By Natural Advocate | June 22, 2013 - 6:47 pm - Posted in Natural Depression & Anxiety Relief

I’m smack in the middle of a highly stressful day. In fact, I’m taking a break to write this is a way of therapeutically helping me through the extreme stress so that I can reflect on how I let it get to me and what it did to me physically. Hopefully, like most of you, I can learn from the way my body reacts to the extreme stress and do something about it.

There are some really great ways to handle stressful times when they arise, and most of them involve doing something physical that helps you transcend the feeling you’re going through by releasing your stress physically.

Here are some of the stress symptoms I’ve been experiencing today (these are form work by the way, not much of a surprise since the majority of people’s stress is reportedly from the workplace, followed by some personal or family situations).

1. Headache. I don’t get headaches really often, but when I’m stressed I can pretty much set my clock by when they will occur. I got mine about three hours after the stress started, and it’s very difficult to get rid of. I’ve actually taken ibuprofen a few times already to no avail. Tension headaches are caused when the muscles around your head contract due to stress. They put pressure on your brain and give you that typically achy, tight feeling that goes with a stress-induced headache.

2. Tight neck and upper back. Often times we hold stress in our neck and upper back. Some people may hold it in their lower back or even more unusual place like the hamstrings. Wherever you happen to hold your stress, it will become apparent after your mind and body have been under stress only a few short hours. Massage and exercise can help with this type of pain.

3. Rapid breathing. This is probably one of the most dangerous parts of chronic stress because it can influence your blood pressure and heart rate to your detriment.  A slower, more controlled heart rate is the most desirable for long term heart health.  Often times when we’re stressed or anxious, it’s hard to control the rhythm of our breathing. This really just worsens the whole situation by making us feel rushed, jittery and more nervous. What might help? Well, taking a nice brisk walk can help, or get yourself away from your desk and do some seriously energetic squats.

4. Loss of focus. When I’m stressed and frazzled, it sometimes feels like I can forget the most simple things. Things that I would know at the snap of fingers any other time. That’s because our brains get overwhelmed with too much data bombarding it at once. It’s easy to get flustered. Try taking deep breaths and again, get away from the desk, have a “brain food” snack like walnuts or almonds or a banana, and try to get back on the horse.

Yoga has been implicated in helping many different types of psychological disorders (not really disorders, more like common human conditions if you look around today’s high stress world).

But when I see these types of studies, I can’t help but wonder, is it really the practice of yoga, or is it the broader fact that someone is getting off the couch, participating in physical activity and exercise, that helps boost people’s moods and also has an array of other suspected and reported benefits?

I’ve practice yoga before, and while I find it very relaxing, I still feel that personally for me, I need a more rigorous and fast paced workout, like cardio intervals, to feel extremely relaxed for the rest of the day.

I know there are yoga disciplines like bikram and ashtanga that can offer this too, but I still feel much better after I’ve worked out hard when I’m having a stressful day – the more “traditional” sweaty and hard kind of workout with weights and running or some other serious cardio. That is what really gets my frustrations out the best. Yoga I view as more of a relaxation and focus method – which I think holds an important place in people’s lives as well.

One recent study looked at some of the claimed benefits of yoga practice. Among them was severe to moderate depression, anxiety, eating disorder treatment, ADHD and insomnia. People reported that yoga helped them in all of these areas. And I believe it!

I think just about any exercise will help you address your demons as well as your health issues. I think it just matters what type of exercise really resonates with the individual. For example, yoga or pilates may really resonate with one woman while a hardcore cardio and weight workout may really agree with another. Same thing for men – you have to find your “groove” and what type of exercise just feels natural and feels fun to you.

Among the findings about how yoga affects people’s afflictions there were some interesting physiological effects. One of them was increased serotonin levels. Serotonin is an important brain chemical that plays a crucial role in how pleasure is perceived. It also plays a crucial role in disorders such as bulimia and anorexia, as people who suffer these diseases are thought to have serious deficits of this important chemical.

Doing yoga, or whatever other exercise you find enjoyable, can dramatically boost your brain’s feel good chemicals. Not only that, it boost your sense of self-worth and self-confidence, which tends to have a domino effect on how you view yourself and how you enjoy life and its little pleasures.

