Do you think you might be depressed? The symptoms of depression can include weight changes, insomnia, oversleeping, feelings of sadness and/or remorse, lethargy, anxiety, lack of interest in activities you used to love, very low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts and impaired or deluded thinking. The symptoms you experience will vary depending on the severity of your depression. If you think you are depressed, then you’re not alone. Depression is a common problem, and people deal with it in different ways. Some people ask their doctors for a prescription medication. Other people make the mistake of trying to self-medicate with alcohol or illicit drugs. The common-sense approach is to begin by looking for natural remedies to eliminate depression.
1. Diet & Exercise
Imbalances in your diet can easily cause you to feel depressed. For example, eating a lot of sugary food might initially make you feel happy and robust, but later on you’ll experience an energy slump and a low mood. If you want to feel happier, start by amending your diet. You’ll feel less depressed if your diet contains a lot of fruit, vegetables, lean white meat, oily fish, nuts, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. You may also wish to consider reducing your intake of caffeine, alcohol and refined carbohydrates.
Exercise can help to elevate your mood because it causes the release of neurotransmitters and endorphins in the brain. For best results, go outside and exercise in the fresh air. A brisk walk on a sunny day can lift your mood significantly. Exercising and amending your diet will boost both your physical and mental health. What’s more, you’ll end up with a smoking-hot body. Thus your self-esteem will soar to new heights.
2. Herbs & Supplements
There are many natural herbs and supplements that can help to alleviate depression. In fact, herbs and supplements can be just as effective as prescription medications, but they don’t have the same unpleasant side-effects. Herbs and supplements that can help alleviate depression include St. John’s wort, omega 3 fatty acids, 5HTP, L-tyrosine, melatonin and gingko biloba. It’s a good idea to try different herbs and supplements until you discover what works best for you.
3. Get a Dog
Spending time with a dog can do a great deal to boost a person’s happiness. Whenever you stroke a dog, you release a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin is the same hormone that breastfeeding mothers release. It helps them to bond with their baby. Some people refer to oxytocin as the hormone of love and cuddles. Hence owning a dog can make you feel happier. You’ll also get more exercise if you have to walk a dog.
Meditation can be quite helpful for people who suffer from depression. This is particularly true if you’re also suffering from anxiety and stress. When you meditate it helps you to solve problems, feel spiritual, and learn more about yourself. It also diminishes the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Hence regular meditation may help you feel less stressed and depressed.
5. Talk About It
Counseling sessions can also benefit people who suffer from depression. Talking about your depression with a trained professional can help you to find the underlying cause of the problem. Psychotherapy is often the most effective treatment for depression. However it can take months or even years of sessions to find the cause of your depression, and some people can’t afford it. If you can’t afford psychotherapy sessions, you should at least talk to a trusted friend or family member who is good at listening.
You might also find it useful to go online and look for forums or groups for depression sufferers. Sometimes talking to people who know what you’re going through can make you feel less sad and lonely.