10 Self-Help Tips for Depression and Anxiety Disorders

Self-Help Tip #9: Eat Healthy Food Regularly – Fast food is cheap, and let’s face it: it tastes good! While it is alright to indulge in your favorite fast food combo from time to time, this type of food should not make up the majority of your regular diet. We’ve all heard the saying “You are what you eat”, and believe it or not, it’s got some truth to it! What we consume directly impacts our physical and mental well-being. Make sure that you are eating a variety of fruits and vegetables daily, as well as complex carbohydrates and lots of protein. These foods are known to boost serotonin levels (the “happy” chemical) in the brain and therefore enhance your mood. Also, try to eat lots of foods that contain B Vitamins, such as leafy greens, beans, eggs and lean meats like chicken and fish. Some diet “no-no’s”, particularly for people with Depression and Anxiety Disorders, include refined sugars, caffeine, and alcohol. While these things are acceptable occasionally, you want to make sure you are limiting your intake of them because they can worsen symptoms of both Depression and Anxiety. And please never, ever skip a meal! This is the worst thing you can do for your mood! You should be eating a small meal or a snack at least every 3-4 hours.

Self-Help Tip #10: Practice Relaxation Exercises
– By implementing relaxation techniques into your daily routine, you can greatly lessen your symptoms of Depression and Anxiety. Some common relaxation exercises include yoga, meditation, and Progressive-Muscle Relaxation (PMR). You could join a yoga class, or even do it in the comfort of your own home with an instructional DVD. Meditation has also been shown to reduce symptoms of Depression and Anxiety, as it allows you to be mindful and focus on what’s happening in the moment. Progressive-Muscle Relaxation (PMR) involves the tension and release of each muscle group in your body. For instance, you could tighten your fists into balls and hold it for ten seconds, and then slowly release. If you do this for each and every muscle group in your body, you will find that both your body and your mind will become more relaxed.

Overall, these ten self-help techniques have been proven to be very useful for many of my clients. Even if you don’t have a diagnosis of Depression or Anxiety, these techniques may still help you conquer the inevitable stress of daily life.  Call me at 858-481-0425 for more info.


Copyright ©2012 Jan Rakoff. All Rights Reserved.

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