To experience highs and lows in life is a normal part of daily living. However when feelings start to snowball and it gets harder and harder to shake off the low mood, it can start to seriously affect our health and wellbeing.

In today’s fast paced world, where we barely get time to efficiently deal with stress or to acknowledge when we are feeling overwhelmed, a downward spiral can quickly begin to take place under the surface.

The amount of people I am seeing in practice who are presenting with depression, anxiety, panic attacks or a combination of these is on the rise. What is also concerning is the young age at which these things are starting to occur. Below are a few tips to help you cope, whether you are currently just feeling overwhelmed or are clinically depressed. The key is to focus on each moment and getting through to the next.

Breath has a lot to do with how calm we are feeling. When anxious or panicked, one of the first things that will happen is your breathing rate will increase and you will start taking short shallow breaths. Correct breathing involves your stomach filling with air as you breathe in and relaxing as you breathe out. Place you hand over your stomach to see if this is happening. If not, focus on your breathing technique.

Did you know that certain foods can impact your moods and can increase anxiety and panic attacks? These include sugar, artificial sweeteners (aspartame) found in coke zero or diet colas, food additives found in most pre packed and junk foods and preservatives that need to be added to any food that’s not fresh or raw.

Take a look at your diet, minimize soft drinks and even diet drinks and replace with water. Fresh fruits and vegies and home cooked meals will stop all the preservative and additives found in foods from impacting your mood.

Everything in your body is controlled by your nervous system. When did you last have it checked? Chiropractic care helps your nervous system (which includes your brain, spinal cord and all your nerves) to function at its optimum.

If your body is not working properly its harder to feel good. Your brain controls the amount of neurotransmitters (special chemicals) in your body which control your moods, concentration, clarity of thought and quality of sleep.

As explained in an article in the Addiction Treatment magazine, “when the spine is improperly aligned and pressure is applied to tissues, the chemicals known as neurotransmitters may be blocked or released in an incorrect pattern, thus inhibiting a sense of well-being.” (1) Chiropractic is a completely natural and effective way of removing stress in your body and regulating and improving the production and release of these vital chemicals.

Another thing to consider is medication. Most, if not all medications have side effects. Medication for other health problems may be affecting your moods or causing anxiety. Your antidepressants may not be working for you or be causing other symptoms.

If you think this may be the case, revisit your GP and ask for a review of your medications as a reduced dose or alternative may be needed. Also consider seeing a homeopath, naturopath or other natural health practitioner as many of these complimentary techniques can be just as effective as drugs.

Exercise- when you exercise your body NATURALLY produces endorphins, the feel good drug that makes you feel happy and positive. Get outside and go for a run, walk or swim or even dance around the house. You are almost guaranteed to feel better afterwards.

Remember that it is never a weakness to ask for help. Help is out there. If you are feeling depressed, overwhelmed or alone don’t give up hope, talk to someone about how you are feeling. There are many free nationwide helplines that are completely confidential and easily accessible for you to call.
Youthline 0800 37
Lifeline (09) 5222 999
The lowdown
Depression helpline 0800 111 757

Dr Adeela Afiz
For a consultation please contact: 021 029 07486 or email (South Auckland)
Or Advanced Health Chiropractic 09 818 8015 (West Auckland)