Over the last 14 years, I have tried different medications and although they did in fact help with my anxiety, I did not care for the side effects.
The medications made me feel light headed and disconnected. I made the decision to try and beat the anxiety monster on my own. Of course, I spoke with the doctor that prescribed those medications to make sure that I could in fact stop taking them.
You have to be very careful with medication, some medicines require that you taper off of them, you can read more about that here. So for me, I had to figure out, how to deal with anxiety without medication.
I spent many years learning everything I could about anxiety
I learned the causes, the symptoms and what other people were successful with in treating their anxiety.
You will see me say this over and over in my articles, knowledge is power. The more we know about something, the better we are equipped to handle it.
There is no disputing that fact. That applies to all aspects of life, the more we understand a problem, the easier it is to find a solution.
When I first started, the internet was in its infancy and was not a good resource. I actually went to a bookstore and the library. I read dozens of books on the topic of anxiety.
I visited multiple doctors, many times just to pick their brains about anxiety. I watched anything on TV that had anything to do with anxiety. I would even watch commercials that were selling anxiety or depression medication.
I became a student of what afflicted me. And you should do the same.
Healthy living to ease Anxiety
Most of this will be common sense, but some of you still need to hear it. The healthier you are, the better you feel and you will be less affected by illness. This goes for any illness, diabetes, heart disease, and yes, even anxiety.
Our bodies are fine tuned machines and like any fine tuned machine they need constant maintenance. Take a look at your car for example. It’s obvious that the better we take care of our car, the better it runs and the longer it will last.
You have to change the oil regularly, change the air filter, put new tires on it, keep all the fluids topped off and get the occasional tune-up. If you don’t do these things, your car will break down sooner than later.
Everyone knows this, but yet some people still let their cars fall into disrepair. I can understand for some people, taking care of your car can be too expensive, but you have to do it, or you wont have a car for very long.
You ever hear that saying, you are what you eat? It is so true. What you put in your body directly affects how healthy you are.
If it’s garbage in, then it’s garbage out. I have heard some people say that eating healthy is more expensive. That is not true. Look, you have to eat, so you are going to spend money on food anyways, why not buy healthy, good for you food, instead of the garbage. Most Americans are stuffing down their mouths everyday.
The more unprocessed natural foods you eat, the better. Green is good too, in fact so is red and yellow. Veggies and fruits are very inexpensive and you can make some really great meals with them.
I for one am a meat eater. If I eat a meal that does not have meat in it, I feel like I missed something. Of course I realize that is all in my mind and it would actually be an easy habit to break, but I do like my meat.
So, when I have a salad, I will throw in some lean chicken. For someone like me that enjoys meat, it is completely satisfying.
Here is a tip to use at the grocery store. Stay away from the middle of the store. Everything that is good for you is on the perimeter.
Next time you are at the grocery store, take a look and you will see exactly what I am saying. Eating healthy is very important especially for those of us that experience anxiety.
I will be the first one to tell you that sticking to a diet is hard. I get it. But, I guarantee that you will feel better if you eat better.
Physical activities had a good effect on my Anxiety
You don’t have to be Mr. or Mrs. Universe to be in shape. In fact, unless you are a professional athlete you do not have to work out several hours a day every day.
You can get away with three times a week for 30 minutes or more. Of course, more is better, but too much is not good either. Another theme here is baby steps.
You can’t go from couch surfing to running marathons in a week or even two weeks for that matter. Take baby steps. Assess where you are physically and then start a planned exercise program accordingly.
Even if all you do is go for a walk three times a week, you are doing something and it will be good for you.
Just like everything in life, we don’t become experts overnight. We cannot expect to become proficient after a few workouts, these things take time. But hey, you got your whole life in front of you, so what’s your hurry?
Life is a marathon, not a sprint.
As long as you are doing something, you are moving in the right direction. And once you get used to whatever you are doing, build on that and keep progressing.
Three times a week is a good workout, but four times is even better. Take it as far as you can.
I will readily admit that I am one of those people that has ups and downs.
I go through periods of my life where I am eating well and working out on a regular basis. Then, I have periods where I get so busy at work or life gets a little hectic and I fall of my routine.
The next thing I know, a few months has passed and I have barely worked out and I weight ten pounds more. When this happens to me, I recognize it, accept it and then try and eat a little better and get back into a workout routine.
Rinse and repeat and you have the story of my life.
I suspect many of you are like me. If you can stick with a solid diet and workout program, then more power to you. If you can’t, it’s not the end of the world, you just have to get back on that horse when you can.
Listen, the undeniable truth for me is, when I eat better and when I work out, I feel 100 percent better than when I don’t.
I have gone back and forth enough times to know healthy living feels WAY better than unhealthy living.
I also know that my anxiety is much easier to manage when I feel good. It’s not rocket science, it’s just life.