The most effective ways to treat anxiety and depression often include lifestyle changes. In some cases, simply changing elements of your lifestyle can relieve symptoms. However, our routines and habits are ingrained in our bodies and minds, and it can be difficult to enact meaningful change.
Changes in your gut biome and micronutrients in your body have been shown to decrease symptoms of mood disorders. By focusing on revamping your gut biome through dietary changes or through supplements, you can begin to feel relief immediately along with traditional treatment.
Make The Change
Start small, but begin to make adjustments to your routines. Go for walks, engage in mindfulness, and try to consume healthier foods. As you continue with your new, healthy habits, your health will improve dramatically and your lifestyle will lend itself for more healthier choices.
Lifestyle & Sleep
Sleep quality has a strong effect on your mood during the day. When you sleep, your brain replenishes neurotransmitters that support your mental well-being. Sleep is a form of restoration and maintains a mental balance that alleviates symptoms of mood disorders.
If you don’t get enough good sleep, you are more likely to develop mood disorders. But it goes beyond that—people who don’t get enough good sleep are also more likely to see what happens to them negatively, and develop unhealthy ways of coping.
Most Impactful Lifestyle Changes
Below are the five most important ways you can begin to affect changes in your lifestyle to improve your mental and physical well-being.
Along with diet, exercise is probably the most difficult place to start. However, there are mountains of research that show regular exercise elevates your mood and reduces symptoms of mood disorders. By stimulating your body to produce serotonin and endorphins, exercise provides you with a medicine-free “happiness hack”. Even small amounts of movement added to your day can make a big impact.
Your brain consumes a lot of energy and nutrients—therefore, you must feed it with healthy fuel to support your mental well-being. A poor diet might not provide your brain with the nutrients it needs to keep you healthy and moving. Eat fermented foods with probiotics to keep your gut happy, and cut unnecessary sugars from your diet. As with exercise, even small changes to your diet can have profound effects.
Alcohol & Drugs
People with mood disorders often use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate and numb themselves to the pain of their experiences. This, of course, tends to be a bad idea. Turning to substances as a means to cope often leads to dependency and numerous health issues, and fails to address the root of the problem. Developing a self-care plan and healthy coping skills is an important alternative to falling into the trap of addiction.
Negative thoughts can actually have a biochemical effect on your body. They can upset your hormonal balance and exhaust your brain’s “happy chemicals”. They can also have negative effects on your immune system. Mindfulness can help alleviate the barrage of negative thoughts that you may experience, giving you the skills and practice you need to change your mental and emotional perspective.
Studies show that people with a sense of purpose face life’s challenges with more resilience. Over time, purpose can lead to less worry and greater happiness. Mindfulness exercises like meditation and a holistic approach to taking care of each aspect of yourself can help you attain a mind/body connection and find a sense of meaning in your life.
Lifestyle and Productivity
If you’re a busy executive, your lifestyle might be preventing you from thriving in your career.
Your Lifestyle Might Be Holding You Back
Many people don’t bring their best to their professional lives because they don’t engage in healthy habits. Not getting enough sleep, not exercising or eating healthy meals will have a significant impact on your productivity, and thus will impact your success in your career in the long-term.
How Lifestyle Changes Can Help Elevate Performance
Research shows that when people engage in practices that improve their general health and well-being, their productivity increases. Simple changes like going from regular coffee to decaf can have impactful changes in your chemical makeup and make you more productive in the long-run.
Here at Pacific Integrative Psychiatry, we believe in treating mental health issues through a holistic lens, focusing not just on the issues on the surface but on attaining wholesome well-being.
Call us to set up a consultation where we can talk about your needs in specific detail and create a path to make positive changes in your lifestyle.
Take The First Step On Your
Perhaps you have questions you’d like to ask before you make a decision to become a patient. Our patient coordinator is standing by, happy to answer any questions you have to determine if Pacific Integrative Psychiatry is right for you.