Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness in the United States, and depression is the leading cause of disability for Americans aged 15-44.
Do you struggle with either (or both) of these conditions? Are you interested in natural solutions instead of many of the conventional approaches which often involve prescription drugs?
Listed below are some of the most effective natural strategies for combating anxiety and depression.
1. Natural Supplements
Some people see great improvements in their anxiety and depression symptoms when they start using certain natural supplements. The following are some of the most popular options to consider:
Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral and electrolyte that promotes relaxation and is known to improve sleep quality
GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid): GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps to calm down the nervous system; many anti-anxiety drugs act on the GABA pathways, but GABA supplements are a more natural alternative with similar effects
St. John’s Wort: St. John’s Wort is a flowering plant that’s often used to minimize mild-to-moderate depression symptoms
2. Breathwork and Meditation
Mind-body practices like breathwork and meditation can both be effective for those struggling with anxiety and depression.
The breath is a powerful tool that, when controlled, can slow down the heart rate, modestly lower blood pressure, and help you feel more at ease. Meditation practices can also help you to stay present and avoid ruminating on the past or worrying about the future.
Yoga is another effective mind-body practice that many people with anxiety or depression swear by. Yoga, like meditation, helps you to stay present and focused on the current moment, rather than the past or future.
Like other types of physical activity, yoga also provides you with a nice endorphin boost. Endorphins are chemical messengers that improve your mood and help you to feel happier and less stressed.
4. Chiropractic Care
When most people think about chiropractic care, they think about it being used to reduce pain or improve posture. Chiropractic adjustments can help with these issues, but they can also help to minimize anxiety and depression symptoms. In some cases, they can even provide long-term relief.
Chiropractic care is effective because adjustments encourage the release of mood-boosting hormones like oxytocin. This type of care can also improve sleep quality, reduce tension in the body, and lower blood pressure. All of these effects, in turn, can lessen anxiety and depression for a lot of people.
To see great results from chiropractic care, don’t just search “chiropractor near me” and hope you get a good match.
It’s important to work with a chiropractor in Meridian, Idaho who has experience working with people with anxiety and depression. They’ll know more about how to address these issues and help you make progress sooner.
Similar to yoga, other forms of exercise can also improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression by producing endorphins. In fact, some research shows that exercise is just as effective as antidepressants for those with mild-to-moderate depression.
Mustering up the energy to exercise can be challenging when you’re struggling with depression, in particular. Luckily, though, even light or moderate form so exercise can make a difference. Going for a walk or doing some stretches on the floor can make a big difference.
6. Dietary Changes
Sometimes, changing your diet can have a big impact on your mood and mental health. Certain foods have been linked to reduced anxiety, improved mood, and improved cognitive function, including the following:
Fatty fish: Fatty fish like salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that support brain health and reduce inflammation, which is linked to depression and anxiety
Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds contain amino acids like tryptophan that support serotonin production (serotonin is another chemical that improves mood); some varieties are also good sources of magnesium, which may help to reduce anxiety and improve sleep
Beans and lentils: Beans and lentils are good sources of B vitamins; B vitamins improve neurotransmitter signaling and can increase GABA production, which in turn reduces anxiety
7. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
In the same way that adding certain foods into your diet can help you feel less anxious or depressed, eliminating certain things from your lifestyle can have a similar effect.
Alcohol, for example, is a central nervous depressant that can make depression symptoms worse for a lot of people. Smoking may also expose you to chemicals like nicotine that can alter brain pathways and contribute to anxiety.
8. Prioritize Sleep
If you don’t get enough sleep, or if you’re not getting enough quality sleep, you may be more susceptible to anxiety and depression. Poor sleep can especially make anxiety worse.
Try to avoid exposing yourself to blue light before bed, and reduce caffeine intake in the afternoon. These simple changes, coupled with a solid bedtime routine and consistent schedule, can help you to sleep more soundly at night.
Aromatherapy (the use of certain scents and essential oils) can help some people to feel less anxious or depressed. For example, lavender essential oil can lower blood pressure and help you feel more relaxed. Lavender oil can also help with depression for some people, as can chamomile and ylang-ylang oil.
10. Time with Animals
Finally, spending time with animals can have a significant impact on mood and mental health. Petting a dog or cat can be very soothing and stress-relieving, but caring for other types of animals (in this study, participants cared for crickets) can also have positive effects.
If the idea of taking on a cat or dog seems like too much responsibility, a lower maintenance animal like a fish could be a good alternative.
Need Help with Anxiety and Depression? We Can Help!
If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, these natural strategies are all great options to consider. Give one (or more) of them a try today to find an approach that works for you.
If you’re looking for a chiropractor who can help you manage your anxiety or depression, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our service or to schedule an appointment.