Thursday, June 16, 2022

How To Beat Anxiety And Depression

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How To Beat Anxiety: The Self

Not all of these strategies will work for you. Self-experiment to find out which techniques you prefer. Context is important, too; you may find that some strategies work in some circumstances but not in others. Experiment to observe what works best, and when.

Also: Try thinking about the strategies in three categories: behavioral, cognitive , and physical. Aim to find some strategies that appeal to you from each category.

Depression & Anxiety Disorders Are Rising Dramatically

Many rely on therapy and medications to alleviate symptoms, but often this is not enough. Now, we know there has been a missing factor. With the latest scientific advances in neuroscience, nutrition, and the mind-gut connection, we have discovered that how and what we eat greatly affects how we feel, physically, cognitively, and emotionally.

The Reality Is That We Cannot Overcome It We Can Accept It Treat It And Heal

One of my favorite lectures to present at work is about emotional wellness. While vague and all-encompassing, the topics that continuously come up are relationships, , and dealing with and/or anxiety.

Toward the end of my lecture a few weeks ago, one of the audience members asked, But how do you overcome depression?

I was taken off guard by his question, which seemed almost impossible to answer in the moment. But then I realized how significant the wording that he used was. The semantics of the word choice overcome, especially when used in a sentence about something as severe as depression or anxiety, was incredibly significant here.

The etymology of the word overcome goes back to Old English times. It is synonymous with prevail over and defeat.

But we dont defeat depression. We dont defeat anxiety. We dont prevail over or any other co-occurring disorder. We dont power our way through it to not have to deal with it anymore. Before we do anything, we need to accept that we have it.

For most of us, this is incredibly difficult. We live in a culture that prizes independence, autonomy, and overcoming adversity. We are taught from an early age to pull ourselves up from our bootstrapsa term that actually represents something that is impossible, but thats neither here nor there.

If Youre Up For Exercise Consider A Walk Around The Block

On days when you feel as if you cant get out of bed, exercise may seem like the last thing youd want to do. However, exercise and physical activity can be powerful depression fighters.

suggests that, for some people, exercise can be as effective as medication at relieving depression symptoms. It may also help future depressive episodes.

If youre able to, take a walk around the block. Start with a five-minute walk and work your way up from there.

Sleep disturbances are common with depression. You may not sleep well, or you may sleep too much. Both can make depression symptoms worse.

Aim for eight hours of sleep per night. Try to get into a .

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can help you with your daily schedule. Getting the proper amount of sleep may also help you feel more balanced and energized throughout your day.

Practice These Coping Skills Every Day

I Beat My Anxiety & Depression With Keto

I recommend doing many if not all of the following coping skills and techniques once a day when experiencing depression. Its important to know you probably wont be motivated to do any of them at first because depression frequently saps motivation. In other words, know that its normal to feel unmotivated until youre halfway done.

The patients I work with who frequently practice these coping skills get better.The seven techniques can be memorized with the acronym MY PEERS.

1. Meaning: Find small ways to be of service to others. 

Find personal meaning by serving something larger than yourself. Remember service doesnt have to be big to count. Consider this, Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue as the unintended side effect of ones personal dedication to a course greater than oneself. Viktor E. Frankl, Mans Search for Meaning

2. Your goals: Find workable goals that give you a sense of accomplishment.

Most people feel guilty when talking about goals because they set unreasonable or unworkable goals. A goal is workable if its:

  • Something you can control
  • Manageable
  • Realistic for you
  • Measurable
  • If something goes wrong with your goal, adopt a what can I learn from this? attitude . Also, be careful when comparing your progress with others. We usually compare our biggest weakness with another persons biggest strength. This is unfair .

    3. Pleasant Events: Schedule pleasant activities or events.

    4. Engagement: Stay in the present.

    Why Is Dealing With Depression So Difficult

    Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to take the steps that will help you to feel better. Sometimes, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like exercising or spending time with friends, can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action.

    Its the Catch-22 of depression recovery: The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do. There is a big difference, however, between something thats difficult and something thats impossible. While recovering from depression isnt quick or easy, you do have more control than you realizeeven if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. The key is to start small and build from there. You may not have much energy, but by drawing on all your reserves, you should have enough to take a walk around the block or pick up the phone to call a loved one, for example.

    Taking the first step is always the hardest. But going for a walk or getting up and dancing to your favorite music, for example, is something you can do right now. And it can substantially boost your mood and energy for several hourslong enough to put a second recovery step into action, such as preparing a mood-boosting meal or arranging to meet an old friend. By taking the following small but positive steps day by day, youll soon lift the heavy fog of depression and find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more hopeful again.

