Depression? Anxiety? Seven Strategies to Naturally Boost Healing Processes in the Brain & Body, 3 of 3
Honestly speaking, why turn to a pill without first giving mindful consideration to a plethora of research in support of powerful options that put you, and the power of your choices, in the driver’s seat? You always have a choice to give yourself permission to self-direct your own healing naturally (together with your doctor, as necessary).
After all, who better to understand you and your brain and body’s natural healing intelligence, to grow your awareness of inner signals and sensations, to get to know the healing attributes of different foods and exercise, and the powerful impact of this knowledge on your life?
Who is in better position to connect to your own inner resources of intuitive and common sense wisdom, your deepest needs for emotional, mental (and physical) health and wellbeing, or your fondest dreams and aspirations?
In the first post, Part 1, we looked at published findings that sound alarm on antidepressants, and possible forces behind the exponential rise of mental (and physical) illness in the last few decades, and then in Part 2, we considered five factors that can elevate toxic levels of stress in the body, and set the stage for serious emotional disturbances, such as depression or anxiety.
In this post we look at seven strategies that work together to successfully address the factors that elevate toxic levels of stress. The last couple of decades have seen a growing consensus and numerous findings and publications recognizing the benefits of taking a natural approach to emotional (and physical) wellness.
Emotional healing is no easy road. In varying degrees, anxiety and depression are ingrained patterns of behavior, reactive attempts to deal with stress that become increasingly ineffective, and eventually, life-impairing.
These patterned responses are particularly resistant to change as they are associated with emotional-command circuitry in the brain that automatically activates the body’s survival system in response to stress or certain triggers.
Human being are fully equipped inside however, with everything needed to unlearn these responses, and self-direct change and own healing.
In Part 1, we looked at reasons why it’s essential to tune into your inner-world experience more than you do outer-world signals, in particular, to become aware of any prevailing mindsets, personal or cultural, that are limiting.
Anxiety and depression are serious conditions, to be sure. Left on their own, they can wreak havoc on personal life, career and key relationships.
More often than not, however, emotional disturbances are not genetic abnormalities in themselves (author’s position), though they may be related to a condition that is medical or drug-induced (keeping in mind that anything ingested, to include food, is potentially mood-altering).
If they were genetic, how do we explain the exponential increases with each passing decade? And how can this be unique to the U.S. among all other industrial nations?
Have human genes in the U.S. gone mad? Likely not.
The bottom line is that foods have an immense impact on your emotions, moods and physical health, all of which directly impact your ability to deal with not only challenges, and day to day stressors, but also issues in your relationships.
Findings show that nutrition deficiencies cause biochemical conditions in the brain and body that raise stress to toxic levels, fostering depression and anxiety and other emotional (and physical) disturbances. More specifically, the culprit is chronic inflammation of the brain and body.
Chronic Inflammation, a public health issue?
Inflammation itself is the body’s natural immune response to harmful stimuli, an automatic initial defense of the body, without which wounds would never heal.
- When acute, inflammation is a healthy process that is designed to restore balance by containing harmful irritants that would otherwise spread and harm the body; at the same time, it moves restorative agents, such as white blood cells, to the region to allow healing of injury, infection, stress, etc., to take place.
- In contrast, chronic inflammation is a prolonged condition that attacks healthy cells and tissues instead of protecting them; it can lead to a host of diseases, among others, diabetes, asthma, heart disease, arthritis, autoimmune and neurological problems.