Depression is a condition in which an individual lacks motivation to complete goals, accomplish day to day tasks, and function properly throughout the day. Depression is a disorder that also affects the brains chemical balance forcing serotonin levels to diminish thus resulting in the individual suffering from depression to remain unhappy.
Fortunately though there are several alternatives to battling depression and a great majority of them do not involve prescription medication. These alternatives range from proper diet and exercise to supplementing different herbs and foods throughout the day for a boost of serotonin. Natural remedies for depression do exist and should be utilized first prior to seeking any over the counter medication or prescription medication.
Depression may be exacerbated by an unhealthy diet. This is because trans fats, oils, and certain chemicals in processed food and fast food contribute to the body remaining “bogged” down. In order to combat depression first begin with a healthy diet. Three to five square meals a day consisting of raw fruits and vegetables will replace the unwanted chemicals in the body with B6, B12, and Vitamin C which are essential for selenium depression fighting antioxidants. These vitamins can be found in foods such as; grapes, raisins, oats, honey, yogurt, and even peanuts. Peanuts naturally contain Vitamin E which is also an essential vitamin for reducing stress.
Daily walks will help fight depression by boosting natural serotonin levels within the brain. This is because exercise as simple as walking helps blood flow through the veins resulting in euphoric feelings thus proving to be literally the first step with natural remedies for depression. Other exercises can consist of jogging, running, and even hiking which is greatly encouraged. Hiking outdoors at national parks or state parks can help to separate the individual from society resulting in a harmonic balance between nature and man’s law. Being away from an urban environment will help “reset” the mind from daily stressors and bring back balance to one’s life.
For individuals looking to battle their depression through advanced exercise than activities such as Pilates, yoga, and even martial arts are a great option to try. Pilates and yoga require dedication and discipline which help create a constant routine for the individual allowing less time for stressors to take over their daily life. As well as martial arts teaches discipline and even techniques with how to deal with stress through training which results in a life-long lesson on how to deal with depression.
S.A.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder
Many people live in areas that do not receive a lot of sunlight throughout the year and surprisingly this may also result in depression. Areas such as the Pacific Northwest receive over 220 days of rain a year which increase the rate of prescription drug use for depression every year. Regardless of the weather outside it is still important to battle depression naturally with outdoor walks and hikes as often as possible. Also, since the sun feeds Vitamin D to the body, which helps fight depression, invest in oils and lotions that contain vitamin D and use them regularly. Also, tanning beds can be utilized to absorb vitamin D but should be used sparingly as tanning beds can cause skin cancer too.
“Alternative Treatments for Depression.” WebMD
“Natural Remedies for Depression.” Being Happy by Design