A series of lifestyle adjustments can prove to be very effective in alleviating anxiety and depression. Although medication is often the go-to bandaid for anxiety and depression, it is not a long-term solution and simply masks the message that is trying to be received. Don’t get us wrong, there will be many people who will benefit from Meds but they are best used as a bridge to a series of lifestyle adjustments and interventions.
Anxiety and depression don’t just happen. They are triggered, and often its very stressful, perhaps even potentially life-threatening experience (‘acute’ stress like the Twin Towers coming down) or the chronic stress associated with abusive relationships, particularly if you suffered physical, verbal or other ongoing abuse or chronic neglect as a child.
Here we are going to list down the way to overcome Depression without medication:
- MAINTAIN YOUR DIET:
Certain foods amplify anxiety and depression whilst others pacify it. Some of the big players in amplifying are:
- Refined Sugar
- Trans Fat
- Hydrogenated oils
Most nutrient dense whole foods help to pacify Anxiety and depression. Nutrients (B Vitamins, Vitamin C, Zinc, Magnesium + Amino acids mainly) are the building blocks for brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters. The more raw materials there are, the more quality neurotransmitters are available for the brain to communicate properly. Anxiety is felt when the brain has a communication breakdown. Balanced brain chemistry is a result of a nutrient-rich diet:
- Fatty Fish + Omega – 3 oils – helps brain build receptors to accept neurotransmitters
- Quality meats – Chicken, beef…. for B12 + amino acids
- Grains – some people who are gluten and starch sensitive may experience anxiety from eating grains – in this case, go Paleo/ketogenic.
- Leafy greens – abundant phytonutrients, magnesium +Vitamin C
- Coconut oil, grass-fed butter, avocado, nuts + seeds – these fats especially are brain fats. Like the omega 3 DHA, they help to build receptor sites where NTM’s like serotonin bind. Saturated fat is not your enemy here.
- Probiotics for healthy gut flora. Healthy flora ensures that all the nutrients from our food are properly extracted and assimilated.
Anxiety is also inflammatory – look to consume antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory foods.
- Make Exercise Part Of Your Life:
Physical activity has been shown to have significant benefits for those dealing with mental health issues.
A Southern Methodist University research shows that exercise is very important for people dealing with depression and anxiety and advised doctors to prescribe exercise to the patients. Exercise has also been proven to improve the mental and physical health of those with schizophrenia.
Researches also show that exercise can work just as well as antidepressants, the effects last longer, fewer side effects than an anti-depressant, it costs less or nothing and is good for overall health, not just mental health. Exercise increases your body’s production of natural antidepressants. Even a little outdoor activity like taking a walk or moving your arms and shoulders can prove to be very effective. If you can take a walk among the beauty of nature, these benefits will increase exponentially. Fresh natural air, sunshine and beautiful landscapes will boost your mood.
If you are dealing with bipolar disorder, exercise might trigger mania. Take advice from your doctor in this case.
You might have noticed that when people are in the depression they try to take rest, which is good, but you should not quit moving your body and sit on the couch all day long. Exercise is essential for keeping nutrient-rich blood flowing to your head and body.
Regular exercise can:
- Provide you a good sleep
- Reduce stress
- Boost your mood
- Improve self-esteem
- Boost blood flow in your brain and body
- Thus overcome depression
- Social Support To Overcome Depression:
In this era of social media, people use Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram to get in touch with people. Well, I am not talking about that. Talking on the phone is the better option than chatting on social media. Live interaction with people is a different thing and chatting over the internet is different. Talking, laughing and sharing with your people is excellent for your mind. Live and face to face interaction with people will help you get engaged, keep your mind occupied and keep away from isolation to overcome depression.
Depression and anxiety send signals to the brain to isolate but in fact, what is actually needed is more human contact. This helps chemically boost our mood.
- Be Engaged In The Current Activity:
One of the main symptoms of depression is rumination; a habit of negative thinking and it happens when we sit empty and do nothing. You can avoid this by getting involved and engaging in activity so other thoughts can occupy your mind and replace this nothingness. Clean your room, talk on the phone, get a hobby – learn to play the piano, a guitar, talk to neighbors, help them out, play a video game, take part in sports, mop the floor. We mean, avoid being alone all the time and sitting empty. Get up, get moving and get involved in something.
Your mind might be saying be alone and shut the world out, but your mind is craving for human contact and interaction.
- Create a long-term goal and break it into tiny milestones:
The saying “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” sums it all up. Work towards your goal with thorough dedication. After achieving small goals always try to congratulate yourself later, it turns into big achievement and it will relieve your depression.