Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-anxiety medications have gone up 34 percent, especially among young adults.1,2 While these drugs can help ease anxiety for some, they are also linked to undesirable side effects like insomnia, headaches, and upset stomach, leading many to be understandably cautious.3 If you’ve ever asked yourself how you can get rid of anxiety and stress naturally and potentially avoid prescription medication altogether, explore our guide to daily habits, relaxation techniques, and non-prescription alternatives. From tweaking your diet to practicing mindfulness meditation, you’ll find that there are a multitude of routes you can take to start feeling calmer and more balanced today.
Educate Yourself About Your Options
Though specific therapies, medications, and lifestyle changes can help ease the stress and burden of anxiety, only a third of people suffering from this condition seek treatment.4 While anti-anxiety medication is often the first solution offered to those who do seek treatment, there are a variety of other options available. From nutritional tweaks to herbal supplements to talk therapy, educating yourself on alternative treatments will help you take a more well-rounded and holistic approach to easing stress and anxiety without harsh chemicals or harmful side effects taking a toll on your body. And if you are already taking prescription medication, knowing what else is available can come in handy should you ever decide to come off your medication or decrease dosage with your doctor’s approval.
One such alternative option is Brillia, a non-prescription homeopathic medication that is specifically targeted to reduce anxiety, stress, and irritability while improving focus and clarity. The active ingredient in Brillia uses antibodies to the S100B protein, which is a key regulator of various different intracellular and extracellular brain processes and plays a crucial role in neuroplasticity. Studies show that people with depression and anxiety are found to have higher levels of the S100B protein, which functions by binding to a specific target in the brain to produce symptoms like irritability, stress, anxiety, and restlessness.5 Brillia counteracts this process by attaching to the S100B protein and regulating its activity (without altering its concentration), preventing symptoms of anxiety altogether without any harmful side effects.
Unlike prescription medications, Brillia has no contraindications with any other supplements or medications (Rx or non-prescription) that you may be taking. If you are already taking anti-anxiety medication, Brillia may be used instead of increasing the dose or it can potentially replace current prescription medications. Brillia is an appealing option for those who are looking for an effective alternative to prescription drugs because of the negative side effects associated with pharmaceutical products. Ideally you can switch to Brillia in place of pharmaceuticals once Brillia has built up in the system (around 2-3 weeks). However, if your doctor has prescribed medications that you are considering stopping, we recommend that you discuss this with them to make sure if and how you do this is safe and appropriate for your individual case. Brillia is safe for children as well as adults and works best when combined with healthy lifestyle habits highlighted in our 5-Pillar approach, which consists of a healthy diet, adequate sleep, controlled screen time, and mindfulness practices.
Determine Main Causes of Stress & Anxiety
While sedatives, tranquilizers, and other prescription medications are often prescribed as a quick fix, they do not address the root causes of anxiety. There is some evidence that genetics play a role, so if you had a parent who was prone to anxiety, you may also struggle with it. Aside from S100B protein imbalances, problems with norepinephrine and serotonin levels may also make a person more susceptible to anxiety and stress.6
Aside from these chemical imbalances, traumatic events, underlying health conditions like heart disease or thyroid issues, and certain medications can all contribute to anxiety.7 Though medication like Brillia helps to address the manifestation of anxiety symptoms in the brain, knowing your triggers is a crucial step in regulating your stress and anxiety for good. For instance, there is evidence that poor sleep can instigate or worsen anxiety disorders.8 Poor diet has also been linked to anxiety.9 And one 2007 study showed that work stress has been shown to precipitate depression and anxiety in young adults.10 Investigating your lifestyle habits, your working conditions, and your overall health are all important factors in determining what’s causing your stress and anxiety.
Take a Look at Your Daily Routine
In taking a holistic approach to easing your stress and anxiety, you may need to make some tweaks to your daily routine.
Daily Habits to Calm Anxiety and Stress:
- Follow a healthy diet: Eat a nutritious diet of mainly fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats. Too much sugar and caffeine has been shown to exacerbate anxiety.
- Exercise: You don’t need to join a crossfit gym or compete in triathlons to benefit your mental health through exercise. Studies show that even 10 minutes of brisk, mindful walking can significantly reduce your anxiety.11
- Sleep: Getting adequate sleep is a crucial component to managing your stress and anxiety levels. If you have trouble falling asleep, try a relaxing bedtime ritual including gentle yoga or aromatherapy.
- Control your screen time: Too much screen time can also add to anxiety, especially if you spend your time scrolling through frightening news stories or social media posts that make you feel bad about yourself. Try using a screen time tracker to take note of how much time you’re spending online and initiate blackout times at home where screens are not allowed.
- Practice meditation: Practicing mindfulness meditation or relaxation techniques can help reduce anxiety. Using an app like Calm or Insight Timer can help you make mindfulness a habit.
- Try herbs: Some herbs like valerian, lavender, or passionflower may help to reduce stress and anxiety naturally.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Though mindfulness meditation is a research-proven way to reduce stress and even boost the immune system, there are a number of other relaxation techniques you can try if the idea of sitting in meditation feels too daunting.12
Relaxation Techniques to Try:
- Use a weighted anxiety blanket
- Spend time in nature
- Practice mindful breathing
- Listen to relaxing music
- Practice yoga, tai chi, and qigong
- Chant repetitive mantras
- Practice progressive muscle relaxation13
Explore other mindfulness and relaxation techniques at the Brillia blog, along with tips on eating well, controlling screen time, and getting adequate sleep. By investigating your anxiety thoroughly–what’s causing it, what’s making it worse, and how to feel better–you’ll learn how to address your mental and physical health at the same time and feel empowered in even the most triggering situations.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and a certificate in Narrative Therapy. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women's Health, and VICE.