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.
Fernanda Sarmento Minding Within
My favorite non-conventional tactic to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression is to sink my head into a pillow and scream.
We live in a society that represses sounds and puts too much pressure on what we speak, but using our voice to scream out your emotions is a potent way of letting it go.
And the pillow will make sure that your neighbor does not hear the sound .
Dont get me wrong, meditation and looking inward is fantastic and advised , but sometimes we underestimate the power of a significant release of energy. Scream it out, honey!
As spiritual beings having a human life experience, our energy can become scattered, which in turn, may evolve into feelings of stress, anxiety and being overwhelmed.
Taking note of our physical health and mental/emotional well-being is essential.
These are five tips to cope when feeling stressed, anxious or depressed:
Being present involves living in the moment rather than focusing on the future or dwelling in the past.
Focus on living, being and breathing in the moment. Being present also entails being present with those in your presence.
The element of time is significant, but can also be restrictive, so be here now.
Start A Walking Program
Walking just 30 minutes a day can significantly reduce your risk for major chronic diseases, including anxiety and depression. Read these tips to get started.
Use the following ideas to start your own walking program.
- Wear the pedometer for a few days and see how many steps you average.
- Set a daily goal and work up to it. A good goal is to increase your average daily steps gradually so that you get used to the increased distance. Recommendations vary on how fast to increase steps. Anywhere from 500-2,000 steps a week is reasonable.
- Record your daily steps in a log or notebook.
There are many ways to increase your daily steps:
- Choose a more distant parking place
- Take the stairs
- Walk over to a friend’s dorm room or a colleague’s office instead of using the phone or e-mail
- Walk the dog
- Walk with a friend each day
Find ways to walk even during the winter months or other inclement weather.
- Walking in the malls
- Local school track or fitness center
- 3-5min “walk breaks” during study time/work/etc
If you experience pain or discomfort, check with your primary care provider.
Remember, it takes about six months to “lock-in” a new behavior. Think of your walking program as a permanent change in your behavior. If you maintain your walking program for a minimum of six months, you are much more likely to maintain this change long-term.
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Pay Attention To Sleep
Some people have a hard time going to sleep even at night, because of too much stress or worry. Sometimes, such worry or stress leads to sleep disorders. On the other hand, a sleep disorder may come first, and result in anxiety in the long run. Having said that, research has found out that sleep deprivation may contribute to the aggravations of anxiety.
Moreover, a lack of sleep also increases your risk of developing heart disease or heart failure. Some may also increase their risk of having high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and irregular heartbeat. These are just some of the reasons why you should pay attention to your sleep pattern.
On a much deeper view, disrupted sleep is almost present in other mental health issues like depression, affecting your daily living. For instance, it can negatively impact your work performance, academic performance, cognitive ability, and increases the risk of physical injury. Surely, these health problems that may arise in the future may create additional worries. Therefore, it is better to take care of your sleeping pattern as early as possible.
Laughing And Support Groups
While many believe that laughter is the best medicine, studies have already proven that laughing promotes many physical and mental health benefits. For instance, it can boost your immune system, can make your brain and muscles relax, can slow down the production of stress hormones, and can help the production of endorphins.
Plus, your support group may also provide their strategies in coping with such disturbing symptoms. Lastly, do not be afraid to talk to your doctor or mental health professional about what you are going through. They can provide or recommend therapy or medical intervention for your well-being.
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Or Spend Time With Loved Ones
Depression can tempt you to isolate yourself and withdraw from your friends and family, but face-to-face time can help wash away those tendencies.
If youre unable to spend time together in person, phone calls or video chats can also be helpful.
Try to remind yourself these people care about you. Resist the temptation to feel like youre a burden. You need the interaction and they likely do, too.
When you do the same thing day after day, you use the same parts of your brain. You can challenge your neurons and alter your brain chemistry by doing something entirely different.
Research also shows doing new things can improve your overall well-being and strengthen your social relationships.
To reap these benefits, consider trying a new sport, taking a creative class, or learning a new cooking technique.
Knock out a few birds with one stone spending time with other people and doing something new by volunteering and giving your time to someone or something else.
You may be used to receiving help from friends, but reaching out and providing help may actually improve your mental health more.
When you do something you love, or even when you find a new activity you enjoy, you may be able to boost your mental health more by taking time to be thankful for it.
Research shows gratitude can have lasting positive effects on your overall mental health.
Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
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Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who dont exercise .
There are a few reasons behind this:
- Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your bodys stress hormones such as cortisol in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
- Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
- Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.
- Try to find an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.
Activities such as walking or jogging that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving.
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Simple Steps You Can Take To Manage Your Stress
- Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol. many people try these to ease the pain but it works against the body and weakens you. Both these substances can lift you for a short while but they are best avoided because later on you will feel even worse. Alcohol actually increases the likelihood of depression.
- Get some exercise. This will calm you down and take your mind off what is causing the stress. It is quite impossible, for example, to take part in a sport or strenuous activity requiring concentration and think about your problems or worries.
- Get better quality sleep. More often than not it is actually more important to fully relax and enjoy good sleep. Just trying to get more is not enough. Try relaxation techniques or even hypnosis before sleeping.
- Try meditation. Even a short session each day can make a huge difference.
- Two things that increase stress in our modern lives are not having enough time to get the important things done and putting things off. Dealing with procrastination often involves time-management. When you can manage your time better and become more productive, you will feel less stress and more in control.
- Be assertive and say no. Are you always saying yes to others because you feel like you cant refuse them? Maybe this is draining you or they could be taking advantage of you. It is good to help others but not at the cost of taking care of your own needs. You will feel much less stress when you learn to stick up for yourself and say no to others.
