Depression can be crippling.
It sucks you into a black hole of sadness, pulling you deeper and deeper into the darkness, slowly stifling your capacity for hope. And without hope, life might not feel like it’s worth living.
While there are many treatments for depression, including therapy and medication, there are also several holistic remedies that are equally effective.
Here are 7 natural remedies for depression:
Otherwise known as Emotional Freedom Technique, this involves tapping your fingers on meridian points on the body that can release energy blockages. The efficacy of the technique on depression, especially in young people, has been validated in several studies. Think of it as acupuncture without the needles. Start with your hand and begin to karate chop your other hand. Then, with your index finger and middle finger, start tapping the top of your head and work your way down, tapping for a few seconds on each of your meridian points. As you go, repeat positive affirmations until you feel your stress dissipate.
- PROPER NUTRITION
Many of us subconsciously distract ourselves from unpleasant emotions by eating something rich, sweet, or salty — making us ultimately feel worse.
The stomach is referred to as the “second brain”, and with good reason. It is filled with important neurotransmitters that have a profound impact on your mental state.
Approximately 90 percent of your serotonin is produced in your digestive tract and is key to mood regulation. If your levels are out of whack, it can negatively affect your mood, appetite, sleep, memory, and sex drive. If you depend on sugar to boost your mood regularly, you’re actually more likely to suffer from mood disorders down the line.
Some snacks that promote the production of those “feel-good” chemicals are pumpkin seeds, brown rice crackers, beans, sliced turkey, Greek yogurt with berries and nuts, black tea, dark chocolate (75 percent cocoa), and fatty fish like smoked salmon, sardines, and anchovies.
- DAILY MEDITATIONS
Backed by a multitude of research, meditation is the foundation of a peaceful existence. If you’re a beginner, try incorporating a guided meditation into your daily routine. Meditating is a brain workout, and practice makes perfect. As time goes by, you will find it easier to manage your thoughts and will begin to notice an overall more positive attitude.
- REGULAR SLEEP REGIMEN
Promote restorative sleep by replacing nighttime anxiety with a relaxing ritual. Diffuse essential oils, journal about the day you had, and write a to-do list for tomorrow, so you can go to sleep feeling calm and clear-headed.
- NO TECHNOLOGY BEFORE BED
A report from the National Sleep Foundation found that 95 percent of people who used an electronic device within an hour of bedtime reduced the melatonin in their system by 50 percent. Melatonin is a chemical that helps to regulate circadian rhythms. Save the smartphone for your morning commute. If you can cut your screen time by 25 percent, the difference in your sleep will be—wait for it—night and day.
- USE ESSENTIAL OILS
Buy a diffuser and some relaxing essential oils to diffuse while you’re working, spending time in your home, and before bedtime. If you’re not sure where to start, try Doterra. Doterra Peace combines vetiver, lavender, and ylang-ylang to calm and reassure you in stressful moments. Doterra Cheer boosts positivity with a proprietary blend of wild orange peel, star anise, vanilla bean extract, and more. If you’re not interested in investing in a diffuser, just apply one to two drops of your chosen oil to your hands, your heart chakra, and anywhere else you feel moved to place it. Breathe in the scent throughout the day whenever you need a moment of calm or burst of joy.
- BECOME ONE WITH NATURE
One of the greatest tools for fighting depression and anxiety is literally right in your backyard. Give forest bathing a go, try a walking meditation, or just call it a walk. Whatever you call it, however, you do it, spending time in nature is associated with better mood, increased energy, and a decrease in stressful thoughts. So, why are we spending so much time inside, again?
If you’re suffering from depression, give these 7 natural remedies a try. Barring a case of clinical depression, you may find that your sadness can be alleviated without the need for medical intervention.
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