Yoga has also been found to reduce the levels of inflammation in the body. This can help with conditions like arthritis and other joint and pain problems, and can also potentially even help with various types of cancer prevention since many cancers are based on and aggravated by inflammation.

The key here is to figure out how doing a certain exercise makes you feel. If you feel calm, centered and relaxed after doing yoga, then yoga probably accomplishes all the things that a great exercise regimen should in your body and mind.

If you feel this way after a great kick boxing session, or an intense cardio interval workout like tabatas, then this is probably the ticket for you. You have to find what intuitively works for you, what makes you feel good. And for many people, that is the various disciplines that make up the practice of yoga.


By Natural Advocate | October 13, 2012 - 4:19 am - Posted in Natural Depression & Anxiety Relief

There is a better way to manage stress and anxiety – naturally and without man-made drugs or narcotics. This natural antidepressant and anti anxiety and anti stress remedy actually contains several pure botanicals, natural compounds and herbs that work in unison to help balance mood, elevate our natural “anti-anxiety” and relaxation chemicals in the brain.

It also helps maintain even blood sugar levels (which believe it or not, has actually produced weight loss and belly fat loss in many who have taken it), and promote an overall sense of well being and peace, and less stress.

Mind Soothe, Melancholy Lift, and Mood Tonic, are all natural anxiety and depression formulas that are a natural alternative to such risky and potentially chemically dependent depression medications such as Prozac, Zolft, Lexapro, Effexor and many more. These types of remedies have proven to be a great benefit to those who suffer periodic depression or get the occasional blues, bouts of anxiety and feelings of helplessness, nervousness and panic.

Unlike many other antidepressants, promotes feelings of calm and well being, without making you feel “out of it”. In other words, the mechanism that makes Mind Soothe and it’s accompanying remedies for depression and anxiety work does not suppress energy or induce sleepiness like many other prescription drugs can. It creates feelings of relaxation and calm, without the typical sedation effect. It is essentially a natural antidepressant, without such off putting side effects.

While this innovative new product is an excellent remedy for calming anxiety and depression, there are also lifestyle tips that will help you fight depression, anxiety and stress.

Number one on that list is – you guessed it – moderate exercise. Now I don’t mean you have to do aerobics until you drop, but a nice, steady flow of cardiovascular exercise like walking, jogging, biking, or another form of low impact exercise is an excellent way to manage these symptoms, while also promoting a healthy blood pressure level, a healthy heart, and bodily strength and endurance.

Yoga, meditation-type exercises and other relaxation techniques are also an excellent way to manage stress, anxiety and depression. These types of meditative exercises promote healthy bodily functions, a healthy state of mind, and mental focus, which are key factors in supporting a healthy sense of well being and peace.

If you have a desk job, make it a point to get up and walk around once every hour. Inactivity is one of the biggest perpetuators of depression and anxiety. The human body was designed to be in frequent motion, not to sit all day. So go, get a drink of water, walk some stairs, or take a little walk outside whenever you get the opportunity. You’ll be amazed by what physical activity will do for your mental state.

Taking some time to do the things you naturally enjoy, something like knitting, spending time by yourself reading, going shopping alone, or even just taking a nice hot batch and sipping hot cocoa can really help with your overall mood and outlook on life. People might not have such problems with depression if they took the time to “smell the roses”, so to speak and enjoyed some time strictly for themselves. This goes doubly so for those with children!

Everyone in this world deserves to not go through life feeling depressed and anxious, with a sense that things are beyond their control. This is where this product can help you take a turning point in your life and seize the reigns of your mood much more often, with a genuine sense of joy about life and living.

By Natural Advocate | September 18, 2012 - 6:09 pm - Posted in Natural Depression & Anxiety Relief

We obviously think natural is better, or else we wouldn’t be writing about herbal remedies and natural health.  Same thing applies when it comes to treating depression.  We aren’t the only ones who believe natural is better.  In fact, various colleges have begun educating doctors specifically to aid their patients using natural products; those trained through this path are recognized as naturopathic physicians.  Natural remedies often provide a safer alternative to synthetic medicines.

