Suffering from depression can make you feel hopeless, frustrated and like your quality of life will never get better. Many feel that prescription medications don’t help, and simply mask the problem instead of helping solve it. If you are dealing with depression, it is easy to get discouraged about your treatment options. Below are ways that you can naturally reduce your depression and get you back on a road to a healthier mind and body.
It is believed that acupuncture can be just as effective as antidepressants in helping depression. Acupuncture works by focusing on different points of the body to bring the body back to its natural energy flow and balance. Acupuncture points can help stimulate the body’s production of endorphins and aid the release of serotonin and dopamine, which can increase one’s mood.
Taking a daily fish oil supplement can do more good than you think. It is believed that being deficient in omega-3s can cause mood swings and depression. Omega-3s are found in fish like salmon, tuna and herring and are not only good for your overall physical health but your mental health as well.
Meditation has been proven to have many benefits. Not only does it bring the heart rate down, calm the mind and reduce stress, but it can also bring the mind to a healthier place. Two studies have found that those who practice meditation have a lower rate of relapsing than those who take medication alone.
Spending time outdoors and in the sun can have great effects on your mood. When one doesn’t get enough sunlight, it can strongly affect how you feel and is one of the main causes of seasonal affective disorder. Try spending even just 15 to 30 minutes outside every day whether it is walking, gardening or just simply sitting outside.
There is nothing better than the natural high you get after a good workout. Exercise, whether it is running, swimming or yoga, releases endorphins that can give you a mood boost. Try spending 30 minutes a day doing some sort of exercise. One study found that patients who worked out regularly saw a decrease in their symptoms of depression by half in 12 weeks. Not only does exercise improve your body physically, but mentally as well.
Avoid alcohol and drugs
People suffering with depression often consume damaging substances like alcohol and drugs to help mask their symptoms. It is recommended that those with depression should not have more than a drink on occasion. Alcohol and drugs affect brain chemistry and can later intensify your mood for the worse.
Take a break
Depression can often worsen when you are feeling stressed and overworked. Try to take some time off to relax. If it isn’t possible to take vacation time, try to fit in at least an hour a day of relaxation time. Whether it’s meditating, reading or closing your eyes for a bit, take some time for deep breaths and a way to shut off from the rest of the world.
Simple but Effective, Try it!
I know these sound like simple tips, but when you're truly down, getting to the other side of that deep dark place starts with one little step, and then another and another. Taking a series of simple steps can go a long way towards getting you out of the dark and into the light. Keeping a simple list like this handy when you're having a hard time and don't know what to do can help by giving you a direction and an action to occupy yourself until you get out of the worst of the funk. Emotions are temporary and fleeting, they ebb, flow and pass. Try one of the actions above until you get out of the worst of it and can think more clearly about what to do next. Engaging in any of the activities above regularly and on a schedule can help give you structure, feel more confident and supported towards changing your situation, your attitude, your view or whatever may be blocking your path to happiness. Acupuncture and Exercise in particular can even help with Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) during those dark winter months here in the Pacific NW!
If you want to try Acupuncture in particular in the Portland area, book in using the button below - free consults always available! As are a warm smile, a hug and a willing ear.
Yours in Health,
Sources: http://bit.ly/1VQA0mC, http://bit.ly/1KbgLvE
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.