When a Harvard professor ties the ‘Mental Illness’ epidemic to Big Pharma’s agenda, you know it is time to start looking for some other alternatives to anxiety and depression.
There’s a label for almost every kind of anxiety imaginable. There are thousands of them, in what is considered the ‘bible’ of mental health for professionals, yet not a single remark is made in the American Psychiatric Association’s approved book for natural and root-cause remedies. Surprisingly, there are a host of remedies to treat anxiety and depression which are cheap and natural, as well as easy to obtain without a prescription.
1. Cure Depression by Healing Your Gut
For example, there is mounting evidence that depression and anxiety is linked to poor gut health. Research from neurobiologists at Oxford University has proven a connection between gut bacteria and mental health in humans. The researchers found that supplements designed to boost healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract (“prebiotics”) may have an anti-anxiety effect. This is likely due to the enteric system’s communication with the brain, which has largely been overlooked by mainstream medicine, until only recently.
Depression is now considered to be an inflammatory disease, more than anything else. There are over 500 tiny species of bacteria living in our guts. They are kept in a delicate balance at all times. When the ‘bad’ bacteria overruns the ‘good’ bacteria, all sorts of health complications ensue. Depression and anxiety are just part of the fallout. When we replace our ‘good’ bacteria by eating kefir, sauerkraut, whole veggies and fruits, and increasing fiber intake to flush out the bad guys—guess what? We start to feel amazing again. No inflammation of the bowels, and no depression. It’s kind of magic like that.
2. Essential Oils Work Wonders
An often overlooked remedy for feelings of anxiety are essential oils. Most essential oils are made from hundreds of leaves, flowers and stems, and their aroma has a specific effect on our neurochemistry. You can try the following essential oils and enjoy their anxiety-busting benefits:
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – This essential oil can help with for mood imbalances such as anxiety, insomnia, and gastrointestinal distress, as well as an “anxious” stomach.
Rose (Rosa damascena) – This fragrant oil has long been used to combat depression and anxiety. It has been proven to help us relax.
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) – This amazing essential oil can improve the quality of our sleep and reduce anxious feelings.
Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) – This oil was effective enough at reducing depression and anxiousness, as well as improving sleep that it helped patients in critical care.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) – This blended oil can improve mental clarity, happiness and decrease blood pressure levels.
Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) – Chamomile is perfect for addressing low-grade anxiety as it helps to balance the nervous system.
Frankincense (Boswellia carteri or boswella sacra) – Also called Ru Xiang in Chinese medicine, there are numerous medicinal qualities to frankincense, the reduction of anxiety among them.
3. Laugh Out Loud
Charlie Chaplin once said, “Laughter is the tonic, the relief, for surcease pain.” It truly is the best medicine. This isn’t just a feel-good saying. It’s backed by scientific evidence. Laughter can boost immunity, reduce stress and improve our moods. Multitudinous studies have been conducted proving that a hardy laugh heals.
After a good laugh, we usually experience a period of muscle relaxation, with a corresponding decrease in heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure. These are all physiological signs of letting go, and relaxing into the moment. You won’t find much stress or anxiety in someone who is truly relaxed.
4. Use GABA for a Happier Brain
GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, regulates many physiological and psychological processes. With proper supplementation, GABA has been very effective at helping to create a ‘happy brain.’
It’s also known as a ‘psycho-biotic,’ meaning it works with the gut-brain axis to help the neuronal-lining in our gastrointestinal tracts to communicate effectively with the brain—thus lessening anxiety and depression.
5. Spend Time in Nature
The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries have coined a term for spending time in nature: shinrin-yoku. It translates to mean "forest bathing," and the ministry encourages people to visit forests to relieve stress and improve health. That’s because spending time outdoors in green spaces offers a host of health benefits including improving sleep, increasing energy, boosting immunity, helping to create a good mood, accelerating recovery from illness and yes, reduced anxiety.
Walking in nature has been shown to change the brain’s functioning, breaking up our broken-record thinking, which can often lead to heightened stress and increased anxiety.
6. Eat Dark Chocolate
The consumption of just 40 mg of cocoa polyphenols, with its super-high antioxidants in the cocoa beans used to make chocolate, can boost our mood and combat anxiety. The plant compounds work by making us sturdier in facing the stresses of the chaotic world.
Chocolate consumption also reduces the overall oxidative stress to our cells, and can even reduce stress hormones, like cortisol, significantly.
Another scientific study found that eating a small bite of chocolate every day for two weeks reduced risk factors for heart disease and other physical ailments.
The best thing about eating dark chocolate that isn’t high in sugar is that it has no side-effects, unlike the numerous pharmaceutical drugs that are prescribed to combat anxiety.
7. Get Grounded
Grounding is the practice of connecting our bare flesh with the dirt of the earth. This can be done by sleeping with as few clothes on to inhibit the skin touching the ground, or by simply taking off our shoes and walking along the beach or on a grassy hill.
The planet has a negative electrical charge, at least on its upper most layers of soil. When we are in direct contact with the ground (walking, sitting or laying down) the earth's negatively charged electrons are conducted to our bodies, bringing them to the same electrical potential as the planet. Living in direct contact with the earth ‘grounds’ our bodies, creating favorable physiological and electrophysiological changes that promote optimum health.
Though grounding has been practiced in multiple cultures around the world for centuries, science is just beginning to understand how it can reduce cortisol, improve sleep, boost our mood and even reduce physical pain. Grounding is both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
With these cheap (and often free) methods of reducing anxiety naturally, there really is no need to succumb to the drug ‘epidemic.’ Our vibrant health is easily within reach.