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Holistic approaches to mental health and well-being have boomed. Learn more about how holistic/natural approaches could benefit you and your well-being.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past twenty years you will know that there has been a huge surge in the amount of products available for your wellbeing.
There has been a shift from traditional medication to a more holistic approach to improving your health. You’ve probably seen those adverts on TV that usually run in the early morning or late at night.
You know, the ones that boom strong male or female voices ar you telling you that you NEED these tablets in your lives. The very same voices promise that you will lose weight, gain muscle and improve your metabolism, with no exercise or diet required! Well, today I’m not going to discuss those.
They don’t help you out and certainly don’t give you quick results. Not only this, but nothing that actually works is instant. Plus, I would never recommend to you, my friends or my mother any of those kinds of products.
I’m going to discuss everything I’ve learned about holistic approaches towards anxiety, well-being, and mental health. If you’re new to this, you might find this rather interesting!
Before I go ahead and start I do want to say that I am not a doctor. I can’t advise you, but I can share my own personal experiences. If you feel like you need extra help, do get in touch with your doctor right away.
They are best qualified and can provide more support than I would be able to. Okay! Now that bit is over with, let’s get started.
So what are holistic/natural remedies?
Have you ever wondered what holistic actually means? I know I certainly didn’t know what it was, let alone knew anything about it until a few years ago. But here is a really great definition if you were wondering:
A holistic view means that we are interested in engaging and developing the whole person. You can think of this as different levels, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. It’s the concept that the human being is multi-dimensional (boas, 2012)
The idea behind it is that we approach our health from a number of different angles.
Before I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) I knew nothing, and frankly, didn’t care. I wasn’t interested in herbal remedies, fruit teas and definitely wasn’t bothered about supplements. To me, it was what hippies do (don’t judge me! This is truly what I thought back then).
How bad is that?
It’s only until I have reached this stage in my life where I’ve realised that to improve mental health, I must focus on my physical health too.
A holistic approach allows you or me to improve well-being in a broad way, and I truly believe this works.
To give you a bit of an example, when I was initially diagnosed with anxiety, I wasn’t looking after my body.
My head was all over the place and I wasn’t eating properly. I was drinking too much and smoking too much. It’s no wonder I wasn’t more anxious.
Fast forward a few years, and I am exercising, eating better and not smoking anymore. I am treating my anxiety as the entity that it is but I now control it. Gone are the days when it used to control me.
Do you know why? It’s because I recognised that I needed to do better. Living a better life, inspiring others and looking after myself it how I did (and still do) it.
That is what I would call a holistic approach.
Why might it work for me?
You might have landed on this page for a reason. Maybe you didn’t and are just browsing the web. But something sparked your interest, didn’t it?
If so, you want to know, “What’s in it for me?”
Like I said I am no doctor, but I can give you reasons why it might work for me. It might not, but something tells me you want to give it a go. There’s no harm in that, is there?!
For hundreds, if not thousands of years, human beings have been harnessing herbs and plants. Whether it’s for cooking, cleaning or for tea, you name it, we use it.
Although some question the effectiveness of herbs and natural remedies for anxiety and other mental health conditions, personally I can’t rave about them enough. Here is something to ponder upon:
In the East meditation, yoga, herbal medicines and Tai chi were regularly used to bring balance to the mind and body. Remedies were made from trees and flowers and knowledge of how to use them was widespread (panic-attacks.co.uk)
This quote talks about such remedies in the past tense, but the above are all still widely used as an effective way to treat your health and mental health.
So, in answer to your question, it could actually work for you.
Are they better than prescription drugs?
I actually wrote a whole article all about the benefits of natural remedies vs prescription here. Go there now to read a bit more about the pros and cons for both.
But to give you a bit of an idea as to whether natural/holistic approaches are better than prescription drugs, have a read of this:
Far fewer people suffer adverse reactions to herbs than to pharmaceutical drugs (Mother Earth News, 2007)
If you have time, I would recommend reading that whole article by Mother Earth News. It is highly informative and contains some interesting facts about reported reactions to prescription drugs.
But to give you a bit of a summary on it (as it’s quite long – 5 pages to be exact!), the pros for using natural remedies have a much lower risk than prescription medicine.
People like you and I want an honest opinion and are turning to natural/herbal remedies in their droves.
