Anxiety and depression are both mental illnesses that often go hand in hand. Prescription medication is a common treatment, but there are plenty of home remedies to treat anxiety and depression in mild to moderate cases.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s wort has been used in the United States for a few decades to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression. It helps regulate sleep patterns and enhances feelings of well-being in those with mild to moderate depression. Everyone responds differently to herbs, so be careful if you are taking antidepressants, blood thinners, birth control pills or cancer medicines. This common herbal supplement can be found at supermarkets, drug stores and health food stores. The daily recommended dose for depression and anxiety ranges from 200 to 1200 mg per day.
Chamomile often has a sedative effect on the body, helping it calm down and reduce anxiety. It does not cause drowsiness like prescription sedatives and is most often found as a tea. Drink two to four cups a day for optimum benefit.
Lavender oil is an essential oil that also helps the body feel relaxed. It can be found in the form of leaves and is used in aromatherapy or as a tea. Both flowers and leaves may be placed throughout the home or into a bath. They also can be placed on pillowcases to promote better sleep. Lavender oil can be used in bath water or heated in an aromatherapy pot. If you prefer tea, you may drink two to three cups per day to calm the body.
What To Avoid
Smoking and alcohol should be avoided by those who suffer from anxiety or depression. Smoke speeds up your heart rate, making your lungs work harder than in non-smokers, and may contribute to stress. Anything stressful may trigger an anxiety attack. Drinking too much alcohol also may cause severe panic attacks. Alcoholic beverages are depressants, and they rob the body of magnesium and B vitamins. These are natural tranquilizers, and they promote healthy nerves.
Engage in a total body fitness program to reduce anxiety and depression. This includes stretching and cardiovascular exercise. Stretching helps relax muscles and prepares you for a day that may be filled with stressful triggers. It promotes blood flow and should be done in the morning before work as well as before a workout and after to cool down. Find an activity you enjoy that increases your heart rate, such as walking, jogging, swimming or dancing. Cardio activities release endorphins in the body, which relieve feelings of pain and increase your sense of well-being. Endorphins are a chemical produced by the body to help you obtain a natural high. If possible, participate in an exercise program with a friend or two. This will help you feel more inclined to stick to an exercise program, and socializing is good for combating feelings of anxiety or depression.