What if you could turn your habits into natural antidepressants?
I think it’s safe to say most of us are looking for ways to bring more happiness into our lives and increase our overall sense of well-being.
I mean who doesn’t want to feel good, right?
In the U.S., there has been a 65% rise in antidepressant use over the last 20 years, according to a government study. 1/3 of my clients report symptoms like depression, anxiety, or mood swings during our initial consult.
I completely get it. We live in a competitive and fast paced society that pressures us to feel like we must keep up.
So, how can we handle it?
While anti-depressants are a life changing solution for many people, they are not the answer or a long-term solution for everyone. Not to mention, they often come with a host of not so desirable side effects.
When dealing with mild cases of depression or anxiety, it’s smart to understand the root cause for the mood change before silencing symptoms with medication.
Through my work and personal experience, I’ve seen a connection between mood change and body imbalance as well as, a person’s routine and their overall mood.
Regardless of how mood is treated, it’s essential to get to the root cause.
Get To The Root
① What Are You Eating?
An inflamed body = a depressed or anxious mind. What we eat directly impacts how we feel.
- Incorporate Healthy Fat
- Healthy fats have positive effects on mood and cognition.
- Good-for-you fats are nuts, full fat plain yogurt, grass fed butter, extra virgin olive oil, coconut, and certainly avocados.
- Add a serving of healthy fat to all three of your meals.
- Reduce Refined Sugar & Alcohol
- Refined sugar causes a blood sugar high followed by an inevitable crash. This creates an emotional high and low.
- Keep refined sugar to 3x a week or less.
- Alcohol also reduces serotonin, the “feel good” hormone and affects the nervous system.
- Moderate alcohol to 4 glasses per week or less.
- Drink Enough Water
- Depression can be a symptom of dehydration.
- Drink half your body weight in ounces.
② Are You Exercising Enough?
One Harvard study found exercise every bit as effective as medication in the prevention and treatment of depression.
- Mental Benefits of Exercise
- Sends blood flow to your brain.
- Relaxes tensions in the muscle and in turn the whole body.
- Releases endorphins (feel good chemicals) during and after exercise.
- Daily Movement
- Make it a mission to workout 4x a week.
- Walk 7k steps on days when you cannot workout.
③ Do You Have Strong Enough Social Media Boundaries?
The Journal of Depression and Anxiety found social media users are 2.7 times more likely to be depressed compared to non users.
- Why Is This Occurring?
- Constant comparison to other people’s highlight reels + viewing promoted products and images that tell you how to “better yourself” are likely triggers.
- Social media use creates less of a drive to engage in direct person to person relationships and increases isolation.
- Set Boundaries With Social Media
- Allow yourself 1 hour per day.
- Unfollow accounts that make you feel bad about yourself.
- Take a social media hiatus.
Mental Health Habits
Incorporating the following habits into your daily routine can assist in maintaining a positive mood.
- Eat a diet rich in veggies, good fat, and clean protein.
- Limit refined sugar for special occasions.
- Keep alcohol to no more than 2 drinks per occasion.
- Adopt a consistent workout routine of 4-5x a week and take outdoor walks on rest days.
- Employ a time limit app to moderate social media usage.
- Keep the phone out of the bedroom.
- Delete Instagram and Facebook app 1-2 days a week to take a break.
We all deal with depression, anxiety, or some type of mood disorder. Today’s environment pushes us in that direction.
That is why it’s important to adopt a routine (or series of habits) that protect your mental health.
Pay attention to habits that make you feel good and the ones that do not serve your mental health.
You can overcome depression and anxiety!
Remember to get supported. Work closely with your doctor, therapist, coach and lean on friends + family. If you would like to talk more about improving your mood naturally, please schedule an initial health consult with me to learn more.
*Disclaimer: this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.