Depression is a mental state or feeling of sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness that results in weight changes, hypersomnia or insomnia, fatigue, excessive guilt, and in some cases, suicidal thoughts. Sometimes, doctors can prescribe antidepressants to candidates who don’t qualify. These include people with insomnia and muscle spasms. Symptoms of depression have to be in existence for two consecutive weeks before taking any medication. However, due to its immeasurable state, controlling depression naturally is the best option before trying out medication.
The food you eat and drink influences your mood. Constant binging on junk, high carb diets, and stimulants will make you feel depressed because they increase and decrease your blood sugar levels fast. To maintain healthy neurotransmitters and nerves, eat more of sardines, salmon, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts because they are high in omega-3. Also, consume more vegetables or vitamin supplements high in folic acid, trace minerals, iron, vitamin B6, and B12.
Avoid alcoholic drinks and stimulants like caffeine because they act as depressants. Some of the best eating habits that can help to improve your mood and give you more energy include eating a healthy meal when you wake up and once in every four or five hours. Switching to calorie-free beverages can aid in weight loss, giving you better physical and mental health. You may also want to consider eating supplementary herbs because they also help increase serotonin levels hence reducing depression.
Create a Routine
Our bodies are used to routines – eating, sleeping, or exercising. Regularly exercising in the morning for a few minutes can lift your moods significantly because it increases natural endorphins in your body; you can start your day on a high note and remain active the entire day.
Irregular sleeping patterns can lead to depression. For this reason, it is healthy to maintain a balance with just enough sleep of about six to eight hours. Good before bedtime habits are also necessary for controlling depression. Ensure you eat a light, healthy meal a few hours before you sleep, avoid using electronic gadgets, and solving problems late in the night.
Associate with Positive Minded People
Human beings are social animals. Therefore, associating with friends, family, and your partner is a good thing. However, it is best to avoid or minimize relations with people who are always complaining or bringing you down as this can accelerate depression. While having some alone time is of importance, isolating yourself can also cause depression.
Spend time with family and friends who bring you up and those you can share your problems with, without feeling judged. Seeking therapy from a counselor is also a natural and effective way to control depression. If you don’t have people around that you can trust, consider pet therapy. Pets like dogs give you purpose and make you feel needed and loved.
Engage in Pleasant Activities or Events
At the end of a long day, it is important to unplug and get yourself into a good mood. Keeping a journal where you list the positive things that happened during the day or engaging in a hobby will help you practice gratitude instead of seeing all the wrong things and problems you might be facing. Remember to do these things with a positive attitude.
Activities such as listening to your favorite music, singing, and dancing to it can help reduce stress levels hence controlling depression. Don’t isolate yourself. Go out with friends for breakfast, share a meal with family members, and attend events that interest you. If you have to stay at home, let the sun into your house, get out of bed, practice some gardening, read a newspaper or novel on your porch, and engage in other house chores that keep you busy to avoid negative thoughts.
Create Realistic Goals and Focus on the Present
When depressed, it is easy to feel as though you cannot accomplish anything. Create simple goals such as trying out a new recipe, making your bed every morning, or watering your plants every day. These goals can help you stay mindful of yourself whenever depression starts kicking in.
Depression sometimes results from judging oneself harshly from past events or being hopeless about the future. Being focused on the present means accepting where you are, creating new goals and strategies, and realizing that present problems are not indicative of what will happen tomorrow.
Whenever you feel depressed, these goals can act as a motivating factor to bring you back to the present and get you up and running. One small accomplished goal leads to another, and with a positive attitude, you can talk yourself out of negative thoughts.
Depression is a mental disease that requires treatment with a lot of care and attention. It is necessary to be aware of its symptoms to get help on time. Before getting a prescription, controlling depression naturally by engaging in pleasant activities, setting goals, creating a routine, associating with the right people, and eating a healthy diet can be more effective. In severe cases, seeking therapy from counselors or psychologists can help control depression.
Sara Anderson is the head of content for the EzCare clinic, a medical clinic that provides world-class health care services. She has been associated with the health care industry for 10+ years and specializes in health care and medical content.