Six Depression-Beating Strategies
1. Try Something New: Envision Change
Part of being depressed means lacking the motivation to try new things. MindBodyGreen.com says we need to envision how we’ll feel after the task at hand. Whether we need motivation to simply get up in the morning, or just to get through the day, focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel can be very empowering.
Next, be social.
While prime-time TV can seem like a good friend after a long day, in reality, reaching out to others and surrounding ourselves with others’ company is the second step in overcoming depression naturally. And hey, if human interaction isn’t your thing, consider getting a pet.
“Pets offer an unconditional love that can be very helpful to people with depression,” says Ian Cook, MD, a psychiatrist and director of the Depression Research and Clinic Program at UCLA.
3. Dietary Intervention
It’s been proven over and again that nutrition plays a key role, both in the onset, severity, and duration of depression, including daily mood swings. More than 20 naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and amino acids directly contribute to the natural synthesis of necessary “feel good” chemicals in the brain, like serotonin.
Studies show most people in North America are deficient in one or more of the required nutrients, which means our brains can’t produce the necessary chemicals to feel good.
Recognized authority on the effects of micronutrition on mental health, Hardy Nutritionals and its founders have been developing highly concentrated natural mood disorder supplements for over 20 years. Their flagship supplement, Daily Essential Nutrients, has been repeatedly studied at universities (like Harvard) and further proves the link between proper nutrition and mental health.
4. Physical Exertion
They don’t call it “runner’s high” for nothing. Physical exertion is a great way to get the blood pumping, endorphins flowing and immune system boosted.
Now, we’re not saying you have to go running. But studies show any type of regular physical exercise is healthy for your brain. Try to schedule a few minutes a day to do something exerting.
You can mow the lawn while listening to your favorite tunes, walk your new dog, swim, do yoga…heck, even practicing controlled breathing counts as exertion for some of us.
5. Get Adequate Rest
Getting adequate rest is imperative when fighting any illness or disorder, but especially so when fighting depression. The question is, how much rest is enough, or too much? Start by setting a schedule. Experts say even if you are just laying in bed with your eyes closed, in the dark at the same time every night until it’s time to get up in the morning, you are training your body to eventually, naturally embrace the routine.
6. Meditation and Self-Talk Therapy
Pay attention to what your “internal committee” is telling you. You know, that voice that tells you that you aren’t worth anything. That you can’t beat this. That you deserve to suffer, or that you can wait until tomorrow.
Oprah Winfrey-endorsed self-help book, “The Power of Now”, by Eckhart Tolle, teaches us to listen for negative self talk and recognize it for a period of 3 to 7 days. Tolle says we will eventually be able to start replacing it with positive self talk until it becomes second-nature. It takes time and effort, but it has to happen before we can be fully relieved of depression.