If you’re living with anxiety, you’re not alone. It’s the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting more than 40 million adults. Today, those who live with anxiety are turning to more progressive and even experimental alternatives to alleviate the feeling of panic and worry. Nearly 60% of people who smoke cannabis attribute anxiety to their reason for smoking in a 2016 study reported by The Insider.
While many turn to cannabis as an anxiety cure, there is still a large population who can’t or choose to not partake. VeryWellMind shares, “THC can raise your heart rate, which, if you have anxiety, may make you feel even more anxious. Using too much marijuana can also make you feel scared or paranoid.”
Thankfully, there are still plenty of options for curing anxiety for those who don’t want to smoke. Here are 6 ways to cut through the panic and intrusive thoughts brought on by anxiety.
Let’s start with an important solution: talk therapy. Between virtual therapy and there being less of a stigma around getting help, those living with anxiety have more options and access to experts who can help. We’ve talked about how to find a great therapist, but if you’re on the fence, here are the added benefits of talking to a licensed professional:
Therapists can help you develop lifelong coping skills for your anxiety
Expert professionals can help you unpack emotional baggage
Your experience together can lead to a happier, healthier life
You’ve likely heard about mindful meditation, and we don’t blame you if you weren’t initially sold. Silencing the mind, especially while living with anxiety, can seem impossible. We recommend the 5-5-5 mindful meditation technique that’s been making the rounds in wellness communities.
Essentially, you take time to identify the things you can see, taste, touch, smell and hear. This exercise allows you to stay grounded and in the present moment. It’s hard to worry about tomorrow’s meeting when you’re searching for five things you can see or touch.
Get some movement
Few things will ever beat the timeless advice of “getting some Vitamin D.” Mayo Clinic reports that getting movement can have the same effect as cannabis. “[Exercise can help cure anxiety because of] natural cannabis-like brain chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids) and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being.”
Don’t overwhelm yourself with challenges or step goals. Instead, opt to get outside 10 minutes ahead. Bring along a playlist, a podcast, or take your next remote meeting (or FT date with a new friend!) while on a walk.
Getting your thoughts on paper can be paramount to anxiety relief. This will help you prioritize your problems, track ongoing symptoms or self-described issues, and for many, this could be their best option for privacy and peace.
There are no limits on the topics you can write about. If you’re having trouble getting started, here are some prompts:
When do you feel the most anxious?
Are you more anxious about work or your personal life?
How have you coped with anxiety in the past?
Aromatherapy is one of the oldest remedies for anxiety and depression. Essential oils are aromatic substances extracted from plants. At their simplest, they are used to fill a room with relaxing smells. However, they have long been used to treat health problems.
Healthline reports, “essential oils can stimulate the smell receptors in your nose, which then sends messages to your nervous system. Some also believe that essential oils can have a subtle effect on the body’s chemical and energy systems.”
Looking to start your collection of essential oils? Start with lavender, jasmine, and holy basil.
If you’ve been curious about THC or investigated alternatives, there’s no doubt you’ve learned about CBD along the way. While it doesn’t contain THC, CBD or Cannabidiol is a chemical found in marijuana.
CBD can be bought and ingested in many different ways. According to Mayo Clinic, “CBD is often sold as an extract, a vaporized liquid, and an oil-based capsule. Food, drinks, and beauty products are among the many CBD-infused products available online.