11 Simple And Natural Cures For Depression And Anxiety

While depression and anxiety are lifelong battles, these natural remedies with help.

Most of these natural cures for depression and anxiety are backed by research and many only require minutes per day. Some will be obvious (though people often still don’t take them seriously), while for most people at least one or two should be new.

In roughly descending order of likely power:

1. Sleep.

While this is one of the obvious ones, and broadly covered in popular media, I will mention two consequences of inadequate sleep that have been well established and bear underlining. One, when you’re sleep deprived you think you’re functioning better than you actually are. And two, sleep deprivation increases emotional reactivity, usually with a negative bias. Sleep is the first thing to nail down if you possibly can.

2. Exercise.

As with sleep, this one is well documented. So many benefits across the board, and another fundamental key to mental health. There are lots of variations and recommended regimens, but I think 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week is generally a good minimum, allowing recovery on the off days.

3. Breathing.

Breathing is the only part of the autonomic (think automatic) nervous system that we can easily and directly control. Anxiety and other high-arousal states such as anger are activations of the sympathetic, fight-or-flight system. Through regulating breathing we can activate the calming parasympathetic nervous system, putting the brakes on stress and negative arousal.

If you do nothing but slow your breathing for a sustained period of 5-10 minutes it can give you 3 or more hours of calming effect.

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