8 Natural Ways to Treat Depression
The National Institute of Mental Health reports that over 17 million Americans suffer from depression, which can affect overall well-being, personal relationships, careers and more. While many people turn to pharmaceutical medications, the longlist of side effects can significantly interfere with the ability to truly enjoy life. Instead of popping a pill, try one of these natural options for relieving depression first.
Get Your Zzzs
While sleep deprivation, insomnia and other sleep issues can be a symptom of depression, a lack of sleep can also cause depression. In fact, in an analysis of studies published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, experts found those who suffer from insomnia have a two-fold risk of becoming clinically depressed over those who don’t. If you haven’t been getting the shut-eye your mind and body needs, make it a point to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
CBD (officially cannabidiol), is a type of natural compound found in the cannabis plant, but unlike THC, it doesn’t get you “high.” Experts say adding CBD like High Terp Drops offers potential benefits for depression linked to the positive effect on the brain’s serotonin receptors. Having low serotonin levels has been connected to depression. While CBD won’t necessarily raise them, it can affect how chemical receptors in the brain respond to serotonin already in your system. One study found that its effect on these receptors produced antidepressant effects.
Many studies have found that physical activity can be just as effective and even last longer than the effect of antidepressants when it comes to battling depression, but without the harmful and unwanted side effects.
Eat Healthy Foods
While there’s no one magical food that will fix depression, following a healthy diet that limits sugar and processed junk foods like chips, frozen meals and fast food, may help. There is some evidence that foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like wild-caught salmon might ease depression.
Limit or Avoid Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol depresses the nervous system, which means drinking too much can lead to depression. Research published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs as reported by ScienceDaily noted that “bouts of depressive symptoms are often the direct result of their heavy alcohol intake.” Drinking alcoholic beverages slows thinking, understanding, reasoning and motor functioning, all of which exacerbate depression symptoms.
Add Turmeric to Your Diet
Turmeric contains powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and as inflammation plays an important role in many illnesses and diseases, including depression, this plant may be very helpful. Studies have found that supplementing with antioxidant-rich foods like turmeric may be a viable depression treatment.
Traveling isn’t just a guilty pleasure, it can take us away from our natural environment, and the external stressors that come with it, bringing a sense of relief that frees the mind and allows one to tune in to what they really need. It will get you up and moving when you find it hard to stay motivated to keep going, provides opportunities to raise levels of feel-good hormones by being more active, and allows you to meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Travel also allows you to step back and evaluate problems while putting negative thoughts into perspective which can go a long way in overcoming depression.
Cut Back on Social Media
Could Facebook be making you depressed? All the constant exposure to negative news is bad for our health. In fact, a 2014 study of journalists found those who were exposed regularly to violent video footage were more likely to experience an array of mental disorders, including depression. Cutting back or taking a break from social media might help relieve your depression.