How To Overcome Depression Naturally (10 Simple Effective Ways)

By Kenny Lee | Depression

Mar 24

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

How To Overcome Depression NaturallyDepression 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.

RECOMMENDED: 11 Things To Do When You Are Overwhelmed

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

How To Overcome Depression Naturally

Credits to http://www.webmd.com

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 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 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
  • overwhelmed
  • social aversion
  • disoriented

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

How To Overcome Depression NaturallyDepression literally sucks the soul out of you. You’ll know exactly what I meant if you’ve gone through a 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.

1. Caffeine

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 course 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

How To Overcome Depression NaturallyIf 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 clear 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.

1. Exercise

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. 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

How To Overcome Depression Naturally

There is 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.

INTERESTING READ: How To Give With Your Heart

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.

No.

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

How To Overcome Depression Naturally

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.

7. Sleep

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 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

How To Overcome Depression Naturally

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.

RECOMMENDED: A Year Of Mindfulness: Would You Tame Your Monkey Mind This Year?

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.

10. Hypnosis

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 bright future.

Does it work? It depends on individual and the 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.

Don’t.

I have a phrase now etched in my mind.

“You Are Stronger Than You Think”.

Click Here To Read The Full Story Of How I Overcome My Depression And Anxiety.

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

 

 

About the Author

I struggled with social anxiety for at least 15 years, without really knowing what I was going through. Eventually, I defeated my social phobia and conquered the fear of public speaking.

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(22) comments

Tatiana Ceja March 25, 2017

Coming from someone who has faced the struggle of postpartum depression, this is extremely valuable information. I was in a job at the time where I could not afford to be on medication that made me at all foggy or anything that was full of side effects. I was worried about taking anything because of this! I ended up having no choice and some of the things I was worried about ended up coming to life! I wish that when I was going through this, I had thought to look at something like this to find alternative ways to help me through what I was going through. Thank you for sharing your knowledge! This is something that many people could benefit from knowing for their overall mental health.

Reply
    Kenny Lee March 25, 2017

    Hi Tatiana,

    I’m glad you found strength to overcome depression. Do not blame yourself of not thinking of seeking alternative information. When we’re depressed our mind seems to function differently from our normal way.

    In fact now that you highlighted this, I’m not sure if this article has any chance of reaching people who are currently suffering from depression.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
rjkennedy March 25, 2017

Depression is one deep down illness that effect millions of American’s world-wide. Studies have shown that kids, even in their early teens, are affected. Some are depressed enough to want to commit suicide.

It’s good how you broke things down regarding images of the human brain and how signs of depression target certain areas. I was also surprised that, certain food can make you depressed. Again, we learn new things everyday.

It’s good how you point out things that can help beat depression. But the way things go down in our world today, I’m not surprised many more Americans aren’t stuck in a depressed mode.

Reply
    Kenny Lee March 25, 2017

    Hi RJ,

    Most of us would get depressed at certain point of our life. When you look at those cheerful faces on social media, half of them or more could easily be going through tough times silently.

    I’m sure depression happen in many parts of the world. It’s sad that most people refuse to acknowledge it as a medical issue and instead keeping it hidden for the sake of not appearing weak.

    Thanks for reading and sharing your point of view here.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
JelenaBB March 25, 2017

Hi Kenny, an excellent article on how to beat depression.
I am due to changes in life circumstances for some time been depressed and pulled in a way that you describe. Since I am a supporter of natural things, did not want to take medication, because I believe that they just cover up the problem without being deeply tassels. The only thing I would add that in your post is that it is very important to leave the house and walk. Make yourself at least a half-hour walk on the air every day.
Another thing that has helped me every morning glass of squeezed lemon and a teaspoon of honey. It gave me extra energy and at night we would teaspoon of honey to help sleep.
And the third thing I am instead of hypnosis and meditation practiced prayer. Because prayer is toward God, I will be greater than us that is beyond us and can help us from outside. Meditation is facing the inside of us, and we were already sick inside hard to ourselves we can help.

Reply
    Kenny Lee March 25, 2017

    Hi Jelena,

    I like how you turn to God for strength and guidance in tough time. It’s one thing to do if you’re a religious person.

    Also thanks for tips of lemon honey. And I do agree I missed out an important point of getting out of the house to get a touch of nature. That helps too.

    Thanks for sharing all your thoughts here.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
natalie March 25, 2017

Hi Kenny

Thank you for a very informative article! I’ll certainly look into some of the links you have provided too.

Another way to recognize severe depression which may require treatment (as opposed to that which you recognize early enough for self-help), is that you lose all interest in things you used to love, and become extremely apathetic. You hardly have enough energy to lift your head off the pillow. Whilst you may not seriously seek suicide, you may be uncaring of being in accidents or other harmful situations which may lead to serious injury or death.

