Posted by Be You Counseling on April 22, 2019
Depression is a mental health condition that can impact any age, gender, or ethnicity. In fact, nearly 20 million Americans will struggle with depression this year alone.
However, many of these same people never actually seek treatment. Depression, like various other conditions, can be treated successfully in several different ways.
More and more people have turned away from prescription medications, relying on holistic methods to help them fight depression. And the benefits of these methods stretch far and wide.
Remember, though, it’s important to discuss any type of depression treatment with your healthcare professional first.
With that said, here are a few ways to treat depression naturally.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Research suggests that a low intake of omega-3s contributes to depression. Needed for normal brain function, your body can’t produce omega-3 fatty acids. Rather, you get them from your diet.
Increasing these essential nutrients has shown to decrease the impact of depression.
Some of the more popular foods containing omega-3s include salmon and sardines. You can also take fish oil or cod liver oil to help boost your intake.
One of the least expensive and yet most effective ways to decrease depression is simply to exercise. Even the 5-minute run is becoming increasingly popular because of its proven impact on one’s overall health.
Furthermore, exercise aids in the battle against depression by releasing mood-boosting chemicals. Especially during aerobic exercises, such as running or dancing, the positive impact is unrivaled.
To get started, find a physical activity that you actually enjoy, which will make it easier to establish exercise as a habit. No need to force a jog on yourself if you strongly dislike jogging. Exercise should bring you joy in addition to offering health benefits.
Reduce Sugar and Caffeine
Sugar and caffeine are “easy come easy go.” You can chug them both in a soft drink, for example. It provides a quick pick-me-up but then leaves you feeling let down once the “high” wears off.
Often, this plummet worsens mood swing, insomnia, and depression. By removing sugar and caffeine or reducing your intake, you help your own body fight depression. Plus, cutting them will help you get rid of wrinkles, too!
Even though a large part of the population doesn’t get enough magnesium, most people are unaware that they are magnesium deficient. And those dealing with depression are the most affected by the deficiency.
Almonds, cashews, and dark chocolate are among the most common ways to increase your intake of magnesium.
Plus, you can even make your own magnesium oil to spray on your skin. Just make sure you purchase magnesium chloride flakes as your body absorbs this type the best.
Exposure to sunlight has an impressively positive impact on your mental health. Unfortunately, during the winter months, this may be difficult to accomplish because the days are colder and shorter. Often, spending time outside simply isn’t on the agenda.
Yet, light therapy can have a profound effect on your mood and overall well-being. Plus, it helps to calibrate your body’s natural circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle).
To get the most from light therapy, aim for spending 15 minutes per day in natural sunlight. When the sun hides or sets early, try a lightbox. But, increase your daily dose to around 20 or 30 minutes.
Both meditation and mindfulness have grown in popularity as a cure for depression (among other conditions) over the past several years. Unsurprisingly, the two go hand in hand.
Mindful meditation is often beneficial because it allows dark thoughts to pass through your mind when you would normally try to reject them. This practice offers a great deal of acceptance and validation, empowering you to overcome depressed feeling.
Establishing a meditative habit doesn’t have to be spooky or “out there.” It’s simply a matter of finding a quiet place in which to dedicate a few moments of mental focus.
Often, depression can make you feel too overwhelmed to start one of these daily habits. That’s where a counselor/therapist can step in to offer support.
If you’re ready to address the depression in your life, schedule a free consultation so we can get to the bottom of what is causing your depressed feelings. You can also visit my depression counseling page for more information. I’d like to help you live life to the fullest!