It’s natural if you feel sad or low at sometimes. But if your blue mood continues for many days, it could signal depression. Acute depression is an episode of sadness along with other symptoms that last for two weeks in a row. It will even interrupt your daily activities.
Symptoms of depression include
- Pessimism, hopelessness
- Trouble concentrating and making decisions
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness
- Early morning wakefulness
- Appetite loss
- Digestive problems
- Aches and pains
- Empty feelings
- Suicidal thoughts
- Suicidal attempts
Depression is not a sign of weakness. So if you’re suffering from a combination of these symptoms, or continuously feeling low seek help. Here we talk about all the natural cures for depression.
Natural remedies for depression
Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet
The foods that you eat has a significant impact on your brain health. Your diet can even be an alternative cure for depression. Take care to eat foods that boost your neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters are your brain’s messengers that control your energy levels, mood, appetite and several other functions in your body.
A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that people who ate wholesome, nutritious foods had lower odds of depression. And people who ate processed, sugar-laden and high-fat foods suffered depression. The study tracked the eating habits of the participants for five long years before finalizing the results. Eating wholesome and healthy foods helps you to beat depression naturally. Include healing foods such as omega three fats, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, lean protein, and probiotic foods in your diet.
Follow a routine
Depression can pluck out the structure in your life. Be firm on setting up a gentle daily schedule to set you up back on track.
Depression makes you lose direction in your life. So set goals to get you back on track. Decide what you’re going to achieve even though it be small. Write it down, verbalize it. Break down your goal, keep on going and finally celebrate each milestone.
Research studies show that regular exercise of any intensity can prevent future depression even if you do it for just one hour. Exercise temporarily boosts your feel-good chemicals called endorphins. It gives you long-term benefits if you are suffering from depression. Experts say that regular exercise encourages your brain to rewire itself in positive ways.
“Physical activity has been shown to be effective in alleviating mild to moderate depression and anxiety,” says Carol Janney, an MSU assistant professor of epidemiology.
Humans are social beings so friends and family can be an excellent source of strength when you’re feeling low. Exercising as a group improves your quality of life and helps to beat depression. It dramatically impacts your physical, mental and emotional health.
Depression can give you many sleepless nights. Too little sleep can make your depression worse. Scientific literature says that if you sleep less than the recommended 8 hours a night, it is linked with intrusive, repetitive thoughts like those seen in anxiety or depression.
Try to make some lifestyle changes if you want to improve your sleep quality. Try going to bed and getting up at a particular time. Avoid napping, remove computer or TV from your bedroom to minimize distraction.
According to scientific literature, lavender oil has neuroprotective effects. It has antioxidant properties and enhances dopamine receptors. To use lavender oil as an alternative therapy for depression add ten drops of the lavender oil to your warm water bath, diffuse a few drops to your room at night. Topically apply 2-3 drops to your templates, chests, and wrists in the morning.
Roman chamomile oil helps in battling depression naturally. It calms your nerves, acts as a mild sedative and even promotes relaxation. Inhale the vapors of the Roman chamomile oil for a few times in a day or topically apply 2-3 drops to the back of your neck and wrists.
Spend time outdoors
Breathe in some fresh air and spend some time in green spaces such as parks or even in your garden. Improving your vitamin D levels can help to reduce depression. Spend about 10-20 minutes in the sun to battle depression.
Including fish oil supplements is critical for neurotransmitter function. Probiotic supplements enhance the mental outlook which is the result of gut-brain connection. Vitamin D supplement acts as a natural remedy for depression.
Adaptogen herbs such as Ashwagandha and Rhodiola are healing plants which reduce stress hormones and relax the nervous system. Rhodiola increases the sensitivity of neurons while ashwagandha combats the effects of stress, reduces depression and anxiety and balances hormones.
Try something new
Try to add variety in your actions and bring back some fun into your life. Push yourself to do some different stuff. Try taking a new language class, visit a museum, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or do some gardening. Experts say that when you challenge yourself to do something different, it creates changes in your brain. It alters the level of the chemical dopamine which is linked with pleasure, enjoyment, and learning.
If you want more information to boost your brain health, you can read my post 6 Best Brain Foods You Must Know which was published in Nupathe.com