Depression is much more than just a case of the blues or a long-lasting bad mood. This medical condition, which results from differences in brain and body chemistry, can kill. More than half of suicide victims suffered from depression, and depression is the second-leading cause of disability worldwide. If you're struggling with depression, medication can help you move forward with your life. For some depression sufferers, though, medication doesn't work or doesn't yield results sufficiently quickly. If you need some additional help, check out these proven natural depression remedies.
1. Controlling your diet
Some depression sufferers swear by specific diets, so feel free to experiment with various options. The most important solution, though, is eating regular, healthy meals. Depression can sap you of your energy to prepare food, encourage you to miss that much-needed morning dose of coffee, or tempt you to binge eat. Resist the temptation and your body will be healthier, leading to a substantially healthier mind as well.
Meditation can help you learn to more effectively control your negative thoughts, which play a key role in depression. Try giving it a shot for 20 minutes each day. There's no single “right” way to meditate. Some people opt to simply count their breaths. Others repeat mantras or listen to soothing music. Experiment with various approaches to find one that works with your personality and lifestyle.
A handful of studies have found that exercise may be just as effective as popular antidepressants. Exercise releases chemicals that can boost your mood. Over time, though, it can also boost self-esteem, give you a healthier and leaner body, and improve your energy – all of which adds up to a recipe for depression relief.
Though depression may feel like it comes out of nowhere, it rarely does. Therapy gives you the chance to explore why you're depressed in a safe and supportive environment. Your therapist will work with you to uncover the ways your thoughts and actions worsen your depression, help you implement effective coping strategies, and give you the support you need to steadily pull yourself free of depression's grip.
5. New hobbies and skills
One of the cruelest ironies of life with depression is that depression removes your interest in previously beloved activities, thereby making you even more depressed. Sometimes forcing yourself to pursue these activities – or even a new hobby – is all you need to break free. Commit to spending an hour each day on a hobby or skill you once enjoyed. It may be tedious at first, but this strategy can help you break free. And even if it doesn't, it's often effective at preventing your depression from worsening.