Although you might feel like you’re suffering in isolation, depression is far more common than people realize. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that at least 300 million people suffer from some type of depressive disorder each day. So, it’s important to understand that you’re not alone and that there are ways to effectively tackle your depression.
Turning off the negative voice in your head might seem impossible because it’s always reminding you how worthless you are, that life is too hard, and you should just quit. That same voice does everything it can to stop you from getting better, or even looking for a permanent solution for your depression.
When people discuss being depressed, it’s about feeling tired all the time, that you suffer from mood swings, and feel you can’t cope with life anymore. It’s only when people actually suffer from depression that they experience the physical discomfort that goes along with it.
It feels like you have a pain in the center of your being – maybe your soul – and nothing works to ease that pain. Or, that you’re carrying another person around on your back all day.
In desperation people will visit their doctor, hoping that they can prescribe something to make the depression go away. The issue here is that there is no single pill that will cure you of your depression. Instead, what antidepressants do is allow you to function well enough to find other ways to deal with your condition.
Doctors are pretty limited in how much they can help you, apart from prescribing medication. The only solution they can offer is to either change the antidepressants you’re taking or add more medication to the mix.
You then need to worry about the potential side effects of each pill you’re taking. Antidepressants also produce diminishing results over a period of about six months, limiting their effectiveness the longer you take them. Then you’re back to your doctor again, looking for a new antidepressant, and the vicious cycle starts all over again.
But there are ways to deal with your depression without taking medication.
Get More Exercise
Nobody enjoys exercise, but everyone who does it feels great afterward. Okay, they might be exhausted, but they do feel good, and this is because exercise improves circulation and delivers more oxygen to your brain. According to The Mayo Clinic, the reason why you feel better after exercise is that physical exertion releases endorphins and endocannabinoids into your bloodstream.
These chemicals elevate your mood, and yes, endocannabinoids do produce the same “feel good” factor as if you were using cannabis. Basically, you get high but without the disorientation, or need to eat any snacks you can get your hands on.
Another benefit of exercise is that it also limits the production of any chemicals that might make your depression worse.
So, when is the best time to exercise if you want to use it as a way to manage your depression? You’ll hate us for saying this, but exercising first thing in the morning is the best way to elevate your mood for the entire day. This doesn’t require you to get up at 5 am to spend an hour in the gym. Instead, all you need is a 10-minute workout where you get your heart rate up.
So, a few minutes of jumping jacks, planks and push-ups, jump rope for five minutes, or a quick kettlebell workout. Or, go for a quick jog or cycle first thing in the morning – whatever works best for your circumstances. And “morning” could be 10 am for you, or 2 pm if you’re working night shifts. The secret is to make sure that exercise is the first thing you do after you wake up.
Your Sleeping Pattern
When you suffer from depression it’s very tempting to pull the covers over your head and stay in bed all day. Who can blame you? Depression is exhausting, leaving you in a constant state of tiredness. You will find it difficult to get out of bed and do anything. It’s not all in your head – you’re suffering from a debilitating condition that’s ruining your life.
The reason why you feel tired all day – no matter how much sleep you get – is because your serotonin levels are out of balance. If you’ve never heard of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) it’s a chemical which regulates your moods. When you suffer from a deficit in serotonin you’ll find it’s difficult to get to sleep each night, or you’ll wake up several times during the night, leaving you exhausted the next morning.
Studies have also shown that sleeping more than eight hours per day can actually contribute to depression. So, although it might seem counterintuitive to get up earlier in the day because you’re so tired all the time, it’s something you will need to commit to doing. You’re not benefitting from all the extra sleep, so why bother staying in bed?
The amount of sleep somebody needs varies from one person to the next, but you should avoid staying up late, avoid eating or drinking stimulants several hours before your normal bed time and focus on getting at least six hours of unbroken sleep when you do turn out the lights.
You also need to practice sleep hygiene by removing all electronic devices from your bedroom. This includes TVs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Your bedroom should be an environment that encourages sleep and nothing else.
Something else you need to avoid is daytime naps, although this can be tough if you’re having trouble sleeping at night. If you have to take a nap during the day then please set an alarm to wake you after no more than 60-minutes. Sleeping any longer than that forces your body into a deep sleep cycle. You’ll wake up four hours later feeling terrible, and probably still as tired as before.
If you need a plan to help you get up early each morning, then we can recommend ‘The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod. You’ll never look at sleep the same way again, and it’s a hugely inspiring book to read.
A Healthy Diet
While eating a healthy diet won’t cure your depression, it will definitely help reduce the impact it’s having on your life. Our modern diet is filled with processed, sugar-rich foods with thousands of “empty” calories.
