Updated: Apr 29
The overwhelming, debilitating feeling that comes with anxiety & depression is very real. Just the thought of leaving the comfort and safety of your bed is enough to bring on a panic attack. Seeing and communicating with humans is not happening. For many the only coping strategy they know is using alcohol and other drugs (AOD), gambling, gaming, shopping, etc. to avoid dealing with past trauma. Surprisingly, it's all chemical reactions that occur in your brain which can be naturally improved with a little help from A Nourished Recovery! In people who have experienced stress, trauma or PTSD, dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) is commonly found. It disrupts neurotransmission of Serotonin (responsible for mood), Dopamine (responsible for reward and motivation) and GABA (responsible for relaxation). This impacts the ability to cope in stressful situations, emotional control, decision making, impulse control and increases risk taking behaviours. Conditions that may occur as a result are anxiety, depression and addictive behaviours. Interestingly, alcohol activates GABA receptors which is why you feel relaxed after a drink. Furthermore, the Dopamine pathway is also activated which leads to the feeling of being rewarded. There other ways to get the same result without alcohol though. If any of this resonates with you, read on for ...
5 tips to improve your mental health, naturally. 1. Diet - Amino acids are required for the production of proteins, hormones and neurotransmitters (such as Serotonin, Dopamine and GABA). Increasing proteins can help your mental health. A significant amount of Serotonin is also made in your gut, therefore, gut health is a must. Consume lots of pre and probiotics to help heal your gut. B vitamins are also thought to be beneficial to mental health so include these in your diet. Sipping on green tea is also said to activate GABA and promote relaxation. This is very simplified and there are many more ways to improve your mental health through diet. 2. Meditate, Breath Work, Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping) - Meditation is an awareness of body mind and spirit in the present moment, free from judgement and distractions. It is a calming practice to help clear your mind and create pure happiness. Breath work is another way that you can induce relaxation. It is great for reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and increasing mental clarity. Wim Hof's breathing method can help increase oxygen to cells and provide you with more energy. Then there is Emotional Freedom Technique. Those of you that have never done this will think this is absolute madness. From personal experience, it has great benefits. It's a mood booster, may help addictive behaviours, mental health concerns and can help you manifest the future you have dreamed of. You really just need to see it and do it. For the ladies, Gala Darling does High Vibe Honey on YouTube and the last section of the video is the tapping session. She has many videos and a book called Radical Self Love which for many has been life changing. For the gents, try Brad Yates who is also on YouTube. 3. Exercise in Sunshine - Activate your Dopamine and Serotonin naturally by exercising in the sun. A walk in the sun is free, easy and provides vitamin D (deficiency may lead to depression). 4. Do The Things You Love - This may sound obvious but when you commit to participate in activities that provide pure joy your life becomes more valuable and meaningful. This is evidence based and is part of a therapy which has been used to successfully treat addiction and mental health conditions. Write a list of all the things that bring you joy and see how many you can do in a day. Note how you feel after doing these activities. 5. Connect with Loving, Supportive People - Human connection, touch and a sense of belonging is a necessary part of human survival. Surrounding yourself with people who love you unconditionally and continuously show support can be beneficial to mental health. It can release serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin (the love hormone). This is just a snap shot of the long list of things you can do to improve your mental health. Practicing all of the tips above will improve neuroplasticity (the brains ability to change after an experience, cognitive flexibility), increase your ability to cope in stressful situations, create new thought patterns, increase your energy, increase positivity, improve immune function and most importantly improve your anxiety or depression. Finally, know that even if all you do is read to this point and don't take action today, it's OK. You have taken the time to educate yourself and that is also a step forward. You are doing the best you can do in this moment. When you are ready to dive in and try these tips take note of your experience and connect with me on Instagram @a.nourished.recovery or email email@example.com. Tell me what you tried and how this has impacted your life. If you would like to take it further book in for a full consultation via the website.
A Nourished Recovery is here to support you.
Take action now and you may notice you'll be more motivated to bounce out of bed and enjoy your day!
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