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Over a year ago, I started to write up a post "How To Get That Endorphin Kick" on Lifestyle by Good Looking Loser as part of a non-mainstream list for guys with general anxiety or guys following the "Kratom Lifestyle" (also known as taking Kratom everyday by rotating multiple strains to avoid tolerance and significant dependence).
There's also no shortage of generic useless "How to Naturally Combat Anxiety!" or "10 Ways to Naturally Kill Anxiety!" (Call a friend!) (Be Positive!) (Laugh Out Loud!) (Watch a movie!) lists clogging up Google.
I'm going to try to give you some ideas that I've done that you might not have considered.
Although there's some softcore natural things you can take, such as L-Theanine, Kava Stress Candy or Yogi Tea that are reasonably helpful to take the edge off, I'm going to largely focus on NOT TAKING ANYTHING and beating it with your mind and body.
The natural way.
Whether over-the-counter or by prescription, whether natural or synthetic - I don't believe people should be reaching for a substance when mild or low-moderate anxiety strikes.
No really - I think and do that for the most part.
Although it's more of a challenge, being able to overpower your anxiety (rather always having it overpower you), is very empowering and key to controlling your emotions.
In my experience, there's 2 types of general anxiety -
I want to hide in my room anxiety (fear)
I want to murder someone anxiety (fight)
The suggestions below are for mild to moderate bouts of both those types of general anxiety, not for social, performance anxiety, major chronic anxiety or substance abuse withdrawal-induced anxiety. Some of these ideas, however, will certainly prove useful for all 4.
Natural Ways to Get an Endorphin Rush to Lower Your Anxiety
And away we go...
#1 Do Bodyweight Squats and/or Pushups Until You Fall Over or Feel Lightheaded (Takes About 2 or 3 Minutes)
Exercise or physical activity, especially daily resistance training that is aerobic enough to raise your heart rate above 125 bpm, gives you an endorphin kick.
This isn't anything you haven't heard before, but that doesn't mean you have to go to the gym for 90 minutes to reap the benefits. In fact, some people have a really hard time getting to the gym, since "gym anxiety" (a form of social anxiety) can heighten pre-existing general anxiety.
You do, however, have to focus and exercise hard for about 2 minutes.
Walk over to a well lit area (possibly one with a mirror) and start to do bodyweight squats (squat down low) or pushups.
Count in your head as best you can.
Your heart rate will shoot up and your body will demand more oxygen. (do not do this if you have any sort of cardiovascular condition, speak to your doctor before beginning any sort of exercise program)
It is absolutely critical that you DO NOT STOP when muscle and psychological fatigue begins to set in.
In fact, FOCUS on the burn.
Picture your brain releasing natural pain-relief endorphins to combat the lactic acid from muscle fatigue.
Try to regard the pain as an opportunity to fuck with your brain and distract it from all the negative thoughts it has been dictating to you.
Keep squatting/doing pushups until you literally cannot do another rep.
You should be exhausted, lightheaded and breathing very deeply.
Notice that you no longer have anxiety.
Your mind and body is focused on firing endorphins and utilizing oxygen to keep you from passing out.
The anxious feelings might come back, but won't be as strong.
I've always done this type of thing for anxiety and irritability.
About 2 years ago, I was inspired to implement the 'physical and psychological exhaustion threshold' by NFL Pro Bowl strong safety, Laron Landry.
Landry supposedly tries to reach the point of 'near unconsciousness' during all his off-season workouts to challenge his mind and body.
I suggest you do too, your anxiety will go away and stay the fuck away if you handle it this way.
Laron Landry (Left) He looks more like a bodybuilder these days.
#2 Ferociously Hit a Pillow Until You Can Barely Breathe (Or the Pillow is Unconscious or Dead*)
Similar to the first suggestion, beating a person pillow to death is an effective and convenient way to kill your anxiety quickly.
You are encouraged to scream at the pillow while you beat it inches from taking its life.
Tell that pillow how/why you are murdering him with your bare hands.
Teach him/her a fucking lesson.
You should be absolutely exhausted and laying on the ground (not bed) next to the pillow.
Intense bouts of cardiovascular exercise are really the best thing for both your mind and body (fat loss).
You are welcome to hit a body bag, but not all of us have a 150 lb. body bag hanging from our ceiling.
* for the .0001% of people that are total pussies and think that hitting a pillow like this "encourages domestic violence", it does just the opposite. It is a healthy alternative to killing someone and prescription drugs.
#3 Clean Your Room or House (Remodel It If You Have the Time and Desire To)
Not as "alpha" as the prior 2 suggestions, but this one works for temporarily anxiety relief.
If you want to go the extra mile, move the furniture around in your room.
Put your bed in a new spot.
It will feel like you are starting fresh.
Funny how that works.
#4 Order a Shitload of Sushi (With Wasabi and Pickled Ginger aka 'The Pink Stuff')
Another outside-the-box suggestion.
I discovered this one by accident a while back in college.
I had a 'date' one night (I did actually Get Laid at times in college) and I had taken a pre-workout stimulant and gone to the gym.
The gym closed early that night and I was bouncing off the walls from the ALRI Hyperdrive (absolutely amazing defunct supplement).
