SA stressed and depressed, should seek remedies

SA is ranked as the second most stressed country globally with one in three South Africans suffering from a mental disorder in their lifetime, various studies show.

A study published earlier this year by research company, Hexor, found that 24 percent of 1 060 SA respondents had been diagnosed with depression while a 2013 study by research company, Bloomberg, ranked SA as second most stressed among 74 countries.

Research published in 2009 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) found 30% of South Africans have or will suffer from a mental disorder. The WHO has said depression will become the leading cause of disability worldwide by 2030.

Self-help practitioner Marilyn Moor* says prolonged, chronic stress may contribute to anxiety, depression, heart disease, strokes and even infertility. She says practicing mindfulness, eating healthily, exercising and supplementing may improve mood, stabilize blood sugar levels and may help decrease stress and anxiety.

In addition to consulting a medical professional, Moor suggests the following to address stress and anxiety:

Practise mindfulness: this means being in, accepting the present experience and paying attention without judgement. A study in the medical journal, Lancet, shows mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) may be as effective as anti-depressant medication in addressing depression and anxiety.

Eat stress busting foods daily: dark green leafy vegetables may improve mood; fermented foods may improve gut health which helps promote good mental health; fatty fish such as salmon and sardines are rich in omega 3 which may help address anxiety; berries are good anti-oxidants and help boost memory and mood; dark chocolate may also help enhance mood. Read more.

When stressed, avoid foods rich in refined sugar, alcohol and caffeine as they may cause a spike in the body’s cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Avoid processed foods which cause sugar spikes and may cause anxiety. Cut out energy drinks which contain high levels of caffeine and sugar. Instead, choose herbal or Rooibos tea. Read more.

Negative emotions may play havoc with our bodies, including compromising the immune system which opens us to illness. To help manage daily stressful situations, Moor recommends the original Bach RESCUE Remedy® created by Dr Edward Bach more than 80 years ago, a combination of five Bach Flower Remedies for emotional wellbeing. Bach Rescue Remedy has been used by millions around the world to help eradicate negative emotions and resume a more positive balance, allowing the body to return to its natural state of health.

Increase intake of essential vitamins and minerals proven to help beat stress. These include magnesium, and vitamin B12. Try BetterYou’s Magnesium Oil transdermal spray and B12 Boost oral sprays, proven to work better than pills, see here.

 Exercise: get active for 30 minutes a day. If you can’t get to gym, walk the dogs or play with your kids.

 Seek help: Contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group.

 

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Bach RESCUE Remedy®, BetterYou Magnesium Oil and Boost B12 are available nationally at leading health stores, pharmacies and Dischem.

* Marilyn Moor is a Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner. BFRP’s are professionally-trained and have followed an approved programme of education of the highest quality and assessment to ensure they are competent to use the remedies in professional practice. Read more.

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