Small Steps Big Impact
Depression can drain your energy, leaving you feeling empty and fatigued. This can make it difficult to muster the strength or desire to seek treatment.
However, there are small steps you can take to help you feel more in control and improve your overall sense of well-being.
Read on to learn how to incorporate these strategies in a way that makes sense for you.
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Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and stop procrastinating.
Procrastination can lead you to act reactively, leaving you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
Get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time, as switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful itself.
Prioritize what needs to get done and make time for it. Staying on top of your to-do list can help ward off procrastination-related stress.
Yoga has become a popular method of stress relief and exercise among all age groups.
While yoga styles differ, most share a common goal to join your body and mind.
Yoga primarily does this by increasing body and breath awareness.
Some studies have examined yogas effect on mental health. Overall, research has found that yoga can enhance mood and may even be as effective as antidepressant drugs at treating depression and anxiety .
However, many of these studies are limited, and there are still questions about how yoga works to achieve stress reduction.
In general, the benefit of yoga for stress and anxiety seems to be related to its effect on your nervous system and stress response.
Melissa Drake Uncorped Influence
We arent meant to do life alone, numb, and in our heads. Instead, we should be enlivened, joyful, and led by the Universe to our highest excitement.
Dance has been so integral to my recovery from depression and anxiety, that I published a book detailing dance and community as the medicine that healed me.
Dance is also the practice that helps me release accumulated stress, worry, and uncertainty. I came by dance as a spiritual practice accidentally.
Initially, I went to the club to be among friends and have a good time. Over time, I realized how spiritual the practice of dance was for me.
Dance became so important to me that I went to the club alone and danced without alcohol in an attempt to shake off the weeks worries.
What I learned through this process is the way dancing keeps me present, grounded, and in my body. Thats the basis of most spiritual practices, including meditation.
Dance to me is a moving meditation. Its also generally an activity thats done in community with others.
Because of social distancing, Ive begun hosting mid-week virtual dance parties, to share this spiritual practice while connecting and dancing with friends and strangers alike.
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Supporting Someone With Anxiety Or Depression
There are ways that you can help someone with anxiety or depression. It may be helpful to:
- let them know if youve noticed a change in their behaviour
- spend time talking about their experiences and let them know youre there to listen without being judgmental
- help them to get information from a website, library or community health centre
- suggest they go to a doctor or health professional, and help them to make an appointment
- offer to go with them to their appointment and follow up with them afterwards
- encourage them to get enough sleep, to exercise and to eat well
- encourage family and friends to invite them out and keep in touch, but dont pressure them to participate in activities
- contact a doctor or hospital if they become a threat to themselves or others.
It is unhelpful to:
- put pressure on them by telling them to snap out of it or get their act together
- stay away or avoid them
- tell them they just need to stay busy or get out more
- pressure them to party more or wipe out how theyre feeling with drugs and alcohol
- assume the problem will just go away.
If you or someone you know needs support, talk to a doctor or other health professional about getting appropriate treatment.
Meet Yourself Where You Are
Depression is common. It affects millions of people, including some in your life. You may not realize they face similar challenges, emotions, and obstacles.
Every day with this disorder is different. Its important to take your mental health seriously and accept that where you are right now isnt where youll always be.
The key to self-treatment for depression is to be open, accepting, and loving toward yourself and what youre going through.
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Spiritual Ways To Manage Stress Anxiety And Depression
Modern life can feel exhausting. The frantic, always-on, always-connected aspects can leave you feeling frazzled, burnt out and unable to go on.
And sometimes its easy to forget that natural problems can be solved with simple natural solutions.
And the more you feel aligned with a particular solution the better it may work for you.
So to give you a wide range of possible ways to cope with stress, anxiety and depression I asked experts in a range of areas what their favourite spiritual methods are.
The experts featured include psychologists, stress management counsellors, priests, pastors, tarot readers, yoga teachers, meditation experts, and more
Here are 43 simple ways to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression
Kim Julen Finding Your Fiji
These are my top five ways to reduce stress and raise your energetic vibration:
1) Move your body dance to your favorite song, do yoga stretches or simply bounce on your heels
2) Walk through your city or neighborhood as if you are a tourist.
What do you notice?
What is unique about this area?
What do you really like ?
3) Have a conversation with the your angels.
Take your journal out and write out a question thats been on your mind.
Then, meditate for 11 22 minutes .
Immediately after the meditation pick up your journal and pen and start free writing their answer. Its important not to censor and just write whatever is coming in.
4) Make your favorite cup of tea or warm drink and sit and simply listen to the sounds around you.
5) Play a board game with others or even by yourself . This gets your mind focused on the task at hand and you can try different strategies with each hand .
Two of my current favorites are Splendor and Azul
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How Can I Identify The Signs Of Stress
Everyone experiences stress. However, when it is affecting your life, health and wellbeing, it is important to tackle it as soon as possible, and while stress affects everyone differently, there are common signs and symptoms you can look out for:15
- feelings of constant worry or anxiety
- feelings of being overwhelmed
7. Dont be too hard on yourself
- Try to keep things in perspective.
- Remember that having a bad day is a universal human experience
- When your inner critic or an outer critic finds faults, try and find truth and exception to what is being said
- If you stumble or feel you have failed, dont beat yourself up
- Act as if you were your own best friend: be kind and supportive
- Take a few minutes each day to appreciate yourself
Now, we would like to move on to a more detailed look at the causes and effects of stress. In this section we will focus on the effects prolonged stress has on your body, behaviour and emotions, and look at key causes such as relationships, money, work, alcohol and drug use.