Alternative Approaches to Relieve Anxiety and Panic

by Maggie Milligan, MSW Intern, University of Washington

Dealing with anxiety or panic attacks can seem impossible at worst and overwhelming at best. It's hard to know where to turn to look for relief. Psychiatric medication can be very effective for some people, but medication isn't for everyone. There are many alternative approaches worth trying, either before you go down the pharmacological path, or after you've tried and failed with western medicine. 

In her blog post "10 Drug-Free Ways to Overcome Anxiety and Panic Attacks," Meital James offers her perspective on natural methods of treating anxiety. Her writing is informed by her own personal experience with panic attacks and anxiety, making the post resonate with authenticity and empathy for others struggling with the same issues. She writes,

The first thing you have to understand is that emotions and thoughts are like waves. They come and go, but whether they take over your brain or not – Is up to you.

Every emotion you have, even the awful and crippling fear of dying – Is only temporary. This is something you forget when you are having a panic attack.

Keeping this in mind when a panic attack starts rising its ugly head will help you relax and reduce the intensity of the panic attack.

Some of the natural remedies for anxiety Meital suggests include meditation, drinking chamomile tea, and introducing herbal supplements (such as magnesium). There is even some research suggesting that anxiety may have digestive origins. Changing your diet to cut out or reduce certain foods (such as sugary treats) and introduce or increase your consumption of other foods (like bananas) may significantly reduce your level of anxiety. Exercise can also be a useful means of warding off both anxiety and depression.


You might be surprised by how effective small changes in your habits and behavior can be in battling anxiety. Granted, drinking one cup of tea will not instantaneously melt away all of your stress and anxiety, but trying a few or all of these suggestions regularly across several weeks is very likely to chip away at your level of anxiety and may also reduce or eliminate panic attacks. Why not give some of them a try? 

Read more about natural ways to overcome anxiety and eliminate panic attacks in the original in-depth blog post:

Maggie Milligan, MSW Student, is an Intern Social Worker at Mindful Therapy Group, working under the supervision of Derek Crain, MSW, LICSW