5 Ways to Build a Natural Antidepressant Brain
Do you ever wish you had the ability to feel better more often when it comes to your mental and emotional health?
You know, less anxiety, loneliness, depression, sadness, low-self-esteem and struggles in your relationships. More excitement and joy over life and greater satisfaction and love in your relationships.
The term ‘the antidepressant brain’ came to mind this weekend during a road-trip to Colorado where I got a moderate case of altitude sickness that brought my hopes of camping at a higher altitude to a screeching halt.
I love this term “the antidepressant brain” because it’s so damn powerful!
One of my favorite things to do is hike and be in the mountains amongst the pine trees. My symptoms worsened over two days so we weren’t able to ascend to higher elevation where we planned to hike and camp in the amazing wilderness, off the grid.
I was disappointment, no doubt; but rather than drift into a ‘woe is me’ depression, or even anxiety over my condition, I was able to have an amazing experience and overall trip! I attribute it all to the antidepressant brain I’ve cultivated for myself.
Imagine changing the way your brain reacts to life triggers, health issues, traumas and everyday problems and inconveniences all on your own. And, doing it naturally.
It is possible and it’s a tool that can last a lifetime without any negative side-effects.
In my working with thousands of clients, I have seen that many of these natural remedies work far better than any psychiatric medication for people who do not have a true diagnosis (see important note below.) And again, with no pesky side effects.
Here are 5 Ways to Build an Antidepressant Brain Naturally:
- Cultivate Self-Love and Self-Compassion: I write about this in my book because I have witnessed it to be the most powerful antidepressant of all! Whether you suffer with sadness, depression, anxiety, low self-worth, unresolved issues from the past and even illness. When you learn to cultivate self-love and self-compassion it provides you with life-long resilience to whatever life has thrown at you and will throw at you. Getting sick on my much-anticipated Colorado trip and then judging myself on top of it would not be an option. That type of self-treatment hardly ever enters my mind anymore.
- Develop Emotional Intelligence: Get to know your emotions and thoughts. You will get better at avoiding self-defeating thinking and dwelling in unpleasant emotions when you are triggered in your relationships and unfortunate life events such as illnesses; and you will be better at understanding others with empathy and compassion (which leads to the next one.)
- Engage in Real, Unconditional Friendships and Relationships: We need real, authentic, healthy, secure social interaction as it can contributes to a richer life, greater self-worth and feeling more secure in the world. Watch who you spend time with – do they drain you, leave you feeling unimportant, or do they lift you up? Are you able to be there for your loved ones in a way that lifts them? Despite the modifications we had to make on my behalf, my Colorado friend lifted me with support and kindness. I’m beyond grateful for his honest friendship where we can talk about absolutely anything in a healthy, adult functioning way…while often laughing at ourselves!
- Exercise and Nature: The research is abundant in how exercise and being in nature increases the feel-good chemistry of our brains. Get out and increase those endorphins by finding something that you enjoy. Some people enjoy the gym. Others enjoy being out in nature (Hiking, Forest Bathing, Walking.) I wasn’t able to hike on this trip, but I did get walks around my friend’s beautiful ranch and the road-trip itself was full of amazing and diverse scenery.
- Novelty: Plan times, or even better be spontaneous, and do things that are completely new – on your own or with others. Disrupting the mundane, day-to-day activities is a powerful, fun way to fuel the antidepressant brain. Doing things that are new and novel brings you into the present moment and can give you a renewed sense of excitement and joy for life. Along with new scenery (I took a new route,) I met two new people on this trip – a very kind Navajo woman who I bought a piece of pottery from and a woman in Flagstaff on my way home who has already emailed me and is reading my book.
Try to bring some of these concepts into your own life. Let me know what you notice. After intentionally building on the concepts over time, you will build a brain that is more resistant to depression and anxiety. You may have others that work as well, and I would love to hear about them.
Here’s to less suffering and more living!
Important Notice: True mental illness does exist, and psychiatric medications can be the most optimal treatment. In these cases, it is important to seek professional help from a licensed psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner, and a therapist. The tools above could possibly augment and further optimize medical treatment.
About the author:
Christy Maxey is a former therapist and now personal development life coach and author. After working with thousands of clients in private practice over twenty years, she wanted to help people on a larger scale and stop needless suffering by educating people on self-love, self-worth, emotional intelligence and healing without needing years of therapy. She has a results-driven, 10-Week coaching program that helps people do just that. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.