In today’s world of psychiatry, prescription antidepressant medications are one of the most common remedies for depression. In fact, more than 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 12 take one or more prescription antidepressant medications. Doctors prescribe medication as an almost knee-jerk reaction to anyone with a depression diagnosis.
Commercials for Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, and more flash across television screens nationwide. You might think they’re the only solution in use anymore. However, many natural remedies for depression still exist. While they may not act as quickly as medication, you might be able to combat your depression symptoms without taking medication.
If you’re interested in treating your depression with a natural remedy, this list will give you some ideas to start off. Every person’s situation is different so pick what works for you and leave out those that don’t. Continue reading to find out the top 10 natural remedies for depression!
1. Identifying the root causes and triggers of your depression.
There are two types of depression: situational depression and clinical depression. While the symptoms appear similar, the main difference between the two is the seriousness. Situational depression disappears over time but clinical depression lasts longer. Because of this, it’s easier to treat situational depression with natural remedies than clinical depression.
Assess your depression and see if there might be a root cause to it. If you can identify a specific situation that triggered it, yours might be situational and you can utilize these natural remedies for depression.
2. Get your body moving.
Exercise! This is one of the best natural remedies for depression. No matter your activity level, exercising and getting your body moving works wonders. Though your symptoms might make it feel impossible to leave the house, you’ll feel better once you do. Go for a walk or a run, play basketball or soccer with a friend, head to the beach to surf, or lift some weights.
3. Take a look at your diet.
Your diet plays a key role in your mood. If you eat mostly low-quality, processed food, it affects how you feel. Fueling your body with healthy, whole foods that provide the nutrients you need will help with your depression symptoms. Try incorporating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, and chicken to begin with.
4. Eliminate any unnecessary stressors.
You will always have a few stressors in your life, such as work or school. Look at the other things in your life that stress you out and find a few you can reduce or remove. Do you have a friend who drains you of your emotional wellbeing? What about an activity that brings you more stress than happiness? Try to eliminate the unnecessary stressors in your life.
5. Keep a journal.
Try to write a little bit every day. You don’t have to write long, extensive entries but keep a small log of what you do each day. Where did you go? Who did you hang out with? What did you do? What was the most beautiful thing you saw? Keeping a journal helps you identify patterns in your day-to-day life that might be more harmful than helpful.
6. Practice meditation.
Practicing meditation is another one of the most incredible natural remedies for depression. Meditation may feel intimidating to you, especially if you think you need to meditate for hours at a time. It’s quite the opposite, though. Meditation can be as simple as a few minutes of quiet mindfulness. Start from there and then build on your meditation practice!
7. Try out an acupuncture session.
Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine used to treat bodily aches and pains. Though little research exists surrounding the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating depression, some swear by it. Set an appointment for a session to see if it may be a helpful addition to your list of natural remedies for depression.
8. Work with a therapist.
You don’t have to be on antidepressant medication to work with a therapist. Regularly seeing a therapist helps you work through both past and present issues that affect your mental wellbeing. Your therapist digs into the thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that cause problems in your life and helps you adjust them. They can also provide additional suggestions on natural remedies for depression!
9. Sign up for a yoga class.
Practicing yoga somewhat combines meditation and exercise. Connect your mind and your body through slow, purposeful movements. It keeps your body moving while also encouraging you to slow down and focus. Whether you practice on your own or take a class, try using yoga as one of your natural remedies for depression.
10. Incorporate a supplement like St. John’s wort.
If you don’t want to take a prescription for antidepressants and prefer using natural remedies for depression, St. John’s wort might help. People have used it as a natural depression treatment in times as far back as the ancient Greeks. You might find it helpful in relieving some of the symptoms of your depression.
The most important thing to know about St. John’s wort is that it can have incredibly harmful effects when mixed with other medications. If you take any type of prescription, check with your doctor before using this supplement.
When Natural Remedies for Depression Can’t Help
If you tried the suggestions on this list and found they didn’t relieve your symptoms, you may need to seek more intensive treatment for your depression. Treatment facilities that specialize in treating depression, like Hawaii Island Recovery, are here to help you. Your depression doesn’t have to run your life anymore.