Thursday 18 November 2021

Seven Natural Ways to Kick Depression

 Depression is one of the most frequently reported psychological complaints, yet medical professionals actually understand very little about what causes depression. Most psychologists describe depression in terms of symptoms rather than sources. Depression can be caused by circumstances, environment, faulty thinking patterns and chemicals in the brain; specifically neurotransmitters that help the nerve cells communicate.

In many cases, depression is probably caused by some combination of these factors rather than one specific thing. While there are pharmacological ways of addressing depression, here are seven natural ways that may provide relief.


This may not be what you want to hear, but by far the best (and cheapest) natural remedy for depression is exercise. Exercise, particularly hard exercise, triggers the release of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are your body’s natural mood enhancers and pain killers. If you are sedentary, ramp up slowly.

In a study of depressed people who either exercised or took antidepressants, both were equally effective at three months and exercise worked better at 10 months. People who exercise a lot have a built-in safeguard against depression. “Runners’ high” is not an urban legend; it’s biochemistry 101.

Kick the Sugar

Kick the sugar, especially candy, cakes, baked goods and heavily processed foods. Sugar plays havoc with the metabolism. Since sugar is the brain’s main food, eating too much sugar can really put your brain into a spin. Don’t think that eating that piece of cheesecake will make you feel better. It will do the opposite.

Build a Routine

Contrary to popular belief, depression is more likely when you have too little to do and get adrift than when have a consistent routine. Get a regular schedule going for chores. Force yourself to tackle things in a systematic way.

Get Some Rest

Go to bed and wake up at around the same time every day, even weekends and holidays. If you have trouble sleeping, try to develop some bedtime rituals (taking a warm bath, reading, putting on lotion) and sleep in a cool, dark room with no television or electronic distractions. Melatonin is a good natural sleep aid to be used occasionally (you can get it at a health food store).

Take on a New Responsibility

Depression makes us want to withdraw and disappear from life, but that just feeds the depression. Try to tackle some new project at home, volunteer to help at your church or charity, get started on your family tree, learn Chinese, or take an adult ballet class. Make a commitment that gets you doing something.

Set Small Goals

Goal-setting is more of an art than most people realize. You want goals that are small enough to be readily achievable but large enough so that they are also meaningful.

Small goals work best when they drive you toward a major goal. For instance, if you want to eat healthier, your goals might be to try some new recipes, to incorporate some new foods, and maybe to lose 5 pounds. Keep building in that same direction. You can also set goals to get you moving (there are people who started out walking 10 minutes a day who goal-set their way to run a marathon!).

Small goals can also help you achieve some creative objective (such as writing a novel or learning how to quilt). Always be working toward at least one goal. Some highly successful people are really just skillful goal-setters who found out how far this little method can take them!

Try to Have Fun

If you are deep in depression, this suggestion sounds ridiculous because nothing seems fun to you. Even if that’s where you are, try to find some things that you might, just might, enjoy. If you can’t think of anything, go back to things you used to enjoy.

Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling: movies, pedicures, concerts, spa visits, basketball games, sewing, jet-skiing, lunch with friends, off-road biking, listening to music, swimming, shopping, building a table, planting herbs and vegetables, helping a neighbor fix something, baby-sitting, writing poetry, fishing, calling a long-lost friend, barbecuing, dancing or painting.

Pick something and try it. Pretend that you’re having fun, even if you’re not. And if it does not work, try something else. The point is that if you can find some activity you enjoy, you can leverage it to help you get out of your depression.

Jo Ann LeQuang is a professional writer specializing in medical topics and a Christ-follower who blogs at AWretchLike.Me.

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