Natural remedies for depression are preferred to prescribed medication by some people, as they believe such remedies don’t harm the body, or perhaps they have tried medication which simply did not work for them.
Depression symptoms include a feeling of being lost, lack of energy, lack of interest, inexplicable sadness, change in eating habits, change in sleeping patterns, agitation and irritability. If any of these symptoms of depression occurs for longer than 2 weeks, you should first consult a doctor to confirm the depression condition.
If you’re already taking prior medication for depression, then you should take advice from a doctor before switching over to home remedies.
Natural remedies for depression: You are what you eat
Ultimately, nutrition plays a huge role in how we feel. Food is the fuel for our body and our mind. Just as you would physically feel weak if you don’t eat enough, you will mentally feel weak and eventually succumb to depression if you don’t maintain a good and healthy diet. Remember this adage: “You are what you eat”. So take extra effort in watching what you are eating.
Take light foods that are easy to digest, and avoid spicy oily foods. In addition, restrain yourself from eating too much meat or dairy products during the times that you feel depressed.
If you are not on one already, you should go on a diet that includes lots of vegetable and fruits. Avoid chocolates and caffeine because although they may provide a temporary boost, they are not a healthy option in the long run.
Vitamin C is an anti-depressant and one of the best natural remedies for depression, so you should eat foods that give you this particular vitamin in abundance such as oranges and lemons.
Another touted natural anti-depressant is Omega-3 fatty acids, which you can find in fish oil supplements.
Water as a natural remedy for depression
Water: the source of life. Your body can survive weeks or even months without food but only days without water. Water is arguably the most essential nutrient for our bodies. Getting enough clean drinking water is definitely a key role in maintaining the balance in our body and our brain. Most people know this, at least theoretically. It is thus surprising that so many people ignore this very basic natural remedy for all kinds of ailments including depression, and are essentially slightly or moderately dehydrated most of the time throughout their entire lives.
The most reliable way to know that you are getting enough water is to examine your urine color and smell. Pale, straw-colored urine with just a slight tinge of odor is what healthy individuals should aim for. A dark yellow color accompanied with a severely strong odor indicates that you should drink more plain water and not, for example, fruit juices, soft drinks, coffee, etc. A sweet odor could indicate something very wrong in your body. On the other hand, pure colorless urine means you are drinking more than enough, or perhaps too much. Besides the inconvenience of having to go to the restroom every few minutes, this is not normally a cause for worry. Note that pregnancy and some medication or even multivitamin tablets could cause harmless changes and even odor in urine color. If you are concerned, always check with your doctor.
Natural treatment for depression – Keeping active
Other than nutrition, one of the most commonly suggested natural depression treatments is this: you should exercise regularly to keep yourself active as well as to increase your energy levels and regulate your brain chemicals. It will keep you mentally as well as physically fit.
Don’t like exercising? Try starting off slow. If you are cooping yourself up at home all day, make the effort to get outside once in a while. Indulge yourself in activities that make you happy and participate in social gatherings. You may be reluctant at first, but you will feel much better once you try.
Keeping active is definitely one of the best and most highly recommended natural remedies for depression. You can take up dancing classes, yoga, hiking or gardening. If such physical activities are not “your thing”, then busy your mind instead by picking up new hobbies or crafts such as drawing, singing, playing a musical instrument, and so on.
Natural depression treatment – Volunteering
A great way to combat depression naturally is to help others. Volunteer work is a great way to not only keep yourself active, but to focus your thoughts away from your pain and towards others’ instead. This can even be the push you need to gain new perspective on perceived evils and suffering in the world.
You can even just start online instead of physically helping others. Reach out to others requiring help online, be it in forums or question-and-answer sites. You can start a blog to share what you have learned in your journey to overcome depression, which can help others. Or write funny stories, inspiring poems or motivational songs which help express your creativity and can assist others in overcoming their depression.
Herbal natural remedies for depression
There are also some herbal remedies that have been proven to be effective to curb depression. One of the most popular ones is St. John’s Wort, which is typically used as a remedy for both mild depression and anxiety.
Ashwagandha is an herb that has properties to remove negative thoughts from the mind, and is effective in reducing stress. Cardamom is also used for relieving stress and depression. Its odor is known to soothe the nerves, so you can either just smell it or make tea using this herb. Another herb that is used commonly in the natural remedies for depression is Brahmi. The oil from this herb relaxes the mind and cools it down. If used regularly, it can go a long way in lifting your mood and keeping you from feeling depressed.
Instead of focusing on what you don’t have or have lost, try to focus on what you do have or have achieved. This includes simple things such as having or gaining the ability to walk, the ability to type, the ability to see or hear the beauty of the world and its sounds.
If you stick to a healthy diet and are exercising regularly or at least keeping active on a daily basis, positive thoughts will naturally be easier to attain and maintain. Thinking positively is not easy, but keep in mind that being happy is ultimately a choice that one has to, and CAN make, regardless of one’s circumstances. The human mind is a powerful thing; never forget that.
All in all, natural cures for depression can be a viable alternative to medication, especially for mild to moderate depression. They are less likely to harm your system and their effects are typically more long-lasting. In addition, natural depression remedies have minimal side effects that can hamper you from going about your day to day life, unlike some antidepressants or drugs. Be sure to consult your doctor before usage so that such alternative depression treatments don’t react adversely with your current medication or allergies, or to make sure that your prior course of medication is completed before you switch to natural remedies for depression.