Our mind is a complex thing. It is very subtle and changes its form throughout our life. The ancient wisdom of perceiving mind as water perfectly makes sense. In fact, upon observing closely we get to know, there is a thin line between memories, emotions, dreams, and perceptions, and their interaction in a certain way creates various moods or states including happiness, sadness, excitement, resentment, loneliness etc. These states normally come and go in people while they interact with objects and people in their surroundings through the day. But when sadness, nervousness or feeling of loneliness prevails for a long time, a person is said to be depressed. The common triggers that create depression are losing a loved one, a divorce, failure to succeed in an endeavor, being bullied at school and others.
Depression by definition is a state of mind in which a person feels unmotivated, sad, hopeless, discouraged, and disinterested in life. When depression takes over, it interferes with the daily activities and social life of a person. There would be a constant disinterest for interacting with friends, family and going to school or college.
The key symptoms of depression include pessimism, feeling of guilt, loss of interest in life, fatigue, difficulty in decision making, concentrating, oversleeping, Insomnia, overeating, low appetite, going through suicidal thoughts, and restlessness. When all of these or a set of symptoms last for long could cause digestive disorders and headaches.
Generally, there are two types of depression, major depression, and persistent depressive disorder. Major depression is a form of depression in which a set of symptoms last for more than two weeks. The persistent depressive disorder is a chronic form of depression that stays for at least two years. The person suffering from this type of depression experiences poor appetite, loss of interest in performing daily activities, over sleeping, and stress.
Anxiety is characterized by fear, nervousness and constant worrying. The symptoms of anxiety include shakiness, fast heart rate, and shyness.
Depression and anxiety are very common and in fact, everyone would experience either of them or both at some point in life. But those who are not able to see through it, suffer the most. The first step to tackling depression and anxiety is to accept them and find solutions. One of the easiest and most effective solutions for depression and anxiety are home remedies.
Below is a list of home remedies for treating depression and anxiety.
Ashwagandha is widely used to treat depression and anxiety in Ayurveda. It is an adaptogen herb that can stabilize stress in your mind and body. Ashwagandha can prevent brain damage by stopping brain degeneration and by destroying free radicals. You can get rid of fatigue, loss of concentration and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
2. Lavender Oil
The fragrance of lavender oil can help you recover from the symptoms of anxiety quickly. It helps you to handle headaches, nervousness and muscle pain.
- You will need lavender oil.
- Put a few drops of lavender oil into your palms and massage on your temples, neck, and wrists.
- Another way is to inhale it directly or use it in your home or work as a room freshener.
- You can also add 6-10 drops of lavender oil into the warm water and take bath to relieve stress and feel refreshed.
A powerful ingredient which tastes delicious on the food you cook can also be a cruciferous medicine to treat anxiety and depression. The rosemary oil reduces a headache, stress and provides a calming effect. Rosemary contains rosmanol, cirsimartin and saligenin, which acts directly on the central nervous system of brain enables the proper circulation of blood to the brain.
- Boil water in a vessel.
- Add 1 spoon of dried rosemary leaves to the boiling water.
- Let it boil for 1 minute then put off the flame.
- Let it simmer for a while.
- Sip this tea to control depression and anxiety.
4. Amla with Nutmeg
Consumption of Amla mixed with nutmeg can control mood swings, food cravings, and imbalance in the brain.
- Juice fresh Indian gooseberries (amla) in a blender.
- Add the juice into a cup.
- Now take 1 teaspoon of nutmeg powder and add it to the juice.
- Add a pinch of rock salt.
- Consume this mixture on an empty stomach every morning to see improvement in your condition.
5. Basil leaves with Yogurt
Holy basil helps the body to function optimally at times of stress by reducing the levels of stress hormones. It also lowers the levels of corticosterone, which helps in enhancing memory and improving mental clarity.
- You will need basil leaves and yogurt.
- Add 8-10 leaves of basil to yogurt.
- Add a little sugar to enhance the taste.
- Mix well
- Consume this mixture to improve mental health.
