4 Natural Ways To Conquer Stress And Anxiety
Over recent years there has been a lot of work done to raise awareness in taking care of your mental health as much as you would your physical health. Issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress are so common that we are now more aware of how these conditions can affect our lives. It’s important that we address these problems as early as we can, so we can overcome any negative feelings and live our best lives possible.
Unfortunately, the treatment for mental health conditions has not progressed at the same level as our awareness. Doctors are still quick to prescribe medication to treat these conditions and often do not look into the root cause or alternative ways to treat mental health. Often the medication prescribed can cause long-term issues, with many users becoming dependent on their mood-altering properties.
There is growing support for a more holistic approach to treating anxiety and stress. Often speaking to your doctor about these issues can feel intrusive, so we have compiled 4 natural ways that we have used ourselves to help heal your mind and help you get back to feeling… you.
Find the root cause
Each person leads a different life so the root cause of anxiety, depression, and stress will vary. However, often the common thread is lacking a clear direction in life. This can cause you to feel overwhelmed by your options, from simple daily tasks to bigger life-altering decisions. Without direction and a clear set of goals it is difficult to find a sense of achievement or accomplishment in your daily routine.
A lack of direction can then result in feeling isolated, as well as creating anxiety-related insomnia. There is often a lack of motivation to achieve anything, and diet and general physical health can really suffer too. This is a surefire way to worsen depression and cause further issues.
Dealing with this can feel like an uphill struggle and the most frustrating part of this can be the lack of motivation to start. However, hopefully, these 4 simple and small steps will help you to feel more in control of your life and get you back on track.
1. Take a fresh perspective
There are so many positive things in the world but when depression has taken hold, it is difficult to find joy in anything.
By taking a fresh perspective on how you view your daily life and taking the time to meditate, breathe and appreciate the small things you can seriously switch your view on your life.
A simple way to start is by focussing on yourself, forget what you see on social media, and remind yourself that what you see online is manufactured for likes. Try to ignore everyone else’s fake news and just focus on your own success.
Small things can be celebrated as success, even making a great cup of tea in a morning can be celebrated. Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting in a lotus position, meditation can be sitting in a comfy chair and enjoying that delicious cup of tea for just a few minutes. Celebrate that you are able to make that tea and that you can take the time to enjoy it.
Forget what others are doing and look inwards; happiness is not a destination, it is a journey and it is a choice. Don’t worry about what you feel you still have to achieve in your career, focus on what you have already achieved and celebrate it.
And try not to think about what you have left to do or who you feel you are in competition with. Instead, just focus on you and on the present moment. Take joy in the day you have, start small and it will grow into a further feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.
2. Have contact with the outside world
When you are in the dark world of depression, the easiest option is to shut yourself off from the world and hide but that really is the very worst thing you can do. Sitting in isolation gives you time to think more and more about your problems and grow them into major roadblocks which can cripple you.
What is important is to take off the shroud of depression and wrap yourself in the love of those around you. Spend time with friends, family and loved ones. Just spending time in the company of others, sharing life and space can remind you of what is important in life. Even if you just feel strong enough to sit in the same room as others it is a starting point, progress to going for coffee together or taking a walk, do what you need to do to soak up the love around you.
Ask your loved ones to tell you about their day and their current issues in life, it helps to put perspective on your own life and by sharing your life you can half the problem just by feeling less alone. Everyone deals with their daily struggles in different ways. Just by listening to other people’s struggles, you can help them feel less alone which in turn will give you a sense of purpose and help.
3. Try to have a healthy diet and take regular exercise
It’s no secret that exercise creates a surge of mood-boosting endorphins. This is a powerful stabilizer for the brain and nervous system which produces feelings of euphoria and satisfaction. By taking regular exercise we can boost this powerful hormone and help elevate our mood.
Often when we are feeling low and in the grips of depression we fail to take care of our physical health, and often we reach for comfort foods which can leave us feeling worse. When our health suffers our serotonin levels drop which causes further feelings of depression. By ensuring a healthy diet with lots of green vegetables, fruits and good fats we can keep the chemicals in our brain and our body well balanced.
There are also several foods that have been shown to increase dopamine and serotonin levels, by incorporating them into your diet you can find a natural way to improve your mood. Two particularly powerful ingredients that can be added into your diet to boost serotonin levels are matcha green tea powder, and turmeric powder. Both are superfoods that contain high levels of antioxidants which studies show can increase serotonin and dopamine levels, and you can drink them as teas or add to sweet recipes to help improve your mood.
4. Make sure you get enough sleep
Many of us have experienced the debilitating feeling after a terrible night sleep but when experiencing depression those lost hours can be all the more traumatic. Being sleep deprived can cause further negative feelings as you often can’t gain enough motivation to complete even the simplest of tasks, which in turns increases your anxiety and feelings of helplessness.
Of course, it can be a cycle of negative feelings that is causing insomnia in the first place. These feelings can fill your mind with the ‘what ifs’ and you then it’s impossible to drift off to sleep. And then you lose even more hours of sleep, and by the morning you feel more helpless and frustrated. When in this cycle, it is easy to reach for medication to enforce sleep – however, there are some other ways to help you drift off.
There are now a variety of apps that play soothing sounds or meditation tapes to provide noise that can help to drown out your own busy mind. You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your pillow to help calm the mind, and keep a journal by your bed which you can use to jot down any thoughts that may arise.
Cutting down on coffee in the afternoon can also help you sleep better at night. If a mid-day slump hits, try to avoid firing up the coffee pot. Instead, you could try drinking a cup of matcha green tea, which will give you a caffeine kick (it includes one-fifth of the caffeine that’s found in coffee) but won’t give you the same caffeine highs and lows which you can get with coffee. And you won’t get the coffee jitters and crash, which can then leave you lying awake for hours later at night.
So if you replace your coffee with natural caffeine boosts, you can stay alert during the day without disrupting your sleep patterns during the night.
Fighting the fight against depression and working on your mental health is a choice we must make daily. It’s easy to be fooled by the social media lies and think you’re the only one with the problems, but it’s so much more common that it appears. Once we make these simple tweaks to our everyday life and exercise self-care, it’s easier to live a happier and healthier life. Be with people that matter, take care of your body and think positively, in time your world will look much brighter, just by daily work.
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