3 Natural Remedies for Alleviating Depression
Consult with your primary care physician before you start any regimen that helps depression. He may start you on treatment that involves lifestyle changes or cognitive therapy. Your doctor can help monitor physical changes, emotional changes and symptoms when you try to alleviate depression. Depression must be monitored for any sudden changes in mood swings.
Eat foods that naturally enhance your serotonin levels by changing your blood chemistry. Prozac works to inhibit your brain from reuptaking serotonin, and thereby keeps more of the substance in your bloodstream. High amounts of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, herring and anchovies help keep more serotonin in your blood. Healthy fats such as those found in coconut oil enhance serotonin levels. Folic acid, found in spinach and avocados, also helps ease depressive moods. Avoid caffeine, as this substance can reduce serotonin levels.
Several supplements may help your diet remain rich in serotonin and folic acid levels. Take up to 300 milligrams of 5-HTP per day to maintain serotonin levels in the blood. St. John's wort may be effective against mild to moderate forms of depression, and several European studies bear this out. SAMe, or S-adenosyl-L-methionine, works more quickly than St. John's wort, with a maximum daily dosage of 600 milligrams per day. The supplement l-theanine is found in green tea, and you can take up to 600 milligrams per day. Some of these supplements may cause gastrointestinal upset, insomnia or runny stools. Reduce some of the dosages if you feel too many adverse effects.
Several activities can help alleviate depression symptoms. Exercise increases endorphin levels, and endorphins enhance moods. Regular exercise also rewires the brain to work in different ways. Try to exercise, even with just mild workouts, for 30 minutes per day over five days per week. Workouts help you lose weight, gain muscle and improve your overall physical health. Your quality of life also improves, as you may be able to avoid medication that could have side effects.
Meditate or use guided imagery to help remove negative, sad, depressive thoughts. Cognitive behavioral therapy can also help. Yoga provides a good workout and a meditative state in the same activity. Acupuncture has been used to treat many mood disorders, including depression.
Treatments for depression vary from simple exercise and dietary changes to counseling and strong medications that affect mood. Although some psychiatrists may recommend medication for people who are severely depressed or suicidal, people with more mild symptoms may be able to overcome depression with natural treatment regimens.