September 1st, 2020 12:00am
Depression and anxiety continue to be the most significant health challenges across the globe. These mental health ailments affect more than 500 million individuals worldwide as of 2017. Apart from taking a toll on mental health and emotional wellbeing, these ailments can also impact physical health. They lead to self-loathing, restlessness, loss of appetite, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, and weight fluctuations.
The past few years have seen an increased effort from medical communities, governments, and patients to raise awareness and encourage individuals to seek help. With improved medication and therapies, it is possible to treat these conditions effectively.
But these medications come with a set of possible side effects, including increased risk of abuse or addiction that seems to raise concern among users. Hence, more individuals explore the possibilities of natural and alternate methods of treating these ailments that are safe and effective. Here are eight simple yet effective ways of coping with depression and anxiety.
Guided meditation can be an excellent way to cope with depression and anxiety. It helps train the brain to focus on positive thoughts and happy emotions rather than brooding over negative thoughts, frustrations, and traumatic events. It helps alter how your brain reacts to a specific trigger that induces hopelessness, sad feelings, or emotions.
Scientists share that the brain’s prefrontal cortex that processes thoughts and emotions, becomes active in people suffering from mental ailments. Similarly, there is increased activity in the amygdala region or the fear center as well. Meditation breaks the connection between the two areas to ease overwhelming fear and sadness. It also helps to divert disruptive thoughts.
The power of music is such that it can heal the broken heart and the troubled brain. Music can activate pleasure centers of the brain that increase euphoria. It also helps to improve mood and make the person calm and happy, which aids in coping with anxiety and depression.
A study from 2013 helps us to understand the relevance of music to physical and mental wellbeing. It shows that music can aid in reducing stress levels that strengthen immune functioning.
Also, listening to music from favorite genres can be a simple but powerful short-term remedy to navigate stressful situations. Add your favorite songs to a playlist and soak in some beautiful music for better mental health.
Medical Marijuana is the newest member in the area of mental health treatments with its potent anti-anxiety benefits. The powerful cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, known as THC and CBD, interact with the endocannabinoid system to influence hormone levels. By increasing the concentration of dopamine, the plant helps improve mood and cope with symptoms of depression.
The CBD cannabinoid has relaxing and calming benefits that help individuals cope with anxiety, nervousness, and panic attacks. Apart from treating the ailments directly, the plant is also beneficial to treat the symptoms and effects, including loss of appetite and insomnia.
You can choose potent strains of medical marijuana from an authorized marijuana dispensary in your state to utilize its benefits of this natural herb to fight anxiety and depression.
Exercise increases feel-good chemicals or endorphin levels in the body. Regular fitness routines encourage the brain to rewire and stay motivated with positive thoughts to cope with depressive disorders.
A review from 2013 shows that exercising can help treat anxiety disorders when combined with therapy. It encourages you to maintain a schedule and develop a healthy and motivating habit. It is also a distraction from sad and hopeless thoughts that gives you a sense of achievement.
Caffeine in the body tends to spike adrenaline levels that make you feel overwhelmed, anxious, and restless. It can also increase stress on the immune system with elevated fight-or-flight response chemicals levels.
While coffee is the most popular source of caffeine, some include dark chocolate, chocolate-flavored cereals, and energy drinks. Caffeine withdrawal can also elevate the intensity of anxiety and related symptoms. Hence, instead of trying to quit altogether, reduce your intake levels gradually.
Not getting enough shut-eye is one of the primary reasons behind mental health ailments. If your busy schedule is keeping you from getting proper sleep at night, your body becomes weak. Lack of rest affects the normal functioning of organs and the immune system and elevates stress response. Sleep deprivation can make you feel on the edge and nervous. It can even cause hormonal imbalance resulting in massive mood swings and depression.
Make a healthy nighttime routine and make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sound sleep every day.
Aromatherapy is yet another effective way of treating depression and anxiety. The organic compounds used for massages, such as essential oils, are loaded with de-stressing benefits.
The aroma of these oils sends signals to parts of the brain that are responsible for your mood. Massages with aromatic oils help to relax the muscles and joints and make you feel happy and blissful. They can show potent benefits when used in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy or psychotherapy.
A healthy diet is the simplest way to achieve good physical and mental health. Eliminate toxic stimulants like sugars, processed goods, refined flour, and junk food. Include food rich in omega fatty acids and folic acid that can ease the symptoms of depression.
Also, choose a diet with a dominant presence of whole foods, fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy herbs, and spices. Spices such as turmeric, ginger, and herbs like chamomile have relaxing and calming properties that can also ease inflammation. They even help cope with some of the effects of anxiety and depression.
Each of these practices is a simple lifestyle that can have a powerful impact on your mental health. They help naturally heal the causes of depression and anxiety by treating the symptoms as well help you overcome the problem. You can also utilize these steps in combination with therapy to elevate the benefits. Focus on reducing stress and taking time for self-care leads to a healthy and happy life.