Depression and anxiety are increasingly common: as many of us are overstressed, over-busy, and distracted, our mental health can suffer in ways big and small. Thankfully, mental health is finally getting some well-deserved attention, and much of the stigma around depression and anxiety is breaking down.
If you are living with depression or anxiety (or a combination of both), it’s important to know there is no one-size-fits-all approach to healing, but there are a many ways in which herbs can help support you (and remedy) the feelings you are suffering with. In partnership with Wildkraft Herbs, we’ve created some detailed articles that can help you heal naturally from either of these conditions.
Natural Healing for Depression
Depression can present as a range of symptoms: lethargy (low energy), low mood (feeling sad or down), trouble sleeping (over- or under-sleeping), lack of interest in life, weight loss or gain, and/or digestive disorders.
There is not one ‘cure’ for depression, but there are lots of ways to alleviate the symptoms. If you are suffering within a depressive episode, here are some lifestyle tips that could help alleviate depression:
- Using PEMF to Alleviate Depression: Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF)
- Using Light Therapy to Alleviate Depression: Get outside for natural light or grab a full spectrum light box to naturally adjust your circadian rhythm.
- Avoid Depressants: This includes alcohol and marijuana, which feel good in the moment but have longer term consequences that might exacerbate depressive symptoms.
- Build & Connect Community to Fight Depression: Finding a community of like-minded folks and getting out of the house can do wonders. Connection with other people is now know to be one of the biggest predictors of longer, happier lives.
- Get Moving: Chinese Medicine considers depression an energetic stagnation in the body; a stagnant body leads to a stagnant mind.
- Herbal Remedies for Depression: Some of the more common herbs that work on depressive symptoms directly are albizia, known as the Tree of Happiness, St John’s Wort, and lemon balm. Find more herbal remedies for depression in the full article.
Natural Healing for Anxiety
Anxiety, whether it manifests as acute or is more chronic, is no fun! I had my first panic attack last year, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe, didn’t want to eat, and couldn’t sleep. It affected my entire body, and my entire life, for a week.
Now I have go-to remedies that can help me from the inside out. Part of this is meditation, but a lot of it is herbal healing, which I learned from Blair at Wildkraft. Below are some of the tips she shared with me: click the full article here to see all the natural remedies for anxiety.
- Shift Your Mindset about Anxiety: This was one of the most powerful things for me – instead of saying you ‘have anxiety’ or you are an ‘anxious person,’ it can be helpful to think along the lines of ‘having anxious feelings.’ This helps to shift the thought pattern from something that you ARE into something that you are experiencing – the key here being that it’s an experience that will go away or disappear – it’s not an unchangeable part of yourself.
- Keep Blood Sugar in Balance to Prevent Anxiety: Blood sugar spikes and crashes can lead to racing heart, panic attacks, irritability or anger (‘hanger’). Stabilizing these swings is one of the first things to address to prevent anxiety.
- Avoid Stimulants to Reduce Anxiety Symptoms: Giving up coffee and being careful about my caffeine intake is really helpful. I’ve also noticed that alcohol exacerbates my anxiety excessively, especially the next day.
- Keep Moving to Burn off Anxiety: Burn of excess energy and boost your body with happy hormones.
- Herbal Remedies for Anxiety: Carminitive herbs are helpful: common carminative herbs include cinnamon, cardamom, catnip, fennel, thyme, ginger, and chamomile. Nervines are also incredibly important, and I used them regularly to keep anxiety in check.
Forest photo by Andrew Neel; close up of eyes photo by Luis Galvez: Unsplash
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