How I Reduced My Anxiety Without Medication

Updated on November 27, 2017
Simon Lam profile image

Simon's background is in biomedical and health science. He also writes about fashion, nature, and photography.

Exercising can reduce anxiety
Exercising can reduce anxiety | Source

My Experience With Anxiety

I have had anxiety since I was a child. My first recollection of anxiety was when I first came to Canada, nearly thirty years ago. We were refugees who escaped Vietnam in the mid-1980s. When I first came to Kingston, Ontario, I could remember vomiting in a government office. This was due to my anxiety of being in a new country and going through all these changes in my early life. The main physical symptoms of my anxiety are nausea, gagging, and vomiting.

Shortly after arriving in Kingston, I was placed in grade 3 and had supplementary ESL classes. There were times during elementary school that I felt like vomiting, mainly due to my anxiety. My condition got better as I got older. I didn't have any anxiety-induced nausea in high school, but during my graduate studies, my anxiety returned. Once again, I would feel like throwing up when I was at the gym or traveling.

Present Time

This year has been really terrible in terms of my anxiety. Normal chores and activities that never once bothered me now make me feel like gagging and vomiting. Things like cleaning the bathroom, drying laundry, taking out the trash, going to the gym or shopping, and particularly flossing and brushing my teeth. I do have a sensitive gag reflex and every time I floss and brush my teeth I wonder whether I will gag and vomit. In the past several months, I have gagged and vomited many times while I am performing oral hygiene.

This problem is at its worst when I have to go to the dentist. I am always afraid that I will gag and vomit in the dentist chair. That's why I bring a bag with me just in case I do throw up. I haven't actually vomited at the dentist office, but I have gagged many times there.

Sometimes, I find sucking on a lozenge helps with the gag and vomiting. I always carry a bag full of Hall's Vitamin D drops or a single drop with me everywhere I go in case I have an attack.

Three Strategies That Have Helped Reduce My Anxiety

I have done a lot of research online to find strategies to alleviate my anxiety. I have found three things that have helped me a lot: exercising, yoga, and deep breathing.

Since applying these strategies, I have seen a reduction in my anxiety. I don't feel like gagging or vomiting while doing some of the aforementioned activities. Furthermore, I haven't had to suck on my drops as frequently as before. I strongly believe that this is the result of consistently doing physical exercise, yoga, and deep breathing.

1) Exercise

I go to the gym about four times a week. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I work out for about 40 minutes doing strength training. After my work out, I play badminton for about an hour and a half. On Tuesdays and Fridays, I do strength training and then light cardio for about half an hour. I really think that this routine has helped keep my anxiety down.

How does exercise help with anxiety? Exercise can decrease your body's stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. It also increases the release of endorphins. These are chemicals in your brain that act as natural painkillers and can lift your mood. The changes in these chemicals in your body help calm you down.

Yoga is effective at lower anxiety
Yoga is effective at lower anxiety | Source

2) Yoga

I read that yoga could help with anxiety. I use to do yoga a couple of years ago but I stopped doing it since I didn't know its beneficial effect on anxiety. I began to do it again hoping that it would lower my anxiety. I started doing about half an hour of yoga every day. After several months, its effect is clear. Yoga really does help me feel less anxious. Before I relied on the drops for my gagging. But since doing yoga, I am not dependent on it as much.

What happens when you do yoga? Yoga appears to lessen anxiety by decreasing your heart rate, lowering your blood pressure, and easing your breathing. These combined effects make you feel more relaxed and less anxious.

3) Deep Breathing

I needed something that I could do anytime to relieve my anxiety. I found out that deep breathing can help lower my anxiety on the spot. When I am experiencing intense anxiety or feel like gagging, I start deep breathing. I have found that it is effective most of the time. It doesn't always relieve my anxiety though. However, it's one convenient technique to diminish anxiety that I can do anytime and anywhere.

Deep breathing is breathing in slowly through your nose and filling your lungs to its fullest with air. When you do this, your chest should expand and so should your belly. Hold your breath for a few seconds then exhale slowly through your nose. Repeat several times.

How does deep breathing decrease anxiety? Deep breathing can enhance full oxygen exchange. This is the beneficial trade of oxygen coming in and carbon dioxide going out. It can also slow your heart rate and reduce or stabilize your blood pressure. These effects help you feel more relaxed.

Deep breathing can be done lying down
Deep breathing can be done lying down | Source

Summary

Applying all three strategies has helped me tremendously. I do feel less anxious. I have fewer attacks of gagging and vomiting. It isn't completely gone. When I have to go to the dentist, I still feel anxious and nauseous. However, the intensity of the anxiety is much less severe since using all three methods to reduce anxiety. I prefer this route rather than taking anti-anxiety drugs. Natural remedies are associated with fewer side effects.

References

Exercising to Relax. 2011. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax

Take a deep breath. 2009. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/take-a-deep-breath

Yoga for anxiety and depression. 2017. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Simon Lam profile image
        Author

        Simon Lam 5 months ago

        Hi Liztalton!

        Thank you for reading my hub and for your comment! I totally agree that you can reduce anxiety naturally. I know from personal experience. Thank you, I'm happy that my anxiety is much lower now thanks to these techniques. Yes, deep breathing is so helpful. It's a very convenient and easy thing to do. I'm glad it has also helped you. Thanks again for your feedback!

        Take care!

      • Liztalton profile image

        Liztalton 5 months ago from Washington

        Depending on the severity of anxiety it is possible to significantly reduce anxiety naturally. Great job on taking steps toward helping your anxiety. I definitely second deep breathing exercises. I use it for my anxiety and it works wonders.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, remedygrove.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://remedygrove.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)