Natural Ways to Help with Depression

Depression can be debilitating and can have a severe impact on your work and life.  Learning natural ways that can help with depresssion will give you some tools to help you cope without adverse consequences if you’re on medication.

I’m not in any way suggesting that someone suffering from severe anxiety or depression can be cured by taking a herbal supplement or performing exercises or yoga.  You should not treat yourself for severe depression any more than you should try to remove your own gallbladder.
That being said, a person who feels a little down should not have to run to the doctor and get tranquilizers and anti-depressants.  There are certain things that you can do to stave off both depression and anxiety on your own.

Routine

Establish a routine of some sort for yourself.   Remember that anxiety comes from the fear of the unknown and loss of control and depression has its roots in low self esteem.  A routine is a safe harbor in an unsafe world.  A routine, even if it is as simple as getting yourself organised for the day or clearing your desk in the evening, gives you some sense of security in your life.  You know that no matter how bad things get, you will still have that routine to rely upon.

Exercise

Exercise not only helps you physically, but also mentally.   Exercise naturally raises your serotonin levels and gives you an energy boost as well.  When you are depressed, however, the toughest thing to do is to exercise.  It will work to help with your depression if you can just get into the habit.
Even if you just manage to take a walk or do some stretches, get yourself in to an exercise routine.
Exercise not only helps with depression, but anxiety as well. Performing exercise puts you in control of your environment, which can alleviate anxiety.  Remember that lack of control makes us feel anxious so you can gain some control in your life in a positive manner if you exercise.
exercise classExercise will boost your energy levels, your metabolism and your immune system. On top of that, it will help you get into good physical shape.  Most people who are depressed care very little about their physical appearance.  Exercise will help get you into shape and give you something to strive for.

If you are experiencing anxiety or depression, start jogging or exercising before you reach for pills.  Go for a walk with a colleague or go to the gym during your lunch break.

Get back to Nature

The best thing anyone can do for their mood and overall health is to get back to nature. Find a park near your home or workplace. Try to get outside at least once a day for just 20 to 30 minutes.  If you can, walk barefoot on the grass.  Apparently there are many health benefits to walking barefoot so aside from relieving stress and giving you a sense of peace from being out in nature, you will also be giving your health a boost by reducing the risk of cancer, improving cardiovascular health, and preventing diabetes. Walking will also improve blood oxygenation and circulation.

Yoga and Meditation

meditating in parkYoga is an ancient Eastern art that uses body poses to give inner peace.  Meditation is also practiced in Yoga.  Your local gym probably offers lunchtime yoga classes or you can do it by yourself at home.
Meditation can be practiced anywhere.  You just need about five minutes of peace and quiet and a chance to clear your mind.  You can also use a guided meditation if your mind is racing.

 

Eat A Healthy Diet

People who suffer from depression and anxiety may have a deficiency in vitamins.  You should eat a healthy diet that is rich in B vitamins (such as dark coloured vegetables and fruits) but also Omega 3 Fatty Acids which is found in fish. Taking a multivitamin to make sure that you are getting all of the nutrients that you need may also help.  You may notice a change in your moods right away if you take a multi vitamin.  Make sure that the vitamin that you take contains Omega 3 Fatty Acids.

It’s a good idea to ask your doctor to do a blood test to test for vitamin levels. Vitamins like B12, B3, and B6 can be missing from your diet. In addition, many people who suffer from depression have vitamin D deficiencies.

Eating a healthy diet is good for anyone.  Staying away from simple carbohydrates will not only benefit you mentally, but physically as well.  This is not to say that you cannot have ice cream or sweets once in a while.  Actually, dark chocolate is beneficial to your health and can be a mood enhancer.  But you should limit your portions of these foods and make sure that you get a healthy allotment of the foods that are beneficial to your health.

Drink Water

Skip the soda and alcohol and drink plenty of water.  You should also limit your caffeine intake.  Have your morning coffee or tea, but switch to water during the day.  Drinking water will not only help you maintain a healthy weight, but it will also boost your metabolism. Water is a natural energizer.  While some say drinking eight glasses of water a day for health is a myth, most doctors will agree that water is very beneficial to your health.

Drinking water will also flush out your system and keep your immune system working properly.  You will notice that you will fight off colds easier by drinking more water.  Instead of sweet drinks, which are really only liquid candy and offer no nutritional value whatsoever, drink water.

Don’t Smoke

Although some people who are anxious say that they smoke to “calm their nerves,” smoking actually increases your blood pressure and constricts your blood vessels.  Smoking will make you wired, just like caffeine, so it hardly “calms you down.”  In fact, you might find yourself significantly more relaxed after you have kicked the habit.

Socialize

Human beings are social animals.  We all need human contact.  It is probably no coincidence that the number of people with anxiety and depression has risen so steadily as we have become more insular. Now, with the internet, many people are working from home and not interacting with other human beings at all.  While the idea of going to work in your living room in your pajamas may be appealing, it can also be depressing if you never get a chance to meet or talk to other people.

If you do spend a lot of time working on your own, make the effort to chat to colleagues and friends.  Talking about non-work activities is even better.

Get Busy

Get involved in a new project that interests you.  This will be good for you and your career.  This will help you deal with your anxiety and also get something done at the same time.  Being active is the best way to treat anxiety and depression.  You may have to force yourself to do this, but once you start, you will notice a difference.  Chances are that you will start concentrating less on your anxiety and depression and more on your project.  And when you are finished, you will feel good about yourself.  If you do not know what to do or want to start with something small and very manageable, clean your desk.

Depression has its roots in low self esteem. In order to build up your self esteem, try the tips outlined in this article.  You can also use affirmations on a daily basis.  Try to banish negative thoughts from your mind and start looking at things in a positive light.   Also take a look at Can Exercise Help with Depression?

All of the ideas in this article are safe to do even if you are using medication.  You should consult with your doctor before starting a strenuous exercise program, however.  These ideas are all tried and true ways that you can treat your own depression.  If you get into the habit of using all of them, chances are that you will be able to ease your depression and anxiety without drugs.

 

The information in this article is for general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical, health, nutritional or other advice. You should obtain professional advice from a medical, health or other practitioner in relation to your personal circumstances.

6 thoughts on “Natural Ways to Help with Depression

  • 8 April 2020 at 2:32 pm
    Permalink

    Hello Jenny, depression is a very serious situation or condition and its not safe being depressed. A lot of reasons could lead to this state but regardless of what it could be one should try as much as possible to get out of it. For so many people, socializing has been really helpful and in such cases, it’s best to be around people that make you feel safe and happy not the other way. Exercising and mediation, however, works well with the mental state of an individual and i trust it will do a lot to help also. 

    Reply
    • 8 April 2020 at 2:39 pm
      Permalink

      Hello Benson, you are correct.  Exercise and meditation are very helpful – see our article Can Exercise Help with Depression?  There are some exercises that are especially beneficial for depression, but I think any exercise is better than none.

      Reply
  • 10 April 2020 at 3:36 pm
    Permalink

    Good post here. Depression is very dangerous and the only option against it is to truly combat it. However! Taking a natural approach to it is the best possible means. The place of exercise in fighting depression cannot be underrated as it is like the major approach to truly wading it off. Also, eating a healthy diet is integral too. Thank you

    Reply
  • 13 April 2020 at 7:13 pm
    Permalink

    Having had at least two (who knows if there have been more) bouts of depression, I can attest to all of your advice being spot on. I also think that it’s all to easy to get put on prescription drugs and that’s not always the best solution. There can be side effects and they’re not always pleasant.

    To say that I did ‘all of the above’ wouldn’t be too far from the truth. Having a routine was very important to me. I needed a structure to my days and had to make sure that there were no times when I had nothing to do. If that happened, the chances were that I would retreat inwards and start to feel down.

    Before I started exercising at home, I would go for long walks. This helped get through the mornings. This would be followed by having a bath (This is also a mood enhancer) which bought me to lunchtime. I was constantly looking for ways to fill up my days. My ‘project’ was decluttering the house and selling anything that was no longer needed. It was a way of being mindful and staying outside of my head.

    It is important to continue doing the things you have recommended, even when you are starting to feel better about yourself. That way you limit the possibilites of regressing, which can happen very quickly if you don’t keep on top of it.

    Reply
    • 13 April 2020 at 7:37 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you for sharing – this will help others too. I’m glad you know how to help yourself.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *