Achieving Natural Mental Health
Without natural mental health, physical health is of little consolation. In fact, because of the close mind-body connection, it is doubtful that one can exist without the other. True natural wellness and health incorporates the mental, physical and even spiritual aspects of a person.
Here is a brief overview of some of the more common mental disturbances and their symptoms, followed by a discussion of natural remedies.
Anxiety disorders manifest themselves as worry, excessive fear, avoidance, obsessions or compulsions.
Depression is often characterized by one or more of these ongoing symptoms: sad mood, fatigue, apathy, disturbed sleep, inability to enjoy favorite activities, change in appetitive, lowered sex drive, feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, anger, guilt and irritability.
Depression is sometimes known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and affects somewhere in the vicinity of 10 percent of Americans.
Clinical depression, whether unipolar (constant) or bipolar (sadness alternates with periods of high elation, or mania), can have any one or several causations, including poor diet, chemical/hormonal imbalances, food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, lack of sunlight, unresolved stress, medication, heavy metal toxins, and alcohol or drug use.
Get information on Native Remedies MindSoothe for Depression, Insomnia, OCD and Anxiety
The persistent difficulty to fall asleep and stay asleep is characteristic of insomnia. Insomnia has a variety of causes, including hormone shifts, mental disorders and stress. Chronic insomnia lasts for months to years. Doctors often prescribe sleeping aids for insomnia, but natural treatments actually work better for many people.
Stress, age and other factors can cause memory loss or diminished memory capacity in people. In severe cases, such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's, memory loss is dramatic.
Steps to Natural Mental Health
Whole foods, herbs and natural health remedies can cure depression, resolve anxiety and improve mental wellbeing. A cure may happen gradually over time and generally begins with a slight or marked reduction in adverse symptoms.
Healthy Eating for Mental Wellbeing
A healthy eating diet plan based on whole food nutrition is the first step to preventing, treating and overcoming anxiety, depression and other mental disturbances.
Key foods include:
- Wild-caught ocean fish: Pacific salmon, herring, mackerel
- Fat supplements: cod liver oil, flax seed oil, coconut oil
- Cholesterol: Beef, butter, and other grass-raised animal products
At times, you will need to put aside conventional diet advice as you nourish your body. Cholesterol is essential for proper brain function. According to Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions, cholesterol protects against mental illness.
Most American doctors are quick to prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs without realizing the health benefits of cholesterol. Read about cholesterol, one of the most misunderstood health concepts.
Herbs for Natural Mental Health
Certain herbs are excellent for improving mental health, naturally. Some are as effective as prescription drugs, without harmful side effects. Take natural herbal remedies under the direction or guidance of an herbalist, naturapathic doctor or other qualified professional.
Top herbs for mental wellbeing include:
- St. John's Wort: natural antidepressant.
A review of 23 clinical studies showed that St. John's Wort is as effective as prescription medications for mild to moderate depression.
- Kava: anxiety cure.
Indicated for those dealing with mild to moderate anxiety, Kava calms and relaxes while increasing mental sharpness.
- Valerian: sleep aid.
Dubbed "Nature's soft nurse" by Shakespeare, Valerian is both a sleep aid and a mood enhancer. It relaxes those suffering stress and tension.
Bodywork to Improve Mental Health
Consider physical treatments to improve natural mental health, such as acupressure. Several pressure points, notably "Lung 1" (the soft area below the collarbone and near the top of the armpit below the shoulder) are well suited to lessen depression and resolve anxiety.
Body work such as massage, acupuncture, Hydrotherapy, aromatherapy and reflexology deliver exceptional results for many people. While acupuncture is reserved for qualified, trained professionals, other body work can be administered by self or family members with a little study or effort.
Physical touch is important for mental and physical health. In the case of anxiety relief, a full body massage is especially good, as it can help release built-up tension in your muscles.
Exercise, such as Pilates, yoga or swimming boosts endomorphisms and positive energy for the entire body.
Stress reduction, in the form of relaxation, meditation, or therapy, improves overall mental and physical wellbeing.
Natural Mental Health Sources and Resources
Dealing with Depression Naturally by Syd Baumel
Depression-Free, Naturally by Joan Matthews Larson, PhD
Herbs for the Mind by Jonathan R. T. Davidson MD & Kathryn M. Connor MD
Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch MD and Mark Stengler ND
Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine by Ronald F. Schmid ND
Your Backyard Herb Garden by Miranda Smith
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