For those who are experiencing depressive symptoms, the outlook may seem dim. You may feel lonely, isolated, hopeless or dejected. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to help deal with your depression without having to resort to medication. Read on to learn about some simple steps you can take to start feeling better soon without taking any drugs.
Alter Habits and Routines
If you are feeling depressed, you might be naturally gravitating away from people and spending more time alone. Make an effort to socialize, ensuring that you put yourself in the company of people you can trust and who are positive influences. This will prevent you from becoming too isolated and possibly pushing yourself further into depression.
Another bad habit you should try to kick if you're depressed is being lethargic or inactive. Although this is a common feeling among those who are depressed, numerous studies have shown that exercise has the ability to decrease depressive symptoms. Similarly, making sure you get at least eight hours of sleep a night can also have positive effects on your depression. You should also be careful not to sleep too much, which can become a common problem for an individual who is depressed.
If you still are struggling with your depressive symptoms, consider volunteering for a cause that is important to you, whether that is assisting the elderly, working for a political campaign or helping out at an animal shelter. Giving of your time and talents to a worthwhile cause can help you feel less alone and confused. Meanwhile, it will give you a sense of purpose and keep you connected to others socially.
Think Positively and Avoid Stress
Stress can be a major roadblock for treating depression. It's important to avoid stressful situations and to develop helpful techniques to deal with stress when it does occur. Meditation, getting a massage, or simply relaxing with a book are all good methods for dealing with stress. Recognize when you need a break from a stressful situation and make time for quiet, calming activities.
Another good way to deal with depression naturally is to alter your thinking towards positive thoughts. Focus on specific things that make you happy, and reward yourself for your accomplishments and good habits. You can also come up with goals - both for the short- and the long-term - which will give your positive things to work towards to help yourself get through your depression.
Engage in Useful Therapies
Don't underestimate the power of therapy when it comes to dealing with depression. Talking to a professional is one of the best ways to treat depression without the use of medication. If your depressive symptoms start to seriously interfere with your daily life, your next step should be to contact a counselor or psychologist. Talking about your experiences and feelings with these experts will help you figure out additional ways to ease your symptoms and get your life back on track.
In addition to talking to a professional, you can also join a support group. The opportunity to talk with others who are feeling the same way you do can be a great release for people feeling depressed. Check with local schools, churches and health centers for support groups in your area.
Utilize Healthy Foods and Supplements
You may be surprised to see just how much of an impact a healthy diet can have on your depressive symptoms. Try to stick to natural foods whenever possible. Instead of refined sugars in candy and processed snacks, get sugar naturally from fresh fruits. Additionally, fresh fruit and veggies, along with lean meats, can provide B vitamins which are necessary to maintain a healthy nervous system. You'll also want to get plenty of essential fatty acids, carbohydrates and proteins in your diet as these are all critical for healthy brain function.
Many people also try supplements to help treat their depression. St. John's wort, omega 3 fatty acids and s-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) are a few of the most common supplements taken to deal with depression. While these may have positive effects, it's a good idea to ask your doctor before starting any supplement treatments.