There is this stigma that the only way that anxiety can be subdued is through prescription medication — that is simply not the case. In fact, 9 out of 10, people who suffer from anxiety choose not to go on medication. There are many, many ways to cope with anxiety — some aren't even heard of. These really work!
I know what you're thinking. When you think of meditation, you think of people sitting in a circle with their eyes closed and not talking, or you thought of hippies. However, meditation is a lot more than that and it is actually extremely useful and helpful when it comes to easing your body of its stressors.
Research conducted in 2016 came to the conclusion that 29% of people use meditation for anxiety relief, 22% for stress relief, 18% for depression relief, and people who use different forms of meditation have a 12% less chance of having depression relapses.
There are often different types of meditation as well. There are Buddhist meditation techniques; including zen and mindfulness meditation, Hindu meditation techniques; including mantra and yoga meditations, and Chinese meditation techniques; including Taoist and Qigong. There are also Christian, Sufi, and different guided meditation techniques that are also very common.If there is nowhere you can go to do in-person meditation, there are plenty of apps you can use at home or on the go — especially if you need a spur of the moment "calm down". Apps like Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer, Stop Breathe & Think, and Chakra Meditation are all available on both the Apple Store and Google Play and are designed so that, whatever mood you're in, there is a meditation exercise for you.
2. Listen to happy music
I know when you are feeling sad and anxious, if you listen to music, you want to listen to songs with deeper and more upsetting meanings behind them. We all do it. However, in order to pull yourself out of your anxious, sad, or depressed feelings, listening to happier music will help lift your spirits.
No matter what streaming service you use for music, whether that be Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, or even Youtube, there are "mood-lifting" playlists you can listen to.
Everyone has heard this — exercise is one of the best things you can do to clear your mind and calm your stressors. No matter what type. Going to the gym, doing an at-home workout, going out for a run or even just a walk can do tremendous things when it comes to clearing your mind.
When exercising, your mind focuses on what you're doing at that moment, whether that be trying to push yourself while working out, or enjoying the fresh air while taking a walk, thus stopping your mind from focusing on the negativity that caused you to feel anxious or upset.
4. Get some sleep
I know what you're thinking — "You sound like my parent!" But no, seriously, getting a good night's sleep is extremely helpful when it comes to feeling less anxious. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), "Sleeping recharges your brain and improves your focus, concentration, and mood."
Especially if you are a student in high school or college, you're going to get extremely overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious, so sleep is extremely vital and can be extremely helpful.
5. Talk to someone
I know this is easier said than done, but talking to someone is extremely beneficial. Holding in your emotions and not letting them out is honestly one of the worst things you can do. When you hold in your emotions, they just grow bigger and you are more likely to "blow up" and lash out. Talking to someone when you're first feeling sad or anxious makes it so you are less likely to "blow up" and you'll feel better in the long run.
I hope you found some of these techniques useful and if you ever do feel anxious, that you'll try one of these methods before if you haven't already!
Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are considering going on or off medication, please consult your doctor.