It seems like there’s a pill to fix everything nowadays. Unfortunately, many of those pills come with side effects.
Side effects that are common with many different types of medications include constipation or diarrhea, drowsiness, and headache, while some medications can have serious side effects. For example, Zantac is used to decrease the symptoms associated with heartburn and acid reflux, but taking Zantac has also been associated with cancer.
Medication is necessary in some cases, but it isn’t always necessary. If you want to cut back on the medication you take, or if you want to avoid taking it in the future, there are lifestyle changes you can make to promote a medication-free lifestyle.
Diet and Exercise
Diet and exercise almost always top any list that has to do with health. This list is no exception.
When you eat right and move your body regularly, you’ll find that you have more energy, you’ll have greater mental clarity, and you’ll notice an improvement in your mood, reducing the likelihood that you’ll reach for a supplement.
Healthy food and exercise can also reduce your chances of developing a wide range of medical conditions that are associated with medication. A healthy diet can keep your weight down, reducing your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, while exercise can strengthen your heart and increase blood flow, reducing your risk of developing heart disease.
It’s easy to put sleep at the bottom of your to-do list, especially if you have so many other things to do. However, it can have serious health consequences.
A lack of sleep can affect your ability to think and put you in a bad mood, but it can also have more serious consequences. Just a few include:
- A weakened immune system, which makes you more susceptible to illness
- Distraction, which can make you more prone to having an accident
- High blood pressure, especially if you get less than five hours of sleep at night
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Higher blood pressure and inflammation, which can increase your risk of developing heart disease
Do yourself a favor and prioritize sleep. Create a comfortable sleeping environment that allows you to stay asleep, and make sure you hit the hay early enough to give yourself at least seven hours of shuteye.
Find Things to Love About Yourself
Low self-esteem is linked to depression in teens, but it isn’t just teens. Adults can struggle with image issues, and if they lead to depression, medication often follows.
Even if you don’t develop depression, low self-esteem can cause you to make choices that aren’t healthy. You might choose to eat fast food because you don’t think you can cook, you might give up on exercise because you don’t think you will ever like the way you look, and you may avoid spending time with other people. Find things to love about yourself and you’ll notice you automatically make healthier choices that enable you to avoid pills.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
Spending time with people is important, as loneliness is associated with many health challenges, including a shorter lifespan. However, the quality of the people you spend time with matters.
Positive people help you with your self-esteem, but they can also encourage you to make good choices. They can encourage you to take that new exercise class, convince you to try that cooking class, and they can prevent you from feeling chronically lonely, lengthening your life.
Find Natural Ways to Reduce Stress
Stress and anxiety are common. Unfortunately, they also contribute to some serious health problems. They can cause minor problems, like heartburn and stomachache, but they can also cause you to miss periods, create fertility problems, increase your risk of heart attack, and more.
Pills can help, but there are a lot of more natural ways to reduce stress too. They include:
- Relaxation exercises
- Herbal tea
- Time with animals
It can also be helpful if you get to the root of what’s causing your stress. That way, you can reduce or eliminate it so there’s no need to try and cope.
There are some cases when medication is necessary, and when used properly, it can increase your quality of life. That doesn’t mean you want to take medication if you don’t have to! There are some simple changes you can make to your life, as well as some not-so-simple changes, that will decrease your chances of turning to medication today and in the future.