We all know that feeling. That feeling where you just can’t get out of bed in the morning. That feeling that makes you just want to close your eyes and sleep forever. If you’ve ever suffered from depression, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
What is depression?
Depression is something that always tends to creep up on you at the worst times. Depression can make you feel absolutely miserable, and destroy any motivation you may have. It is a condition that can make you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, and the toll it takes can last up to months if not handled properly. Sometimes it might even get so bad that your reality becomes distorted. If depression goes untreated, it can land you stuck in bed for quite some time.
You can go and seek out help all you want, but some solutions will just never work. You’ll encounter doctors who almost seem eager to get you a prescription for antidepressants. Regardless of why you want to shy away from traditional methods of treatment, here are some great ways to cope with depression naturally.
This is by far one of the best ways to naturally handle depression. Therapy can help people suffering from depression in many ways, but the reason it is so useful is that it can provide you with a skill to help you combat depression on your own. The best type of therapy to help you cope with depression is Cognitive Therapy.
Cognitive therapy is unique, in that it teaches you your ways to deal with the troubles of depression. This type of therapy will help you get control over your brain and help you properly deal with negative thoughts. Plus, the beauty of it, is that you don’t need medication. All you need to do to have success with cognitive therapy is to make sure you’re following instructions.
The dark thoughts of depression can be daunting, but as long as you’re prepared, you’ll have a much easier time dealing with them. Some common practices of cognitive therapy include, but are not limited to:
Training the mind to see the world in a more positive way
Handling reactions before, and after, a depressive episode
Coming up with positive thought patterns to override the mind’s seemingly automatic negative perception of the world
These methods have a high success rate, and according to doctors, are just as effective as medication. This is also a great long term solution to your depression problems because a trained mind will help you fight off depression much easier.
If this seems confusing, think of it like this.
Depression is the brain’s way of being overall negative about the world. It can distort your views, and make you prone to negativity. The goal of cognitive therapy is to help the brain begin to view the world through a more positive lens. Makes sense right?
A routine with goals
This one might not seem like much, but it can be a definite game-changer when dealing with depression. Instead of laying in bed until midnight, no matter how hard it is to get up, try getting up earlier. Wake up earlier, set goals for the day, and try to be as productive as possible.
Why would this help?
The reason this helps is simple. Depression is the mind’s way of being in a “rut.” A deep rut that can be quite a fight to get out of. The only way to change a rut is to make a change in your life. Throw yourself off a bit, and change things up. You can try keeping a journal with goals, or your thoughts about the future, and keep up with it.
They say it takes about 20-30 days, on average, to make a habit. Making your routine a habit can help take your mind off of depressing thoughts. So get out there, be proactive, and start changing things up. You might be surprised by the results.
What about goals?
The reason goals are important to this process, is due to the fact that goal setting is proven to make you feel good about yourself. Now, if you pursue this goal, you’ll feel even better upon completing it. Goals give you something to look forward to, and a mission that requires your attention. This can help combat depressing thoughts because you’ll be too focused on crushing your goals.
If goal setting is difficult for you, try starting small. You can take things day by day, and even set goals for just that day if it helps. Try giving yourself something to look forward to, because it might help you focus on the positive things in life instead.
Exercise, sleep, and healthy eating habits
Exercise is a great way to handle depression because it will give you a better image of yourself. Plus, in some cases, depression can be due to being overweight. This is a direct treatment for that type of depression, but it works for generalized depression as well.
Have you ever heard of a runner’s high? Well, believe it or not, this is a real thing. After you complete a workout, your body releases a chemical called serotonin. This is what makes you feel like you’re on top of the world after a tough workout.
Why is serotonin important?
The release of serotonin is important because depression inhibits this chemical in your brain. Depression makes it hard for you to feel pleasure, so completing a workout may be the perfect way to jumpstart this flow of serotonin.
Exercise is only half the battle
You can work out as much as you’d like, but the best way to treat depression is to also change your eating habits. At the end of the day, and this might be shocking, the food you put in your body has a lot to do with your mindset. Experts recommend that you look for foods with Omega-3 because they tend to have a great impact on the way you feel.
The main thing about healthy eating is that depression throws this cycle off. Whether you’re a person who tends to overeat or undereat when you’re depressed, reversing this cycle can prove to be effective in combating depression. The reason is simple, remember how we talked about creating habits? Well, returning to a better way of eating can actually make you feel better for very similar reasons.
What about sleep?
If you’re suffering from depression, you should also make sure you get plenty of sleep. Regardless of how long you stay in bed, make sure you analyze exactly how long you’re actually sleeping. Being well-rested can play a crucial role when it comes to changing your mindset.
Look, dealing with depression is incredibly difficult, and it can be hard to beat negative thoughts. You might think that an antidepressant is the best way to go, but you should go about this issue naturally. If you take the natural route, you have a better chance of seeing long term healing. You also won’t need to rely on medication that throws off the way your brain functions.
So, regardless of what your depression may be caused by, try to follow these natural treatments to the best of your ability. While they may take a while to get results, as opposed to medication, you’ll feel so much better about yourself. You might even start to see the world through a positive lens.