    Running Regularly Changes The Structure Of The Brain

    In addition to temporarily improving your mood, running regularly can make long-term changes to the brain that can improve a persons mental health.

    A study published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review found that .

    Running regularly makes the brain more resilient to stress in two ways.

    Firstly, it causes the brain to produce higher levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine.

    They are the same neurotransmitters that most antidepressant medications target to reduce depression and anxiety symptoms.

    Secondly, running promotes neurogenesis, which is the creation of new neurones in the brain.

    As more neurones grow and form connections, it stimulates the hippocampus a section of the brain that is often shrunken in people with depression.

    Having a healthy hippocampus can mean a person will experience less depression symptoms.

    Emerging Trends In Substance Misuse:

    • MethamphetamineIn 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
    • CocaineIn 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
    • KratomIn 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.

    Resources:

    What Lifestyle Changes Are Recommended For Anxiety And Depression

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    Lifestyle changes are simple but powerful tools in treating depression and anxiety, and they are an essential component of an integrated approach to treatment. In some cases, lifestyle changes alone can help depression or relieve anxiety, so it makes sense to start with them right away. But if you are suffering from moderate to severe depression or anxiety, also seek professional help right away. And if you dont see relief from symptoms of mild depression in a few months, likewise seek professional help.

    Lifestyle changes that can help include the following.

    Avoid Feeding Your Depression

    Feeding depression creates a snowball effect: For example, if you throw a few crumbs out on your balcony or sidewalk, a few pigeons will show up. If you keep throwing out crumbs, by the end of the week a multitude of pigeons will have flocked to the area. Similarly, depression thrives on doubts, fears, and negative thoughts which feeds more depression. Learn to identify the negative thoughts and worries that are fueling your depression so you can replace them with positive, more realistic thoughts.

    Tip #3: Learn To Laugh

    It may sound silly to practice something that even small babies can do with no effort, but many adults can find it difficult to identify the last time they laughed. This is unfortunate, as the act of laughing has been shown to release endorphins into the bloodstream. These endorphins provide us with a temporary boost in mood and work to counteract the existence of stress hormones.

    Forcing laughter may not sound like an appealing idea, but giving the urge to laugh a little boost can actually result in the production of genuine laughter. You dont have to commit to extreme forms of voluntary laughter, such as by joining a laughter yoga group, either. You can start out by committing to watching a funny vlog or short comedy skit a couple of times a week. Integrating laughter into your life doesnt make problems go away, but clearing up your mind through positive experiences can assist with finding new solutions.

    Do Something You Enjoy

    Depression can push you to give into your fatigue. It may feel more powerful than happy emotions.

    Try to push back and do something you love something thats relaxing, but energizing. It could be playing an instrument, painting, hiking, or biking.

    These activities can provide subtle lifts in your mood and energy, which may help you overcome your symptoms.

    suggests people who spend time in nature have improved mental health.

    Exposure to sunlight may offer some of the same benefits. It can increase your serotonin levels, which can provide a temporary mood boost .

    Consider taking a walk at lunch among the trees or spending some time in your local park. Or plan a weekend hike. These activities can help you reconnect with nature and soak in some rays at the same time.

    How To Handle Anxiety Effectively

    teach you to BEAT Depression and Anxiety

    In celebration of the release of my book, The Anxiety Toolkit, Ive put together a cheat sheet of 50 strategies you can use for beating anxiety and feeling calmer. The book expands on many of the following techniques, and includes tons more tools, strategies and ways to help anxiety. But this cheat sheet will give you a very solid start if youre searching for ways to reduce your anxiety and de- effectively today.

    The Three Types Of Mental Health Books

    Books about mental health come in three flavors:

  • Greater Understanding/Research These are books that explain what the latest research suggests thats happening in your life/brain and what the most effective treatments may be. Building your understanding and knowledge about your problem can often be enough so that you can take care of it from there.
  • Feeling Less Alone These books inspire hope. Usually, the author has suffered from the same problem as you, except that their situation was orders of magnitude worse than yours. This has the double-whammy effect of a) reassuring you that youre not the only one to go through shit like this, and b) that there is hope if this person made it, so can you. Feeling Less Alone books tend to be the most emotionally powerful of the three flavors.
  • Exercises/Actions Im personally not a huge fan of books that want you to take out a sheet of paper every other page and write a bunch of crap down. But I know some people are. And I know that some of these exercises can be highly effective. And if the exercises are well-done you can get good results from these books.
  • All three flavors can be more/less useful given the situation/personality/tastes of the reader. Thats why Ive specified the type for each book below.

