Anxiety is the most prevalent disorder in the U.S. with approximately 19% or 40 million of the adult population suffering from it. Anxiety is associated with feelings of uneasiness and panic ranging from mild to severe. Anxiety disorders are characterized by concentration failure, dizziness, hyperventilation, dry mouth, insomnia, cold sweat, and suffocation which can hinder everyday life.
One popular method to reduce anxiety is by leveraging various therapy techniques. These techniques offer an alternative to medication to cure anxiety without severe side effects. Online platforms such as BetterHelp provide a cheaper option to cure anxiety using therapies from the comfort of home.
This article explores and contrasts common and underrated therapies for anxiety and stress.
- Different Therapy Techniques for Anxiety
- Therapies for Anxiety: A Quick Table Summary
Different Therapy Techniques for Anxiety
Many different therapies are used today to treat anxiety and most of them are backed by scientific evidence. Some therapies are used in conjunction with medication and drugs while others are used on a stand-alone basis.
Some therapies are non-invasive such as magnetic therapy while others use medicines or fluids such as IV therapy.
1. Online Therapy for Anxiety
Online therapy platforms offer a convenient way to treat mental health problems including anxiety. These platforms act as a bridge between patients and mental health professionals offering various features including online sessions, in-app messaging, and helpful resources.
Online therapy makes mental healthcare more accessible to vulnerable individuals who cannot afford physical therapy. Online therapy is also considerably cheaper than alternative options with licensed mental health professionals catering to patients’ needs effectively. It is also preferred by many individuals who want to stay anonymous for treatment due to societal stigmas.
BetterHelp lists more than 30,000 mental health professionals depending on your needs. Each session costs between $65-90 which is considerably cheaper than conventional therapy methods.
The best part? Patients can benefit from online anxiety therapy without leaving the comfort of their homes and become healthy in no time! BetterHelp also offers flexibility with interesting features including live chat, phone sessions, and quick customer service.
Online-therapy.com offers one of the cheapest online therapy platforms catering to individuals and couples. The platform offers 20% off for first-time users in the first month with several additional resources including journals, yoga, and activity plans. The platform is based on cognitive behavioral therapy with professional therapists assisting through live sessions and several activities.
Calmerry is another online therapy platform providing quality mental healthcare with vetted mental health professionals. The platform offers a monthly subscription costing between $220 and $380 per month and various features such as journals and mood tracking. Calmerry also provides a quick match with therapists and flexibility in choosing and changing therapists at any time.
2. Psychedelic Therapy for Anxiety
Psychedelic therapy uses specific drugs like psilocybin to treat anxiety disorders. It is mostly used alongside other forms of therapy including psychotherapy. Common psychedelics used for treatment include psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, Peyote, Ibogaine, and Ketamine.
Most of these drugs are Schedule 1 drugs in the U.S. defined as substances with high potential for abuse and limited medical use. However, studies indicate that there is a positive movement to decriminalize many psychedelics in various states.
Is Psychedelic Therapy effective?
According to a recent study, psychedelics are indeed effective in treating mental disorders such as anxiety. Hence, psychedelic therapy can be used under controlled circumstances to treat patients suffering from anxiety. There is continued scientific interest in using psychedelics to treat anxiety and stress as evidenced by various studies.
3. Light Therapy for Anxiety
Light therapy (also known as phototherapy) involves exposure to an artificial light source to mimic the natural light from the sun to treat anxiety. This leads to an increase in the level of serotonin and melatonin in the body which results in lower anxiety. Many therapists recommend 30 minutes to 1 hour of light therapy in the morning to reconcile the body with the circadian rhythm.
Is Light Therapy Effective?
It is an effective method of therapy to reduce anxiety as documented in this study. Another study by Harvard Health Publishing also validates that light therapy is indeed effective in easing SAD and depression. Benefits of light therapy include a better and more relaxed sleeping pattern, and revitalization of the body functions.
4. Red Light Therapy for Anxiety
Different lights are used in light therapy including red, blue, and violet. Red light therapy is used to calm patients through a mind-body approach. This therapy benefits anxiety patients by improving blood flow, revitalizing cell energy, and decreasing inflammation.
5. Art Therapy for Anxiety
Art therapy incorporates a combination of artistic expression and colorful experiences to address anxious individuals. It is used as a tool for self-awareness and self-discovery against negative thoughts and emotions.
Benefits include calming nerves, encouraging self-awareness, and increasing self-expression. The focus is to let patients suffering from anxiety use art as an open form of expression to treat the underlying cause.
Is Art Therapy Effective?
