Experiencing anxiety and depression occasionally is an aspect of the human condition. When you’re overly focused on something that troubles you, you may find yourself dwelling on the situation. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 10 strategies to reduce anxiety and depression naturally.
*Tips for Depression and Anxiety:
One of the most effective ways to help anxiety is through the food you eat. Eat foods that are high in protein, vitamins, and healthy fats. Eliminate all sugar, grains, and processed foods.
Many people feel much better on the Paleo diet. A great resource is The Paleo Cure by Chris Kresser.
Another super resource for balancing mood and restoring energy is The Adrenal Reset Diet by Dr. Alan Christianson.
2. Go get some exercise.
Nothing banishes a bad mood like a good workout.
- Exercise has been scientifically proven to aid in anxiety and depression. See Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey.
3. Just breathe.
It may sound simplistic, but when you’re anxious, you may be breathing too shallowly or quickly, which contributes to the annoying feelings. Breathing exercises can effectively manage anxiety, and certain breathing exercises can even enhance mood and aid in depression.
- Concentrate for a minute or two on your breathing. Pay attention to how it feels to inhale slowly and deeply and then to exhale in a way that feels calming.
- Try it now so you can experience how slow, deep breathing relaxes you.
- Google alternate nostril breathing and fire breathing!
4. Reflect on what’s positive in your life.
Shifting away from the worrisome thoughts to consider your abundance is like a counterattack against your anxiety.
5. Meditate regularly.
Meditation is also scientifically proven to aid in depression and anxiety. See How to Mediate for details.
6. Take part in an activity you enjoy.
This is a diversionary tactic that is meant to do just that, divert your attention away from what is eating at you and do something fun instead.
- For example, if you’re struggling to forget a negative comment that one of your friends said, go see that movie you’ve been wanting to see. Start reading the novel you have on the shelf.
- As you engage in activities you love, you’ll realize that what’s been bugging you is likely irrelevant to your true happiness.
7. Get a good dose of humor.
Have a witty friend? Give them a call. Does your sister crack you up? Take her to lunch. Even watching some of your favorite comedy reruns on TV can remind you of the cleansing effects of laughter.
8. Take part in community activities.
When you’re involved with something bigger than yourself, your worries and insecurities seem to shrink. Working together with others brings many positive experiences and feelings into your life.
- Whether you’re volunteering to pick up trash along the roads in your town or taking part in Community Theater, it’s great to be a small cog in a big working machine.
Allow yourself one hour to write out every single thing that bugs you and why. Sometimes, giving the anxious feelings a bit of attention also serves to purge them from your thoughts. When the hour is up, move on to doing something productive or fun.
- Regular journaling can also be an effective way to deal with anxiety and depression.
- Find a journal that is pretty, keep it someplace safe, and write away!
10. Use visualization.
Close your eyes and imagine your worries are collected onto a fluffy white cloud. Now, imagine that cloud with your troubles on it floating up, up, up, and away into the sky. You can barely see it. Then, it’s gone. Feel free to create a visualization that is to your individual liking to help your anxiety dissipate.
If you’ve tried several of the suggestions and you continue to struggle with ongoing anxiety, talk to a professional. You can start with your physician’s office if you like, or you can call a counselor directly or even a psychiatrist.
You hold within you the power to decrease episodes of depression and anxiety. Apply these strategies to find those that work best for you. A more peaceful life is yours for the choosing. Discover a world free of sadness and worries.