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How to Naturally Cope with Anxiety and Depression

In this article, we will discuss the secret to reducing not only the symptom of anxiety but the symptoms of depression as well. It has everything to do with your microbiome. Microbiome means the bacteria in your gut.

The link between anxiety, depression, and your gut

The largest number of nerves outside your brain is located down in your gut. It is also important to note that your gut and your brain are bidirectional. This means that there is a huge communication line between your gut and your brain. This implies that what happens down in your gut will affect what happens up in your brain.

It is important to note that your gut microbiomes produce neurotransmitters, the implication being that your microbes produce all neurotransmitters like GABA, dopamine, serotonin. Serotonin, for example, has a great influence on your mood, and people experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression nearly always have gut problems.

Your gut also makes the vitamins, and there’s a strong relationship between all sorts of mood disorders and vitamin B deficiency.

If your gut is inflamed, that’s going to affect your mood. So, by getting rid of inflammation alone, you will elevate your mood.

Now, is there a link between antidepressants and your gut flora? Well, yes!

You see, antidepressants inhibit the growth of friendly bacteria in your gut. Two drugs that fall into this category are Abilify (aripiprazole) and Norpramin.

Abilify has minor side effects such as GI symptoms and a strong desire to binge, shop, and engage in sexual activities. More common side effects are:

· Vomiting

· Sleeplessness

· Dizziness, and

· Movement disorders

Now, here’s something you should know:

90% of the serotonin in your body is produced in your gut. So there’s something called SSRIs — the acronym for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors.

These antidepressant drugs affect serotonin. A major side effect from SSRIs is that it decreases your microbiome diversity. It also alters your microbes and increases inflammation, and all increase your need for SSRIs.

So, is there anything wrong with this? A Lot!

Here’s something worth knowing:

If you have depression or anxiety, then concentrate on your gut. Get in a good probiotic, consume fermented vegetables such as kimchi, sauerkraut pickles, or even fermented dairy like kefir. You can also add some Bulgarian yogurt.

Fasting is also important and can have a significant effect on your mood.

Intermittent fasting helps with weight loss and reduction of calories

Intermittent fasting promotes weight loss by helping you to eat fewer calories and carbohydrates.

All intermittent fasting protocols involve skipping meals during the fast. So, technically, whenever you’re on an intermittent fast, you’re consuming fewer calories, unless, of course, you compensate by eating more during the feeding periods.

A 2014 study (11) published in the journal Translational Research found that intermittent fasting caused a 3–8% reduction in body weight over a timeline of 3–24 weeks.

Further investigation shows that intermittent fasting may cause weight loss at a rate of 0.55–1.65 pounds (0.25–0.75kg) weekly (12).

The same study also showed that weight loss reduced waist circumference by 4–7%, indicating that the participants lost belly fat.

This implies that intermittent fasting greatly aids weight loss.

That said, intermittent fasting does not only help with weight loss. It has many other health benefits, including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (13, 14).

Yes, calorie counting isn’t required during an intermittent fast. But then, it is worth mentioning that weight loss is mediated by a reduction in the intake of calories.

Other ways to naturally reduce anxiety and depression

1. Stay active

Engaging in exercise regularly is good for your emotional and physical health. Regular exercise is as effective as medication with regards to easing anxiety. What’s more, this isn’t just a short-term fix. You may experience relief from anxiety and depression for hours after exercising.

2. Abstain from alcohol

Alcohol is a sedative—a natural one at that. Taking a finger of whisky or drinking a glass of wine when your nerves are shot may give you a calm feeling at first. However, once the buzz goes down, the anxiety rushes back with a vengeance. Relying on alcohol to ease your anxiety only leads you to alcohol dependence.

3. Stop smoking

Nearly every smoker reaches out for a stick or two of cigarettes during stressful periods. But then, just like alcohol, puffing on your cigarette when you’re stressed is nothing more than a quick fix that may worsen over time. Studies have shown that people who start smoking early have a very high risk of developing an anxiety disorder later in life. Studies have also shown that nicotine and all the other chemicals in cigarettes distort the pathways in the brain associated with anxiety.

4. Throw the caffeine away

Caffeine isn’t a friend to those with chronic anxiety. Studies have shown that it may cause jitters and nervousness, and neither is good for anxious people. A study published by the Cambridge University Press shows that caffeine may trigger or worsen anxiety disorders. For those who have panic disorder, caffeine may cause panic attacks. Total elimination of caffeine in some people may cause a significant improvement in anxiety symptoms.

5. Meditate

The goal of meditation is to remove negative and chaotic thoughts from your mind and replace them with a sense of mindfulness and calm. Meditation relieves anxiety and depression. A John Hopkins study recommends 30 minutes of meditation daily to alleviate anxiety symptoms and as an antidepressant.

6. Chamomile tea

One cup of chamomile tea calms frayed nerves and promotes sleep. A study showed that chamomile tea is very potent against generalized anxiety disorder. The study showed that intake of German chamomile capsules (220g five times daily) reduced test scores that measure anxiety symptoms compared to those who were given a placebo.


If you experience bouts of anxiety and depression, trying the tips listed above may help relieve you. Note that while home remedies may ease anxiety, they are not a substitute for professional help. It would help if you talked to your healthcare provider or a loved one about your concerns.

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