One popular herbal supplement commonly used to treat depression is St. John’s Wort.  Studies done on St. John’s Wort show that it can have the same affect in treating depression as prescription medicines Paxil, Zoloft and Prozac while inducing far fewer side effects.

St. John’s Wort helps you to regain and maintain a healthy emotional balance – minimizing feelings like sadness and anger while elevating feelings of happiness and contentment. A yellow-flowering plant native to Europe, St. John’s Wort is named for St. John the Baptist, as it blooms around his feast day on June 24th.

It is known to have been used safely for the past 2,400 years as an herbal supplement.  St. John’s Wort can be used in tea, as an oil, or in capsule form. Another popular supplement that has proven effective in treating depression is called SAM-e.  SAM-e occurs naturally within your body, mainly concentrated in your liver and brain.

This substance regulates serotonin and dopamine, the two chemicals which regulate the emotions you feel.  Although an expensive alternative to St. John’s Wort (around $100 per month instead of 25 cents per day), it is a faster acting solution that allows patients suffering from depression to see improvements in days instead of weeks.

By comparison, St. John’s Wort often takes up to a month to become fully effective.  SAM-e is considered synthetic, however, instead of herbal, as it is a copy of the chemical your body already produces.

The only thing with SAM-e is that it must be taken with caution, some reported severe headaches and even worsening depression by taking this supplement, so just use prudence with this natural medicine.

There is also 5htp, which many have reported helps their depression and helps lift mood.  Side effects may include headache or upset stomach if taken on an empty stomach, so take it on a full stomach or at least with some crackers to buffer your belly!

Kava Kava has become more popular as another herbal supplement used in treating the symptoms of depression.  Taken from a Greek word meaning “intoxicating”, this herb is native to the South Pacific.  In lower doses, Kava Kava helps induce a more relaxed state of mind while heightening your senses.  In higher doses, Kava Kava can lead to deeper relaxing states of sleep.  Kava Kava is commonly used as drink.

Some herbal supplements commonly used for a variety of other ailments are also effective in treating depression.  In elderly patients, Gingko Biloba has been found to aid in depression by increasing circulatory oxygenation to brain cells.

Another herbal supplement found to be effective in older patients is Ginseng, which alleviates anxiety, leading to a decrease in depression.  Both Gingko Biloba and Ginseng can be found in several forms, but are commonly taken as a capsule.

No matter the cause of your depression, it is a serious matter to address and should not be taken lightly.  Fortunately, there are a variety of herbal supplements that can make living with your depression far easier so that you can lead a happier, healthier life!


By Natural Advocate | July 27, 2012 - 9:08 am - Posted in Natural Depression & Anxiety Relief

A couple of things I’ve observed lately have caused me to write this brief opinion piece about grudges and why I think (actually I know) they are unhealthy and really nothing but destructive to one’s life ultimately.

A grudge is something that you hold against another person or maybe even a group of people when you’ve perceived that they have some how done you wrong, taken advantage of you, or put you at some sort of disadvantage in life. It essentially takes an incident or a perceived wrong doing and forces you to relive it over and over again, making you relive the feelings of inferiority, fear, anxiety or whatever it made you feel the first time it happened.

These feelings take your sense of power away, and they only make you feel anxious every time you think of them, or closed up inside.  They usually result in feelings of hate or anger, which have shown to cause elevated levels of cortisol and other hormones in the body that are nothing but destructive and totally counterproductive.

Grudges leach your energy to do new, better and creative things with your life. They put you on the repeat cycle and get you stuck in a rut because they rob you of time and energy and direct it to negative thoughts and feelings, which are self perpetuating.

I’ve been there, and that is what grudges have done to me so I’m speaking from experience. I’ve learned to let them go and move on as quickly as possible. I may sever a relationship if I feel really strongly about them, or I may just choose to ignore the incident in question and move forward, but minimize contact with the “perpetrator” if they have proven to be a repeat offender in hurting my feelings or being a bad influence in my life.

I’ve found letting go of grudges to be incredibly freeing.  I really do believe that negative thoughts only produce more negative thoughts, so I’m a big believer it keeping it positive and preserving energy for more important things.  Trust me, you’ll feel better!

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