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Natural ways to reduce depression & anxiety

Anyone who has dealt with depression or anxiety knows that half the battle is just trying to find the motivation to fight these feelings. Both situations tend to discourage treatment, which is why finding the help that is needed can be such a difficult process.

However, our bodies and our surroundings have many wonderful ways to overcome a troubled mental state. Let’s take a look at some of the natural methods that can reduce anxiety and depression.

Get some exercise

Active crowd of people exercising and walking in public park on a clear afternoon
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Getting the blood pumping is one of the best ways to fight both depression and anxiety. Exercise boosts the number of endorphins in your system, which deliver a feeling of wellness to your brain. In addition, exercise is a wonderful way to work out the nerves that get stirred up by feelings of anxiety.

If a little exercise is good for the mind, a lot of exercise is even better. Long-term exercise routines have also been shown to help restructure things in your brain in a positive way, helping you keep either condition from resurfacing.

Try a new diet

Assortment of heart-healthy fats, nuts, seeds, and omega-3 capsules
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Another excellent way to resolve unbalanced feelings is to make a change in your diet. For example, if you are dealing with depression, eating foods that will give you a natural boost in serotonin will be beneficial. These foods include:

  • Healthful fats
  • Foods with omega-3 fatty acids
  • Protein

In addition, making a change in your beverage choices can be beneficial. Herbal teas such as chamomile have been demonstrated to have an impact in the level of cortisone in the human body, which contributes to stress and anxiety.

Make sure you get enough sleep

Woman sleeping on her back with an eye mask on
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Make sure you are getting enough sleep by committing to a regular schedule. Lack of sleep can lead to insomnia and sleep deprivation, either of which could worsen anxiety or depression.

You may consider trying to improve your sleeping patterns by making your bedroom a space dedicated to getting good rest. This can be accomplished by removing distractions such as cell phones, TVs and laptops. After you’ve made your bedroom a distraction-free area, commit to a regular bedtime and try to hold yourself to that routine.

Head outside

Paved stone walkway with green shrubs and trees, lit by calm evening sunset
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Make sure you are a getting into the great outdoors every once in a while, as it can have many benefits for your mental health. Getting direct sunlight is an important way that your body acquires vitamin D and is a natural mood booster, which means that it can stave off feelings of depression.

Being outside and close to nature has been shown to reduce your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and relax your muscles. All of these processes help lessen anxiety and leave you in a calmer and more clear-headed state of mind.

Express Yourself

Group of people sitting in a circle and talking in a group therapy session
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Another key way to reduce anxious or depressive feelings is to make sure that you are acknowledging the challenges that you are facing. If you are feeling depressed, it can be helpful to find someone who can listen to how you are feeling and maybe offer some guidance. This can be a friend, a family member, a therapist, a life coach — it just needs to be someone you can trust.

If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your feelings out loud, write them down. Getting your thoughts on paper has been shown to reduce stress levels for both children and young adults. If you are feeling sad or nervous, maybe getting those feeling out on paper can help you find a way to deal with them.