Depression hurts, but the good news is that there are ways you can handle depression naturally. In this article I am going to offer you three effective methods that I have used to help me overcome my own battles with depression.
The more natural techniques that you can utilize, the less you will have to depend on anti-depressants and medications and the better you will feel! Alright, now let’s get started.
1. Pay Attention to Your Body
Your body is connected to your mind. I’m sure you’ve heard this saying before, but what does it really mean? If you fully understand it this is a pretty powerful concept. When most people think of depression they usually tend to think it’s only a problem of the mind. That’s completely false.
Think about how you physically feel when you’re in a depressed state. Heavy, right? You feel constricted, usually in your chest. You might even feel pain throughout your entire body.
Now, why does your body feel this way?
Well, it’s because it’s connected with your mind! If your mind is in a state of pain, your body will be too.This is an obvious real life example that proves just how true this concept is. In fact, there is evidence that high levels of stress (that originate in your mind) can actually contribute to causing cancer.
If the state of your mind can affect the state of your body (since they are connected) you can actually influence your mind with the state of your body. They are constantly communicating and responding to each other’s messages. Now that we are aware of this powerful concept we can use it to our advantage.
Start taking care of your body.
The food you eat, how physically active you are, and how much sleep you get are all extremely important factors that influence your mood significantly. I cannot stress how important it is for you to invest in living a healthy lifestyle.
Get 7-8 Hours of Sleep Every Night
We all know where the term “cranky” comes from, and we’ve all been there. You know what it’s like to wake up bleary eyed, staring at the rising sun like it’s a bad omen. Life becomes a bad dream, and getting through the day is like a chore.
The amount of sleep you are functioning on each day has a powerful affect on your mood.
Don’t get sucked into the sleep deprivation trap. Ensure that you are getting at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night. Allow your body to get the rest it needs to handle the day ahead of you.
Related: 7 Ways on How To Sleep Better
Replace Junk Foods With Whole, Nutritious Foods
Foods can affect your mood as well. A lot. If you are eating tons of processed junk food, it is spiking your blood sugar levels which leads to a blood sugar crash, low energy levels, and feelings of irritability. Foods like white bread, pasta, sugary treats, and potato chips all wreak havoc on your body and it will show up in your overall mood.
I recommend eating a whole foods diet that will nourish you rather than pollute you and give you stable energy levels so that you can avoid mood swings.
Become Physically Active
Exercise has actually been scientifically proven to boost your mood and it is one of the most potent ways to fight depression. It doesn’t just work in the short-term aspect by boosting your endorphins; researchers are finding that physical activity could actually work better than anti-depressants. That’s right, one half an hour workout can equate to better results versus popping a Prozac.
If you haven’t already, start an exercise routine. If you were only to implement one suggestion from this entire article I would advise you to pick this one. I personally found that workout DVD’s were the best way for me to incorporate an exercise routine into my life. Find something that works for you. The point is that you pick something that you will actually stick to in the long run.
It Is O.K. To Be Sad
Do not associate your depression with who you are as a person. What you feel does not define you. Your feelings are in a constant flow of change–like the changing of the seasons, or the transitions from day to night. They are not you. I like to think of my emotions as visitors.
I understand why you want to avoid feeling depressed. It is painful, and it doesn’t lead to any positive outcomes in your life. However, don’t demonize your sad feelings. Don’t percieve them as “wrong”. They aren’t wrong. They are a part of living, and every single one of us has felt sad at some point. It is completely normal, and you aren’t any less of a person because you are depressed.
If you never felt the sad, you would never feel the happy either. Remember this. Life is a balance, and feeling sad is necessary. Once you shift your perspective of what it means to be sad you might gain an appreciation for it. Your dark moments might not be as painful, because you will understand that feeling sad is a part of the beauty of living.
Just Do Something
Sometimes, just doing something will snap you out of your slump. As I’ve mentioned about the mind body connection when you start engaging your body you are sending your mind a message to engage as well.
Just do something. It can be something easy, like going for a walk outside.
Or better yet going for a walk and listening to a motivational audio book. Maybe go for coffee with a friend, or cook yourself that gourmet meal recipe you’ve always wanted to try out. What I like to do is stick to my daily habits that will help me to achieve my long-term goals. Like working out, eating healthy, and writing.
It’s actually quite painful to force yourself to do something that you just aren’t in the mood to do. Especially the things that require a lot of effort like exercise or writing. However, once you’ve done it you instantly feel amazing about yourself.
You feel like a stronger person. You feel empowered because you conquered that part of yourself that told you to do nothing. Don’t listen to that side of yourself, listen to the part of you that wants to grow, dream, and take action. That is the side that will transform you into the best version of yourself, lead you away from depression and on the path to joy.
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I hope that these suggestions will help you to battle your depression naturally. Remember, you are not alone. Do not feel ashamed to seek professional help if you feel it has gotten to that point. It could be the best choice you ever make.
Is there anything that you have found that has helped ease your depression? If so, share your suggestions with us and leave a comment below.