Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and a loss of interest. Via mayoclinic.org
Severe depression is considered a medical emergency. It should always be treated by a doctor. If you want to know how to overcome depression naturally, then early intervention is the key to finding strength.
These methods will help you be able to fight off the darkness that might be trying to come over you so that you can continue enjoying living life every day.
Sometimes depression occurs because of the circumstances of life. At other times, imbalances within the mind can cause depression.
Always consult a doctor if you are unsure about the condition of your mental health. If you want to take some potential treatment options into your own hands, however, these natural methods have also been proven to be effective in the battle against this illness.
#1. Get into a routine
When depression strikes, it tends to strip away all of the structure that someone has built up in their life. This lack of structure disrupts the circadian rhythms of the body and sets up a foundation for depression to dig in some roots.
You won’t be able to get into your full routine the next morning, but a slow, gentle emphasis of getting into some kind of routine will get you back on track.
How can you know if depression might be lingering? Days tend to mesh into one another when depression is present. If you’re struggling to remember what day it is, then create a light schedule to start following every day.
This one small effort can pay off with some big results.
#2. Find a way to fit in some exercise
Exercise helps combat depression because it forces the body to create higher levels of endorphins. Any type of exercise helps and may even provide a shield against severe depression.
When people exercise, the brain actually wires itself differently. This is why stress is reduced and it’s why depression can be resolved naturally.
How much exercise should be done every day to combat depression? It doesn’t have to be anything serious. A simple 15 minute walk around the block can be enough to get the mind to start wiring itself in a different way.
If you can’t walk outside for some reason, consider setting up a walking track within your home.
Even if you just walk laps around the kitchen while holding a tablet to watch a favorite show, you’ll be working to stop depression at the same time.
#3. Set a goal that is meaningful
Many times depression will begin to become a problem because people aren’t able to meet any goals they have over a prolonged period of time. Setting a meaningful goal doesn’t require world peace or the ability to lose 100 pounds.
Something simple, like remembering to brush your teeth 3x per day instead of 2x per day can be the small daily goal that can lead to other goals.
When wanting to know how to fight depression naturally, it is important to start with some very small goals. Something as simple as waking up with the alarm every morning or only hitting the snooze button once could be a goal.
Remembering to eat breakfast could be a goal as well.
When you begin to feel depression starting to fade, then you can start setting larger goals. Just don’t set goals that are difficult to reach because the depression could relapse under those conditions.
#4. Brainwave entrainment products can give the mind a tune up
One of the unique aspects about brainwave entrainment is that it will actually tune the mind.
If you’ve ever heard two guitars that were out of tune, then the soundwaves between the two notes get picked up by the ear and the sounds tend to wobble, right?
When brainwave entrainment is played, the mind can actually tune into the frequencies in the sounds and begin to right itself.
The key to using a good brainwaive entrainment product is to match up the needs you have with the health of the mind.
If you’re struggling to sleep and this is leading toward a depressive state, then a brainwave entrainment product that focuses on deeper sleep makes sense.
With dozens of programs available from companies like iAwake Technologies, it is easy and affordable to design a custom program that will help to put depression into remission naturally.
Brainwave Entrainment and Depression – Check These Programs
#5. Take a close look at your diet
There might be a lot of “super foods” that are being eaten today, but it is important to know that there isn’t one magical food that can eliminate depression naturally. The goal here is to examine a personal diet and eliminate problematic foods.
Eating healthy foods helps to support the other mechanisms that are being used to beat depression naturally. It’s a small way that someone can prove to themselves that they are in control of their bodies.
If they aren’t in your diet right now, consider adding tuna, salmon, avocado, kale, and spinach. The omega-3s and folic acid in these foods are thought to ease the symptoms of depression.
#6. Sleep is very important to combating depression
If you’re not getting enough sleep at night, then you’re setting yourself up for the development of depression. Once depression starts to set in, it becomes even more difficult to get enough sleep every night.
That creates a negative cycle which reinforces the depression and causes it to get worse.
Everyone needs a different amount of sleep every night. Most people, however, need 6-8 hours of beneficial rest every night. Some may require a little less or a little more.
What can you do to start getting more rest right now? Establishing a relaxation routine at night and then a wake-up routine during the day helps a lot.
Give yourself 30 minutes to wind down from the day in a quiet environment without a smartphone, tablet, computer, or TV on. When you wake up, have specific things you do to get ready for the day.
Many times the midday habits that people have is what robs them of their sleep. Try not to nap for more than 30 minutes if you are feeling tired.
Avoid having any caffeine after lunch because it can stay in the body for up to 10 hours. If you have worries that keep you awake, then do your best to resolve them or create a plan to resolve them.
#7. Institute a plan to start meditating for a few minutes every day
Meditation is one of the easiest ways to reset the mind. There isn’t a perfect way to meditate.
All you’ve got to do is find some quiet time, get into a quiet place, and take a few deep breaths. You’ll feel the tension begin to come out of your neck and shoulders. Sometimes even a tingling feeling on the top of your head will begin.
That’s all good stuff. It means that your body is relaxing and the mind is starting to reset itself. Let the process continue as long as your schedule will allow.
If you can fit in 20 minute meditation sessions 2x per day, then you can double down on the benefits. It only takes 4 regular days of meditation to create physical and mental benefits.
Everyone can meditate. There are no religious, physical, or ethical barriers to meditation. It’s allowed by every major religion. The only roadblocks that are typically in the way of meditation are the ones that we create on our own.
