We’re currently facing a challenging time all across the world. Even for those of us who generally do not suffer from anxiety, we’re all feeling it. It can be tempting to think a drink can ease our anxiety, but it won’t. Alcohol merely pours fuel on the anxiety fire. You can overcome anxiety without alcohol. Here are a few ideas to try.
Write It Out
A great way to overcome anxiety without alcohol is to write out your anxieties. List them like a grocery list. One by one on a piece of paper. Now that you’ve done that, write out all the things you can do to eliminate your anxieties or at least mitigate them. Set alarms on your phone to remind you to wash your hands. Order grocery delivery to avoid going out. Check on friends and family to see if there is any way you can help them. Often being able to take action can help alleviate our anxieties.
Work It Out
You can diffuse anxiety without alcohol by exercising. Scientists have found regular aerobic exercise decreases overall levels of tension, elevates and stabilizes mood, improves sleep, and improves self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects. Exercise releases your happy endorphins, natural cannabis-like brain chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids), and other natural brain chemicals to enhance your sense of well-being. Exercising also allows you to get away from the cycle of negative thoughts that can feed anxiety.
One of the ways I’ve found to alleviate my anxiety is to substitute something else for my wine. In my case I’ve found a warm cup of tea is what I look forward to when I’m feeling anxious. Others have said dark chocolate, coffee, or even just a chance to sit on the couch and think does the same for them. I can overcome anxiety without alcohol because the alcohol was never helping my anxiety but looking forward to the routine did help. My tea does that trick for me now.
Overcome Anxiety Without Alcohol
To learn more on how to overcome anxiety without alcohol start reading This Naked Mind today!
Joining The Alcohol Experiment for a 30 day break from alcohol can help you to connect and learn from others how they are treating their anxiety.
One of the surefire triggers for my anxiety is when I am not caring for myself. Sleep deprivation is almost guaranteed to fire up my anxiety. So I am vigilant about making sure I am getting enough sleep, eating food that nourishes and supports my brain (healthy fats are essential here), staying hydrated, and taking time to just relax and allow myself to recharge. It sounds simple but it is vital for my mental health.
Breathe and Meditate
I really struggled with learning how to quiet my brain enough to meditate. What allowed me to get into meditation is learning how to breathe and diffuse. The OMFG technique from Ziva Meditation is a really great starting point for this. Urge Surfing can also be useful in learning to disconnect from a using alcohol to treat anxiety. Urge Surfing is a technique created by the late psychologist Alan Marlatt, Ph.D., a pioneer in the field of addictions treatment. An urge is an impulse to engage in an old habit, such as drinking or using, and urges are often experienced as physical sensations in the body. This is a great audio resource (about nine minutes long) which will teach you the ‘Urge Surfing’ technique. You can use this recording during an urge, which makes it an incredibly valuable resource. The audio is available here.
I also think it’s really important to stop trying to fight your anxiety. Accept that anxiety is a natural emotion. You are entitled to feel it just as deeply as happiness, sadness, pain, or any of the other emotions and feelings we experience daily.