Natural Remedies for Anxiety and Depression
It is Estimated that 40 million Americans have some form of anxiety disorder. However, just because you feel anxious or depressed does not necessarily mean you need medication to treat this. In fact, those who seek treatment are prescribed medication that causes worse side effects including sexual dysfunction, nausea, and weight gain.
Some stress and anxiety is ok and completely normal. It’s what keeps us motivated and even saves us from danger.
But more true anxiety disorders are different than just occasional or necessary stress or anxiety.
A few common types of anxiety disorders:
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Major Depressive Disorder
- Persistent Depressive Disorder
If your anxiety or depression is affecting your daily life on a regular basis and are unsure of the symptoms you’re experiencing, it may be necessary to seek medical help.
However, with proper lifestyle changes you will be surprised how much better you begin to feel! I recommend trying these natural remedies to help ease your symptoms for short term and long term improvements.
This is SINGLE BEST habit to develop and maintain that aids in every aspect of your overall well being and health. Regular aerobic exercise can boost self-esteem, decrease tension, improve your mood and help you sleep better.
Even just 15-20 minutes of medium-intensity exercise just a few times a week can work wonders for your health and well being.
Get In or Near Nature
Being in nature is the best way to calm your nervous system and improve your mood. Even better is to stand barefoot on the ground to do a practice called ‘earthing’ Start getting at least 20 minutes of fresh air, sunlight and nature every single day. You were made to be outdoors so take a break from the artificial light, screens and stressful EMF’s inside.
Eat Less Sugar
You already know that sugar is “bad” for you, but eating even moderate amounts can aggravate many existing health problems, ESPECIALLY anxiety and depression.
It’s noted that there is a protein in our brain, BDNF, that’s produced to help cope with stressful situations. It’s thought that sugar suppresses the production of BDNF affecting the ability to cope with stress.
Reduce Caffeine and Alcohol
Having that cup of coffee to start your day is like a little slice of heaven for most of us. Or that glass of your preferred alcoholic beverage in the evening to help you relax. But too much of either can seriously affect our bodies’ ability to manage anxiety.
Caffeine can trigger production of the hormone cortisol, our fight or flight stress response.
And as for alcohol, a known depressant, will change your brain chemistry over time, lowering its ability to cope with stress.
Eat More Whole Foods
We all know that a balanced diet helps us feel better. Feeling the need to diet can cause anxiety and may actually the opposite effect of dieting. Focus on eating nutrient dense foods you enjoy and enjoy those as often as possible.
Lean proteins such as fish, organic chicken, beans, and eggs provide fuel for your body and brain to keep your energy levels constant.
Asparagus, leafy greens, meat, and avocado contain nutrients that can reduce the symptoms of anxiety, as can omega-3-rich foods like fish, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Meditation has been scientifically proven to help lower blood pressure, improve mental clarity and help you feel more positive.
Even doing a few minutes of meditation each day can change our brain circuitry in such a way that makes us more able to cope with stress. Go and find a nice quiet space to simply just be for at least 5 minutes a day
Some helpful supplements to check out:
GABA (Gamma aminobutyric acid)
GABA is an amino acid that decreases anxiety in the nervous system and promotes relaxation. Anti-anxiety meds such as Valium work by boosting GABA levels in your brain.
GABA is also an effective sedative which can help you get a good night’s sleep.
Maybe you’re deficient in magnesium. A magnesium deficiency can cause severe anxiety as this mineral plays a crucial role in chemical reactions that are vital for good mental health.
Magnesium has a relaxing effect on the nervous system and is often taken to promote a more regular sleep cycle.
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B6 and B12 have many benefits, including balancing blood sugar levels, supporting the nervous system, and promoting mental clarity.
Many studies suggest that a deficiency in vitamin B6 and B12 can cause or exacerbate anxiety and depression.
Ashwagandha, a powerful herb, has been used for centuries to treat a range of conditions. It has the ability to lower cortisol levels and generally has a calming effect.
Research has shown that it can also be an extremely useful antidote to anxiety and depression.
Kava root has been shown to ease the symptoms of anxiety by stimulating dopamine receptors.
A recent study showed that taking an extract of Kava decreased the symptoms of some general anxiety disorders.
You’ve heard of chamomile tea. There’s a reason for this. It’s one of many natural herbs for anxiety that has been proven completely effective and safe.
Chamomile essentially works by binding to your brain receptors in the same way as valium.
It’s important to find a natural balance of what works for you. Always adjust the amount of supplements, diet, exercise and meditation to find what works for you. Before attempting any of these suggestions, if you’re already taking medications and being treated, talk to your doctor to ensure safety and avoid potential interactions with any prescriptions.