It’s normal to feel blue from time to time, but prolonged feelings of sadness are often a sign of depression. And, depression is a clinical condition that requires medical assistance in order to heal and recover.
The trouble is, in today’s society we often visit a doctor and are immediately prescribed pills to help us put a stop to our discomfort. And, while pills may help, they involve introducing unnatural chemicals to the body.
If you’re struggling with depression and are looking for an alternative to traditional medicine, you’re in luck. Here are nine alternative treatments for depression that you can try out instead.
Exercise is fairly well-known for releasing endorphins and causing feelings of pleasure. That’s because endorphins are one of the brain’s “happy hormones” that cause feelings of happiness and relaxation.
Studies have shown that people with depression can help boost their mood and combat negative emotions with just 10 minutes of exercise a day. Choosing a gentle, meditation-based exercise such as yoga can help add to the benefits, providing a natural remedy for depression.
Many antidepressants are prescribed to go hand-in-hand with therapy. That’s because therapy treatments help serve as a release for negative emotions that can assist people struggling with depressed mood.
Working with a therapist offers you an outlet for sadness, guilt, and other negative feelings that could be causing depression. And, therapy is a 100 percent chemical-free method for treating depression.
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of your thoughts. It uses a technique of centering your mind on the breath and on the present moment. You can practice guided mindfulness techniques or can learn to master it on your own.
Many times, mindfulness is combined with meditation or with yoga practices. This can help you to better focus the mind and ground yourself. In turn, that grounding and centering can eliminate unwanted, depressed thoughts and emotions.
Mindfulness is useful for fighting negative thoughts and putting a stop to depressed thought patterns. And, the best part about mindfulness practice is that it doesn’t involve any medications or standard treatments.
- Herbal Remedies
There are many different herbs that can help provide a calming effect on the brain and can serve as effective alternative treatments for depression. A few common herbs such as lavender and CBD isolate may help with negative thoughts and emotions.
Herbal remedies come in many different forms. You can take natural herbs as supplement pills, as essential oils, or as tea. The method of administration you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the desired effect.
Having lavender oil or CBD isolate bulk on hand can help ensure that you’re able to put a stop to negative thoughts or panic attacks when they arise. And, using multiple herbs can also help provide different effects on the body.
Animals are a great source of comfort for many people struggling with emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety. Their furry fur and unconditional love provide people who struggle with negative emotions a source of comfort and acceptance.
Some people with a mood disorder may even qualify for an emotional support animal. These animals provide companionship and support through difficult emotions. A few common ESAs include dogs, cats, rabbits, and hedgehogs.
Whichever ESA you choose (or even if you simply adopt a pet to stand by your side), these animals can bring you joy when nothing else can. And, they can serve as a distraction from unwanted thoughts and feelings.
Another alternative therapy that can offer relief from a depressed mood disorder is sunlight. Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D, which helps keep us healthy and keeps our bodies and brains functioning correctly.
When we don’t get enough vitamin D, it can lead to a depressed mood. In fact, many people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder struggle with negative thoughts and emotions due to a lack of vitamin D during the winter months.
Our bodies need time to rest and recover. When we don’t get enough rest, our bodies aren’t able to function at their best. And, a huge part of what gives our bodies the energy that they need to function healthily is sleep.
One simple method for fighting depression and negative emotions is getting more sleep. A sleep aid such as melatonin or herbal tea can help you to nod off and get a full night of rest when you need it.
- Healthy Foods
We often hear about the importance of a healthy diet for weight loss and for maintaining physical health. However, eating right is also critical for keeping your mind and emotions healthy.
When we eat nutrient-rich foods, we fuel our brains and help make sure that our brains are working correctly. In turn, this helps keep our neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine at healthy levels. Those healthy levels keep negative thoughts and emotions at bay.
- Social Contact
Did you know that human contact is just as important to our wellbeing as food and water? That’s right! Humans need stimulation and contact with other humans in order to function properly and stay healthy.
When we don’t receive enough human interaction, it can lead to feelings of depression and negative emotions.
On top of that, our friends and family offer us feelings of understanding, empathy, and support. When you’re going through a tough time, sharing with someone you trust can help ease the burden and pain that comes with depression.
The Bottom Line on Alternative Treatments for Depression
Treating your depression naturally is a gentle way of helping the body cope with negative emotions and begin to heal. It’s a way of avoiding unwanted chemicals and additives in your lifestyle.
Whether you choose to treat depression naturally or with a doctor is up to you. Either way, getting the support you need and using available resources is critical to your healing.
If you’re looking for more interesting articles to help you cope with depression, check out some of the other resources here at General Index today.