovascular activities as this will lower your stress levels as well as your anxiety. This can also improve your immune system as well.
Exercise is something a lot of people can find intimidating, especially if they suffer from anxiety, however, people often forget how accessible and many different forms of exercise there are.
For example, during the 2020 pandemic, the popularity of exercise focused video games skyrocketed and this is something which can appeal a lot to those who suffer from anxiety.
One of the best ways to help yourself with exercise is to give yourself goals, and using your anxiety as a goal can help motivate exercise even more.
This might seem obvious, but sleep is perfect for helping calm and reset a brain which is feeling anxious.
You want to aim for deep sleep which leads to slow wave sleep. This will lower the heart rate and help your blood pressure drop as well.
You want to be getting between 6 and 8 hours of sleep every night, and follow advice on how to sleep better if this is something you struggle with.
Relaxation Technique – Yoga, Meditation, And Breathing Techniques
There are plenty of different relaxation techniques, and all of these manifest in different ways, and appeal to different people. Because of this it is worth researching which appeals to you the most.
For example, there is a lot of overlap between yoga, meditation, and breathing techniques, but if you choose one to focus on, this can give you more focus, and then you can move onto others when you feel comfortable doing so.
One thing we love about all of these is that there is a focus on harmonizing the relationship between your mind and body and this is something which is difficult to find elsewhere!
What Are Complementary Treatments?
A complementary treatment is a treatment which you do alongside a traditional medical treatment.
These treatments are very rarely considered to be the only thing you should do to help your condition, however, they have been proven to aid alongside a more traditional recovery process.
Because of this, it is worth researching which complementary treatments could work (see also: Complementary Medicine – What Is It, And How Does It Work?)for you as they can improve your quality of life massively!
Hopefully this guide will help when it comes to understanding what you can do to aid your anxiety and your recovery process.
Not all of these treatments will work for everyone, and it is worth considering which you think will be the most effective based on your previous life experience.
You will also want to make sure that if you have already started a traditional medical treatment that you consult your doctor when it comes to complementary treatments since in some cases these could work against your recovery and this is not something you want to be doing.