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A Pill-Free Way to Treat Anxiety

Nina Ghamrawi, MS, RD, CDE
June 19, 2023
December 18, 2023

I often encounter individuals who are interested in finding natural ways to manage their symptoms. While medication can be effective for some people, others prefer to explore non-pharmacological options. While we don’t talk much about herbal remedies in this article since they lack comprehensive, strong research to back them, we WILL discuss other tactics surrounding exercise, breathing, diet, and sleep to help you reduce anxiety naturally.

What to Do About Anxiety?

Here are some pill-free, natural ways to treat anxiety, and examples you can apply in your daily life:


Harness the power of exercise to alleviate anxiety: It releases endorphins, which are natural mood enhancers.

It also helps to reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation. Exercise can be as simple as going for a walk or jog, doing yoga, or even gardening.

Mindfulness Meditation:

Mindfulness meditation is a technique that involves focusing on the present moment and accepting one's thoughts and feelings without judgment. Research has shown that regular practice of mindfulness meditation can reduce anxiety symptoms.

If you're feeling anxious, try this: Drop your tongue, unclench your jaw, drop your shoulders, and exhale with a deep sigh.

Mindfulness is the perfect antidote for anxious thoughts. 🧘‍♀️😌

Deep Breathing:

Manage anxiety with diaphragmatic breathing. This practice slows down your heart rate and fosters relaxation.

To practice diaphragmatic breathing, try this: Sit or lie down in a comfortable position, place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach, take a deep breath in through your nose, and exhale slowly through your mouth.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation:

Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that involves tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in the body. This can help to reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation. To practice progressive muscle relaxation, start by tensing the muscles in your feet and then slowly work your way up your body, tensing and relaxing each muscle group as you go.

Lay in a calm, quiet room, and then relax every muscle in your body, starting with your toes, then your calves, thighs, core, arms, chest, and lastly, your face.


Certain foods and beverages can exacerbate anxiety symptoms, such as caffeine, sugar, and alcohol. On the other hand, foods that are high in nutrients and antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, can help to reduce inflammation and promote mental health.

Reduce anxiety with this challenge - For 1 month, avoid sugar, alcohol, and limit caffeine, and add 1 cup of leafy greens and 1 cup of berries per day for more antioxidants, instead!

Your taste buds and anxiety levels will thank you! 🍎🥦😌


Getting enough sleep is important for reducing anxiety symptoms. It is recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, though different people are comfortable with slightly different ranges, even as wide as 6-10 hours per night. To promote healthy sleep habits, try to establish a regular sleep schedule, avoid screens before bedtime, and create a relaxing sleep environment.

Reduce anxiety by ensuring a good night's sleep. Set a consistent bedtime and establish a regular sleep routine.

Set a strict rule of closing all electronics for 30 minutes before bed. Read, journal, cook and prep clothes for the next day, or just listen to music that makes you happy. Better sleep means better emotional regulation.


While medication can be effective for managing anxiety symptoms, there are many pill-free, natural ways to treat anxiety that can be just as effective. Incorporating regular exercise, mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, a healthy diet, and good sleep habits can all help to reduce anxiety and improve mental health. If you are struggling with anxiety, consider trying some of these natural remedies and consult with a mental health professional for additional support and guidance.

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