It has been estimated that nearly 14 million Americans suffer from a major depressive episode every year. This is sad and clearly depicts the break down in support systems and family ties that can help an individual come to terms with his/her problems. Depression is often brushed under the carpet although it has serious implications.
If you suffer from chronic depression, it is wise to seek help from a psychiatrist who can put you through therapy and medication. Mild episodes of depression can be easily controlled and tackled with the help of these natural remedies.
Natural Treatments For Depression
Exercise helps to boost confidence and induces the production of ‘endorphins’ or the ‘feel good’ hormones. These hormones promote well being and relaxation especially after a rigorous workout session. Perhaps an hour of exercise everyday can drastically alleviate your mood and make you feel better about yourself and the world in general.
Certain lifestyle diseases like heart attack and high blood pressure, which have a close link with depression, are also reduced in risk. Thus, you may end up with not only a healthier heart but also a stronger immune system and mental equilibrium.
Increase Your Intake Of Magnesium
Studies have shown that a deficiency in the nutrient magnesium can lead to mood swings, feelings of apathy and psychosis. One of the best ways of cutting your risk of depression is to consume foods that are high on magnesium. These include sesame seeds, nuts, red fruits like papaya, beans, legumes and dark, leafy vegetables. Having 3-4 servings of magnesium can cover up for deficiencies and promote good health.
This popular herb has been used since time immemorial to treat dementia related disorders. It has mood elevating properties as it is a high source of anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants help to reduce the incidence of free radicals.
Free radicals floating in the body tend to interfere with the functioning of serotonin in the brain and this can drastically affect how we feel. People with lesser reactivity to serotonin are prone to more episodes of depression. This can be remedied by taking this herb in its natural form. Do consult a doctor first.
Increase Your Intake Of Vitamin C
This vitamin has been vastly been underrated in the past but it has some popular health benefits. It not only boosts immunity and protects us from various diseases but it also affects the way we feel. This is because the vitamin is directly responsible for the way the neurotransmitter norepinephrine is manufactured in the body. While vitamin C is easily flushed out from the body, it is necessary to supplement it by taking a nourishing diet that is rich in vitamin C rich foods like citrus fruits, strawberries, melons and pineapple.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
A diet that is high on omega -3 fatty acids is very good for keeping depressive episodes at bay. Omega-3 fatty acids like nuts, salmon, oatmeal, flaxseeds and certain oils like olive oil are calorie dense and help to promote satiety. By consuming these foods, you are less likely to suffer from hunger pangs and are more likely to feel energetic.
This happens because there are lesser spikes in the blood sugar levels of a person. On the contrary, eating more of saturated fat can increase your chances of depression.
This Chinese art of healing is now being increasingly used to treat mild to moderate depression. In this, the acupuncture therapy helps to stimulate certain points in the body which in turn boost the production of serotonin, norepinephrine and other neurotransmitters which are directly associated with mood and depression.
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The crucial category of all B Vitamins is necessary for regulating the production of GABA, serotonin and dopamine. These crucial neurotransmitters are responsible for how we feel at a particular point of time. A deficiency in folic acid and other B vitamins can directly affect how we feel at a particular point in time. Boost your intake of these critical vitamins. People who report having a high dose of these vitamins remain stable and happier.
Meditation helps to reduce clutter in the mind and enhance focus and concentration. People who do one hour of meditation report feeling calmer, more relaxed and happier than people who do not meditate. Go in for professional meditation in the form of yoga and pranayam all of which promote mental peace. Guided imagery done by professional therapists also helps. In this, the doctor asks the patient to switch thoughts from negative ones to more positive ones.
Yoga and its asanas help to promote mental equilibrium by enhancing the circulation of blood to the brain. It also synthesizes and stabilizes the production of the essential neurotransmitters that are directly responsible for mood.
Build A Strong Support System
Some people die of depression out of sheer loneliness especially when they do not have a rock solid support system of friends, family and relatives. In order to combat this, it is important to build a strong network of family and friends that you can count upon. Stay in touch with close friends and meet up with them often.
This allows you to constructively spend your time. Make sure you keep the company of happy people, as they will also induce a sense of happiness in you. Seek the help of a close mentor or family member who can help you out and give you sound advice especially in your down times. A close group of family and friends can help to effectively counter depression.
Make sure you never stay hungry. Hunger can give rise to irritation, anger and mood swings all of which are linked to depression. Eat balanced, nutritious and simple meals every 2-3 hours. These will help to regulate blood sugar, keep your tummy full and your mood at an even keel.
A cup of coffee a day can keep depression away. Coffee has caffeine which when consumed in moderation helps to reduce laziness, stress and lethargy. Have a mild cup of coffee to boost your mood and keep yourself happy.