Home Remedies For Depression

Home Remedies For Depression

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  1. Depression is characterized by significantly down feelings, particularly sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, and a lack of pleasure from just about everything. This can be a debilitating condition to deal with, and a lot of success in beating depression can come from family and social support which is a little ironic considering the progressive and systematic isolation depressed people typically fall into.

    While seeking professional help is often the best option, if the depression is something that a person wishes to try working through on their own, there are a few things that can be tried that have had positive effects on depression in others.

    • Sunlight: Sunlight helps provide the body with some Vitamin D, and though constant exposure can be dangerous, 10-15 minutes of sunlight daily has been shown to increase mood. This could be a 10-15 minute walk, 10-15 minutes in the garden, or even 10-15 minutes sitting outside reading a book or listening to headphones. Additionally, allowing more natural light into the primary living areas of the home can also help.
    • Diet: There is a lot to be said for the effects of the foods we put into our bodies and how we feel. Eating a consistent and balanced diet can help one feel more consistent and balanced on the inside, emotionally and physically. Many complain of not being able to eat breakfast, or feeling sick if they eat in the morning. These are feelings that come from the bad habit of not eating breakfast, and they will dissipate as the diet becomes more consistent. A good rule of thumb is to eat breakfast within an hour of waking. If typical breakfast foods are tough to swallow that early, other options could be a light lunch-type meal of a sandwich and baked chips, or a salad with some grilled chicken, beef, or even some cold tuna or hard boiled egg. The key is to get some protein and carbohydrates to get your body moving towards balance.
    • Exercise: Everyone hears it, but it’s difficult for many to implement. Exercise helps the body release endorphins which ultimately make you feel better. If you’re life isn’t very consistent, however, starting and sticking to an exercise regimen can be difficult and discouraging. There is a trick! Set small goals. "I plan to exercise for 15 minutes today. That’s all I have to do."  If you are unsure of where to begin, don’t fret. A simple walk can do wonders for the body and mind. Start with a 10 minute walk because it’s a relatively small commitment. If you are uncomfortable or the weather is too hot, try walking first thing in the morning when your neighbors are still sleeping. If you skip a day, forgive yourself. It is only one day. Exercising first thing in the morning can help keep consistency because the workout has been done and you don’t have to think or worry about it, or find excuses to not do it later in the day.
    • Water: Increasing the amount of water consumed can help the body feel refreshed too. Water is natural and the body loves it. Try to opt for water and avoid sugary sodas and alcoholic beverages. If water is too boring, decaf iced tea is a nice way to increase water intake.
    • Positive Thought: One of the most difficult symptoms of depression for sufferers to work through is the tendency for negative thoughts to flood the mind and affect everything. This is not only difficult for the sufferer, but for the family and friends as well. Once or twice a day, practice rethinking negative thoughts. For example, instead of thinking "I’m a failure because I didn’t eat right today and I didn’t exercise," try to find another way of perceiving this situation. "I feel bad that I didn’t eat right or exercise as I had planned, but it’s okay. I will do my best, and try again tomorrow."
    • Routines and Consistency: Depression can sometimes get out of control because our lives are out of control. One way of regaining a sense of control is through utilizing routines and being consistent. Going to sleep at the same time and getting up early helps start a routine and can lead most people to consistency. If there is trouble experienced when trying to go to sleep, a routine can be established here as well, such as a cup of herbal tea before bed, or warm milk. Over time, this can become the "trigger" to telling the body and mind it’s time for bed. Eating and snacking around the same times every day can add to this sense of consistency, as can exercising. People are more likely to be consistent with exercise if they perform it around the same time everyday.

    While there are supplements that claim to help with depression, ultimately there has to be routine changes and consistency developed in order to structure the mind to be more balanced. If the symptoms of depression have persisted for more than two weeks, and seem to be getting worse regardless of the efforts made, it’s best to consider visiting a doctor and possibly trying cognitive behavioral therapy. This can help in the development of routines and provide a safe place for working through the causes of the depression.

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