If you have anxiety and or depression, you know life can be like a roller coaster. However, the path from getting the diagnoses to managing it, is unique to each person.
Did you know that, according to CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association), about 50% of people who think they have or had anxiety or depression, do not discuss it with their doctor out of the fear of being prescribed medication? Sure, prescription medication can become part of a treatment plan, but it's not the only answer to your condition., "Some people prefer to avoid medication altogether, while others want alternatives that can be useful in addition to prescriptions," says Robin Livingston-Richter, a licensed psychotherapist for more than 25 years.
I recommend considering these all-natural ways to help manage anxiety / depression while following your doctor’s treatment plan for greatest positive affect:
Music Music can provide a dopamine boost. It is a neurotransmitter that helps with focus, so turn up those tunes and take in the vibe.
Action: While cooking dinner, turn on some music. Put together an upbeat
playlist of your favourite songs to play while you get ready for work or school. In the evening, play some instrumental music to calm your brain and create inner peace.
Exercising releases endorphins, the "feeling good" chemicals needed to regulate mood and pleasure. Exercise also impacts the executive functioning system, such as, increases attention, focus and manages impulsive behaviour.
Action: Try taking a 20-minute walk after work or school. Sign up for an exercise class. But, basically, any muscle movement counts. The key is consistency.
Gratitude People with anxiety or depression often experience high levels of self-doubt and a negative inner-dialogue. To help you better believe in yourself, shift your perspective by implementing an "attitude of gratitude."
Action: Start your day by talking about what you "get to do" instead of what you "have to do." This changes the conversation positively. Before heading out the door or upon entering your home, pause, then think about or even write down 3 things you are grateful for. Plus, when problems occur, instead of thinking, "Why is this happening to me?" think, "What can I learn from this?". Basically, distract your brain. Outdoors Nature has a restorative effect on our busy brains, so spend time outdoors. Set up a quiet space where you and/or your family members can be alone. The fresh air, green surroundings and sunshine can make a big impact. If you live in a climate where sunshine and/or the ability to go outside is limited during the year, consider purchasing a therapy light that mimics natural daylight to impact mood and energy levels.
Action: When outside or with your therapy light: Sit, pause, take a deep breath, and slowly release it. Continue this while going through each of the five senses — taste, smell, sight, hearing, and touch. This will instantly calm the body and mind while helping you focus on what serves you positively.
Nutrition A healthy diet of whole foods packed with nutrients is beneficial for people with anxiety or depression because what you eat can impact how your mind functions. For example, sugars, additives and food coloring can trigger hyperactivity, energy crash, mind-racing thoughts, and agitation.
Action: To encourage wholesome eating, stock your kitchen with foods that are low in artificial sugars and colors. If you have a sweet tooth, fresh fruit is a wonderful way to satisfy cravings while getting a natural sugar boost. For example; red berries, purple grapes, and green apples.
Mindfulness Paying attention to your intentions in the present is the best way to practice being mindful. It helps improve self-control, impulsive behaviour and attention. Plus, it's something that can be done anywhere, at any time, making it accessible to anyone and everyone.
Action: Pay attention by calming the mind's thoughts and focusing on breathing slowly in and out. Notice how your body feels and hear your thoughts without judgement.
Thinking of other less fortunate people in the world serves as a reminder of self worth because by contributing to them, we remind our anxious & depressed self that we provide a service to humanity which is greater than oneself. "We serve someone, therefore we are a worthwhile human".
Action: Sign up for a weekly volunteering opportunity in a center of your choice, take part in donation initiatives or help in your children's school.
Coaching A Certified Life Coach provides the necessary and trained support to make a positive difference in anxiety & depression management. A Certified Life Coach will help you understand and improve how your anxious mind works by providing effective strategies and tools that are uniquely tailored to your needs.
Action: Schedule your free complimentary call with me, a Certified Life Coach by Robbins Madanes Training Center (Tony Robbins official Life Coaching Institute).
Live in Passion, Confidence and Peace