Natural Ways to Deal with Anxiety in Sobriety
A common problem faced by many addicts and alcoholics is a higher level of anxiety than the average person. For some this heightened anxiety may have been a driving force behind their addictions, causing them to seek alcohol or drugs in order to soothe their tensions. Once a person gets sober, they are unable to continue to self-medicate in the same manner and many prescription anti-anxiety medicines are not viable options as they contain powerful and addictive narcotics. This can lead some addicts and alcoholics to feel hopeless over their inability to cope with anxieties, but luckily for them there are natural ways to deal with anxiety that do not include prescription medications or illicit substances. Personally, a holistic approach to life resonates with me. So I try to approach my sobriety in a very holistic manner.
Natural Ways to Deal With Anxiety
Just because a person can no longer take narcotics to cope with stress and anxiety does not mean that they are resigned to a life full of unbearable tension and discomfort. In fact there are millions of people the world around that deal with their anxiety through natural means. Below is a list of some of the more popular methods people use to alleviate their anxieties.
It seems that with each passing year we find out more and more benefits that practicing yoga can contribute to a person’s life. For the sake of what we are talking about here, yoga is a great way to help you deal with anxiety. The benefits that yoga can have on anxiety are almost instantaneous as the breathing and stretching techniques allow your mind to slow down and your body to relax.
- Breathing Techniques or Meditation
This natural method for reducing anxiety is probably the most popular among addicts and alcoholics. It is a part of our Steps and the benefits that learning proper breathing techniques and sitting quietly, watching your breath, can have on a person’s life is dramatic. I know for myself a lot of my anxieties arise out of my thoughts and so anything that helps to slow my thoughts down, even just a little, is helpful in improving my life.
Research has shown that acupuncture is very effective in treating anxiety. This is because of the needles that are placed half a millimeter into the skin, which can cause the body’s nervous system to produce pain killing chemicals, or stimulate parts of the brain that control anxiety. This means that after an acupuncture session a person usually feels a general sense of well-being that they did not have going in.
Enough cannot be said about the benefits that exercise can have on a person’s emotional well-being. Even just going for a walk on a daily basis can help to alleviate stress and anxiety and prompt overall health increases. Part of the reason for this is because of the serotonin that is released during exercise, which act almost like an antidepressant. Not to mention that exercise gets you breathing and takes your focus off of your anxieties, so if you find yourself feeling anxious go outside and get some exercise.
- Green Tea
This is a personal favorite of mine and I have found over the past couple of years that drinking a cup of green tea always helps me to relax. The reason that green tea helps with anxiety is because it has a high content of L-Theanine, which helps to boost GABA levels in the brain, and GABA is known to help reduce anxiety. L-Theanine is also known to reduce some of the stimulating neurotransmitters that result in anxiety. So overall, green tea is a great way to help bring down anxiety levels.
- Magnolia Bark
Magnolia Bark has been used for hundreds of years in Chinese medicine in order to help reduce anxiety. Recent research shows that the reason why it works is because of a naturally occurring compound in the bark called honokoi. The great thing about using magnolia bark is that there are no side effects and you do not feel groggy or drugged after.
Rhodiola is a perennial flower that has recently been shown to help reduce anxiety in some people. Rhodiola is commonly used an antidepressant, but since many antidepressants work to reduce anxiety, it has been found to be helpful for those who are suffering from stress or heightened levels of tension as well.
For some people anxiety is a deep-seated issue that is the result of either past trauma or some life event and in order for them to contend with the problem and not just bandage it, they have to seek professional help. Getting to the root of the anxiety is often very helpful and having a therapist guide you through your fears and anxieties can be a great and necessary way of dealing with them.
While having to learn to cope with anxiety without the help of drugs or alcohol can be bothersome at times, it is not impossible. With everything that we know about the world and the mind today there are a number of different options for people who do not wish to use benzodiazepines in order to handle their anxieties, or who do not have the luxury of zoning out with alcohol or drugs.
Implementing just one or two of the above mentioned suggestions could do wonders for your life and help you to deal with your anxieties on a daily basis. For as anxious as I am, if I can get by and actually thrive by just taking better care of my body and mind, then so can you. Good luck in your endeavors.
Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.