Depression and anxiety is a big problem for a lot of people. It feels like it becomes a part of who you are.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
It’s my job to help people solve this problem. I have seen people transform from being crippled by depression and anxiety, to a point where they get that feeling of serenity back in their lives. The dark cloud of depression begins to fade and the heavy weight of anxiety gets lighter.
There’s no better feeling… I love my job.
But, it’s time to branch out and share my techniques with a much larger group of people. You guys.
Ok, lets get to it.
I’m going to share with you the 3 ‘lifestyle triggers’ I have used to help many people with depression and anxiety. One group that particularly stands out is a group of teenagers I worked with, I simplified my approach to just 3 lifestyle triggers, which showed to be really effective. The simplicity made it easy for the group to stay committed and consistent to the technique. They really bought into everything I taught them and it paid off…
So you probably have one big question right now…
I’m going to teach you exactly what these are and how they help with depression and anxiety relief.
But first I need to give you some grounding on what is actually going on with your body when you’re feeling depressed and anxious. Once you can understand the physical problem, you just need to know how to reverse it. That’s my logic.
First, some science…
I want you to imagine you have 2 buckets in your body (ok, maybe not too science-y). One bucket is for stress hormones (cortisol and adrenalin), the other is for feel-good neurotransmitters (these are messengers in the brain responsible for mood). Normally, there is a good balance between these two buckets and they complement each other, helping the body create a state of serenity. I call this balance your ‘Hormone Harmony’, remember this, it’s important for later.
When you’re depressed and anxious, the stress hormone bucket fills to level where it is unmanageable to the body. The feel-good neurotransmitter bucket empties to a level where they don’t work or receipt correctly anymore. This imbalances your hormone harmony, therefore ending the serenity and creating all the nasty symptoms of depression and anxiety.
That’s why sometimes you might feel like you have no rational reason for feeling depressed or anxious, but you still feel like crap. You can’t just ‘Snap out of it’. You can’t just click your figures and fix a broken hormone harmony. So don’t be hard on yourself about it.
With that said, that’s exactly what I help people do. I help them reverse the damage done to their hormone harmony, therefore reducing their symptoms.
So how do I do it?
The answer is something I call ‘Lifestyle Triggers’. This is a principle I have developed working as the fitness coordinator at one of the UK’s leading mental health hospitals.
The great thing is they help improve general mental health (memory, energy, mood) as well as reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Basically, these are slight unique changes and factors in your lifestyle, you could look at them as small steps that reverse the damage to your hormone harmony.
Ok, so the 3 lifestyle triggers I used to help the group of teenagers were…
The exercise-stress axis is a principle I created and work by, which allows me to use exercise to relieve depression and anxiety. Let me explain… All exercise is a stress on the body. Your body can either adapt to this stress, therefore lowering your stress hormones at rest. Or it can overload the body and actually increase stress hormones at rest. I call this balance your exercise-stress axis. The idea is to create a positive one, so that over time your stress hormones reduce right down and improve your hormone harmony.
With me so far? Good, let’s keep going…
The key is to not use traditional exercise, instead use something I call ‘flexible exercise’. This is different to traditional exercise, as it’s far shorter 10/20/30 minutes long. These short timely bursts of exercise give the body a chance to adapt to the stress of exercise, therefore emptying the body of stress hormones. Giving you an improved hormone harmony and relieving symptoms. To learn more check out this blog ‘How I helped 400 people relieve depression and anxiety with the ‘Flexible Exercise’ technique’.
The food we eat is constantly effecting our hormones, neurotransmitters and nervous system. I call these 3 systems your power 3 as they can all rebalance your hormone harmony when they are functioning correctly. I call this constant dynamic between the food you eat and the power 3 the ‘Food-Mood Constant’. The idea is to create a positive food-mood constant, therefore relieving symptoms through a better functioning power 3. With this particular group I wanted to keep it simple, as nutrition can get complicated. So I set them one crucial ‘lifestyle trigger’… Avoid ‘Negative Trigger Foods’, these are all the foods that inhibit the power 3. Some of these foods are more well known…
Unfortunately there’s a lot of these negative trigger foods, some are hidden by clever marketing. Check out my ‘Free guide to hidden negative trigger foods’ here.
The final lifestyle trigger brings it all together and just helps to ensure consistency and compliance to the first two. I simply got each individual in the group to create a ‘motivation prompt’ and write it down each day. This is something that instantly triggers motivation for the person that day. This was usually a desired outcome of the first two lifestyle triggers like; improve my energy, feel less tired and fatigued, feel less stressed, reduce my anxiety.
The beauty of lifestyle triggers, is you are in control of them. Unlike therapy or medication where you may feel dependent on a therapist or pill, you get a real sense self control which is really empowering. This means you are in control of the depression or anxiety, not the other way round. I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t do therapy or take medication, but you should be using things like lifestyle triggers along side them.
Remember, if you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, always seek medical advice and talk to a doctor. These things are nothing to be ashamed of. If you found this useful please like and share, as it might help someone else going through the same thing. We can beat depression and anxiety together.
Ok, I hope you found this blog useful and it’s given you some ‘motivational energy’. Motivational energy is how I describe that small burst of mental clarity you get when you realise what you have to do to get something you want, the lightbulb is suddenly switched on. The problem is, motivational energy doesn’t last long before the light bulb goes out. So what’s important is what you do right now, to put this motivation to good use, I have got it covered for you…
If you think the lifestyle triggers I have spoken about could help you or someone close to you, then check out my free lifestyle triggers email series here.
The first email will give you a free ‘Guide to Hidden Negative-Trigger Foods’. So you can start making a positive change yourself straight away.