Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness, with over a third of Americans alone exhibiting signs of anxiety or depression. Americans’ lives are more convenient than ever, with instant gratification at peoples’ beck and call. But seemingly, no one is happy.
Anyone who has experienced even temporary feelings of natural human emotions like anxiety and depression knows how debilitating the effects can be. However, many get discouraged when treating anxiety and depression because of the lack of accessible health care and lack of trust in pharmaceutical companies.
This has led to many seeking out alternative natural treatments for mental health disorders. The rise in self-help, ayurvedic medicine, and more has resulted in people wanting to reclaim their mental health with the aid of holistic healing methods. If you want help in treating anxiety or depression through alternative medicine, keep reading for the most useful lifestyle changes that can make a difference in your quality of life.
Eliminate Habits That Are No Longer Serving You
Anxiety and depression both feed into each other. You get anxious when you haven’t been able to get out of bed all day, but you’ve been in bed all day because you’re too anxious to do anything. The cycle becomes self-perpetuating, seemingly endless.
However, there are certain habits that you have where you know they no longer benefit your current situation. Humans don’t thrive in our comfort zones; it’s what prevents us from growing as people.
Start by making a list of the habits you would like to adapt to improve your life. Then, analyze your current routine. Where can you show improvement, even if you make changes little by little?
Here are some ideas to think about. Take what resonates and disregard what doesn’t.
- Eliminate alcohol/drug use
- Eliminate refined sucrose
- Establish a quality sleep schedule
- Limit screen time
- Daily exercise and time outdoors
- Cut back on caffeine
These basic things may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s hard to keep yourself disciplined. Everyone needs reminders about the benefits of sticking to a routine that works for them. Pick one thing out of your list that you can work on immediately and see how changing that affects you over the next week.
The list of herbs, supplements, and dietary changes that can help in treating anxiety and depression goes on for days. There are probably even many you have never heard of before.
The brain and body need key minerals and nutrients to function optimally. With toxins, pollutants, and poisons running amok within the food and water supply, in addition to the soil being depleted with fundamental minerals, it’s vital to take good care of your physical health. These are some different supplements and foods that you can incorporate into your routine to ease symptoms.
- L-theanine for anxiety
- Inositol for depression
- Omega 3 fatty acids
Always consult with your primary care physician before taking any supplements. Some of these may interact with antidepressants or other medications, so do your research before trying them.
L-theanine is an amino acid found in species like fungi and herbs from green tea. It can be used as a supplement to help treat symptoms of both anxiety and depression. In one study, results showed that insomnia, depression, and stress-related symptoms were all reduced after using l-theanine.
Inositol is found in mothers’ breast milk, being a central B vitamin needed for the body to function properly. It helps curb depression, mood swings, fatigue, and hostility.
Omega 3 fatty acids are among the central fatty acids the brain needs to form connections and maintain energy levels. They help build the brain, improving cognition.
CBD sativa is useful in depression and anxiety because of the way it distributes itself throughout the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for mood regulation, immunity, stress reduction, among other things. The benefits of sativa are that harm reduction occurs through anxiety mitigation, as CBD works as an adjuvant for anxiety.
Humans are naturally social beings. Even though many get tons of interaction through online connections, it isn’t the same as having deep conversations made in person with close friends and family. While people experiencing anxiety and depression tend to isolate themselves, it’s important to find a support group you can go to.
If you don’t have quality friends, there are many activities you can participate in to meet more like-minded people. Consider volunteering, signing up for a club, or joining a gym, for example.
Look into what activities your town has. Many places have weekly farmers markets, an active nightlife scene, and different places like theaters or comedy clubs where you can easily meet new people. You might have to branch out and reach out of your comfort zone, but the benefits are rewarding.
If you already have an established friend group, consider scheduling certain times to hang out. Maybe you get a group of people together to walk in the park or play cards every Tuesday night. Incorporate hobbies, activities, and exercising into socializing so you can all lift each other up in a positive environment.
Rediscover Your Interests
The thing about depression and anxiety is that they hinder you from participating in life. However, you didn’t always feel this way. You once had a lust for life with passions that got you excited to carry on.
Rediscover those things and fall back in love with life. It may take time, and you probably will have to force yourself into doing the things you love again. Even if you don’t experience joy from these things immediately, you’re trying, and the effort is what counts.
Consider taking on a hobby that requires delayed gratification. This gives you something to look forward to, commit to, and get excited about. You can try out skateboarding or learning to draw – watching your progress unfold over the course of a few months is a really amazing thing to do.
Adopt a Holistic Lifestyle
Treating anxiety and depression is going to take time when you begin incorporating holistic habits into your lifestyle. Don’t give up hope on yourself. Have patience and grace when adapting new positive habits and routines.
For more tips on mental health, read more on our ‘Health’ and ‘Lifestyle’ tabs.
Samantha Gaines wrote this article on behalf of FreeUp. FreeUp is the fastest-growing freelance marketplace in the US. FreeUp only accepts the top 1% of freelance applicants. Click here to get access to the top freelancers in the world.
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