From meditation all the way to psilocybin, let’s take a look at some common alternative anxiety treatments below.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. Certain life events, such as an interview or public speaking engagement, can trigger feelings of anxiety. Types of anxiety that feel extreme or linger for long periods of time can be classified as anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorders include the following:
- Panic disorder.
- Social anxiety disorder.
- Generalized anxiety disorder.
- Separation anxiety disorder.
How Do Anxiety Treatments Work?
Typically, mild cases of anxiety do not require any medical treatment. Instead, they may just call for some slight lifestyle changes. More severe cases of anxiety, though, make medical treatment a necessity.
Common types of medical treatments for anxiety include sedatives, antidepressants, psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Alternative Anxiety Treatments
Try a few alternative ways listed below to treat your anxiety.
No Alcohol Or Nicotine
While some individuals use alcohol and/or nicotine to treat anxiety, the relief is only temporary. Both alcohol and nicotine can make anxiety symptoms worse and more persistent. One study showed teenagers who used alcohol or nicotine were found with higher instances of mental health conditions.
Limit Caffeine Intake
Yes, caffeine can help you wake up in the morning, but too much caffeine can ultimately decrease your ability to handle anxiety.
Some anxiety-related effects of caffeine can include the following:
- Sleep disturbance.
The FDA has set 400 mg as the maximum amount of caffeine most people can intake without experiencing any negative effects related to anxiety. This amounts to about 4 or 5 standard-sized cups of coffee.
Of course, all individuals will differ in their sensitivity to caffeine and how fast their body processes it. Consuming over 1,200 mg of caffeine daily has been known to cause toxic effects, such as seizures, when consumed quickly.
Drink More Water
Since water represents 70 percent of your weight, it is undoubtedly an essential component of a healthy mind and body. It’s recommended to drink at least 6-8 cups of water every day. Proper water intake will help your body perform and relieve stress, at the same time.
It’s no secret that regular exercise is good for stress relief. Cardiovascular exercises has been proven to lessen stress and anxiety levels, as well as improve the immune system. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says just five minutes of aerobic exercise can start to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
Anxiety increased across the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. One study performed during the height of the pandemic showed the powerful effects regular exercise can have in reducing anxiety symptoms and improving overall mental health.
Eating patterns in line with dietary and nutrient recommendations may help prevent and treat anxiety and depression. To maintain a well-balanced diet, the experts suggest taking the following measures:
- Avoid processed foods.
- Stay away from foods with high sugar.
- Avoid soda.
- Eat regular meals.
A 2019 study found that sleep can help calm and reset an anxious brain, with research showing that deep sleep is the most helpful type of sleep in calming anxiety. In this sleep state, both heart rate and blood pressure will drop.
Try to aim for 6-8 house of quality sleep each and every night. You can regulate your own body’s sleep patterns by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. It’s also recommended to avoid bright screens 1-2 hours before bed.
While meditation won’t change the world that surrounds you, it can help change the way you respond to it. Successful meditation can help you better understand your source or sources of anxiety and how to overcome these feelings.
Meditation will relax the body and can help in the treatment of panic disorders and phobias. Here is a quick and easy way to practice meditation:
- Sit still in one quiet place.
- Focus solely on breathing deeply.
- When a thought attempts to enter your mind, simply acknowledge it and move on.
Numerous studies continue to show that psilocybin therapy can be beneficial in relieving multiple mental health disorders.
One study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine found that taking psilocybin in combination with talk therapy significantly improved clinical depression symptoms. Some participants even reported feeling the benefits up to one year after only receiving two doses of the compound.
Can Psilocybin Treat Anxiety?
More and more research suggests that psilocybin, which is the hallucinogenic compound in mushrooms, may have long-term benefits related to treating both anxiety and depression.
Psilocybin shares many similarities with serotonin, a chemical messenger playing an important role in mood regulation. Anxiety can ultimately result from low or imbalanced serotonin levels. Psilocybin mushrooms act on your body’s serotoninergic system, so they can restore serotonin balance.
A study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs provides further evidence that psilocybin could offer therapeutic benefits in treating PTSD, depression and anxiety.
These benefits can be felt by patients up to a week after the psilocybin has been ingested. Psilocybin benefits are thanks in large part to the compound’s ability to manipulate the region of the brain responsible for mood.
*Please note in 47 out of 50 states, psychedelic mushrooms are perfectly legal. Users can buy, sell and own psilocybin mushroom spores for research purposes only. However, it is illegal in nearly all jurisdictions to cultivate magic mushrooms. Psilocybin spores are never to be cultivated.
The only exception is in New Mexico, where it remains legal to grow mushrooms as long as no steps are taken to preserve the mushrooms. Make sure to familiarize yourself with your local psychedelic spore laws before placing an order. Psilocybin mushroom spores are currently illegal in California, Georgia and Idaho.
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