Depression impacts many people at one time or another in life. Symptoms can include loss of hope, persistent feelings of sadness, loss of energy, loss of enjoyment of previously enjoyed activities, and changes in sleep and eating habits. If the case of depression is severe, it may be necessary to consider a pharmaceutical approach, but for milder cases, natural methods are often successful in managing symptoms. Here are 5 natural treatments for combating depression:
1. Eat healthy foods. Choose foods that are as raw and unprocessed as possible, including fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains. If your appetite is suffering as a result of your emotional state, try carrying around healthy snack foods that you can eat small amounts of throughout the day. Jerky and nuts are good choices. If you tend to eat too much in reaction to emotional upset, try setting a time to stop eating in the evening, and be especially careful not to eat while distracted, like when watching television.
2. Take appropriate vitamins and supplements. Your natural health practitioner can advise you as to the ideal supplement cocktail, but many people can benefit from fish oil and a food based multivitamin for a start. Supplements such as L-theanine (for anxiety) and 5 HTP (hydroxytryptophan, a natural antidepressant) can also be beneficial.
3. Exercise regularly according to your doctor's recommendations. Cardiovascular exercise is ideal because the elevation in heart rate over a period of time releases endorphins, and these feel good compounds help boost your mood. In addition, exercise improves overall health and body image.
4. Talk through the problem. A counselor can be a wonderful asset as you sort through your emotions and the situations in your life that lead to depressed feelings. Your friends and family members can also provide a lot of emotional support and positive affirmation to help you anchor in a better place.
5. Do small things for yourself each day. Make a list of small activities and indulgences that you enjoy, pick one to do off your list daily. These activities will nurture you, and it also sends a message to your brain that you are deserving of good things.