Also, giving up your coffee in my opinion is a sure way to become enraged or more depressed once the caffeine withdrawal headaches set in:( Drinking too much coffee is never a great idea, but probably best to curb it when you’re in a good place mentally…

My pennies worth is all…

Regards
Natalie

Reply
    Kenny Lee March 25, 2017

    Hi Natalie,

    I can say that I am almost at the state that you mentioned. That part of not caring of our own well-being before I decided to battle back.

    As for coffee, I don’t have the withdrawal symptom (thankfully) but I’m pretty sure it aggravates the situation i was in.

    Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts here. I’m sure it would help others who read this.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Shirley March 25, 2017

I’ve never suffered depression myself, but I’ve walked beside someone very close to me as he battled this demon. It’s not pretty and I hate to think of how he would have coped without the loving support of his family and friends. There is no quick fix, you can’t just snap out of it, but what we all did for our friend was to keep him as healthy as could be. Eating properly, exercising, getting sunshine and fresh air are vitally important and go a long way toward bringing back the happiness. Thanks for such a great post.

Reply
    Kenny Lee March 25, 2017

    Hi Shirley,

    It’s tough to see someone you care going through depression. I’m so grateful for my friends and family who saw me turned into something dark and yet never gave up on me. Eventually when we decided enough is enough, we’ll battle back for the light.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
kevin March 25, 2017

i admit i get depressed a bit , it last about 4 days , because i do dialysis, while waiting for a transplant it can seem that there is no end in sight to this torture, i use one of these methods the most -SLEEP , dialysis can leave you very tired, so i found it a good one, tell do you have a quick recipe for a good anti depressant meal?

Reply
    Kenny Lee March 25, 2017

    Hi Kevin,

    I’m sorry to hear of your predicament. Sometimes sleep is the best cure. There is one point that I lost appetite of my regular meal and I decided to go for vegetarian. It’s refreshing and do lift up my mood.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Wenda March 25, 2017

Great article, thanks for taking the time to publish this. I am going to bookmark and keep this for future reference and to share.

Reply
    Kenny Lee March 25, 2017

    Hi Wenda,

    Thanks for reading.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Laurie March 25, 2017

Great article. You have provided so much information about depression and how to overcome it. I did not realize that food is a factor. I have written down some of the pointers that you listed, and I will share some with a family member that suffers from depression. Better yet, I might just send this link to her. Excellent post and very informative.

Reply
    Kenny Lee March 25, 2017

    Hi Laurie,

    Thanks for checking out my post. I hope your family member who is going through depression may find some of the tips helpful. Do seek professional help if the symptom deteriorates.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Vitaliy March 25, 2017

Hi Kenny
Not long ago one of my friend had a depression. Before he went into that state of mind I never knew such thing existed. It can literally ruin someone’s life. Luckily for him he realized the situation, excepted this fact and took action. My friend was willing to go over this. He overcame his problem with help of friends, family members and a qualified doctor. Some people deny that they have depression. And it is only going deeper and gets worse.
Society needs to be more educated on this subject in our modern world.
Great information, Kenny!
Cheers,
Vitaliy

Reply
    Kenny Lee March 26, 2017

    Hi Vitaliy,

    I”m glad your friend overcame this very difficult episode. Depression could bring anyone down to their knee. I believe the more open we are to this, the faster we can get help and recover.

    Thanks for reading.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Jamin Wong March 26, 2017

I find out the perfectionist always end up with depression. I am a happy go lucky guy, I do not understand why people suffer depression one of my stuff too on one-month medical depression leave. I was told by a psychiatrist that depression people need to take whole life drug. Is that true?

Reply
    Kenny Lee March 27, 2017

    Hi Jamin,

    This is entirely possible if a person has suffered severe depression and/or with tendency of suicide. And such episodes of depression occurs multiple times. In certain cases, the need to continue the medication is reviewed on a yearly basis.

    Hope this information help.
    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
James April 1, 2017

Thank you for producing this well researched article on a topic that unfortunately affects so many people in this modern day society. There were a number of trigger points in my life that led to depression the main ones being when I was retrenched at the age of 57 from a senior management position I had held for 20 years and secondly when I was later diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. Fortunately with a very supportive wife and family I was able to fully recover from my depression.

Reply
    Kenny Lee April 1, 2017

    Hi James,

    Thanks for sharing your experience here. It’s tough going through a retrenchment after serving for so long, and getting diagnosed with prostate cancer definitely doesn’t help. I’m glad you passed through that dark episode with the support you had.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
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