Anxiety, Stress and Depression – the Modern Day Illness

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I’m just back from further training and development on these increasingly growing conditions affecting so many people. These are also the areas I have come to specialise in. Emotional health impacts you physically and mentally. Healing emotions is an essential step on the path of personal evolution. In this month’s blog we explore these big three, how they link together and what we can do about it.

Stress can be Good for You

That state of heightened alertness can be helpful for optimum performance at running a race or doing well in an interview or exam. Stress is both necessary and good. Adrenaline gives us a boost and then we return to normal. If we have experienced stress, we have to ensure that we restore the balance again. If we have stress for too long, it becomes anxiety. Extended unresolved stress can lead to depression.

Stress is not a problem when it comes from outside. Stress becomes a problem when it comes from inside. We all see things differently. We don’t see things as they are – we see things as we are. It’s not the situation that’s the problem – it’s the way we think about it.

What Causes Stress? 

Stress can be caused by change, work pressure, family pressure, unemployment or fear of job loss, loss of a loved one, relationship issues, time demands by others, financial concerns, lack of confidence, low self-esteem and even boredom. 

General lifestyle issues can also impact our mood and stress levels. Lifestyle examples are poor diet, too much caffeine, too much sugar, E-numbers (food additives and preservatives), Aspartame (artificial sweeteners in general), excessive alcohol, smoking/drugs, lack of exercise, no time to rest and relax, lack of sleep and medication with its many side effects.

Prolonged stress can affect the immune system and cause conditions such as Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS), Fibromyalgia, fatigue, weight problems, irritability, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and panic attacks.

What is a Panic Attack? 

When stress is not relieved, the stress hormones can build up in the system over time, leading to a panic attack. Relaxation is key and so is dealing with the emotion on the issue that causes the stress. 

The Gut-Brain Connection

Surprisingly, there’s a strong link between gut health and mental health. Healthy gut flora (gut bacteria) is key to mental health. Gut flora can be damaged by antibiotics, aspartame, non-organic meat of animals raised in confined spaces, highly processed foods and E-numbers. 

Poor gut flora has been linked to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder, Autism, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Anxiety.  

Healthy Nutrition 

A good balanced diet is essential for: 

  • Energy 
  • Healing 
  • Stress management 
  • General well-being 
  • Efficient immune system.

If you want things in your life to change, you have to change things in your life. 

What Can you Do? 

  • Cut out or reduce caffeine
  • Cut out or reduce sugar – including artificial sweeteners
  • Reduce salt intake
  • Cut out junk food, fizzy and sweet drinks and food with E-numbers
  • Establish a good balanced diet of fresh unprocessed food
  • Reduce or cut out fatty foods
  • Reduce alcohol
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Stop smoking.

What about Anxiety?

There are many anxiety relieving techniques that you can practice yourself:

  • Distraction – plan pleasant activities 
  • Challenge negative thoughts 
  • Regular relaxation 
  • Breathing exercises
  • Be present in the moment – get your thoughts out of the future and the past
  • Express your feelings to get emotions such as anger out of your system in a healthy way
  • Set yourself small easily achievable goals 
  • Slow down
  • Regular exercise.

Benefits of exercise: 

  • Works the stress hormones out of your system
  • Reverses the detrimental effects of stress 
  • Lifts depression 
  • Builds self-esteem and confidence 
  • Improves body image and confidence 
  • Leaves you feeling euphoric. 

Types of light exercise that’s easy and good for you 

  • Pilates 
  • Yoga 
  • T’ai chi 
  • Swimming 
  • Walking 
  • Cycling.

What else can you do right now?

  • Listening to meditations 
  • Breathing exercises – a deeper in-breath and a longer out-breath 
  • Positive Self-talk 
  • Practice Self-hypnosis – Peripheral Vision, to relax the nervous system
  • Have some Positive Affirmations that you repeat to yourself, such as “I know I can do it” and “everything will work out well”
  • Ensure you give yourself some Me Time 
  • Get sufficient sleep
  • Practice Mindfulness 
  • Practice Gratitude.

Further Resources:

Transformational Therapies

It’s always best to get to the root cause and resolve issues for good. Time Line Therapy™ is the most powerful way to heal and release all negative emotions and baggage from the past – anger, sadness, fear, depression and anxiety. We can also let go of self-doubt and limiting beliefs that keep you from feeling confident and reaching your highest potential, and develop empowering beliefs and natural confidence instead. Time Line Therapy™ is unique in its approach and resolves issues remarkably quickly without having to go into a lot of details. For more information click on this link: Time Line Therapy™.

Further Reading

The 4 Pillar Plan by Dr Rangan Chatterjee

Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride