On its own, anxiety refers to uncontrollable feelings of stress or worry about uncertain outcomes (via Healthline). Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety at some point. However, it is not normal to have these feelings all the time or for extended periods of time.
When this happens, anxiety is often diagnosed as a mental illness. Anxiety disorders have many symptoms, including rapid breathing, an increased heart rate, difficulty concentrating, and trouble sleeping.
Anxiety disorders affect over 40 million adults. Many people find successful treatment through medication, but those drugs come with many potential side effects that can be unpleasant.
While medication is sometimes necessary to treat anxiety, it’s not a bad idea to try to reduce your anxiety symptoms without medication first to see if they can be managed without drugs.
One way you can reduce anxiety is to exercise regularly. Physical activity increases levels of serotonin in the brain, which is responsible for making you feel happy (via Healthline). Exercise is also a good way to take your mind off whatever is making you feel anxious.
This can be particularly helpful for people who experience higher anxiety levels in anticipation of specific events, like flying or work presentations.
Other ways to naturally reduce anxiety levels
Your diet can play a big role in your anxiety levels. Many people find that caffeine can make anxiety symptoms worse (via Medical News Today). Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause people without anxiety disorders to feel anxious.
It can also exacerbate anxiety symptoms in people with mental illness, especially when consumed later in the day because it can then negatively affect sleep. A high intake of saturated fat and sugar can also increase anxiety symptoms in some people.
Support is very important when it comes to reducing anxiety. Try to find a support group that you can lean on when dealing with moments of anxiousness. You can find support groups online, in your community, and through friends and family.
Visiting a therapist can also be a great way to find ways to manage your anxiety without using medication. Therapy is not always covered by medical insurance, but more affordable out-of-pocket therapists are becoming available.