Possible solutions to your mental health contributors
We believe that only a comprehensive, holistic approach to treating mental health issues will provide sustainable, long term relief to mental health symptoms.
This is why we believe that only an integrative/functional medicine approach to mental health is effective over the long term.
As we have seen, an integrative/functional medicine approach to mental health first requires detective work to identify all the contributors to your mental health symptoms. Then, based on each possible contributor, it comes up with a number of solutions.
These solutions however usually require implementing lifestyle changes, and take time and perseverance. And often they require a lifelong commitment to healthier habits. But it’s worth it for a life of optimal mental health.
List of possible solutions to your mental health issues
Try to implement the solutions that are right for you, in cooperation with a trusted health practitioner. Be disciplined and regular in implementing your chosen solutions — make them lifestyle habits. (legal disclaimer)
As we have seen in hormone imbalances, and the various types of hormone imbalances (sex hormone imbalances, stress hormone imbalances, insulin hormone imbalance and thyroid hormone imbalance) balanced hormones play a huge role in ensuring that we are happy, patient, calm, focussed, remember things, can concentrate, and sleep well. It is essential that any mental health assessment take into account possible hormone imbalances, and that any healing programme helps to balance our hormones.
While as we have seen in neurotransmitter imbalances, there is some controversy around the chemical imbalance explanation for mental health and we lack clarity on the cause and effect relationship, there is no doubt that neurotransmitter levels have an effect on moods, anxiety levels, concentration, memory, sleep etc.
A natural approach to ensuring more balanced neurotransmitters can be very helpful for good mental health.
As we have seen in poor breathing, breathing habits can have a real impact on our mental health.
Learning how to breathe better and practicing regular better breathing techniques can go a long way towards helping with anxiety, depression, insomnia, poor memory and attention, etc.
As we have seen in lack of nature and natural light, having access to regular fresh air and natural light is important for our circadian rhythms, our hormone and neurotransmitter balance, our digestion etc… and impacts our mental health by impacting our sleep patterns, our moods, our anxiety levels, our concentration and attention, etc.
We have seen that facing difficult economic and environmental circumstances can expose us to stress and toxicity, which can create biochemical imbalances, and put our hormones, neurotransmitters, digestion, etc. out of balance, manifesting as mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, poor concentration and attention, poor memory, addiction, etc.
While we may not always be able to change our circumstances, there are ways to minimise their negative effects on our mental health.
As we have seen in difficult social circumstances, isolation and loneliness, toxic relationships, and lack of community can all contribute to mental health issues.
It is important that we do what we can to improve our relationships, build a community, and reduce our feelings of isolation and loneliness.
As we have seen, experiencing psychological trauma can have an extremely detrimental effect on our mental health. Whether this trauma happened recently or in the past, it can contribute to depression, anxiety, insomnia, poor concentration and attention, poor memory, etc.
While traumatic events cannot be undone, we can improve our ability to cope with their after-effects, and minimise their detrimental effects on our mental health.
As we have seen in nutritional imbalances, what we eat and how we eat it can play an important role in our mental health, and nutritional deficiencies and imbalances can contribute to depression, anxiety, poor concentration and attention, poor memory, etc.
How and what we eat, however, is something we can control, and making small changes can make big differences to our mental health.
Within “how to correct your nutrition and supplement” there are further sub-sections on nutrition and mental health.
For instance as we have seen, certain problem foods and beverages can contribute to mental health symptoms, as can blood sugar fluctuations and carbohydrate imbalances
- How to avoid problem foods and beverages
- How to correct carbohydrate intake and balance your blood sugar
As we have seen, imbalances in certain vitamins, imbalances in certain minerals, imbalances in proteins and amino-acids, and imbalances in fats and essential fatty acids, can also contribute to mental health symptoms.