We expect to feel energetic after eating a delicious meal, but unfortunately, most meals are loaded down with carbohydrate-rich foods such as pasta, flour, potatoes, wheat, sugar, and flour. Have you ever noticed how eating a plate of pasta makes you feel sleepy afterward? It’s because your body has to work very hard to digest those carbs, leaving you exhausted afterward.
Eating a diet made up of leafy green vegetables, antioxidant-rich fruit, healthy grains, and lean meats will leave you feeling full and full of energy. This energy can make a big difference if you’re struggling through a day where your depression feels like it’s trying to swallow you whole. You’ll need all your resources just to make it through that type of day.
A healthy diet is part of the overall puzzle of dealing with depression, and it’s not one you can afford to ignore. The main reason to review what you’re eating is that healthy foods are rich in phytonutrients. Eating these types of food actually boosts your serotonin levels, leaving you feeling more energetic and more positive.
You can take a food allergy test if you want to take healthy eating to the next level. This test checks if you’re allergic to particular types of food. Some people can be allergic to lettuce, or even tomatoes – they don’t come out in a rash, they just feel very lethargic after eating them.
You’re probably allergic to specific foods you eat on a regular basis, but never realized it. After you get the results of your food allergies you then eliminate all processed food from your diet, eating only fresh foods, for a period of about six weeks.
You’ll notice that you have more energy every day, you sleep better each night, and your mood will improve too. After a few weeks of healthy eating, you’ll see how damaging a diet filled with processed foods can be, and you won’t ever want to go back.
Soak Up Negative Ions
Have you ever noticed how you feel more positive and healthy when you’re near the sea, or in a forest? Or how the air feels and smells cleaner after a thunderstorm? This isn’t your mind playing tricks on you – it’s because the environment you’re in is actually discharging negative energy from your body.
The human body is made of energy vibrating at a specific frequency so that it becomes the matter our skin, bones, organs, and blood are made of. And because we are comprised of nothing more than energy our bodies can be negatively impacted by other types of energy.
Have you noticed that depression has become more common as we surround ourselves with an increasing number of electronic devices? You’re exposed to the electromagnetic (EM) fields produced by electronics every moment of every day.
From when you switch on your computer, to answering your cell phone or just watching TV. Even being in wide open spaces isn’t safe because EM fields are generated by cell phone towers and microwave transmitters, for example. These EM fields are full of positively charged ions, and they’re not good news for anyone dealing with depression.
The problem with positive ions is they affect you at a molecular level. Studies have shown links between positive ions and an increase in depression, anxiety, suicide, and insomnia. Regular exposure to positive ion fields will also reduce the amount of serotonin your body produces. Read that again: Positive ions can and will reduce your serotonin levels, contributing to your depression.
Negatively charged ions have the exact opposite effect. They elevate your mood, lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system and increase your serotonin levels. You can get massive doses of negatively charged ions by spending more time outside, especially around flowing water, old forests, and certain types of volcanic rock.
Being in these environments allows your body to discharge itself of all the harmful positive ions you’ve accumulated. You are literally grounding your body to nature, allowing it to heal you.
Anyone who suffers from depression – and the author of this piece is just one such person – will have a root cause for their condition. Trying to cure yourself of depression without addressing the underlying cause(s) is a short-term solution. You might feel better for several weeks because you’re getting more exercise and eating a healthy diet, but there’s a strong likelihood that your depression will return.
Counseling or psychotherapy can help you understand the emotional and psychological factors which contribute to your depression. Once you understand the “why” you can then develop coping mechanisms to manage these “triggers”.
People suffering from depression usually hide it from others, bottling the pain up inside them. This only makes their depression worse because they’re internalizing all their pain, anger, upset and anxiety.
Talking to a professional counselor can be an amazing experience, with everything from your working life to your personal relationships improving as a result. The idea of discussing your problems with a relative stranger can seem more stressful than dealing with your depression on your own. However, once you get over the mental hurdle of talking about your problem you’ll actually look forward to your sessions.
If you can combine counseling with a healthy diet, balancing your negative ion charge, getting more exercise and regulating your sleeping pattern, you’ll start to feel the weight of depression finally lift from your shoulders. You’ll start to feel hopeful about life again, dreams and ambitions will reappear, and your outlook on life will improve.
Nobody wants depression to be part of their life, but the good news is you can overcome it without medication. The steps we’ve shared in this article are not based on theory, but on the actual experiences of thousands of people who have conquered their depression using natural methods.
Now, sit back and imagine what your life would be like without the crushing weight of depression? How well does that feel?
It’s possible to feel like that every day – you just need to follow the steps we’ve given you.