How To Overcome Depression Naturally (10 Simple Effective Ways)
Severe depression treatment could involve medication and therapy session. But if you can overcome depression naturally, shouldn’t you give it at try? That’s what I thought when I was going through my very own episode of depression.
The worst thing that could happen when you’re in a serious depression is to be told to “get over it” or how you should learn to dance in the rain.
You just can’t. Else you wouldn’t be here, searching for hopeful tips to overcome your depression naturally without resorting to dosages of drugs or spending hefty bills on therapists.
Equally appalling is when you have a positive minded friend who’s act of shoving positive quotes down your throat does nothing but making you feeling frustrated.
Now, I don’t agree that positive thinking will lead you to depression, as this article on DominateDepression apparently puts it. But getting preached with endless positive quotes doesn’t help either.
Depression Is Very Real And Complicated
Depression is not born out of your imagination. It’s very real to the extent that if you’re feeling suicidal, I’ll suggest you visit your nearest psychologist or therapist immediately.
I have to make it clear by all means I’m not a certified therapist in treating depression. That’s one of the main reason I’m not writing anything about depression until now.
Depression is a complicated issue. One that should be dealt seriously. But when I read articles that are misleading and people struggle from bad advice, I feel that I need to speak from my very own experience of depression.
I recovered from a bout of serious depression lasting approximately 6 months with minor relapse thereafter. That was almost a couple of years ago.
Why Do You Get Into Depression
To overcome depression naturally on your own, you need to first understand why you’re depressed. Each of us has a mental breaking point. It doesn’t matter how high or low that threshold is, when you’re pushed beyond you’ll sink into depression.
Different life stressors will have different effects on each individual. For example, you’ll be fine with losing all your money on your startup but a heated argument with your other half will cause a mental breakdown.
Sometimes, you may need a few stressors to before you plunge into depression. For me, a divorce, business failure and witnessing my 2-year-old child suffering a fit finally pushed me over the edge.
Here’s What Happen To Your Brain In Depression
I’m no brain scientist and you’re probably in no mood in understanding about how your amygdala becomes enlarged with prolonged exposure to cortisol. (Continue reading this article from HealthLine for a detailed scientific explanation)
In layman terms, when you’re depressed, the fight or flight emotional part of your brain overwhelmed the decision-making logical part. Depression is not a mere illusion in your mind, it affects the physical brain cells in your brain as well.
Are You Depressed Or Merely Stressed Out?
Some people slipped into depression without realizing it. The initial thought was it’s just regular stress symptoms that should be over in a couple of days.
Until they experienced a sudden anger fit that seems to burst out of nowhere. It comes as no surprise as a prolonged state of stress could eventually lead to depression.
Here are some common symptoms you’ll find in stress and depression.
- low energy
- irregular mood
- loss of focus
- sleep loss
- social aversion
But be alert when you have these following signs. It could mean that you sinking into depression. Or you’re already seriously depressed.
- You feel that the world is against you.
- You feel that there is no hope
- You lost your sense of purpose
- You renounce your belief.
- You feel suicidal. (Please call your nearest suicide prevention hotline right now).
When you’re bothered by these symptoms for two weeks or more, chances are you’re already clinically depressed.
It’s Normal To Lose Your Identity When Depressed
Depression literally sucks the soul out of you. You’ll know exactly what I meant if you’ve gone through depression before, or currently, suffer from one.
It could be the chemical change in your brain or the emotional triggers that keep pulling your mind into a depressive spell. The one thing you need to know is that it’s normal when you’re going through depression.
You need to accept that you’re in a depression. It is not a sign of weakness. Denying what you’re going through will only prolong any effort of recovery on your part. And it blocks out any support that is heading your way.
When you’re at the lowest point, it’s easy to believe that everyone is against you. Spouse, family, friends and co-worker alike. It’s hard to be convinced they are not.
But it will be wise not to react to your emotion when you’re feeling this way.
Things To Avoid When You’re Depressed
I know it’s hard to be told what you should not do as you’re going through a tough period. But I was guilty of a couple of them and it really made things worse.
It’s time to temporary say ‘no’ to your favorite espresso. While there are studies that suggest caffeine could decrease the risk of depression, there are also many others who suggest otherwise. I could literally feel the caffeine coursing through my system and suffocate my mind if I took my regular dose when I’m depressed.
2. Drugs & alcohol
It’s tempting to turn to alcohol and drugs as a form of escape when you’re depressed. Fight that temptation. Alcohol itself is a depressant. Certain drugs (prescribed or substance abuse) could lead to depression. Avoid drugs. You have already more than enough to deal with.
3. Food That Causes Depression
If you’re a fan of Burger King, its time to bid a temporary goodbye. Same goes to food with refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, high sodium content, hydrogenated oil or processed food, according to this PsyhCentral article. Even if you’re not depressed, eating healthy is a great habit.
4. Negative conversation
You’re a bundle of negative energy when your mind is depressed. It’s easy to sink into negative talks littered with blame and criticism. You’ll want to do your best effort to stay away from negative talks. It doesn’t serve any purpose, except to strengthen the negative state you are in.
5. Learning To Meditate Alone
For once, I’m going to ask you NOT to download that copy of meditation guide from my website. While meditation has been used in many treatments for stress and depression, they have been practiced under the watchful eye of a meditation teacher or therapist. Going solo on meditation when your mind is bordering on a mental collapse is a huge no-no for me.
