“Depression is the inability to construct a future.”
– Rollo May, U.S. existential psychologist
You only have to glance at the daily newspapers at the moment to see the stark dangers of reliance upon prescription medicines and where they can possibly lead the vulnerable person. Every three weeks, the number of victims claimed by opioid overdoses equals that of those lost on 9/11, and the commission responsible for looking at the crisis has urged the U.S. president to declare a national state of emergency without delay. In fact, drug overdoses now take more U.S. lives than gun-related deaths and automobile accidents put together.
Never has there been a more important time to look at what you have in the medicine cabinet, and what items you can replace with effective, organic, and totally natural products.
Both pain anddepression are among the hidden illnesses that can affect us. You can’t see either, but both are there under the surface, hidden beneath the skin. Both have the power to destroy the lives they take hold of, to make their victims think in an irrational, often self-destructive way, and both claim victims of those who share the lives of those sufferers.
The need for effective treatment in both pain management and depression (and its associated mental disorders) is extremely high, but finding 100% natural ways to complement or even replace prescription medicines can be difficult.
This article will provide you with 5 totally natural ways to help treat and beat depression. However, it’s pertinent at this point to consider and recognize why you feel this way. Often, depression can be a signal of an environmental issue, something that is happening just at the moment, a circumstantial problem as it were, as opposed to a medically-diagnosed biochemical imbalance. If it’s the former, you need to address the very root of that issue either by yourself or with the assistance of others.
- Live Healthily
Now, this may be blatantly obvious to many of you, but there are those who actually protest at having to do so. Ah, the age we live in. Living your life in a healthy way is a multi-faceted approach that will guarantee you are best-placed to deal with any major incident or emotional upheaval that may strike. It will also guarantee you are best-placed to receive and benefit from any treatments you may need should unavoidable depression be the consequence.
- To Exercise: Love it, loathe it or just plain like it, exercise is essential for brain fitness. Those happiness-creating endorphins are just what the doctor ordered (terrible pun, sorry).
- To Eat Regularly: Never, ever skip a meal if you can avoid it. Food = energy for body and mind. You will endure rapid mood swings if your blood sugar levels are not looked after.
- To Be Honest: Honesty, as Mom always used to say, is the best policy. Being honest with yourself, and living your life in a more authentic way, will help you improve and maintain your mental health.
- Eat Healthily with a Serotonin-Enhancing Diet
Many prescription antidepressants are effective because they inhibit the reuse of serotonin by particular brain receptors, so increasing the level of this natural chemical within the brain itself. However, were you aware of the number of foods that can do this in a more natural way?
These foods include:
- Omega-3 Fish: Wild salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies, and other oily fish,
- HealthyFats: Coconutoil, and
- Tryptophan-rich Proteins: Free-range turkey.
Furthermore, cut out caffeine. Sorry, but caffeine-rich products (you know what we’re discussing here) actually reduce the level of serotonin in the brain.
- Enjoy the Sun
A simple one this. Just get out in the sun more, easy as that. Sunlight provides a naturally therapeutic mood-enhancer, as well as increasing your Vitamin D levels. If you don’t live anywhere with decent sunshine hours, you can always get yourself a light box (very handy wherever you live if it’s raining!).
- Natural Supplements
A strong word of warning. The interaction between certain natural supplements and prescribed medicines can be detrimental to both physical and mental well-being. Therefore, it is necessary for you to seek medical advice as to the possible dangers in taking certain supplements, herbal remedies, etc. if you are currently taking prescribed medicines, particularly anti-depressants. Additionally, it is wise to consult your doctor should you have an existing medical condition and wish to use these supplements. Bettersafethansorry (again,learnedfromMom).
- John’s Wort: Commonly used in the treatment of mild to moderate depression (as well as anxiety and sleep disorders),St. John’s worthas been used by many and heavily studied by the medical community for centuries. Recent studies have shown little or no benefit to those suffering with severe depression. Furthermore, it is recognized that St. John’s wort may be effective in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and perimenopausal changes in mood.
- Valerian: Used widely as a medicinal herb since the days of ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, valerian rootis considered to be effective against mental stress, such as mild depression, stress-related digestive disorders, pain, and sleep disorders, even insomnia, due to its sedative-like effect when taken.
- Fish Oil: As stated previously,fish oil, with its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, is widely beneficial to general mental health, naturally increasing your serotonin levels.
- Meditation & Mindfulness
The art of both meditation and mindfulness are subjects well-studied in the treatment of depression. Sadly, for many who suffer at the hands of depression, there is also the ogre of alcohol or drug addiction – another chronic and debilitating medical condition. Both the practice of meditation and living a mindful life have shown themselves to be of tremendous benefit to those who suffer the coexistence of these.
Furthermore, mindfulness has been proven to be highly beneficial with the cognitive aspects of depression when it is incorporated into the daily lives of individuals.
So, there you have them – your 5 totally natural ways to help treat and beat depression, without (hopefully) the need to stop by your medicine cabinet every 6 or 8 hours. Live healthily, eat healthily with a serotonin-enhancing diet, enjoy the sun, natural supplements, and meditation and mindfulness – all of these can be used to help you in your daily struggle of mind.
Never, ever forget that we are only alone if we choose to be. Your struggle doesn’t have to be endured alone. Here’s an extra, totally natural way that will help you – talk. Share with someone what you are facing, be it a friend, a doctor, a counselor, your Mom, whomever. Just talk. Please.
What natural methods have you tried to become well mentally? Was it through something not described here? Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments below. This writer and your fellow readers will be grateful for anything you may wish to say.
Lastly, take care of yourself.