Monday, March 5, 2012

How to Manage Anxiety and Phobias Naturally

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. However, when your anxiety or phobia limits you from experiencing life, it’s time to take serious action. Drugs or medications are often prescribed. Yet before you take this step consider managing your anxiety or phobia without medication. Many medications have unwanted side effects, and are essentially very toxic to the brain and body. Natural anxiety-relieving tactics can help you manage your issues without these potential dangers. (Note: If you are experiencing severe depression or suicidal thoughts, you should seek professional help immediately.)

10 Ways to Manage Anxiety and Phobia without Drugs

Let's YogaImage via Wikipedia1) Yoga. Yoga teaches many lessons. You learn to control your breathing. You learn to focus. You learn to relax and connect to your body (which can really tell you a lot if you listen to it). You also learn how strong and capable you are. Combined, this is a powerful tool to manage anxiety. Using what you learn in yoga, you can quickly refocus your thoughts, relax and send fear away. There are yoga classes available everywhere these days, and lots of DVDs as well if you prefer to practice at home.

2) Meditation. Meditation helps you look inward for answers and strength. Like yoga, meditation also teaches focus and controlled breathing. With insight and control you can virtually eliminate anxiety and phobias from ruling your life.

3) Exercise. Exercise boosts endorphins - aka feel-good hormones. These hormones make you feel as if you can accomplish anything. They’re very strong and very positive, and the feeling of well-being in your body will lift your mood mentally as well. (For some suggestions for fun ways to exercise, visit our exercise blog at )

4) Fresh air. Fresh air and sunshine help clear the cobwebs from your mind. Also, sunshine helps your body produce vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to help manage depression and optimize many functions. It simply helps you feel more positive and in control of your life.

5) Cut back on stimulants including sugar and caffeine. Stimulants can actually worsen anxiety and fear. Cut them out of your diet. You’ll be healthier and you’ll feel calmer.

A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer.Image via Wikipedia6) Avoid alcohol and drugs. Alcohol and drugs interfere with your body’s chemistry. They can mess up your hormones, alter your brain chemistry and ultimately change your mood and personality - and not in a good way.

7) Positive affirmations. When you’re experiencing anxiety or fear, use affirmations to change your thoughts. Affirmations are positive statements. They help you refocus. For example, a stressful thought like, “I’ll never get this done in time,” can be changed with a positive affirmation. “I am in control and capable of accomplishing this task in a timely manner.” It may sound simplistic or even cheesy, but it can sometimes help a lot.

8) Visualizations. When you’re in a stressful situation consider using a visualization to help you relax. For example, you might imagine yourself sitting on a grassy hill watching a beautiful waterfall. Choose a visualization that helps you feel relaxed and calm. Go there when you need to.

9) Friends. Friends can be a great help when you’re feeling anxious or fearful. A simple phone call or text can help you relax. Friends are also good for laughter which is one of the BEST tools to combat anxiety - and it's free!  :-)

10) Get help. Finally, if these natural methods are not working for you consider getting therapy. Talk therapy, massage and other professional methods of assistance can help you find balance in your life, naturally.

It is possible and even preferable to treat anxiety and phobias naturally. Medications have the potential for dangerous and unwanted side effects, and can wreak havoc on your mind and your bodily systems. By using some of the methods above, you will learn that you can control your thoughts and live a less fearful and more balanced life. (For more info on balanced living, visit
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