If you suffer from mild depression or anxiety, a few minor lifestyle changes can go a long way in alleviating your symptoms. For those with moderate to severe depression, though these lifestyle changes for depression & anxiety can absolutely help, it’s best to seek professional help for your condition. However, in conjunction with talk therapy, antidepressant medications or ketamine infusions, these lifestyle changes could make a big difference.
Make your depression or anxiety a bit easier to manage by implementing these 5 lifestyle changes:
· Exercise. Exercise is an amazing natural way to boost your mood; it produces serotonin and endorphins which are neurotransmitters that help with depression. Not only that, the “feel good” feeling occurs immediately post-workout so you reap the benefits instantly. With exercise, the added benefits include boosting self-confidence and creating supportive social circles. Join a group exercise class to motivate and make some new friends.
· Change your diet.
a. Eat whole, nutrient-dense foods. Having unprocessed foods such as a pure source of protein, and fruits and veggies will help you keep a healthy gut, which is related to better moods and energy levels.
b. Avoid caffeine. Certain stimulants like caffeine can increase heart palpitations and trigger panic attacks, so it is best to drink them as little as possible.
c. Avoid processed foods. Processed foods can cause inflammation and sugar has been known to increase anxiety symptoms. Studies show that those who drink sweet beverages like soda are 30% more likely to have anxiety.
· Change your thoughts. Get a journal to write down your worries. Make a list of your worries and challenge your beliefs on whether your anxiety is supported by actual facts, or if it is just a feeling. Practice meditation or positive thinking to re-frame your emotional response. For instance, when feeling anxious, you can re-shift your attention to another focus or re-frame your perspective (i.e that person is too busy to answer my phone call, it’s not because he/she doesn’t like me.)
· Sleep. The neurotransmitters in your brain that that help with mood are replenished during sleep, so making sleep a priority is a must. Those who don’t get enough or good quality sleep are more likely to have depression. Sleep deprivation is also known to result in people feeling more negative in general, which makes the daily grind that much more anxiety-ridden.
· Reducing stress. Stress leads to anxiety and depression, so reducing as much as possible will be beneficial. Decide what the stress is for you and see if you can make some minor changes to reduce that stress. Can you get rid of any triggers of stress that you are aware of? Also, learn to do some belly breathing to help your body relax during times of high emotion.
At Elysian MD, we believe that treating depression and anxiety requires a mind-body approach. Our patients receive ketamine infusions to reduce depressive symptoms, while also engaging in what we call “lifestyle medication,” which includes a series of lifestyle changes designed to support ketamine infusion therapy. By treating both the physical and mental components of depression and anxiety, our patients reap life-changing results.
Could we change your life? Contact Elysian MD today to learn more about our unique approach to depression treatment.