300 million people across the globe deal with depression. Chances are, there are many more that suffer from this illness given rampant under-reporting.
Depression might seem like something that’s so common that it’s not worth worrying about. The truth is though that it’s one of the leading reasons as to why people choose to take their lives on an annual basis, hence its seriousness.
If you struggle with being depressed, don’t wait to be proactive in getting better. Take small steps to start improving your state and your life now.
Not sure which steps to take?
Below, we touch on a handful of natural remedies that have proven effective in conquering depression.
1. Force Yourself to Smile
When you’re depressed, the last thing that you want to do is smile. What a lot of people don’t know though is that brains can take cues from the physical body.
If you’re frowning all the time, your brain will think that it’s time to be sad and will lower your emotional state. If you force yourself to smile, your brain will be more inclined to circulate endorphins through your body which are synonymous with positivity and happiness.
2. Go Outside, Even If You Don’t Feel Like It
Being outdoors, especially when the weather is good, is a great natural cure for depression. When people are depressed though, few feel like leaving their homes.
This is another case where it’s best to do everything in your power to force your body out of its comfort zone. If you can muster up enough energy to get outside, you might find that after being outdoors for a few minutes, you’ll start to feel better.
There’s light outside, fresh air and socialization opportunities. Three things that are important to anyone that’s focused on conquering depression.
3. Eat Healthy Foods
We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” If you’re spending your days throwing back fatty foods, you’re not only going to start to look bad but your body is going to feel bad. When your body starts to feel bad because of what you’ve eaten, like we mentioned in our first point, your brain will follow suit and lead you towards feeling emotionally crushed.
Light, healthy foods like salads, salmon, garbanzo beans, fruits and the-like can give your body a serious energy boost which will help keep you productive and your brain happy.
4. Talk to Friends and Family
Talking to your loved ones about what you’re going through is an easy and effective way to start to discharge some of the emotions that are holding you back in life. When we keep things to ourselves, we often find that our problems grow in our heads to be much bigger than they are in reality.
Letting people know your struggles not only gives you a way to vent which is physically rewarding but it also leads to opportunities to get perspective from 3rd parties which can be helpful in allowing you to look at your problems through a unique light.
5. Get a Therapist
While talking to friends and family is great, sometimes you need a professional’s help to really get the results that you’re looking for.
Therapists are trained in helping their patients navigate complex emotional issues with the help of proven exercises and in some cases, medication. If you’re looking for holistic solutions to conquering depression, you’ll want to lean on medication as a last resort and really do what you can to get the most out of talk therapy.
It’s very likely that your insurance provider pays for or subsidizes mental health counseling so review your options to see what you’re entitled to.
6. Ensure You’re Getting Enough Sun
If you find that you’re more depressed during the fall and winter than you are during the spring and summer, a lack of sunlight might be what’s to blame for your depressive episodes.
An easy solution to this is to partake in what’s often considered to be the best holistic medicine, exercise.
Getting outside and running, playing sports or doing other activities that get you sweating can crush depressed feelings and get you on your way to feeling your best.
If lack of sunlight is an issue in your area, consider investing in a Vitamin-D lamp.
Do you find yourself ruminating on negative experiences? After you ruminate, do you feel like your depression is at its worst?
If any of that sounds like you, a good strategy for limiting ruminating behaviors is to practice mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation practices train your brain to stay focused on the now as opposed to everything else that’s going on in your life.
There are free guided meditations online that are well worth looking into. Here’s a great one to get started with.
8. Create Goals
When you’re depressed, you’re probably finding that you’re not being very productive. When you’re not being productive, you’re likely to beat yourself up and become more depressed.
Break out of that vicious cycle by thinking about what you want out of life, making micro-goals to move towards the existence of your dreams and start tackling tasks little by little.
Doing just 1 thing every week to move you towards your goals can make a world of difference in your life outcomes.
Wrapping Up Conquering Depression the Natural Way
While medication is a helpful resource when conquering depression, we feel that you should first focus your efforts on holistic means of beating your negative feelings and bringing to light more positive ones.
If you’d like additional information on how you can be your best self, consider browsing through more of the health-oriented write-ups on our blog.