A Guide To Overcoming Stress, Anxiety, And Depression -Part-3

Dietary Recommendations

In times of stress, we often go for an afternoon coffee or a cola drink with sugary snacks such as chocolate, cakes, biscuits, donuts, etc., which give us comfort and a short burst of energy. Unfortunately, these may be exacerbating our anxiety and in the long term promoting weight gain and reducing our power and immunity. As a result, these foods should be kept to a minimum. During times of acute anxiety, it is best to avoid caffeine-containing substances altogether as coffee (especially instant), chocolate, cola, and tea may precipitate anxiety and panic attacks. Instead eat a diet of whole grains including oats, grain bread, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, particularly leafy greens such as broccoli, bok choy, spinach, and rocket. Include more good oils in the diet, including deep sea fish, nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews), seeds (sunflower, pumpkin) and good quality proteins such as eggs, lean pasture fed red meat and antibiotic free chicken.

Lifestyle Recommendations

There are many other therapies which are useful for reducing stress, including massage, hypnotherapy, and acupuncture. Listening to relaxing CDs may also be beneficial. Practices such as yoga, meditation, and tai chi are also helpful as they not only calm our body by producing “feel good” chemicals called endorphins but also improve immune system function, bone density and promote the removal of wastes from our bodies.

As a Naturopath, I am passionate about educating people regarding drug-free alternatives to pharmaceutical medications to treat their anxiety and stress. One such option which I am particularly excited about is Brainwave Entrainment. Brain Wave Entrainment Technology has made it possible to alter your brainwaves by using audio technologies to tune your brainwaves to specifically designed brainwave states by merely listening to a CD or MP3 recording. The entrainment process has been scientifically proven to naturally synchronize your brainwaves to the embedded carrier frequencies on the CD. I have individually used these technologies for over a decade with excellent success for insomnia and anxiety issues as well as for memory enhancement.

You should also aim to get adequate exercise such as walking, swimming, cycling, aerobics or weight training at least four times per week for at least 20 minutes. This will not only improve your fitness levels and cardiovascular function but will also increase the body's production of endorphins-chemical substances that can relieve anxiety and depression. Scientific study shows that regular exercise can positively affect mood and help with depression. As little as three hours per week of aerobic exercise can thoroughly reduce the level of depression. The most important thing is that you find something you like and do it regularly.

Below is a list of additional recommendations to help reduce stress:

• Develop a positive attitude towards everything you do; associate with positive attitude people
• Make time to relax. If you don't know how now's the time to learn!
• Learn proper breathing exercises (yoga, taichi)
• Cultivate a good sense of humor laugh more…
• Listen to relaxing music
• Pamper yourself or be kind to yourself, e.g., have a massage or facial visit with friends and do things that you enjoy
• Let yourself stretch from time to time
• Get out of the hum-drum and do something different (a vacation, bush-walk, picnic)
• Always get proper rest
• Learn about your inner spirit, pray or meditate according to your conscience and beliefs
• If you're not enjoying yourself, ask why to do something about it – Life's too short
• Keep a diary of your feelings to monitor your progress
• Find something to appreciate about life every single day!