Anti-Anxiety Medication is Habit Forming. Here are Some Holistic Alternatives.

Anti-Anxiety Medication is Habit Forming. Here are Some Holistic Alternatives.

Holistic Alternatives Found Below

Anti-anxiety medication can certainly take the edge off, but it can also be habit-forming. If you’re already struggling with anxiety, you certainly don’t need a substance abuse problem, too. Unfortunately, many people end up in this trap. They start taking anti-anxiety medications or self-medicating with drugs and alcohol and end up with two problems – an anxiety disorder and an addiction. 

Whether you’re trying to avoid addiction or have already been through Holistic Outpatient Addiction Treatment in Denver, there are many holistic alternatives that can help you manage your anxiety without medication. That’s not to say that you’ll never need anti-anxiety drugs, but the goal is to manage most of your unpleasant symptoms with holistic therapies. 

Here are some of the best holistic alternatives to managing your anxiety without anti-anxiety medication. 

Exercise Regularly – Preferably Outdoors 

We know, you’re probably getting tired of seeing exercise as a solution to all your problems. Exercise is not the perfect answer, but it is one of the Best Tools We Have to Fight Anxiety and Depression. When you exercise, you burn off anxious energy, reduce stress, and improve overall cognitive function. 

You can also think of exercise as medicine for the brain. As you get moving, your body produces endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. Not only will you feel better in the moment, but also you should sleep easier at night because you’ll have fewer anxious thoughts. 

It’s also worth noting that exercise often takes place outdoors. When you spend time in Mother Nature, your mood improves, your energy levels increase and your anxiety becomes more manageable. It’s incredibly refreshing to have a change of scenery and a new perspective when dealing with stress. 

Practice Meditation and Mindfulness 

Meditation is something we introduce to our clients during their time at our Denver rehab centers. This mind-body practice helps you to be present in your life and view things in a healthy, non-judgemental manner. Over time, your brain will be more thoughtful and less reactive. 

Meditation is not difficult to do, but it does take some practice. One of the best ways to practice meditation is through mindfulness. We like this method for people in recovery because it helps them manage negative self-talk and live their lives consciously. 

Ask Your Doctor about Nutritional Supplements 

Some Herbal Supplements are Said to Reduce Tension and Anxiety, however, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims. That said, it’s never a bad idea to talk to your doctor about taking supplements. It’s possible that based on your metabolism, you may need extra nutrients. Possible supplements for treating mood disorders are: 

  • Vitamin D 
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Magnesium
  • L-Theanine 
  • Omega 3 
  • Valerian Root 
  • Probiotics 

Dabble in Essential Oils (Aromatherapy)

Essential oils are safe and can be an effective treatment option for depression and anxiety. You may have to do some self-exploration to see which oils you like best. Generally speaking, people prefer lavender, chamomile, basil, or Frankincense to help with anxiety. 

The easiest way to test out aromatherapy is by buying high-quality diffuser and essential oils. If this seems to calm your anxiety and help you sleep through the night, consider making a roller ball that you can take with you. This way, you’ll have something to ease your anxiety when you’re away from home. 

Drink Chamomile Tea (it Acts Similarly to Anti-Anxiety Medication!)

It may be hard to believe that a simple drink can calm your nerves, but it’s true. Some Compounds in Chamomile Act Similarly to Drugs like Valium, binding to the same receptors in the brain. If you don’t enjoy drinking tea, you can take a supplement along with dried chamomile flowers. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor first. 

woman drinking tea

See a Therapist for Talk Therapy 

Anxiety is not pleasant, and it’s possible that you could have an underlying anxiety disorder rather than just anxious symptoms. No matter the cause of your anxiety, it’s important that you learn how to manage your symptoms so that you do not get worse. Without treatment, people who suffer from anxiety are at a higher risk for substance abuse and self-harm. 

One of the most effective therapies for Treating Anxiety is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The goal is to help you understand how your thoughts affect your emotions and behaviors. People with anxiety often have negative patterns and distortions that affect how they see the world and feel about themselves. 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is especially effective at treating phobias, panic disorders, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. It’s possible that your therapist will refer you to a doctor for an antidepressant that can help curb your anxiety. Some people do very well with holistic therapies and a non-habit forming antidepressant like Zoloft or Prozac. 

Sleep with a Weighted Blanket

If your anxiety is worse at night, Try Sleeping with a Weighted Blanket. These blankets weigh anywhere from 4-30 pounds and help calm the body by pushing it downwards. This process is called “grounding” and it can have a calming effect on the body. 

Grounding may also reduce cortisol levels, easing stress, and promoting a good night’s sleep. Some people even find that using a weighted blanket retrains their brains to be more relaxed and produce more serotonin and dopamine. It’s worth a try! 

Eat a Balanced Diet 

Lastly, make sure you’re eating a balanced diet. Try to eat a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables because these will make you feel better and take care of any nutritional deficiencies. Here are some Foods That Can Increase the Body’s Stress Levels in some people:

  • Fried Foods. These foods are hard to digest and have no nutritional value.
  • Coffee. Coffee contains caffeine, and caffeine can trigger anxiety symptoms. Also, avoid caffeinated teas and sodas.
  • Dairy Products. Some low-fat dairy products are probably fine, but some research suggests that dairy can raise the body’s adrenaline levels.
  • Refined Sugars. Refined sugars are not good for your health and they can trigger anxiety and panic attacks.
  • Acid-Forming Foods. Foods like pickles, eggs, wine, and liver can decrease the body’s magnesium levels and trigger anxiety. Eat them in moderation. 

Treat Your Anxiety and Substance Abuse at Our Denver Rehab Centers

Many people who struggle with addiction also struggle with anxiety. Continuum Recovery Center of Colorado provides affordable, accessible outpatient drug rehab in Denver Colorado. We can address your underlying anxiety and help you stop the cycle of self-medication. Contact Us Today to learn more about our approach to dual diagnosis and our alternatives to anti-anxiety medication.

If you would like to apply for Pre-Admissions into our Treatment Program, see our Pre-Admissions Section for Enrolling In Treatment.