Whenever something goes wrong, we automatically look for a solution. It’s how humans have evolved over the millennia. So, when we experience anxiety, we automatically search for ways to cure ourselves.
But…Is There Really a Cure for Anxiety?
Most medical and mental health experts agree that there is no definitive cure for what we can anxiety. Most will suggest that those who suffer with anxiety experiment with alternative modalities, such as meditation, mindfulness, relaxation exercises, nutritional supplements, quality sleep, and regular exercise.
If you think about it, these suggestions aren’t designed to cure anything, just increase our overall health and level of vitality. When we experience greater levels of health, our anxiety decreases.
One of My Favorite YouTubers Made a Huge Mistake
“Now that I’m on the other side of anxiety, …” I’m not going to name him, but what bugged me wasn’t the short video he published on having anxiety; It was actually quite good. I objected to the one a few episodes later wherein he claimed that he was “on the other side of anxiety.” That seems to imply that it’s possible to get over anxiety.
In my experience, anxiety shows up in different ways in different people. Some, like myself, experience symptoms throughout their lifetime, while others may have only one or two experiences.
In my working definition of anxiety, the symptoms and the limitations imposed aren’t a one-time-thing. Instead, anxiety unfolds and evolves necessitating the need to adopt ongoing practices designed to help you feel more in control and decrease the severity of your symptoms.
Based on my training and education, I don’t believe that there is a cure for anxiety, butI do believe that we can get to the root issues underlying it and learn to live alongside anxiety while leading a life that is minimally impacted.
We’re Too Busy Looking for a Cure to Help Ourselves
If you’re suffering right now, I’m truly sorry. I know what that feels like. I know all too well the fear that resides in the back of my mind that wants to know if I will have ‘an episode’ or a ‘panic attack’ at work, at a restaurant, or on public transit.
In online forums and Facebook groups I see people asking questions about cures all the time. It seems to me that if they as spent a much time actually learning how alternative methods and practices can help them, the quicker they would experience relief.
Birds don’t search for the sky, they simply fly. Fish don’t search for the ocean, they swim instead.
If we spent more time learning about and practicing some of the recommended treatments for anxiety instead of continually searching for the uptime cure, most of us would be a lot better off.
Alternative Practices that Help
While there might not be a definitive cure for anxiety, there is a lot we can do to achieve some relief and decrease out frequency of symptoms. Some of these include:
Learning how to meditate. Meditation isn’t some mumbo-jumbo, woo-woo approach to life via an escape to an alternate reality. Instead, it’s a clinically proven method of decreasing the effects anxiety. There are numerous apps available that I personally recommend, including Calm, 10% Happier, and Headspace. All have free but limited versions that lead you to a subscription. I believe that if you’re not yet a meditator, then these apps can teach you about meditation, its benefits and provide some consistent, quality instruction.
Changing your diet. In the Western Hemisphere, adults are heavier and less healthy than the rest of the world mainly due to the type of foods we consume. Fast food, highly-processed foods, and the real enemies—sugar and complex carbohydrates—are surely to blame. I actually recommend switching your diet to the ketogenic nutritional plan wherein you consume mostly healthy fats, some protein, and avoid carbs. It’s how I’ve lost 30 pounds and it’s how I reduced the inflammation that can lead to diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and other disease states. The best part is that I no longer experience the ‘brain fog’ nor the ‘crash’ that resets after a meal high in carbohydrates.
Getting more regular exercise. This is the tough one for most of us. You don’t have to become a gym rat to benefit from more exercise. Even walking each evening after dinner for 20-30 minutes can go a long way in releasing muscle tension that builds up during the day preventing you from relaxing at night. Unless you have pre-existing conditions that prevent it, more exercise is never a bad idea.
Deep breathing is key. When we practice deep breathing, it signals our brain that things are pretty good. Even when we don’t feel all that great, taking a few deep breaths (in through the nose and out through the mouth) can increase the level of calm inside. Holding the inspired breath fo a few seconds before releasing the air fro our lungs is called ‘box breathing’ and has helped me in times of duress.
There are other modalities and practices that offer positive results and lasting benefits for this who suffer from anxiety. We’ll get into more of those in more detail on the Premium Anxiety Busters Blog over on my Patreon page.