- Mental Health
Suggestions for Treating Mild Depression Naturally
Several years ago, vague health problems had gotten so bad that they were taking over my life. I finally went to a doctor and got an official diagnosis - mild depression.
Medication for my sleep issues and a couple of months going to counseling were helpful as a start. But I wanted to be an active part of my own healing too. I just wasn't sure how.
I researched, asked for advice, and just tried some things I thought of. And over time I found several approaches. Everyone's situation is different, but perhaps these ideas will work for you, too.
Two Things To Remember:
1. You are worth taking care of
Believe that you deserve the attention, and make a commitment to your well- being.
2. Small steps are the key to big changes
By adjusting little by little, better habits take firmer root. And a sense of accomplishment will come sooner.
Is it depression?
First, you need to get the official word. Everyone goes through difficult patches. But my "case of the blues" stretched on, and grew worse when I tried to ignore it. The symptoms can became so overwhelming that I had trouble functioning, never mind being able to enjoy my life.
Have you experienced any of these over a long period of time?
1. Feelings of guilt, self-blame, anger or hopelessness
2. Loss of or increase in appetite
3. Changes in your normal sleep patterns
4. Lack of interest, even in favorite activities
Awareness and admitting your struggle is vital. Get any professional help you need. Then start an action plan for yourself.
Natural Depression Treatments
Exercise - It was hard to get excited about working out when I wanted to stay in bed! But even short walks around my back yard with the dog lifted my mood. Now I try to do at least 20 minutes of some sort of movement most days. Yoga, walking and dance have served me well. Others have sworn by swimming and running. Find some type of activity you like - you'll enjoy it more.
Diet - My eating habits were derailing me. Way too much fat and sugar lived in the comfort foods I was treating myself to daily. But don't try to change your whole diet at once. Start by adding in more fruits and veggies and grains. Soon, you'll feel better and that can have a huge impact on your mental state.
Herbs and Vitamins - Many people get a boost from herbs like St. John's Wort. B Vitamins to help with stress and fish oils are often recommended as well. Just be sure to use them according to directions so you'll get the maximum benefit.
Counseling - Speaking your feelings or thoughts out loud can be huge. A trained therapist may be a good option for you. That's where I started, but ended up getting more out of a support group and talking with good friends. Find a place that feels safe to share, and a person you trust to keep your conversation private.
Journaling - Sometimes writing can be a terrific outlet. Jotting down a memory, a revelation, or even a question releases thoughts pent up inside. You might discover things about yourself or your past that can help your progress.
Thought Adjustment - It's amazing how much an effect our negative thoughts and beliefs have on our feelings and actions. Once I saw the connection, I knew I had address the issue. The process takes honesty and openness to change. But dispelling the old unhealthy thoughts will give you a lot of hope for your future.