6. Understand your depression and anxiety
Understand the root cause of your depression and anxiety. One should never neglect this state and feel helpless, instead stand up and fight against it. At times life takes us through a stream of hardships and all our expectations towards life are shattered into pieces, but all these are temporary glitches which can teach us a lot about life. When you fail in life or your expectations are broken console yourself by saying “it’s OK, I can handle it “and move ahead. Continuous effort and hard work will always help you tackle depression and anxiety.
7. Yoga and meditation
Yoga can relax your muscles, calm your emotions, balance your hormones and keep your mind and body healthy. A person with anxiety and depression is full of fear, unwanted thoughts come and go in the mind, and they feel lost and stressed. You can relieve your panic attacks by practicing yoga and meditation regularly. Meditation will help you drive away the negative thoughts and promotes a well-balanced lifestyle. Yoga and meditation directly target the brain, it improves the blood circulation to the brain and can be a very effective medicine to cure depression and anxiety in a long run.
8. Follow balanced diet
Just eating a balanced diet can do a great deal in relieving the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Stop eating unhealthy stuff and shift to the diet which contains the following:
- Avoid sugar craving. Eating too much sugar can lead to depression and anxiety.
- Add healthy veggies and fruits to your diet to keep maintain stable sugar level.
- Follow a low-fat diet.
9. Omega -3 fatty acid and folic acid
- Eat foods rich in folic acid (Dark green vegetables, avocado, peas, lentils etc.), they help you control mood swings.
- Feed yourself with enough omega – 3 fatty acid by eating fatty fish or supplements. Omega 3 can fill your body with energy and relax your mind.
- Serotonin cures seasonal depression. Include egg whites, cottage cheese, popcorn, peanut butter, oatmeal etc. into your diet to increase production of serotonin in the brain.
- Follow a carb diet to stimulate the brain to produce serotonin. Cut down on proteins.
- Deficiency of vitamin B-12 can cause depression and anxiety. So increase Vitamin B-12 in your body by eating Bell peppers, spinach, fish, cheese, shellfish etc.
- If your body has low levels of magnesium, the production of serotonin in the brain is affected.
- Incorporate foods rich in magnesium such as cashews or almonds, banana, spinach, green veggies, black beans, soymilk etc. into your diet.
10. Set Goals
Set a goal meaningful to you. It doesn’t matter whether you have a small goal, medium goal or a big goal, put your efforts to work on achieving it. Even a small task done daily with a focus towards your goal can make you feel self-satisfied and happy. It is rightly said that “an empty mind is a devils workshop”, a depressed person can feel inactive and uneasy when the mind is unoccupied by any work. Working towards a significant goal which is important to you will keep you engaged and help you in reducing anxiety and depression.
11. Have fun and stay happy
Laughter has the miraculous power of healing depression and anxiety. You can make yourself happy by doing the things you enjoy. Staying happy can calm your mind and enhance mental health.
- Get some fresh air by walking at the beach or park.
- Have fun listening to music.
- Read a book that will lift your spirits.
- Spend time with your family and friends.
12. Additional Tips to Treat depression and anxiety naturally
- Keep a positive approach towards life by practicing gratitude. Be thankful and satisfied in what life offers you.
- Accept your condition and never give up.
- Speak out your emotions with your loved ones or maintain a diary and jot down your emotions.
- Get adequate sleep. Sleep early at night and rise early every morning.
- Spend 30 minutes of your mornings under the sunshine, it will provide you enough vitamin D and also help you to balance brain hormones.
- Daily prayer can calm your mind and help you combat anxiety and depression.
- Get a body massage weekly once to relax and relieve stress.
- Listen to music that relaxes your mood and lifts your spirit.
- Stay busy or involve yourself in any kind of work, so that you avoid negative thoughts.
- Visit a counselor, who can help you direct your thoughts in right direction.
- Go on a trip with family or friends and have fun and feel relaxed.
- Practice to forgive others and forget ugly memories.
- Stop alcohol, tobacco and drug consumption.