Many people who suffer from depression rely on medication to help relieve their mental health disorder symptoms. However, antidepressants and similar drugs are not the only options to help you cope with your symptoms.
Many methods can help you counter the symptoms of major depressive disorder that do not require the use of prescribed medicines and can help avoid the associated side effects and costs of some of the medicines currently prescribed for depression. Read on to find out which natural methods can help tackle the symptoms of depression.
- Improve your sleep
Your emotional well-being and quality of sleep go hand in hand. Neglect your sleep and it will have a negative impact on your mood, regardless of whether you have symptoms of depression or not. Good sleep hygiene means going to bed and waking up at around the same hour consistently. Your bedroom should be ready when you go to sleep: dark, uncluttered, and quiet. Improving your sleep hygiene can have a hugely positive effect on your mood, that will impact your whole day.
- Limit your caffeine intake
Soda, tea, coffee, and often chocolate will contain masses of caffeine, which is ok to have in the morning in reasonable quantities. If you have a caffeine dose in the morning, you should avoid it in the afternoon to ensure it doesn’t impact your sleep later. If this does happen, it can negatively affect your overall mood.
If you feel a reliance on caffeine, you could try gradually reducing your intake to skip the effects associated with caffeine withdrawal. Try taking a short walk when you crave caffeine, a soda or cup of tea to try and reduce your need for caffeine.
- Consider a spiritual approach
There’s no requirement to join a mosque or a church even though being a part of a religious community can have a positive impact on those suffering from depression. Using some straightforward meditation techniques or noting a list of what you are grateful for can prove useful in boosting your overall mood. Helping people gain a sense of awareness of their thoughts and reactions and tackling stress levels are just some of the benefits associated with meditation.
- Take down the effects of stress
There is a chemical in your brain known as cortisol, which can be heightened due to stress, and those experiencing symptoms of depression can have a heightened level of this chemical present in their bodies.. There are many methods that can help tackle stress, such as feedback training, time management, and meditation. Ultimately, reducing the levels of cortisol in the brain can help with your overall mood.
- Reduce your alcohol intake
Alcohol is regarded as a depressant, and too much alcohol can interfere with the quality of your sleep, and as we’ve mentioned, a good night’s sleep is crucial to tackling the blues. You might turn to alcohol as a quick fix to relieve the emotions you are feeling, but it can make the symptoms of depression much harder to deal with. Bad decisions and dangerous behaviors might be instigated due to too much alcohol consumption, which could lead to long-term consequences.
- Increase daily exercise
There is no need to train for the Olympics, but doing low-intensity exercise for 30 minutes every so often can have a positive impact on both your quality of life and your mood. Take your exercise out of the house and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, which can be especially useful to those suffering from a specific depressive disorder called a seasonal affective disorder.
- Change the way you think
It might sound obvious, but thinking great thoughts can help elevate your mood. The way you think genuinely has a direct impact on making you feel better. If you struggle with negative thoughts, you might consider seeing a therapist to help change your perspective.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most common and popular treatments for depression. It is a type of psychotherapy that aims to identify negative thought patterns to replace them with positive thoughts.
- Keep it natural
There are various dietary supplements available as an alternative to prescribed medicines that aim to treat mild to moderate depression symptoms. 5-hydroxytryptophan and S-adenosylmethionine are some of the natural supplements currently being used, although you should consult a doctor before taking any of these.
- Stick to mood-boosting foods
The way you think and feel is impacted by what you put in your mouth, so you should ensure you stick to a balanced diet full of nutritious foods that are low in saturated fats. You could speak to a nutritionist or dietician who can look at your current diet and find any nutritional deficiencies which could be impacting your mood.
- Up your Vitamin D levels
Vitamin D deficiency could have an impact on the way you feel. If you are not getting enough vitamin D in your diet or through sun exposure, you can speak with a doctor to request a supplement to increase your vitamin D levels. Certain symptoms of depression are heightened due to certain deficiencies, so if you have problems getting outdoors or struggle to get those important sun rays, you might find that taking a supplement can help.
We hope you’ve found some of our tips useful, feel free to drop us a line in the comments.