According to Psychology Today, “60 to 70 percent of people with major depression also have an anxiety disorder, while half of those suffering anxiety also have symptoms of clinical depression.” As the publication continues, “Anxiety and depression are probably two faces of the same coin.”
There are many facets of anxiety and depression: Looking at the physical aspect, you have powerful biochemicals called neurotransmitters and hormones. They are the biochemistry of emotional well-being. When they become depleted and unbalanced, there’s a written guarantee that mood issues develop.
Looking at it another way, when you are suffering from anxiety and depression you almost always have these depletions and unbalances.
One way the medical profession know this to be true is that certain medications and hormones, when administered specifically for anxiety and depression, almost always improve it in some, but not all, ways.
How in the world did such significant depletions and imbalances develop in the first place? Causes that are at the very foundation we address in other formats. And here is one of the most common dog-chase-its-tail stories: Life on earth, in case you may have noticed, has periodic stresses ranging from small, medium and large. In the good old days, when we were roaming the Savannah and met up with a saber-toothed tiger, we dug very deep biologically to be able to successfully fight or flee. Mothers have been known in modern times to lift cars off their entrapped child.
Where did this super-physical strength come from? The biologic stress response: a robust outpouring of hormones including adrenaline, cortisol, insulin, estrogen, testosterone and even thyroid if stress was prolonged—and neurotransmitters—serotonin, adrenaline, glutamine and PEA. Great. These are ferocious energizers.
However, mobilizing for stress, though possible, these special biochemicals are there primarily to function in normal day-to-day living, as well as mood. In these modern times, though we no longer confront tigers, our bodies respond to stressors of any kind by mobilizing this primal call to action biochemistry. Worrying about jobs, kids, spouses, relationships, traffic and your place in the grocery line: If you do not have certain skills, you can and will activate tiger-fighting physiology.
And the real problem is that if you do this for days, weeks and years, somewhere along the line your glands and nervous systems cannot keep up with your increased demands, and you get depletions and imbalances. If you continue to trigger the biology of this stress response on a daily basis, you begin to drain yourself of these precious chemicals that are actually intended for normal day-to-day activities like breathing, walking, talking, thinking, laughing and loving. Clearly this is a critical body function when encountering true danger like an impending tornado or a home intruder.
Thankfully, there are proven tools, methods and even supplements that can assist you with overcoming anxiety, depression and how you respond to stress. Aside from the obvious benefits of experiencing less anxiety and depression, you’ll enjoy an increased sense of well-being and improved body and brain functioning.
To start enjoying a life of less anxiety and depression, here are four tips you can employ today.
- Emotional, mental and life therapy
If anxiety and depression are debilitating, there’s an army of caring, trained, skilled and helpful counselors, social workers, psychologists, group therapies and others that can make such a major difference for your mental and emotional state. It can require courage and effort to find the therapist or group that feels right for you – especially if you are feeling tired and hopeless.
It can come as quite a surprise how much better you can feel and be when you do receive this help. So many people have felt lower than the absolute bottom only to seek help, get on a path and acquire information, tools and support and change dramatically over time to return to a normal life.
- Testing and treatment of hormones and neurotransmitters
There are health professionals, often of the holistic/functional medicine type, skilled in assessing hormones and neurotransmitters. With precise lab information, hormones can be replenished and rebalanced. This can make a world of difference. (And if you are menopausal, this can be such leverage point for you and your mood).
Neurotransmitter depletions can often be addressed with nutritional supplements. At times it is optimal to begin with medications designed for anxiety and depression to help you swing back towards decent, while other ways you are addressing your situation are being put in place.
- Your basecamp of diet and exercise
Medical studies reveal the importance of these and the benefits. If you really want testimonials, go to your local YMCA and interview the first ten people you see. Ask them if they had a change of life from before they became a consistent exerciser to after.
Whatever exercise regimen you select, try to find something you think you’ll like and thus more likely to stick with. It also might be a good time to try something totally new like a walk with a friend, spin classes, yoga or local boot camp classes that can also foster positive social interactions.
Think about slowly but surely changing your diet. One by one you can identify a dietary pearl. You’ll learn about it, shop for and prepare it and you can integrate into your daily food plan. In a year or so you will be eating better and feeling better.
Anxiety and depression, and its accompanying shallow and repressed breathing, leads to less oxygen. This matters greatly. You can prove it to yourself by holding your breath for a bit. Short- and long-term return to sufficient breathing, to providing adequate oxygen, improves the functioning of your everything, including your mind and your attitude. It does take practice.
By utilizing these four tips, you may begin to experience less anxiety and depression. There are natural supplements out there that can help as well. In fact, combining these proven strategies and all-natural supplements may be just what you need to keep anxiety and depression at bay.