The best Non-Ephedra Fat Burner (banned long ago)
When I got home, there was nothing in the refrigerator, so I ordered $45 of sushi, which was a lot of sushi/money for 2003.
Long story short, the sushi was fantastic and the wasabi (Japanese horseradish) was super spicy - which is odd for delivery. The endorphin rush from the wasabi, the mini-glucose kick from the white rice and the general amazing taste of sushi brought me back to earth.
It hasn't failed me once.
I suppose eating sushi counts as "taking something" but I'm making an exception here.
Fun Fact Interesting story on the 'pickled ginger' (the pink stuff that comes with your sushi).
When I was ~7 years old, my Mom was having a dinner party for other "higher-ups" in the United States Marshal Service and Department of Justice (you know, other establishment/illuminati members that meet every 4 months to discuss how to further systematically enslave your disenfranchised ass).
On the buffet table was something that looked a lot like smoked salmon. I like smoked salmon, so I stuffed several huge pieces in my mouth. It turns out it was ginger, super strong ginger. I wasn't expecting this and ran into the bathroom to puke. I felt like I was going to die and my eyes wouldn't stop watering for the entire night.
My parents encouraged me to go sit in the basement for the remainder of the night so I didn't embarrass the family and get our NWO VIP membership revoked. I didn't touch anything ginger-ish for another 20 years. Not even gingerbread cookies. I like ginger now though, I think it gives some sort of a baby rush too. Apparently, this is correct.
Pickled Ginger That Comes With Most Sushi Rolls Looks Like Your Vagina
#5 Dress in Several Layers and Do Cardio (or Lift Weights)
I have to laugh whenever I see some bodybuilder goober at the gym who is so insecure that he wears several layers of clothing like he is part of the Taliban. (yes, some muscleheads dress in multiple layers if they are over 12% bf)
But the fact of the matter is - sweating is healthy.
Put on a long-sleeve t-shirt and a hooded sweatshirt over it and jog outside or on the treadmill.
Although it doesn't work quite like this - picture your anxiety and excess liquid stress and energy dripping off your body. Get all that shit out of your system.
You'll feel better soon enough and better than if you just did normal cardio.
You want a recipe for instant sleep?
Do intense/semi-intense long cardio in several layers
Come home and jump in a hot shower
Take 5 mg of melatonin (and gaba, if available) once you are out
Lay down in your bed in complete darkness and jerk off (keep a towel in your bed so you don't have to get up to wash your wash your hands)
#6 Take a Hot/Cold Shower (or Jump Into a Cold Pool, Hot Tub or Sauna/Steam Room)
Although I don't talk about it here since I don't partake very often, you've probably heard about the benefits of cold showers (see #18).
It gives you an endorphin kick.
Those Jesus-Christ-It's-Fucking-Freezing-Why-Am-I-Doing-This endorphins kill anxiety.
I find that hot showers give a similar result, albeit as a more relaxing sensation.
I can't remember one time when I was stressed but didn't feel noticeably better after taking a hot shower. I have this waterproof bluetooth speaker (not an affiliate link) in my shower.
Remember breathe deeply while you are in the shower.
If you have access to a sauna (or especially a steam room - hotter!), it can accomplish the same type of positive mindfuck.
Stop sitting at your computer feeling sorry for yourself and go fuck with your body temperature - your mind and body will thank you.
#7 Use a Deadly Weapon (Without Killing Someone)
Although I've never quite "blown off steam" by shooting guns like others testify to (I own semi-automatics solely for protection from Internet marketers), I do know that it works for a lot of people.
Whether you are experienced or have never shot a firearm, indoor or outside, it may be an exhilarating experience if you can get yourself to leave the house.
I'm not against putting up pictures of people/things you hate and shooting them, but it's simply in-lieu of killing them in real life.
I actually think the physical exertion of swinging an axe, sledge hammer, machete or sword is both more fun and better for stress relief.
Take a blade into the forest and cut the shit out of thorny bushes and other 'undesirable' flora.
Not recommended if you live in an apartment complex or in a neighborhood with a bunch of younger kids whose parents will confuse you for a guerrilla fighter.
Although it's not likely that your gym/backyard/apartment complex has this, this is as good as it gets for stress/anxiety relief and a sense of well-being -
#8 Do Something New For Once (Good Looking Loser's Life or Death Test)
You know what your real problem is?
You sit around too much and you're an easy target for the anxiety bully.
- When was the last time you had fun?
-- When was the last time you did something new? (going to the gym and doing a new exercise doesn't count)
--- When was the last time you even looked forward to something in your life?
If any of those answers is beyond 15 days ago - you aren't participating in life.
Take this test and apply the simple principle (schedule and do something new every 2 weeks) -
I didn't think the "Get Hung" guide would have girls eyeing my bulge. It did.
I didn't think that your exercise and diet advice would have girls checking me out. It did.
I DEFINITELY didn't think that your hair-loss prevention would fix my hairline. Not in a billion years. It mother fucking did. You saved me a crazy amount of time, a ton of money, unnecessary pain, and destroyed my #1 source of anxiety. DESTROYED IT.
Kratom is next!
To anyone reading this, follow through, read this material, APPLY this material, and enjoy life.