Worries over side effects and questionable pricing practices have led to some mistrust of the pharmaceutical industry. More people are looking for alternative ways to address mental health imbalances such as depression and even schizophrenia. Here are four natural ways to better your mental health.
1. Nutrition and Diet
Proper diet is important to overall health, but there are some nutritional deficiencies that can cause erratic moods and emotional stress. Many people suffering from disorders seek out a number of herbs thought to have beneficial effects on the mental state. If you’ve come to rely on alcohol or drugs as a way to deal with other issues, quitting is crucial to well-being, and you should find a support group to rely on.
Many people don’t readily connect diet and nutrition with mental health, and in reality psychiatrists and psychologists didn’t either until relatively recently. However, according to recent research cited by WebMD, teens with the lowest quality of diet have been shown to have an 80% risk of depression when compared with those who eat a higher-quality, whole foods diet. Also, poor-diet teens had double the risk of ADD than their better-eating contemporaries. Mental health professionals over the last five years have begun to investigate the ostensibly real connection between diet and mental health.
At some point mental health problems may draw the intervention of a social worker. You should consider opening up about your problems with them. Those who have completed an online MSW program can assist in a variety of areas to overcome challenges and find you the right opportunities with education, psychology, public health, and much more. They are there to help you get control of your problems and lead a more productive life.
Similar to social workers, a professional psychologist can provide mental health treatment without any of the medications that a psychiatrist would likely incorporate into any treatment plan. A psychologist is not a medical doctor and therefore cannot prescribe medication, so the main approaches of psychologists will focus on psychotherapy, which largely uses discussion to address emotional and psychological issues.
3. Alternative Treatments
There are a number of alternative methods for treating mental health instability. Many of these practices come from ancient cultures and have endured for hundreds, even thousands of years. Here are a few examples:
- Acupuncture: An ancient Chinese form of healing, acupuncture or related acupressure work by redirecting the body’s natural energy, or “chi” (qi). This practice is known to have benefits in dealing with anxiety and nervous disorders.
- Hypnosis: A hypnotic trance allows a hypnotherapist to speak directly to your subconscious mind. Positive suggestions can help you relax, stay focused, deal with negative thoughts, and overcome depression.
- Yoga: Regular practice of yoga poses, breathing, and meditation helps to create a sense of inner calm and clarity. It can also help reduce negative emotions like anxiety, fear, and anger.
4. Be Active
Exercise is also important to health. It’s important to remember that your mental health and bodily functions are inter-related, not two separate issues. Physical activity like swimming or walking can help to burn off excess energy and improve overall health. A simple hobby like restoring furniture or tending a garden helps to keep the mind focused and create a sense of satisfaction.
Exercise can help address a range of mental health issues, including things ranging from depression, anxiety, stress, self-confidence, and more. Exercise results in a flood of endorphins, also known as feel-good neurotransmitters that help improve mood and can help stabilize body chemistry. For some people, exercise can be a serious way to battle depression symptoms, prevent cognitive decline, boost brain power, and improve memory.
To get the positive health benefits of exercise, try to structure an exercise schedule of moderate activity for thirty minutes three times a week. Exercises can include things like yoga, briskly walking, swimming, hiking, jogging, weight lifting, rock climbing, dancing, and a multitude of other activities.
Though often overlooked, exercise is one of the best natural ways to improve mood, increase cognition and memory, build self-confidence, reduce anxiety, and a host of other positive benefits. You may not be the “exercising type”, but the benefits are so vast that you may as well try to find an activity that you can enjoy so you can reap the benefits.
Bringing more positive influences into your life can help to reduce or even replace the negative ones. Ways to relax and manage stress, as well as maintaining a healthier lifestyle, can go a long way to achieving better mental health.