#8. Practice emotional freedom techniques to find release
EFT combines practices from acupuncture, kinesiology, and clinical psychology to create a system of stimulation that can help the mind separate fact from fiction.
When the mind starts looking at life a little differently and depression is the result, a separation begins to form between the mind and the body. As depression becomes more severe, so does the gap between the mind and the body.
EFT brings yourself back to you by focusing on the meridian points of the body. By tapping or pressing down on them and using wordplay to distract the mind from its developed routines, it can begin to reset itself back toward normal functioning.
Have you ever noticed that negative experiences on a computer tend to create an unstable system? If your word processing program crashes or your browser refuses to load a website, the computer starts moving slower.
More program crashes start to happen. The only way to fix the problem is to restart the system.
The same is true with the mind. Sometimes it needs to be restarted too. EFT is an easy way to do that.
As an added benefit, emotional freedom techniques can help to relieve chronic pain, supply more energy, and stabilize difficult emotions.
#9. Do something that is important for someone else
When depression begins to set in, it becomes easy to withdraw from every component of life. Not only does this mean avoiding or not caring about work responsibilities, but it can even mean avoiding daily living activities like showering, brushing teeth, or even eating.
Make a conscious effort to choose to do something that is important for someone else to start beating depression back. It doesn’t have to be a task that requires a week’s worth of work.
You don’t have to volunteer for a charity. All you need to do is stay involved in some way.
Having something important to do and serving others gives a certain meaning to life that really helps with depression.
If your spouse usually washes the dishes, then take on the job yourself as a surprise. Mow a neighbor’s lawn and get a double benefit from the exercise.
Even just walking around with a couple bucks in your pocket with the intent of giving it to someone in need can be enough to start knocking down the walls of depression.
#10. Challenge yourself
Negative thinking will take over if we allow it to do so. It can provide depression the fuel it needs to continue expanding. Instead of letting this happen without interference, make a conscious effort to challenge the negative thoughts.
There are a few ways that you can do this.
- Use logic. Most of the work to defeat depression naturally is mental in nature. By logically thinking about any situation or thought, the negative components of it can be defeated. Don’t allow yourself to leap to the worst possible thing that could happen. Look for the most logical outcome instead.
- Press out the thought. Have you ever pounded out a chicken breast to make it very flat? You take a hammer to it and smash it down. You can do the same thing to negative thoughts. Once they’ve been pressed down enough, they become a lot easier to handle.
- Weigh the opposite. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If you can’t stop yourself from looking at the worst case scenario, then look for the best case scenario at the same time. The two will balance each other out and you’ll feel a little more equalized in life.
This takes some practice to get it perfect. There may be times when you feel like the most worthless person on the planet when you take on this option to defeat depression naturally. Give it enough time and you’ll find it can also be highly successful.
#11. Consider using depression supplements
If dietary changes are helping to get enough folic acid, omega-3s, and other potentially beneficial items into your body, then consider using supplements to help fight off the depression.
If you’re taking medication right now, then check with your doctor first because some supplements can change how much medication the body is able to absorb.
Do not take depression supplements with grapefruit juice.
There isn’t a guarantee that taking supplements will work. Some supplements can also be quite expensive. Weigh the pros and cons and if the benefits outweigh the negatives and your budget can afford it and you’ve got your doctor’s permission, then go for it.
#12. Take time to do at least one thing that is new every day
Depression makes people feel like they don’t deserve to do anything different. You won’t feel like doing anything different either. You’ll have to force yourself to get up and out of the house, even in the beginning stages of this disorder.
The good news is that you don’t have to do something crazy or unnatural to disrupt the foundation that depression is trying to build within the mind.
Something as simple as going out to sit on a park bench for 15 minutes to enjoy the weather can be enough of a change to stop depression dead in its tracks.
You can also take advantage of this at home. If you usually cook on the stovetop, then consider going outside for awhile and grill a meal instead.
Even just sitting out on the front porch steps for a few minutes and letting the breeze brush over you can change your entire perspective.
Why does this work? When someone challenges themselves to do something new, the brain creates higher levels of dopamine.
Dopamine is associated with learning, fun, and pleasure. When enough of it builds up, the depression will have no place to be within the mind.
This means the more you can challenge yourself every day, the better defense you’ll have against depression.
#13. Go do something just for fun
There are a lot of things that don’t feel very fun any more when depression sets in for the long haul. Not having fun is actually a common symptom of the disorder being present.
What happens, however, is that many people find that the idea of doing something fun doesn’t have the same value of anticipation as it once did.
Think about it like this. If you were 7 years old and your parents said they were paying for a trip to Disneyland, you probably wouldn’t sleep for 3 full days before the trip.
At the age of 35, having your parents say that they’ll send you to Disneyland just doesn’t have the same meaning, does it?
Going to have fun while dealing with depression will feel like a chore. You probably won’t want to do anything. Sometimes you even need to relearn how to have fun.
Yet the more you’re able to do some of the things you love, the better you are going to feel. Go out with your friends. Watch a favorite movie. Take a hike and bring your camera. Get some paint supplies or write about how you’re feeling.
Having fun is easily one of the best ways to beat depression.
There is no shortcut in knowing how to overcome depression naturally. It will take some ambition and effort to make these options become a reality.
Sometimes you may even fail. Pick yourself off, brush off the dirt, and try again.
Severe depression needs to be addressed by a doctor, but if you have just started to feel the fingers of darkness start to grip you, put these methods to work immediately.
It might just help you be able to keep taking steps on your preferred path of life.