9 Practical Ways To Treat Depression Naturally

Being depressed can make you feel weak, vulnerable, and powerless. You 're not. There's a lot you can do on your own to fight back, and get yourself back on track. Dedicate yourself to changing your behavior, such as your physical activity, lifestyle, and even your way of thinking,  are all natural depression treatments. Here are some ways to treat depression, naturally.

1.  Consider why you might feel depressed. Sometimes depression is a symptom of something circumstantial in your life, rather than biochemical imbalances. Does your job require you to sell out your integrity every day? Have you been unable to admit that you need to end your marriage? Are you feeling spiritually disconnected or sexually restless? Are you suffering from creative blocks? Are you facing financial ruin? Be honest with yourself about what might be off-kilter in your life, and make an effort to get to the root of why you might be feeling depressed.

2. Set goals. When you're depressed, you may feel like you can't accomplish anything. That makes you feel worse about yourself. To push back, set daily goals for yourself. Start off very small. Make your goal something that you can succeed at, like doing the dishes every other day. As you start to feel better, you can add more challenging daily goals.

3. Move your body. Exercise releases happy-making endorphins, which act like natural anti-depressants. P90X, Insanity, weight training, running, and dancing are all fun ways too.

4. Never skip a meal. Keeping your blood sugar stable reduces mood swings.

5.  Eat a serotonin-enhancing diet. Many anti-depressants like Prozac act by inhibiting the re-uptake of serotonin by receptors in the brain, thereby increasing serotonin levels. But you can increase your brain's serotonin levels by eating foods that boost your serotonin levels naturally.

Serotonin-enhancing foods include:

           Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (such as wild salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies, which are even higher in omega-3 fatty acids than other fish)

           Healthy fats like coconut oil

           Eat a high protein diet, especially proteins high in tryptophan, like free range turkey

6.  Avoid caffeine, which reduces serotonin levels. If you need an energy boost, supplement with L-Tyrosine (500 - 1000 mg).

7. Expose yourself to sunlight, which can boost mood and increase Vitamin D levels. If you live somewhere that gets little sun, invest in a therapeutic light box.

8. Meditate or try guided imagery. Meditation's effects on mood are well documented. Settling your mind can lift your mood, in addition to a whole host of other health benefits.

9. Challenge negative thoughts. In your fight against depression, a lot of the work is mental -- changing how you think. When you're depressed, you leap to the worst possible conclusions.

The next time you're feeling terrible about yourself, use logic as a natural depression treatment. You might feel like the most worthless person on the planet, but is that really likely? It takes practice, but in time you can beat back those negative thoughts before they get out of control.

10. Make efforts to bolster your mental health by being more authentic in all aspects of your life. Too often, we walk around wearing masks, pretending to be something we're not. We fake it at the schoolyard, in the boardroom, in the bedroom, at church -- and then we wonder why we wind up depressed.

Do you or someone you know struggle with depression?  Post your comments below at let us know some healthy and effective ways you deal it.

~Love and Light
photo credit: We Heart It

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