Depression and anxiety came into the lives of millions of Americans as unexpected guest. Sending them in search of relief. Some found relief in ways to reduce or eliminate symptoms, particularly functional medicine protocols that reduce chronic inflammation but one should still consider tending to the health of the psyche. Voluntary commitment for depression and anxiety is overlooked but it is one of the powerful relief.
Studies have shown that voluntary commitment for depression and anxiety lowers blood pressure, release the social bonging hormone oxytocin, improve contentment, and trigger the same dopamine reward centers in the brain that food, drugs, and sex gives.
The human brain is wired to help others that’s why the studies on volunteering suggested that it’s beneficial for all of us. Although human traits includes greed and selfishness, researchers have also found that altruism and cooperation are inherent qualities that set us apart from animals.
Most Americans live in single-family homes with no relationship with the neighborhood and community. This puts us at risk of depression and anxiety. Social isolation and loneliness are considered just as a risky as obesity and smoking to our health.
Voluntary commitment for depression and anxiety
Depression and anxiety gives you’re the feeling of separation and isolation from others. The common complaints from the patients with these disorders are the feeling of uselessness and being a burden to others.
Voluntary commitment for depression and anxiety has been shown to help people connect to others, more optimistic, and gave the sense of purpose and being useful. Volunteering triggers our oxytocin, a “love and bonding” brain chemical that is also released during sex or from cuddling a baby or pet.
The brain chemical, oxytocin, not only makes you feel better, but also reduces stress levels and lowers down inflammation – two powerful factors in causing depression.
We need sufficient dopamine to help us get things done as well as to get the sense of self-worth and purpose in life, two things patients suffering from depression often lack. Volunteering can do wonders on this powerful neurotransmitter that’s helps with mood, Dopamine. This “pleasure and reward” neurotransmitter is released when we have the sense of accomplishment, pleasure, or reward.
Dismissing your woes, doesn’t make them go away. Researchers pointed out that volunteering simply takes you out of yourself. Volunteering can give you a new compassionate perspective for other’s struggles and can help put your own in healthier perspective.
Even though volunteering can help improve our mental health, a caretaker position as a career is commonly linked with increased stress and burnout.
The paradox of “being too busy” to volunteer
A lot of us use our overly busy lives and booked schedules as an excuse not to volunteer. But frequent volunteers testifies that there’s a paradoxical effect when you work it into your schedule anyways. It will lower down your stress levels and boost your mood, reduce the sense of chronic overwhelm that many of us experience daily.
Voluntary commitment for depression and anxiety can calm us and relax the muscles and breathing.
Functional medicine and depression
Although voluntary commitment for depression has astounding proven benefits, it also important for you to pay attention to physiological factors that cause depression.
Depression is linked to symptoms like chronic inflammation, lack of gut bacteria diversity, overpopulation of bad gut bacteria, leaky gut, and compromised brain health, such as brain inflammation or from a past brain injury.
These dysfunctions can stem from food intolerances, blood sugar imbalances, poor nutrition, a sedentary lifestyle, undiagnosed autoimmunity, hidden infections, or other underlying disorders that antidepressants cannot address.
Ask my office for more ideas on how functional medicine can help you relieve depression and anxiety.