Have you ever experienced a total sense of insidious flatness deep in your core – no drive to do anything, indifference to life, struggling to get out of bed because what’s the point in doing so?
Or maybe you’ve been overwhelmed by racing thoughts examining every single thing that could possibly go wrong around you?
Perhaps a combination of these.
If you haven’t had an experience with anxiety or low mood/depression, chances are someone you know has struggled, or is currently dealing with the weight of anxiety and/or depression. You might not even know it’s happening.
The rise of anxiety and low mood in the modern world is alarming. With the number of people increasingly being medicated for such disorders, it would make sense that the amount of people suffering would improve and as a population we were more content and happier. This is not the case. We need to look deeper into the root cause of these illnesses.
While there’s no one single aspect that depletes mental wellness, the research is pointing to some holding more weight than others.
Our body is one system. Our brains and our bodies are connected. The food that creates health or illness in our bodies, similarly plays a role in creating health or illness in our brains.
Anxiety and low mood isn’t as simple as black and white – there is a spectrum and two people experiencing anxiety or low mood could be on completely different ends of the spectrum.
There is also a difference between feeling depressed and having depression, just the same as there’s a difference between having anxious thoughts and having anxiety. Having a diagnosed condition is often debilitating, getting in the way of regular, everyday life. However, don’t let perceived severity or lack of, stop you from seeking help. Stress is common; this doesn’t mean it needs to be normal.
If you’re struggling with anxiety or low mood in any capacity, it is a good idea to seek support. Stress that isn’t dealt with has the potential to become pathological. Nip it in the bud.
Going back to a systems biology approach and the mind-body connection, the food we eat affects our thoughts and our feelings.
People experiencing signs of inflammation of the brain may also display physical signs of inflammation such as arthritis, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome.
While it’s hard to know for sure what is really driving anxiety and low mood, there is mounting research to suggest there may be nutrient deficiencies playing a significant role.
We need to address the underlying dysfunctions of the system as a whole, this is, mind and body, that give rise to conditions like anxiety and low mood.
Micronutrients are the building blocks of our neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that tell the cells in your body what to do. Serotonin, dopamine and GABA – known as our ‘happy hormones’ – are neurotransmitters that play a big role in our mood, lighting up areas in our brain. So, when you have nutritional deficiencies, you can see how our brains are having a harder time generating the ingredients needed for creating and sending the messages.
As mentioned earlier, the foods we eat affect how we feel. This means eating food rich in macro and micronutrients, not only nourishes your body, but also your mind. Let's take a closer look at foods you can add into your diet that may help combat anxiety and low mood.
As mentioned earlier, there is no single solution, however, there are many things we can do that may help such as;
One of our BePure Holistic Health Consultants, Helen Duyvestyn, has particular expertise in holistic management of mental health. To read some of her blogs, click the links below.
Please see your GP if you have concerns regarding your mood and anxiety.
If your situation is an emergency, or if you or someone is at risk, call 111.
For support, you can contact:
1737, Need to Talk? Free call or text anytime for support from a trained counsellor.
Lifeline 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
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