Art therapy is proven to be quite effective in treating anxiety. According to one study, art therapy proved beneficial in reducing anxiety in women using randomized control trials. According to Michigan State University, art therapy can be used to alleviate many anxiety and stress symptoms in people of different ages and backgrounds.
Art Therapy Activities for Anxiety
Different artistic devices are used in art therapy to encourage self-expression including the following:
- Coloring: Using colors and paints to fill in coloring books.
- Mandala art form: Creating circular and geometrical shapes as a relaxation tool.
- Painting: Using colors to paint pictures of nature such as rivers or valleys.
- Journaling: Maintaining an art journal to record your daily happenings.
- Collage: Make a collage of your family memory with your loved ones.
- Others: Scribbling, drawing, paint splashing, etc.
6. TMS Therapy for Anxiety
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy also known as magnetic therapy uses magnetic pulses to cure anxiety. It is a non-invasive treatment for anxiety with no medicinal interventions used in the process.
A magnetic coil is placed on the patient’s head that sends magnetic signals to ‘activate’ certain areas of the brain. As anxiety develops in the pre-frontal cortex, it can be effectively cured by sending magnetic signals to the brain.
Is TMS Therapy Effective?
TMS therapy is proven as an effective treatment for anxiety with almost 50% – 60% of patients benefitting from it after failing to feel better through medicines. Due to its non-surgical nature, TMS does not cause medicinal side effects such as insomnia, weight gain, and fatigue.
The downside is that TMS requires a longer time commitment than many alternative therapies. Each session lasts more than 30 minutes and the treatment is meted out each day ongoing for several weeks.
7. Occupational Therapy for Anxiety
Occupational therapy uses different relaxation methods and mindfulness techniques to reduce anxiety. Occupational therapists work with patients to identify potential triggers and anxiety symptoms. They then use a series of treatments including behavioral therapy, humanistic therapy, and even support groups to address anxiety issues.
Is Occupational Therapy Effective?
Yes, occupational therapy is effective in treating anxiety and depression as highlighted in this systematic review in the National Library of Medicine. Many organizations such as AOTA are highlighting the benefits of occupational therapy in different tenets of life.
Occupational Therapy Activities for Anxiety
Different occupational therapy methods are used to cure anxiety in patients:
- Relaxation techniques: Physical exercises such as breathing techniques, jogging, and visualizations are used to reduce anxiety.
- Skills Development: Patients are encouraged to seek out new activities and experiences that they find enjoyable to invest in positive activities.
- Coping Mechanisms: Therapists teach patients effective coping strategies such as eating well and spending time with loved ones.
8. IV Therapy for Anxiety
IV therapy also known as intravenous therapy involves injecting fluids directly into the bloodstream to reduce anxiety. These fluids have different ingredients including magnesium, amino acids, taurine, and vitamin B12.
The purpose of IV therapy is to stimulate the brain to produce necessary chemicals that are beneficial for a patient’s mental health and alleviate anxiety. There’s no pain and the whole process takes on average 30 minutes with effects becoming evident more quickly than medicines.
Is IV Therapy Effective?
IV therapy is effective in treating different symptoms of anxiety such as fatigue. Moreover, it is a convenient treatment with instant results that bypasses the digestive system and cures anxiety.
Unlike antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, IV fluids consist of rich vitamins which are healthy for the body. Similarly, IV therapy also keeps the body hydrated and allows patients to supplement their body with the vitamins they most require.
9. Water Therapy for Anxiety
One underrated therapy for anxiety and stress is water such as lakes and oceans. According to the Wall Street Journal, natural blue bodies filled with water can have a soothing impact on the human psyche reducing anxious thoughts and feelings.
Also, 75% of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration which can lead to anxiety therefore simply drinking water can help reduce it by keeping people hydrated and healthy.
Therapies for Anxiety: A Quick Table Summary
|Type of Therapy
|Uses drugs like psilocybin and MDMA in controlled settings to treat anxiety disorders, often in conjunction with psychotherapy.
|Involves exposure to artificial light to mimic natural sunlight, increasing serotonin and melatonin levels to reduce anxiety.
|Red Light Therapy
|Utilizes red light to calm patients through improved blood flow, revitalized cell energy, and decreased inflammation.
|Combines artistic expression with therapeutic techniques to promote self-awareness and self-discovery against negative thoughts and emotions in anxious individuals.
|Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy
|Non-invasive therapy using magnetic pulses to activate brain areas related to anxiety, without medicinal side effects.
|Involves relaxation methods and mindfulness techniques to identify and address anxiety triggers and symptoms.
|Administers fluids with essential nutrients directly into the bloodstream to stimulate brain function and alleviate anxiety symptoms.
|Utilizes the calming effects of natural water bodies and hydration to soothe the psyche and reduce anxious thoughts and feelings.