Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental illnesses that affect a large percentage of the population. When these feelings come on, they take hold of your very being and make it impossible to focus, complete simple tasks, and enjoy life. The good news is that there are ways to improve your state of mind, naturally.
Avoid Substance Abuse
A person who lives with severe anxiety and depression often turns to alcohol or drugs as a way of coping with their lives. They arrive home from work and pour a drink or pop a pill to make them feel better. There are two problems with this type of self-medication. First, you’re not solving the problem. In fact, you’re making it worse. Second, you’re setting yourself up for addiction on top of your mental illness. In many cases, people end up being able to wean off drugs and alcohol through therapy sessions. However, some people with an established history of abuse may benefit more from signing up for outpatient drug treatment programs to achieve a full recovery.
Engage in Physical Exercise
Exercise does wonderful things for the body. It keeps your muscles toned, shrinks fat cells, helps you maintain your weight and keeps your internal organs functioning properly. What you may not know is that performing a cardio workout that produces natural body sweat also helps to lift your spirits. The reason for this is that your body produces endorphins during an intense exercise session. Endorphins make you feel upbeat. The workout also blocks hormones that cause stress. You get a double type of natural high that makes you feel good for many hours after you finish exercising.
When you feel overwhelmed it can trigger anxiety and depression and make you unable to get through the rest of your day. By eliminating the things that cause chaos you’ll have many more days without those feelings. If your home is a mess with piles of clutter in every room, make an effort to get organized.
Sometimes it’s your job that causes huge amounts of stress or it may be your relationship. Pay attention to the periods in your life where you suddenly feel unable to move and perform simple tasks.
Poor finances can cause stress that leads to anxiety and depression. If you live paycheck to paycheck it’s time to establish a budget and stick to it. Initially, you may feel added stress. Within a few weeks of learning how to make the most of your money, however, you’ll start to feel the weight lifted from your shoulders.
Getting proper nutrition can actually help to reduce your anxiety and depression by making you feel energized. For many who have severe illnesses, they often also have an undiagnosed reaction to gluten and sugar. Gluten can cause inflammation in the body and the brain. Too much sugar can cause an extreme high followed by an extremely low. Eating the right foods and avoiding excessive sugar, bad fats, and processed food can benefit you immensely.
For people who live with anxiety and depression, socializing can truly be a double-edged sword. While the mind needs stimulation to prevent your mental illness from grabbing a hold of you, these types of settings often cause people with mental illness to abuse alcohol or drugs to fit in. Try to remain social during the day for lunch, or by participating in a family gathering at a park. When the nightly parties come along sip your water and limit yourself to a single glass of wine.
Anxiety and depression are two common forms of mental illness that many people live with each day. Thankfully, there are ways to control it and prevent it from taking over your life.