TLDR: Today we talk about further overcoming depression in natural ways with nutrition, exercise, and supplements.
How do you know when you are happy? Well based on my experience and research, there are a few factors. When we get a good grasp on our mental workings, choose happiness and gratitude, live in the moment, and stand in our power, we become happier and capable of overcoming depression.
We can help supplement our minds and bodies even further with nutrition, supplements, rest, and more. These things can help our minds stay stable and our bodies use correct nutrition to keep us on top of conquering depression.
So here are some natural ways to healing!
Good rest is essential to balancing our moods and emotions. Sometimes depression can lead to insomnia. And insomnia only leads to more depression. (1) Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night, and most of us do not get that. (2)
Sleep is so important to our health. It’s a major time block that our body needs to rest and restore. When we don’t get enough sleep, our anxiety and stress levels often sky-rocket. Sleep deprivation can also make us more irritable and less able to stay positive.
Supplements and nutrition
It’s important to remember that supplements aren’t monitored by the FDA. Food and medication are moderated and looked over, so pay special attention to your supplements. You can’t ever quite be sure what you’re getting. Therefore, it’s very important to do your own extensive research and talk to your health care professional before starting a supplement routine.
That being said, I think supplements can be a powerful aid in keeping us healthy. I personally have tried a few with positive results. But I know that isn’t always the case, so again, be careful. Below I have listed some supplements that have helped me. And some of them are just good for you in general!
- Omega-3 fatty acids—this fat is found in fish and flax oil. They are also found in walnuts flaxseeds and a few other foods. (3) While most supplements are still being studied completely for their ability to help, many consider them helpful if not the answer to their problems with depression. And fish oil has been found in studies to really help out people with depression and mood regulation. (4) Omega-3 fatty acids not only help regulate mood, it also helps with heart, brain, and joint health.
- Vitamin B—All the B vitamins are important.
- SAMe—A synthetic supplement of a chemical that occurs naturally in the body. It’s not approved to cure depression in the US. However, Europe often prescribes it to treat depression. In high-doses it can cause nausea and constipation. (3) While in most studies it has helped treat depression, there are studies that have shown it to aggravate and worsen depressive symptoms. You also shouldn’t use it with anti-depressants as the side-effects can be bad. Using them together may worsen depressive symptoms.
I used SAMe for a while and felt it helped me out. You should discuss your options with your doctor and make sure that it won’t interact with any medications you’re taking.
- John’s wort—an herbal supplement that has been shown to help with depression. However, it’s important to know that it has interactions with many common medications including birth control and chemotherapy. (3)
- Healthy fats—have serotonin-enhancing benefits. Ie. coconut oil. Also high protein diets (especially tryptophan found in free-range turkey) help enhance serotonin. (5)
- Cutting out caffeine—can lower your levels of serotonin so drink less often or not at all if you’re struggling with depression. (5)
- 5-HTP—may also help with depression in that it helps improve serotonin levels. However, there is some worry that it may cause a “severe neurological condition” but it’s not for certain. (3)
It’s a good idea to set goals for each day and mark them off your list. It can be hard to motivate yourself to do anything when you’re depressed, so making a list and just taking it one by one can keep you moving.
Exercise increases your endorphins and may have long-term benefits for people with depression. (6) It helps run out extra tension and stress, helps you feel more restful and tired when you’re ready to sleep, and helps you regulate your emotions.
Running especially helps me. It helps me have a space to clear my thoughts, and at the same time I’m burning away tension. Which always helps me feel more relaxed and happier…as well as healthier!
Get plenty of fresh air and sunshine. It can help you feel more connected to earth, makes you feel fresher and happier, and can help you get some vitamin D.
Spend time with people. Depression can make you feel anti-social, but spending time with friends or quality time with loved ones can lift our moods, increase gratitude, and keep us away from ruminating and stressing.
Journal and other therapies
Keep a gratitude journal. Focus on things you’re happy about and grateful for. Did you know writing them down can help cement them in your mind?
Keeping a mood diary is a therapeutic tactic as well. It can help you keep track of the things you are feeling. When you write a negative one down, you can see it surrounded by all the positive ones. And that can help you keep things in perspective. (7)
Acupuncture is often a recommended alternative healing measure to help with mental anguish like depression. There has been studies that have confirmed its ability to help people with depression. (7)
Therapy is often a very important part of healing from depression. Individual and group therapy sessions can both help, and it might be best to do both as they each have different benefits. Therapy can be a great supplement to overcoming depression. It can give you a support system and a special place to be vulnerable and to vent. It can also help you learn techniques for how to manage your depression.
And of course…meditation. I will always recommend meditation. I think it’s very powerful. Being present, ordering your mind, controlling your thoughts, and living in the moment…all things that help overcome depression. Yoga is right along this line as well, but it’s more body-involved. So it can be great to incorporate yoga with meditation because it’s a relaxing exercise as well as an exercise in mindfulness. Using them together can help you feel more balanced and at peace.
Remember, it’s possible for you to overcome depression–or at the very least, to manage it.
There are so many revenues for success. Talking with your health care professional can be a great way to start. You can figure out a plan with them about what’s going to work for you and what’s healthy and safe for you. It’s great for getting started, and continuing treatment.
Do your best to stay mindful and present.
Eat, sleep, and drink healthy.
You’re amazing and life is amazing.
Things are going to be ok.