Depression and Anxiety: It’s not all in your head

Depression is the number one disease in the world. It generates extreme negative thoughts which can even get suicidal.

A recent study concluded that pharmaceutical antidepressants fare no better than placebo in treating mild to moderate depression The good news is that there are a number of physical causes of anxiety and depression that can be treated naturally, starting with breakfast.

Laughter Yoga is the ideal answer to depression. It releases endorphins, a natural opiate, which alleviates pain and kick starts good feelings. It helps to elevate the mood instantaneously and changes the perspective towards things thereby reducing depression.

Here are six possible reasons why you may be anxious or depressed.

High Insulin

Is a coffee and doughnut your standard breakfast? If so you could be spiking your insulin levels which then manifest symptoms such as anxiety and depression, says Kent MacLeod, biochemist and clinical pharmacist.

To reduce your insulin levels and stabilize it, start by limiting high-glycemic carbohydrates and coffee and increase good quality proteins such as eggs, chicken, fish and protein drinks such as hemp or rice, pea or whey powders.

Food Intolerances

The treatment for food intolerances is avoidance. Eliminating certain foods such as gluten, milk, eggs and soy for a period of two weeks, then reintroduce them one at a time, paying careful attention to symptoms.

Nutrient Shortages

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies such as omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc, B12 and folic acid may cause mental health issues. “Every nutrient deficiency has proven to have an effect”, says Kent MacLeod.

Deficiencies may be corrected through supplementation. Talk to your natural health practitioner at SRH Health Foods in Hamilton to find the supplements that are right for you.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease triggered by the ingestion of gluten. If your mood is accompanied by other symptoms of celiac disease such as cramps, bloating, and fatigue consider getting a blood test. This means you avoid gluten at all costs, even traces of it will damage the intestine. A healthy intestinal lining will go a long way toward reducing anxiety and depression.

Low Thyroid

It is estimated that 30 percent of Canadians suffer from some sort of thyroid condition, up to 50 percent of who may be undiagnosed. Those with Hypothyroidism require medication and some will suffer from symptoms such as depression and fatigue.

An alternative to medication without the side effects is supplementation from a health food store. Having worked at SRH Health Foods for six years now and working alongside holistic practitioners, naturopaths and iridologists I have seen dramatic changes such as depression dissipating, less anxiety attacks and mood swings becoming less and less.

Thankfully, there are natural ways to improve thyroid function without medication. Another one is diet. Diet is key. Adequate protein, healthy fats such as virgin olive and coconut oils, omega’s 3 and 6, fruits and sea salt are essential. Soy and polyunsaturated fats should be avoided. Iodine, amino acid L-tyrosine, Thyroidium and selenium help supply the body with nutrients required to make thyroid hormones.

Other Hormone Imbalances

The drop in estrogen that women experience at menopause, low progesterone, increased testosterone or a dysregulation in adrenal hormones, cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) can result in anxiety and depression.

Laughter Yoga is a combination of unique laughter exercises, deep diaphragmatic breathing, playing, singing, dancing and a relaxation meditation.

Laughter Yoga can reduce stress levels by 75% or more in just one session.  It minimizes stress, reduces blood pressure and lifts depression. It also boosts the immune system and increases circulation for better air flow to the body and the brain.
When under a state of stress, the biochemical changes alter the breathing pattern making it shallow and irregular.

Join a laughter yoga club today. Classes are customized to suit the participants.

I have been a Holistic Practitioner since 2002, delivering through spiritual guidance, Hands on Healing‟ encompassing Reiki, CranioSacral Therapy, Touch for Health and Laughter Yoga.

I recommend you take Laughter seriously because it changes the way you look at life!

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