Natural Ways to Deal with Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
2020 has dramatically affected Americans' mental health, and we haven't seen the full effects of it just yet. Between Covid-19, racial tension, the political atmosphere, economic uncertainty, and our children's education, a lot is piling up on many of us, and sometimes these things create one heavy mental load. The American Psychological Association said that they were ringing the alarm because "We are facing a national mental health crisis that could yield serious health and social consequences for years to come."1 Here at Triquetra Health, we understand the importance of mental health, and if you or someone you know is dealing with anxiety or depression, we hear you and are here for you.
8 in 10 adults saying that saying the coronavirus pandemic is a significant source of stress in their life2. It causes them to worry, have unexpected mood swings, or lash out at loved ones in anger; we must check in on the ones we love and think about how this affects each of us. At the bottom of this article, we have linked numbers if you or someone you know is dealing with extreme depression having suicidal thoughts.
There are many proven natural solutions for dealing with stresses (big and small) but do not fear speaking to your health care provider if you feel you need help.
Stress, Anxiety, and Depression's Impact on Your Body
The human brain intermediates between the outside world and inside our bodies, which is why our stress and anxiety impact us emotionally and physically. From minor issues like lack of sleep, stomach aches to larger problems such as heart issues, high blood pressure, and panic attacks.3
Our brain controls our central nervous system, so we must keep a healthy mind.
According to the American Institute of Stress, 77% of people who suffer from stress and anxiety see it impact their physical well-being. A study by the National Institute of Integrative Medicine states the most crucial factor why a person becomes ill lies in the brain, and the impact stress has on the body. They also believe that positive thinking affects the mind as much as stress does. If a person has positive thoughts, even while dealing with anxiety, it significantly decreases disease risk.
Evidence that has emerged within the past several decades and that continues to accumulate strongly indicates that the state of the human mind—which associates psychosocial factors with emotional states such as depression and with behavioral dispositions that include hostility and psychosocial lifestyle stresses—can directly and significantly influence human physiologic function and, in turn, health outcomes.4
Natural approaches to mental health
Magnesium is an essential mineral in the body because it connects brain biochemistry and the neuronal membrane's fluidity. Individuals with a variety of different types of depression were magnesium deficient. Psychologists did the first study on the benefits of magnesium 100 years ago, and since then, studies have continued to confirm the initial findings.5
Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, contains Withanolides which give it such potent health benefits. Numerous studies have concluded that Ashwagandha helps remedy anxiety and stress. One study measured the perceived stress scale scores (PSS) of one group from another group receiving a placebo. The group taking the Ashwagandha saw a 44% reduction in PSS, while the other group saw a 5.5% reduction.6
Vitamin D3 is the hormone of sunlight. In many areas with harsh winters, people deal with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which impacts the brains' serotonin levels. In a study on 44 healthy subjects, given D3 for five consecutive days, the study found that D3 had a positive impact on their mood and stress levels.7
Recent studies have shown a link between depression and zinc serum deficiencies and that when given zinc supplements, moods improved in healthy and depressed individuals.8
In multiple studies, Rhodiola, the golden root, has improved mental health in mild to moderately depressed individuals. One study of 45 adults that suffered from mild-to-moderate depression saw a decrease in their symptoms by 58% in the 6-week study. Many reported seeing their mood changing around week 2.9
This too shall pass.
It is also important to remember that all is not lost. According to the APA, many Americans (71%) are incredibly hopeful about their future and the future of our country, and more than half feel that they can use their voice to make a difference. With this said, we ask you to use your voice and bring harmony to all you do. Stay healthy, our friends!
Stress in America™ 2020: A national mental health crisis. (n.d.). Retrieved March 04, 2021, from https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2020/report-october
 Ciabattoni, L., Ferracuti, F., Longhi, S., Pepa, L., Romeo, L., & Verdini, F. (2017, January). Real-time mental stress detection based on smartwatch. In 2017 IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE) (pp. 110-111). IEEE.
 Vitetta, L., Anton, B., Cortizo, F., & Sali, A. (2005). Mind‐body medicine: Stress and its impact on overall health and longevity. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1057(1), 492-505.
 Serefko, A., Szopa, A., Wlaź, P., Nowak, G., Radziwoń-Zaleska, M., Skalski, M., & Poleszak, E. (2013). Magnesium in depression. Pharmacological Reports, 65(3), 547-554.
 Pratte, M. A., Nanavati, K. B., Young, V., & Morley, C. P. (2014). An alternative treatment for anxiety: a systematic review of human trial results reported for the Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 20(12), 901-908.
 Lansdowne, A. T., & Provost, S. C. (1998). Vitamin D3 enhances mood in healthy subjects during winter. Psychopharmacology, 135(4), 319-323.
 Rink, L. (2011). Zinc in human health. Ios Press.
 Bangratz, M., Abdellah, S. A., Berlin, A., Blondeau, C., Guilbot, A., Dubourdeaux, M., & Lemoine, P. (2018). A preliminary assessment of a combination of rhodiola and saffron in the management of mild–moderate depression. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment, 14, 1821.