Something that I would like to point out, though, and feel this is REALLY important, is that sometimes natural remedies can’t work.
For me, medication has been the point at which my anxiety is now manageable. I feel no shame in admitting that I will probably be on medication for the rest of my life.
Some people are naturally born with less serotonin in the body than others, and this is me. This isn’t my fault and is just how it is. Herbal remedies won’t solve that
Herbal remedies won’t solve that problem, unfortunately, and this might be the same for you. So if you are considering natural/holistic remedies, do consult your doctor before doing so.
Luckily, most doctors now recommend a broader range of treatment rather than just a prescription. They are being told to try other forms of treatment like counselling, CBT, and exercise to help anxiety and other mental health issues. Do you know why?
Because we are all different. Our bodies are unique and can’t be blanket-treated, it just doesn’t work. If you are like me than you value an honest opinion.
You want all the facts at hand rather than reading biased content. This might leave you feeling even more unsure than you were before, but at least you have a balanced point of view!
What works for me (and might work for you)
So now that I’ve gone through both sides of the argument, I thought I’d share with some of the ways that I deal with my anxiety. Sometimes it’s nice reading a real person’s point of view (I know I do!).
Here are some of the ways that I help treat my anxiety naturally, and as part of a holistic approach.
Can I just make a point about herbal teas right now? I used to DESPISE them! The thought of drinking something healthy, with no milk or sugar in, was not my cup of tea (HAHA). Gross.
The smell and look of herbal teas are not for the faint-hearted. I suppose they are a bit of an acquired taste, really. They have certainly grown on me, so try not to write them off too quickly!
I now take a number of different tea bags with me to work and keep our cupboard stocked up on them. I drink them as often as I can and aim for at least a few cups a day.
Here are a few that I can vouch for:
Now green tea is something that I think we all know about. It’s widely known that it improves our physical and brain strength. But did you know it actually works great for your mental health, too?
New research suggests that drinking five or more cups of green tea daily may reduce the incidence of psychological distress by 20 percent! (Bodyecology.com)
That means that not only is green tea great for your health, it could actually lower stress, anxiety, and depression. I can tell you that I always feel better and more energised after having a cup of green tea.
I recommend – Clipper Fairtrade Organic Green 50 Teabags
Although peppermint tea is not solely for anxiety and depression, I often get stomach issues and this works great. A lot of my anxiety centers around health so when my belly feels better, I feel better.
You know that that means? Better body, better mind! Here are some of the health benefits of peppermint tea:
Peppermint tea is a delicious and refreshing way to boost your overall health in a number of ways, due to its ability to improve digestion, reduce pain, eliminate inflammation, relax the body and mind… (Organicfacts.net)
I recommend – Twinings Peppermint Infusion Tea Bags 20
This tea is fantastic for anxiety sufferers. Chamomile tea is really great for helping you sleep better and feeling more relaxed. It even helps those with depression.
If you struggle to sleep at night, having a cup of chamomile tea before bed will help ease worry and stress, and help you have a better night’s sleep.
I recommend – Twinings Calming Camomile 80 Tea Bags
Supplements and multivitamins
Okay so as well as drinking herbal teas, I also take multivitamins in the morning when I get up. I especially look out for the ones that contain iron. I tend to get groggy and sleepy during the day and I’ve found more iron really helps (especially if you’re a woman).
I think it’s worth pointing out that multivitamins should not be taken so you don’t have to eat healthily. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that! That is definitely NOT the right way to go.
Please ensure you eat a healthy, balanced diet alongside any multivitamins.
I recommend – Centrum Advance Multivitamin and Multiminerals
Okay, so there you have it!
As you can see, holistic approaches to dealing with anxiety both come with positive and negative points of view. They are may not work for you, too.
If you are interested in learning more, I would highly recommend doing a bit more research on Google. The more you know about it, the better informed a decision you can make.
But do make sure that if you are deciding to change your diet or approach to your mental health, do check with your doctor first. Doctors really do know best and know your history better than I do.
Oh and don’t forget, you can still sign up to my FREE 7-day eCourse now! It’s for those who need a bit of a helping hand when feeling overwhelmed.
It’ll help you work out areas that are causing you stress and you also get an awesome discount at the end on my eBook! Just pop your details in below: