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Prozac works but why not try the un-chemical way to feel good?
This discussion is not about whether prozac helps with anxiety. Yes, medicines like prozac can help you control your anxiety levels but here, I am discussing some DIY methods that are not equally chemical, and don't make you chase around for a prescription. I have had issues with restoring my mental energy levels every time they get depleted with a few hectic days. Ever since I turned 25, a pattern emerged where after a couple of days of sustained physical and psychological work, my mind would go into a caffeinated mode, unable to wind down and as a result, my anxiety levels and the associated digestive symptoms would surface. The medicines I tried over the years to control this habit and its root cause helped to some extent but there is a catch to using them. No matter what the pharmaceutical world says, there is a downside to every drug out there, prescription or over-the-counter. Once you get into the habit of using mood boosters, or in my case, mood-sustaining salts, there is a big chance your body and mind stop evolving to help you navigate and manage different phases of your life, and some need you to be alert and calm.
My continuous run-ins with these meds also helped me uncover some things that could boost the overall mood and energy levels. These mental health tips are not stolen from the web or blatantly rewritten to engage the search engines. This is from my cup of psychological wellness and I am sharing some of it with you:
You need to boost your sugar levels but just a bit, not to the extent that you get a sugar rush. A few bites of literally anything, spaced across one hour where you nibble and munch a lot rather than consume a heavy meal can help. Don't gulp aerated drinks as they don't hold for much time. Try more bread, cornflakes, some ice cream, smoothie, shake, or a small sandwich that you keep biting into. Yes, chocolate helps but in moderation. Nuts, roasted or with something sweet, can help too. Raisins work in some way and are also a physical energy booster. Bananas tend to make me feel sluggish so I avoid them despite a whole lot of natural sweetness. This is not meant to cure your anxiety and it does not help you to cure anxiety. This simple exercise can help you get over anxiety for a few hours and navigate a hectic day at the workplace when there is distinct burden you are carrying.
Trying to route your mind towards a relaxing mode could have disastrous results. You could end up feeling more irritated and less energetic. Don't sit alone and do too many deep breaths...this generic advice does not help many people like me. You might want to lower the intensity of lighting around you, put on some music and start engaging your mind with videos or music you like. Trying to put yourself to sleep is often the cause of bringing about anxiety. Your mind starts to dig up answers. You start examining everything that has happened over the course of the day or even yesterday. The further you dig, the farther you are getting from a good night's sleep. Sometimes, this can make you overthink to the extent that a small daft of anxiety comes knocking. As a rule, don't lay down for too long just because it seems like the right time to sleep or just because someone recommended a quick nap. If you are not someone who is genuinely good at power naps, don't stress it. Don't go chasing the general rule of an 8-hour sleep cycle. Keep it simple - sleep only when you are naturally slipping into it.
For shopping enthusiasts like me, an easy way to maintain sanity on a slightly stressed day is working on an online shopping cart. Prune the wish-listed products. Cancel items whose items have just escalated. Try to read into the current sales campaign. Save items you might need in the near future. De-link or upload more of your payment cards. Update shipping addresses or link a digital wallet that can provide some savings the next time you actually buy something. Indugle in some online product comparisons. Overall, this exercise might not lead to actually buying great products but it occupies your mind in a way that takes the focus away from something that has been bothering you. It also takes away the need to sip beer. Making a big bowl of homemade popcorns and catching up with that OTT show that has been waiting in the watchlist is another good idea. Let the OTT zombies chew down your anxiety levels. A bit of butter on the popcorn will not make your morbidly obese, and renewing the monthly OTT subscription is still a lot cheaper than getting depended on a valium or prozac.
This must be the strangest advice for controlling anxiety but sometimes, it actually works. There are a lot of videos on YouTube and Instagram where people are getting rid of some strange wart or mole, overgrown nails that challenge Shrek, or hair that has never been clipped for decades. How does this work? When you are watching this type of visual content, there is a feeling of superficial, artificial relief that kicks in as the ugliest nails are clipped off, unruly locks are shaven away, or blackheads being pulled out. This helps in unwinding in a private, aloof manner and such content is available at all times. While I call it getting-rid-of content, it can be slightly overbearing if you are watching it for the first time. Believe me, nobody really likes watching ultra-magnified views of ingrown hair on the chin being pulled out but when you are out of quick answers to managed anxiety, anything is worth trying.
You need an instant boost of goodness and this is closely associated with a feeling of accomplishment. You need instantly doable tasks that help you feel that way. How can you do it? Get on your smartphone or get on your knees. Dust-away things that are cluttering your desk or room and your mailbox. Kick-away, dump, and delete everything that seems mundane or highly unusable. From glamorous Apps to what seems no-long-usable on the bedside table, eradicate, and kill stuff that is not serving any purpose. This keeps your mind busy, works up the body a bit and you get a nice feeling of gaining more control. Plus, your room partner or your mom would have one less reason to scream at you - how is this a bad deal?
There are days when running or heavy weight-lifting, even stretching and some burpees can bring back that feeling of being alert, a reasonably good mood, and restore energy levels to some extent. And there are days when all of the things shared above don't make any impact. Like I said, this is not swallowing a pill and slightly numbing your mind. The entire efforts here are on managing your anxiety without using prescription pills or things that can be addictive. Usually, having too much of caffeine or sugar does not help. Driving around aimlessly also does not get the job done. In contrast, something as simple as sipping some form of fluids might not take away that feeling of low but it can prevent ruining your mood. You have to try it all and find what works best for you. For instance, everytime I am snacking on crispy, crumbly stuff, making all sorts of horrible eating noises, my mind seems totally distracted, as if the focus has been taken away from overanalyzing things. And in the work-from-home schedule that has been enforced upon us, anxiety can come calling in the most unusual ways. You have to find simpler, non-medicated ways of keeping up your state of mental health.
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