10 Ways To Overcome Depression Naturally
I’m going to put it clearly again. These recommendation does not substitute seeking professional help if you’re feeling suicidal. They are merely what I’ve tried and helped me get out of my own spell of depression.
Depression is a complicated situation and your stressors could be different than mine. I hope these will work for you as it does for me.
If you’ve been abandoning your physical health prior to getting depressed, it’s time to get started again. It is a well-known fact that working out physically produce endorphins, a hormone that makes you feel happy.
Getting out of shape could also lead to low self-esteem and insufficient mental energy to handle the ever increasing daily stress. Practicing martial art was part of my recovery process.
2. Make Friends
When you’re depressed, you tend to isolate yourself from the rest of the world. You crave understanding but somehow that has been elusive. Rather than opening up, you became an outcast.
Here’s where you need to do something counter-intuitive. You need to make new friends. And believe it or not, it is easier to make genuine friends when you’re going through a hard time.
You just need to open up your heart and realize that you are worthy of genuine friendships.
3. Practice Giving
There is a tremendous healing power in the act of giving that you never realized. And it was never about money. If you’ve never participated in any community project, it’s time to start now.
I know, it sounds ridiculous to help others when you’re in a less than ideal state. But somehow, it works. I’m not sure if it’s the positive energy that results from the act of giving but there is a light sense of healing when you choose to give.
Don’t take my word for it but do try it for yourself.
4. Find Your Purpose
Amidst the feeling of hopelessness in depression, it is the best time to discover your higher purpose in life. I know it sounds crazy but when you are in a state where you felt you have lost everything, it is so perfect to rebuilt a better life.
Your higher purpose normally transcends the material aspect of life. My purpose came in the form of helping myself to help others. It will be unique for you but it has the power to lift you up from the deep abyss of depression.
5. Set Short Term Goals
Not making progress is depressing. If you’re suffering from depression and you’re reading till this point, I strongly believe that you want to make progress. To be the person you once were.
To be more than the person you once were. For a start, set short term realistic goals that you can achieve. Write it down and stick it on your wall. Do it now.
It will keep your focus more on your goals and less on the negative situation you’re in.
6. Take Action
If you’re depressed you won’t feel like doing anything. Doing some actual work seems like the furthest thing in your mind. But that’s exactly what you need right now.
The hardest part is to get started.
You can start a blog like this. Or coach others with your expertise. You’ll start to explore new paths and possibility that you never imagined before. The momentum that you built up when you’re working on something will rub off on your depression positively.
It’s hard to sleep when you’re depressed. But you need adequate rest or you’ll aggravate your depression. Sleep is required for many physiological regenerative functions that were slowly shut down by depression.
If you’re suffering from a sleep disorder, here are 21 tips that I have shared in another post. Or you can try this very hypnosis track that I personally used. (I know it’s ironic that an abundance hypnosis audio could be effective for a sleep disorder, but it works for me).
8. Change Your Belief
There are saying that if you change your thoughts, you could change your world. Specifically, the depressive world where everything seems to be going against your will.
But have you ever thought that those thoughts that lead to your situation, came from a set of beliefs deep in your subconscious mind? I knew that if I don’t fix the root cause, it will only lead to the same problems again.
Christie Marie Sheldon’s unlimited abundance program help me greatly in giving up so many of my old ways.
9. Guided Meditation
I mentioned it’s unwise to pick up meditation alone if you’ve never meditated before and when you are almost on a mental breakdown every single minute of your day.
All the same, meditation has helped me in being attentive of my thoughts and not emotionally reacting to every single one of them. (I’ve prior meditation experience) You can try some FREE online guided meditation instead. This UCLA page has some very good guided meditation track.
If you don’t feel like meditating, you can get some high-quality meditation music to calm your mind here. Look for those by Christopher Lloyd Clarke. They are my favorites.
While meditation may be useful in keeping depressive thoughts at bay, hypnosis served as the tool to address the root cause effectively. or rather recreating neural pathway in your brain that relates to positive emotion and a bright future.
Does it work? It depends on the individual and how experienced is the hypnotist is. The more focus you are, the easier it is to be hypnotized. And no, you won’t lose your mind when you’re being hypnotized.
A 20 minutes hypnosis track would normally lift you out of the gloom for a few days. But I’ll suggest you try out this extensive Natural Depression Treatment Program.
Getting Out Of Depression
It’s a tough and long journey out from the deep pit of depression. Sometimes it’s like taking three steps forward and one step back. It could be frustrating or sometimes it feels like giving up.
I have a phrase now etched in my mind.
“You Are Stronger Than You Think”.
Over To You
Are you suffering from depression? Were you once depressed? Or did you saw someone going through a tough spell depression? Can you share your recovery stories or useful tips to overcome depression naturally?
You May Be Interested:
21 Brain Foods That Help Depression And Anxiety
21 Top Modern Mindfulness Blog To Reconnect With Your Self
Best Ways To Meditate When You Are Tired and Stressed
Why You Should Start Meditation Practice Before Life Hits You Hard
How To Get A Good Night Sleep Naturally – 21 Ways That Work
How To Break Bad Habits For Good