Not everyone who suffers from depression is able or willing to seek professional treatment from a psychiatrist. Although the myriad of depression medications available today have high success rates, not everybody needs to take advantage of them to reduce their depression. Thankfully, there are a number of changes that one can implement into their daily life that have a fairly high success rate in reducing and eliminating depression. Natural treatments for depression focus on lifestyle factors that are under each individual’s control, such as diet, exercise, sleeping patterns, exposure to light, social interaction, etc.
Physical exercise is known to alleviate depression symptoms
When we get depressed, we often have a feeling of lethargy and heaviness that not only burdens our mind but also our physical bodies. It is well known that physical exercise helps to reduce depression, so if you feel depressed it is a great idea to force yourself into physical activity. The exercise will help raise your metabolism and get the blood flowing, bringing more oxygen to your brain and naturally lift your mood.
People often don’t realize that symptoms of depression are closely correlated to physical problems, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and many other factors. In fact, that is why when a person suffering from depression seeks treatment at a hospital or clinic, one of the first things that they do is draw blood and run lab tests to see if you have any of these problems.
Yes, severe depression is often caused by chemical imbalances in the brain that can be corrected by prescription medication, but just as often depression is caused by these other physical imbalances. Oftentimes, when a patient, for example, gets his blood sugar stabilized, the symptoms of his depression will reduce or even disappear. This is why it is highly important to keep your physical body in good shape if you suffer from depression.
Eat a clean diet to help clear your depression
It may sound obvious, but many people don’t think of their diet as possibly being the source of their depression, but your mood is very definitely related to the food you eat. Avoid sugars and alcohol and all types of refined food products. Eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and a healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
If you’re overweight, it is critical that you get your weight down to the proper range. A body that is neglected and not taken care of will affect your mood and can exacerbate depression. Develop proper eating habits and stick to it– make it a lifestyle change.
Social interaction as a natural treatment for depression
Many people find that social interaction will help to improve their mood. When one is depressed, the natural inclination is often to stay alone. But it is important to fight this urge and reach out to friends and family. Try to make contact with someone that you feel comfortable discussing your depression with and interact with their social group. For many people this helps their depression.
Following routine with your sleeping patterns
Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Get into a routine where you do certain things at the same time on everyday. This often helps to improve mood. Sleep when it is dark outside and not during the daytime. If you’re a person who likes to sleep all day and stay up all night, you are fighting the natural sleeping pattern that is built into your brain. Natural sunlight helps to improve mood so we should attempt to be out and about during the daytime and sleep that night.
Depression is often the worst during the winter months when there is less sunlight and people are more housebound. During these times, make a point to get outside during the daytime and expose yourself to some natural sunlight. That simple change often makes a difference in reducing depression.