- How to correct fats and essential fatty acids (EFAs)
- How to correct minerals
- How to correct proteins and amino acids
- How to correct vitamins
Meanwhile, certain nutritional habits can contribute to hormonal imbalances, gut issues, and can hamper detoxification and contribute to inflammation and oxidation, as well as cause methylation issues. You can address all these by improving your nutrition in the following ways:
- How to correct nutrition and supplement for detoxification, anti-inflammation and anti-oxidation
- How to correct nutrition and supplement to balance your hormones
- How to correct nutrition and supplement to heal your gut
- How to improve methylation
And finally, certain herbs can be very helpful for alleviating certain mental health symptoms, by helping to balance hormone and neurotransmitter levels:
As we have seen in toxicity, the accumulation of toxins in our body from the air we breathe, the water we drink, the household and self care products that we use, and our general indoor and outdoor environments, can cause physiological imbalances which can affect our mental health, and cause mental health symptoms such as depression, anxiety, poor attention and concentration, poor memory, etc.
Avoiding toxins our environment and learning to optimise our detoxification can go a long way towards improving our mental health. There are several sub-sections on how to detoxify for better mental health, including how to detoxify specifically from addictive substances and behaviours, from medication, how to detoxify your environment and how to optimise detoxification. Read more about how to detoxify by clicking on the links below.
Whether to deal with psychological trauma and stress, cope with difficult life circumstances and relationships, manage technology and the pressures of modern life, improve negative thinking, or help you to find purpose and meaning, mental therapy can help.
There are many different forms of mental therapy, some which you can practice alone, and most of which you work with a therapist. Read more about mental therapy by clicking on the links below.
As we have seen in lack of appropriate exercise, exercise has been shown to be more effective than antidepressants and psychotherapy in helping with mental health symptoms such as depression.Blumenthal, J; Smith, P; Hoffman, B (2012) Is exercise a viable treatment for depression? ACSMs Health Fit J. 2012 July/August; 16(4): 14–21. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3674785/[accessed February 2018]
However, it must be exercise which is adapted to your particular state of health and resilience, as exercising too intensely if you are already run down can be detrimental to mental health.
As we have seen in stress as contributor to mental health issues, chronically elevated stress levels can cause symptoms such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, addiction, poor concentration and attention, poor memory, mood swings, etc.
Learning to manage our stress levels is essential for optimal mental health.
As we have seen in technology and the pressures of modern life as contributors to mental health issues, 24/7 connectivity, social media, and globalisation can all put a strain on our nervous system and our mental health.
It is imperative to learn to manage our technology and social media use, and to switch off, despite 24/7 connectivity, and activities across different time zones.
As we have seen in negative thoughts and beliefs as contributors to mental health issues, having habits of negative thinking and negative beliefs can be detrimental to our mental health, by contributing to negative emotions. Over time, the negative feelings which flow from negative thinking can become chronic, and contribute to depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, etc.
Meditation can be one of the most effective ways of counteracting negative thoughts and beliefs, stress, and coping with difficult social, economic and environmental circumstances. It can also help heal psychological trauma, gut issues, hormone imbalances, neurotransmitter imbalances and poor sleep. What’s more, it’s free, and simply requires a commitment to sit and practice for a certain period of time every day.
Mind-body therapies tend to work with the body in order to heal the mind. There are many different mind-body therapies, and each one can be more or less helpful (depending on your personal preference and individual make-up) in coping with difficult lifestyle, psycho-spiritual and biochemical contributors to mental health issues.
Read more about each form of mind-body therapy by clicking on the links below.
As we have seen, stress, and the chronic tension caused by difficult social, economic and environmental circumstances, technology and the pressures of modern life, psychological trauma, etc. can all create biochemical imbalances such as hormone imbalances, neurotransmitter imbalances, gut issues, etc. which can then lead to mental health issues. Regularly practicing relaxation techniques can be helpful in rebalancing the nervous system, and allowing the body and mind to heal, reducing symptoms such as anxiety, depression, poor sleep, irritability, poor concentration and attention, poor memory, etc.
As we have seen in inflammation, whether a contributor to mental health symptoms, or itself a symptom of mental health issues, inflammation is correlated with mental health symptoms such as depression, anxiety, poor memory etc. While this area requires a lot more research, reducing inflammation can be helpful in addressing these mental health symptoms.