Tips for treating depression naturally

21 Apr

Everyone experiences times when they are down in the dumps. Some people plod through them and others refuse to succumb the blues. If you are the type of person that wants to beat bad moods into submission and wants to do it without the use of chemicals there are several things you can do to lift your mood and get back on top of the world.

The first tip that many people overlook is to maintain a good diet – especially when it comes to eating breakfast. The old saying is true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating something like oatmeal with honey or cinnamon is good for you, tastes good, and it helps keep your blood sugar up which makes it easier to stay in a good mood. The best thing is that natural sugar doesn’t come with the same crash often experienced with processed sugars or artificial sweeteners.

Make exercising a part of your morning routine. Sure it may seem like a hellish undertaking the first week to get up and take a quick 15 minute walk, but you can stretch, do some sit ups, or any simple exercise that gets the blood moving. When you up your energy by exercising you release endorphins which are mother natures natural anti-depressants.

Dr. Charles Passler who is a nutritionist out of New York City is a big advocate of swapping out that morning coffee for tea. While many people would rather face a firing squad than a morning without coffee, a good breakfast and a little exercise as outlined above negates the need for the caffeine boost. Try substituting tea for coffee as your morning beverage – specifically green tea which increases dopamine which in turn serves as a natural mood boost.

Make sure you spend enough time outside everyday whenever possible. Sunlight is all natural and it’s free. Studies have conclusively shown for decades that not getting enough exposure to natural sunlight throws off your sleep patterns and as a side effect your mood as well. Fluorescent lighting is no substitute. If you find it too difficult to get outside because of the weather as many do in the winter, Dr. Amy Weschler suggests buying a light box which helps simulate sunshine and has shown positive results when used at least three times per week in twenty minute sessions. It’s not as good as real sunlight, but if there is no other option it is better than nothing.

Take it easy on the alcohol. It is no secret to anyone that alcohol is a depressant  A drink or two is not going to ruin your mood, and certain types of alcohol do provide positive health benefits in moderation. It is the overdoing it that leads to depression, hangovers, and a lack of energy which will multiply your depressed feelings or create them where there may have previously been none.

Give yourself a break. No matter how busy and chaotic your day may be try to slip away at least once for fifteen minutes and do nothing but focus on deep breathing and positive thoughts. It may seem a little “hippy dippy” to some people but clinical research has shown that when people take a small break during the day they are more refreshed and have a better general outlook. That also means they are usually more productive as well so don’t feel like you’re cheating your employer by taking  little me time.

Depression is a serious condition and for people that are clinically depressed the support and counsel of a trained professional is the best route to go. These tips can help alleviate some of the symptoms of depression in most people but certainly not all. For people suffering from a temporary bout with the blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) these tips have been found the most helpful. If you do get on a regimen of using these tips and experience a positive change do not stop following them! If it works stick with it and the odds are those temporary bouts of the blues will be fewer and farther between.

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