5 Simple Life Style Changes To Reduce Anxiety And Depression

5 Simple Life Style Changes To Reduce Anxiety And Depression

Stress and anxiety are common emotions that most people are able to deal with. If you are not able to manage it properly then it can lead to serious health problems.

Did you know that you can ease your worries with a few lifestyle and diet changes?

Here is a few tips that will help individuals who suffer from stress or anxiety. Also helpful for somebody who would like to keep themselves happy and stress free – prevention is always better than a cure.

Exercise

benefits of exerciseWe all know there are a myriad of health benefits associated with exercising regularly but many people are not aware of how this can reduce your anxiety and stress.

Here is study showing people who exercise regularly are less likely to have symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Regular exercise also lowers your cortisol levels (stress hormone) and causes your body to release endorphins that enhance your mood – happy hormones.

Exercise will also help you to sleep better – we all know how grumpy you can be when you don’t have a good nights sleep.

Cleaning Up Your Diet Will Enhance Your Mood

clean-eatingTheir is a lot of seratonin produced in your gut, in fact more than in your brain. Seratonin is a feel good hormone and the modulation of seratonin at synapses is believed to be major action of pharmaceutical drugs that are designed to manage feelings of depression and anxiety. These drugs have many nasty side effects and can become addictive!

Stop Eating Processed Foods

Processed foods are heavily refined which results in them being stripped of beneficial nutrients and overloaded with harmful chemicals, refined sugar and too much salt. Processed foods should be avoided by everyone period.

Refined Sugar – There is a strong link between refined sugar and depression (1 , 2).  On top of that refined sugar is very harmful to your physical health as well so it should be avoided as much as possible, seek a sugar free alternative such as honey, maple syrup, stevia etc.

Trans Fats – Trans fats also go by the name hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats. They are fats that have been chemically modified to be solid at room temperature.

Trans fats have been linked to alzheimers disease and depression (3 , 4), they also have strong correlations to cancer, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Modern Agriculture – Not only is commercially grown food not as tasty as organically grown food, but it is deficient in many nutrients that keep your body’s systems in check. This is partially due to overuse of artificial fertilizes which destroys the ecology of the soil.

On top of that there is all the chemicals that are sprayed on to the food, glyphosate is of the most concern as it has been shown to disrupt the growth of beneficial bacteria (5), this upsets digestion which hampers your ability to properly absorb the nutrients from your food and interferes with seratonin levels.

Vegetable oils – You should also be wary of vegetable oils, firstly they are processed with high heat and chemicals but they also upset the balance of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids – they are too high in omega 6.

Omega 3 and omega 6 oils need to kept at a balance (6) when this balance is upset it can lead to feelings of depression (7). Coconut oil and hemp seed oil are much better alternatives.

Caffeine – Caffeine is good for your health when consumed at the right amounts but too much caffeine trigger feelings of anxiety, reducing your caffeine intake could be the answer to your problems. One simple solution is to switch from coffee to green tea.

Eat A Diet Rich In Fresh Organic Whole Foods

Without going into nutrition too much a simple rule to go by is maximize the amount of fresh organically grown wholefoods in your diet and the fresher the better.

When I say whole foods what I mean is unprocessed foods in their natural form, For example fresh fruit rather than fruit from a can, whole wheat flour instead of refined white flour, fresh vegetables rather than  a bag of frozen pre cut vegetables, etc, Best way to do this is to shop at farmers markets.

Here is a list of  some of the best foods to improve your mood.

Supplements To Enhance Your Mood

Ashwagandha – Also known as Indian ginseng is a powerful herb used in Ayurvedic medicine, here  are some study’s (8, 9) showing Ashwagandha’s use in treating anxiety and depression.

Kava Kava – Is a herb used in the south pacific to treat all sorts of conditions, there is evidence that it can be used to treat anxiety and depression. (10)

Lemon Balm – This herb is a member of the mint family and has shown links to anti anxiety effects. (11)

Practice Meditation

meditationMeditation is an often overlooked treatment in the west. Although it is becoming more mainstream which is a good thing considering it is inexpensive or often free and it is quite easy for just about anyone to do.

Here are a few studies (12 , 13) showing the benefits of meditation for treating depression as well as its over all health benefits.

Eastern cultures have been practicing meditation for thousands of years not only for depression and anxiety but for the treatment and prevention of a whole range of other conditions as well. Dr Zoran Josipovic has some interesting research on meditation.

Laugh More Often

laughing-babySomeone who is laughing is not stressed, also laughter brings more oxygen into your body, it relieves tension by relaxing your muscles and reduces stress. It is also said that laughter improves your immune system.

If you are feeling stressed then watch a funny show, hang around someone who makes you laugh or even watch some funny videos on youtube…

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