Being Free of Pharmaceuticals Through Nutrition, Exercise, and Meditation
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So, what? Is this a problem? Can you upgrade your brain and kick depression naturally? Read on to find out. Please note: Depression is a serious medical condition and can require medical attention. If you suffer from depression, please call your doctor for diagnosis and a treatment plan that works for you. The first problem with depression is its definition. This includes giving pills to people with insomnia, muscle spasms, or really any report of being bummed out.
Five or more of the following symptoms have to be present for a consecutive 2-week period.
Nutritional strategies to ease anxiety - Harvard Health Blog - Harvard Health Publishing
So what is depression, really? But first …. Movies, TV shows, social media, and advertisements may make it seem like most people are happy all the time, but life naturally comes with ups and downs.
You must feel an emotion in order to let it go. But, sometimes sadness and depression persist. For decades, the answer for why people get chronically depressed was simple : an imbalance in brain chemistry. But there are a couple of problems with this theory. In one analysis of published and unpublished data on antidepressant drugs, it turns out that most, if not all, the benefits of these drugs are thanks to the placebo effect.
Does your doctor still think these things work? Bad science is to blame. That means your doc is seeing a huge bias in favor of antidepressants in the published literature. A growing number of doctors are looking at a new theory of depression — that high levels of inflammation from infection or other stressors are to blame. Depressed people have higher levels of inflammatory markers called pro-inflammatory cytokines in their blood   and some research shows that inflammation slows down the growth of new brain cells.
Depressed people also show signs of extreme oxidative stress and lower overall antioxidants levels.
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Ongoing oxidative stress leads to chronic inflammation, which is bad for your brain. Lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin D are all linked to lower levels of brain function and can contribute to depression. You can test your nutrient levels with a functional medicine or naturopathic doctor. The jury is still out on whether or not prescription antidepressants even work. Prescription drugs, in general, are overprescribed and the number of prescriptions written rise year after year with no sign of stopping. In , doctors doled out 4.
For all the claims of happiness, antidepressants sure come with a lot of risks. Here are just a few of the most common side effects of antidepressants:.
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Here are my top hacks to build a more resilient brain:. This might sound annoyingly simple.
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But new clinical applications of mindfulness-based cognitive therapies MBCT for depressed patients are showing really promising results. Studies out of the University of Exeter are finding that daily minute mindfulness meditation sessions are better than drugs or counseling alone for depression.
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Three-quarters of patients in one study felt good enough to stop taking antidepressants after four months with no other intervention besides MBCT. The science is young, but mindfulness and meditation studies are showing promising results alleviating symptoms like pain, stress, anxiety, depression, and disordered eating. Humans evolved over millions of years living outside.
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Only in the last several thousand years have we migrated into the sheetrock caves we now call offices. Getting out into nature, specifically under some big trees aka forest bathing rapidly lowers stress hormone levels, blood pressure, pulse rate and heart rate variability compared with exposure to a city environment.
Along with the six tastes, filling your plate with the colors of the rainbow promotes a long and healthy life. You can literally ingest the information of the universe into your biology. Foods that are deep blue, purple, red, green, or orange are leaders in antioxidants and contain many nutrients that boost immunity and enhance health. As Ayurveda teaches, good health is dependent upon our capability to fully metabolize the nutritional, emotional, and sensory information that we ingest.
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When our digestive energy, known as agni fire , is robust, we create healthy tissues, eliminate waste products efficiently and produce a subtle essence called ojas. Ojas, which may be envisioned as the source of our vitality, is the basis for clarity of perception, physical strength, and immunity.
On the other hand, if our agni is weakened, digestion is incomplete and lead to an accumulation of toxic residue known as ama. The buildup of ama in the body mind leads to obstructions in the flow of energy, information, and nourishment, and is the basis of all disease. According to Ayurveda, sleep is the nursemaid to humanity.
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During sleep, our body repairs and rejuvenates itself. Human beings generally need between six and eight hours of restful sleep each night. If you feel energetic and vibrant when you wake up, you had a night of restful sleep. You can find a more detailed sleep routine here. When you slip out of tune with nature, your desires become non-nurturing and you may crave junk food, neglect to sleep and exercise, and indulge in compulsive behaviors. Overtime, a little imbalance can become a disorder and then a disease, bringing on more stress and neglect.
The body always expresses itself through signals of comfort and discomfort. If your body sends a signal of comfort and eagerness, you may proceed. Whereas the mind lives in the past and the future, the body resides in the now and never doubts itself. It knows the truth and will guide you towards the most evolutionary choices.
The Ayurvedic approach is about aligning with the infinite organizing power of nature rather than struggling or trying to force things to go your way. This principle is embodied by the Law of Least Effort. Nature functions with effortless ease, frictionlessly and spontaneously. It is intuitive, holistic, non-linear, and nourishing.
You will expend least effort when your actions are motivated by love, because nature is held together by the energy of love. When you chase after status, money, power, or accolades, you waste energy, but when your actions are motivated by love, your energy expands and accumulates. So take it easy and be guided by love.
Also, known as mind-body types, "doshas" are the foundation for Ayurveda. Doshas express unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics. The three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, are derived from the five elements of nature, which are: Space akasha , Air vayu , Fire tejas , Water jala , and Earth prithivi.
Understanding your unique dosha and the specific needs that derive from it, allows you to make optimal choices about diet, exercise, supplements, and all other aspects of your lifestyle. Take the "Discover Your Dosha" quiz here to to learn more about Ayurvedic mind-body types and identify your own individual type. Improve your physical and emotional well-being with a wellness retreat at the Chopra Center. Find a holistic retreat that fits your needs today.
Learn how to use natural wellness practices like meditation, yoga, and Ayurvedic eating to help you slow, and even reverse, the aging process at Perfect Health , our intimate, personalized mind-body healing retreat. Learn More. Search form Search. What Is Ayurveda? By Deepak Chopra, M.