Everyone experiences irritability and anxiety at some point and increasing numbers of people are experiencing other mental health issues, such as depression. There is a strong connection between the mind and the body and by caring for our physical health we can also care for our emotional and mental wellbeing. Anxiety, irritability and depression are caused by a number of issues. This article will explore natural ways in which we can control, reduce and eliminate these negative emotions from our lives.
Anxiety, irritability and depression can have many causes and influences, including problems relating to nutrition, the environment, social issues, spiritual anxieties, genetics and disease. There can be biochemical causes of mental disorders, such as an imbalance in neurotransmitters, but these physical problems might simply be a symptom of mental distress rather than a cause. Although anxiety, depression and irritability are not the same issues, they are strongly related and it is common for a person to feel more than one of these sensations.
What is mental health?
Depression and anxiety are often classed as mental problems. However, it can be more helpful to think of them as brain health issues. This relates the mental state to its physical component. This fresh perspective helps to clarify the need to care for the brain as much as the other areas of the body, such as the muscles. We can exercise our muscles to keep them in a good state of health but it is harder to know how to care for the brain. In fact, our bodily health influences our emotions and psychological responses.
Symptoms of anxiety and depression
When a person is highly anxious or depressed, their everyday life is thrown out of balance. Anxiety makes us alter our behaviour and our habits. Even our personal relationships can suffer as we tend to take out frustrations and anxieties on those closest to us. Work life also suffers as it can be hard to concentrate when your mind is dealing with the burden of depression or anxiety. Mental health issues can show themselves as physical problems in the body. Anxiety and depression can manifest as stomach pain, breathing problems, muscles tremors, night sweats and fatigue. Symptoms can also include feelings of fear, sadness, insecurity, lack of concentration, obsessions and paranoia.
How to deal with irritability, anxiety, and depression
Follow these simple steps you can protect your brain and improve mental health:
Slow exhalation helps relax your body and lowers the heart rate, helping your muscles to unclench and relax.
Simply moving the body is a natural state and helps to relax the mind.
Spend time in nature
Go on long walks in a local wood or park. Being in the natural world helps us develop a sense of perspective and helps us to realise just how large the world is and many of our worries are not actually very important.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is crucial to our physical and mental health. During sleep the body repairs itself and cells can renew, so get an early night whenever you can and you’ll feel the difference.
Spend time with friends and family
Today’s fast-paced world means many people do not spend enough time with those that they care about. Making times to spend quality moments with those we love has a big positive impact on our mental wellbeing.
Don’t be a perfectionist
Accepting our own imperfections is an important part of life. No one is perfect and striving for something unobtainable will always lead to frustration and disappointment.
Stop comparing yourself with others
Simply be true to yourself and do not chase status symbols of being ‘rich and successful’. Cars and clothes are unimportant. What matters are relationships and experiences – not objects.
Eat good food and drink plenty of water
The old adage is true: you are what you eat. Food plays a huge part in mental health, so feed your brain good wholesome food and cut down on sugar, salt and fat.
Practise self-awareness regularly to maintain a realistic perspective on life and increase your sense of peace.
We all have things to be grateful for – listing them will help you realise all the good things you have in your life.
Forgive those who have hurt you. Holding onto resentment just makes you feel bad: release all anger and bitterness and feel free.