    Learn Strategies To Immediately Deal With Symptoms

    Educate yourself by learning strategies to immediately deal with anxiety symptoms. The National Institute of Anxiety and Stress has just made available free information that can help you reduce anxiety symptoms quickly, easily, and effectively.

    This free information contains audio and workbook exercises that show you:

    • how to stop intense anxiety using a simple three-step formula
    • how to deal with anxiety symptoms quickly
    • what to do when youre having a panic attack

    Ways To Treat Depression Without Medication

    editorial processMedical Review BoardReview Board

    Verywell / Bailey Mariner

    For many people living with depression, prescription medications can be wonder drugs. , especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac and Zoloft . They can have side effects and can be expensive depending on your health insurance coverage.

    There are many ways to counter some of the symptoms of depression that don’t involve prescription medications. If you have depression you might like to try managing it naturally, without medication, or supplement your antidepressant with other tactics. If so, check out these natural alternatives and then talk to your doctor about which might make sense as part of your treatment regimen.

    Can Reading About Depression And Anxiety Actually Help You

    I think this list of books will help you better understand depression and anxiety. But you might still be wondering: will they actually help me deal with my depression and anxiety?

    Well, Id answer that with it depends.

    I love books. I read them every single day. But if youre reading a book with the hopes that it will permanently fix you, then no, none of these books will help you.

    Theres a fine line between reading a book to gain a new perspective on a problem and reading a book to simply avoid the problem by intellectualizing it.

    You could read every single book ever published on money and personal finance. But if you dont apply that knowledge and save and invest your money, youll still be broke. Youll understand why youre broke really well, but youll still be broke.

    This seems so obvious when it comes to more tangible outcomes like money or losing weight or whatever. But when it comes to our emotional and mental health, we often believe we can just think the problems away.

    Getting your emotional and mental shit together is a lived experience. You have to face and endure the pain, not rationalize it away. You can do it with a therapist or a family member or a good friend. In some cases, you might be able to do it alone. But no matter what, it has to be done, not simply thought about and analyzed.

    Theyll make the work a bit easier. But you still have to do the work.

    What You Eat And Drink Can Also Affect How You Feel

    Theres no magic diet that will treat depression. But what you put into your body on the way you feel.

    Eating a diet rich in lean meats, vegetables, and grains may be a great place to start. Try to limit stimulants like caffeine, coffee, and soda, and depressants like alcohol.

    Some people also and have more energy when they avoid sugar, preservatives, and processed foods.

    If you have the means, consider meeting with a doctor or registered dietitian for guidance.

    What To Do When Depression And Anxiety Mix

    Joseph Goldberg, MD

    You’ve noticed some changes lately. Maybe you feel sad, hopeless, or donât get any joy out of activities that used to be fun. Sounds like depression, right?

    Maybe that’s not all. Sometimes you’re worried, afraid, and just plain uneasy. Isn’t that a sign of anxiety?

    Not so fast. Itâs normal to have ups and downs or to have things youâre concerned about. You might be going through a difficult time. Your doctor can help you figure out if itâs actually a condition and what would help.

    and are like flip sides of the same coin, says therapist Nancy B. Irwin, PsyD. “Being depressed often makes us anxious, and anxiety often makes us depressed.”

    If it turns out that you have both conditions, there are lots of ways to get help.

    Break Up With Caffeine

    A cup of coffee, chocolate, or an ice-cold Coke might help you feel better. But if caffeine is your go-to drug of choice, your anxiety could worsen.

    Caffeine gives the nervous system a jolt, which can boost energy levels. But when under pressure, this nervous energy can induce an anxiety attack. Now, the idea of giving up your favorite caffeinated beverage might raise your heart rate and induce anxiety as you read this, but you dont have to stop cold turkey or give up caffeine completely. Its all about moderation.

    Rather than four cups of coffee a day, scale back to one or two normal-sized cups a day normal as in 8 ounces, not 16 or 32 ounces. Give it a test run and see how you feel. As you wean yourself, slowly introduce other beverages into your diet such as decaffeinated herbal tea, which can calm your mind and nerves.

    Our Brains Consume 20% Of Everything We Eat

    Babelcube  Anxiety: smart ways to beat anxiety and depression

    When the brain is deprived of essential nutrients, we suffer. In this groundbreaking book, Dr Drew Ramsey helps us forge a path towards greater mental health through food. Eat to Beat Depression and Anxiety breaks down the science of Nutritional Psychiatry and explains what you should eat to positively effect brain health and improve mental wellness.

    Strategy 3: Engage In Self Care

    In a lot of ways, we operate like a computer and printer: we can only print what was first put into the computer

    Engaging in self-care can exponentially alter your mood and create the tools you need to overcome depression. 

    Diet & Exercise: 

    When we eat junk foods and dont use our bodies the way they were intended to be used, we begin to feel junky too. 

    Make sure you are eating right. Reduce sugars and fatty foods and increase your intake of healthy, unprocessed foods.

    Be sure you are getting outside in the sun every day, and that youre getting your heart rate up for at least 15 minutes. 

    When you eat right and exercise, your brain will begin to release more chemicals that make you feel good about yourself. 

    Get Enough Sleep:

    Working on changing all of the habits we have discussed so far takes effort & energy

    When you dont get enough sleep, you dont have the energy to sustain the focus you need to make this happen. 

    When you lack sleep, your mind and body revert to using the path of least resistance to save energy. 

    This means that to save energy, your body will do what comes most natural which means eating what youre used to, thinking what youre used to, and focusing on what youre used to. 

    If you want the energy and will-power to overcome depression, make sure you are meeting your needs!

    Stay in the present moment:

    One way you can stay in the moment is by doing deep-breathing and mindfulness exercises. 

    Dont try to do it alone:

    Humans are social creatures. 

    Take A Different View

    With depression often comes a psychological myopia: the sufferer robotically repeats to him or herself soul-sucking negative thoughts: Nothing I try ever works out How could I have been so stupid? I am not worthy of being loved.  A patient deep in the throes of that kind of thinking can, if unchecked, spend an entire session staring at one spotoften the floor. At those moments I prod, You are so stuck on only seeing things one way that you miss any other possible view. Literally. If you force yourself to look up, there are a variety of objects in the room to observe and pondera bookcase; lamps: paintings; a window with sunlight streaming in Its not that my office is so fascinating, but there is so much you miss when you refuse to look. The patient then sheepishly lifts his or her eyes to take in the entirety of the room  as I hammer home the point: There are a plethora of ways to view anything. Instead of continually convincing yourself everything is hopeless consider all the other options. There is always a Plan B.

    The Happiness Trap: How To Stop Struggling And Start Living By Russ Harris

    Focuses on: Anxiety and DepressionType: Greater Understanding/Research and Exercises/Action

    I love this book. It was quite influential on me when I read it years and years ago and I was quite upset to find out that I had inadvertently ripped off one of the exercises in it in my .

    Harris is probably the most visible proponent of something called ACT or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. ACT is a relatively new form of therapy that argues that the key to dealing with depression, anxiety, or addiction is to not necessarily to remove bad feelings. Instead, ACT focuses on developing mental tools and to simply weather those bad feelings more effectively. Whereas CBT is focused on channeling pain and suffering into more productive interpretations and actions, ACT just says fuck it, bad feelings are bad feelings and they dont necessarily have to mean anything at all, if we dont let them. To me, ACT is one of the more promising recent developments in as it incorporates some of the benefits of mindfulness, with a zest of eastern thrown in.

     is also one of the most approachable and enjoyable psych reads out there. The writing is clear and fun, and the exercises are engaging. In my opinion, the best pop psychology books bring some humor and humanity to the subject, and this is one of the few books that pulls that off really well.

    Exercise Is Something You Can Do Right Now To Boost Your Mood

    Your fatigue will improve if you stick with it. Starting to exercise can be difficult when youre depressed and feeling exhausted. But research shows that your energy levels will improve if you keep with it. Exercise will help you to feel energized and less fatigued, not more.

    Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic. The most benefits for depression come from rhythmic exercisesuch as walking, weight training, swimming, martial arts, or dancingwhere you move both your arms and legs.

    Add a mindfulness element, especially if your depression is rooted in unresolved trauma or fed by obsessive, negative thoughts. Focus on how your body feels as you movesuch as the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, or the feeling of the wind on your skin, or the rhythm of your breathing.

    Pair up with an exercise partner. Not only does working out with others enable you to spend time socializing, it can also help to keep you motivated. Try joining a running club, taking a water aerobics or dance class, seeking out tennis partners, or enrolling in a soccer or volleyball league.

    Take a dog for a walk.If you dont own a dog, you can volunteer to walk homeless dogs for an animal shelter or rescue group. Youll not only be helping yourself but also be helping to socialize and exercise the dogs, making them more adoptable.

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