10 Ways to Beat Depression Naturally
One important fact to realize, perhaps the most important, is that you have some manner of control over your thoughts. This is not meant to minimize the black pit that depression can become for some people. But for most of us, depression is not permanent but more of a transient mood, caused at times by life events, physical discomfort, or disease. Here are ten ways to beat depression naturally!
- Take control of your mind, if possible. Direct your thoughts in a positive manner. Although it may sound corny and trite, when you think about it, humans are the only creatures we know able to direct thoughts in the manner we desire. We make hundreds of decisions every day. This gives us an awesome power if we choose to use it. Exercise your power to direct your thoughts in the direction you choose.
- Exercise. The body and mind are one system, in reality. Running promotes positive hormones like endorphins. Many of the typical floor exercises keep muscles strong. Disciplines like Yoga increase poise and balance if done correctly. If you create a program that involves these different aspects of strength, cardiovascular health, and balance, you will be busier—healthier also—and less prone to depression.
- Get involved in an activity. Any activity that is positive. Gardening can be peaceful and healing. A nice walk can do wonders. If there is a cause that resonates deeply with you, get involved with it.
- Help someone less fortunate than yourself. Often, you will discover other people have problems worse than your own. The true realization of this fact acts to show us many times how blessed our own lives are and helps minimize the effects of depression.
- Take up a new area of endeavor. When you attempt to master a new area of endeavor, a new skill, your attention is completely engaged. As you learn the skill, it becomes less and less necessary to pay close conscious attention to it. Driving is a good example, though it is always a good idea to pay attention to the roadway. If you have ever become proficient at any sport, you went through a period of intense learning and gradually the necessary motions became second nature. When children learn to read, it takes intense concentration and skill. But, years later, the words on the page are read easily and without effort by most. In fact, reading becomes so automatic that you can't see a word and not read it. Learning to talk as children worked the same way. The point is that learning something new sharpens and focuses your attention. It keeps you engaged in life.
- Get away to a wilderness area. Many times we forget how connected we are to the earth around us. Stroll in the silence of the woods in a national park. Hike a mountain trail and feel the vastness of nature around you.
- Break old habits by substitution. We often are creatures of habit. And habits have positive benefits, many times. They can be activities we are comfortable with, activities we have found to be safe. But if this is not the case, if you have habits that are negative, these habits can be changed. Changing your habits can give you a sense of power and control in your life. Start small, if necessary. Substitution is one good way to break a habit. Take overeating, perhaps. It is very difficult to just reduce eating. The proper tactic is often to eat foods that are less calorie dense and more nutritious than those you are accustomed to. In other words, substitute healthy foods for the unhealthy.
- Take up the practice of mindfulness. We humans live so much in our minds that we sometimes forget how to enjoy and live completely in the present moment. Take up a sport that requires skill and concentration. Become a stargazer. Learn to meditate. Forget the future and the past for a few moments.
- Forgive yourself. The fact is that we only get one shot at this particular life, as far as we know. Regardless of religious beliefs about what is to come, it behooves us to experience this life to the fullest. We're all only human. We make mistakes. Make amends, if possible, and go on.
- Give thanks for the many positive aspects of life. We live in a time of tremendous possibility. Make it a habit to be thankful for life. Realize that every day is unique; every day is a gift. While we live, everything is possible. Live!
These ten ways to beat depression naturally stress that the power to change our lives in positive ways can often be found within. This is not to deny the brutal suffering depression can cause. Seek professional help if necessary. But first look deep within yourself and focus. In the final analysis, we must try to retain the power to direct our own lives. Tennis players practice by hitting balls against backboards that send the ball right back at them. Life comes at us relentlessly like that, from odd and different angles. We are often caught off-balance and must adjust to react. It is our responses that make the crucial difference, as we search to find the power inside to choose. Exercising these ten ways to beat depression naturally can help develop that power.
*Disclaimer: This article provides general information about medicine, health, and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this article, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.
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