When it comes to dealing with depression most people are quick to assume that pharmaceutical anti-depressants are the best course of action. While they might be the best option for some, they are certainly not the only option available. Some of the best natural treatments for depression are the most effective and impact our health positively.
How The Best Natural Treatments for Depression Work
The best natural ways to help treat depression focus on the cause of the depression, as opposed to masking it by forcefully promoting production of feel good brain stimulants. Living a healthy lifestyle and supplementing properly can set you up for a happy life, a better mood and a healthier response to stress. A couple of the things on the list of natural ways to treat depression will come as no surprise, but knowing what to do and actually doing it are entirely different. Give yourself some time to adjust to these lifestyle changes and you will feel the difference, and others will see it.
Exercise to Naturally Treat Depression
This is probably the most common natural treatment for depression, yet so few people practice it. Before writing it off as a great way to improve your mood, give it a shot. Implement a strict exercise routine into your daily life, even a 20 minute walk each and every day can have enormous health benefits and mood boosting capabilities. A fantastic way to recharge your batteries, reflect on the day and help naturally treat depression.
When we exercise we feel fulfilled, breaking the lethargic pace at which so many of us live our lives. Getting the heart pumping and increasing blood flow to the brain, releasing endorphins that make us feel great and it will even lead to a better nights sleep. Whether you are physically fit enough to implement a high intensity workout into your day, or you can only manage a short walk or less intensive yoga routine. Working out will yield amazing benefits both physically and mentally.
Omega-3 Supplements Improve Cognitive Health
When looking into natural remedies for depression this is another treatment that tops the lists. Supplementing with Omega-3 fatty acids is a proven way to improve your cellular health and function. Improving the way in which our cells communicate with each other and helping to balance our cognitive function and brain chemistry.
It may seem odd to some, but the complex chemistry in our brain holds the power to make us feel great, terrible or anything inbetween. When we are depressed our brain chemistry is out of whack and our brain cells have a hard time communicating with one another. This causes brain fog, cognitive lapses, tiredness and the inability to focus. Supplement with Omega-3 and you can help balance this complex brain chemistry and get back to normal.
Vitamin D3 Balances Health and Mood
A deficiency in this vital vitamin is linked to depression. So many people are deficient in this sunshine vitamin, probably due to the fact that most people assume they get what they need from the sun. This is just not true though, we get so little Vitamin D from the sun it is essential to supplement with a quality Vitamin D3 supplement. It plays a role in so many bodily functions and is essential for our overall health, not to mention cognitive health.
Vitamin D receptors in the brain help regulate our emotions and behavior. When levels are too low these receptors cannot function properly. Now whether Vitamin D deficiency is the cause or symptom of depression is still not fully understood. But what is understood is that if you suffer from depression, chances are you have a Vitamin D deficiency and it is vital to your health and well-being to supplement with Vitamin D3.
Meditation to Prevent and Treat Depression Naturally
People often overlook this simple yet effective practice to not only help treat depression, but improve your overall mood, cognitive health and reduce stress. Meditation is an art that has been practiced for thousands of years, and it is still around today, growing in popularity because it works. Mindfulness is the act of being present in the moment, clearing the mind of distractions and focusing on your breathing or how the air feels on your skin. This is difficult for many people at first, but it is an exercise of the mind and it requires practice and persistence.
Studies have shown that people who practice yoga regularly are less prone to stress, have a better overall mood and are far less prone to depression. Reducing stress has immense cognitive health benefits. Stress impacts the way our brains function and the chemical balance that is responsible for our mood and behavior. By reducing stress and improving the way we deal with stressful situations you can dramatically reduce the chance of falling into a depression.
Folic Acid – B Vitamins for Brain Health
The fact that B Vitamins aid brain health and cognitive function is nothing new. What is new is the idea of aiding the treatment of depression with these Vitamins. Particularly Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) and Vitamin B12. Ample levels of B9 and B12 are crucial for proper neurological function, especially important when dealing with depression and antidepressant medications.
An increase in homocysteine is common among those suffering from depression. Supplementing with folic acid and B12 can have significant benefits, regulating this homocysteine metabolism. Thereby reducing the negative impact that stress, anxiety and depression have on our cognitive health and function. Supplementing with Folic Acid and B12 can improve the treatment outcome of patients suffering from depression and should be used to help naturally treat depression.
Get Enough Sleep to Combat the Grumps
Without enough sleep you are probably a bit cranky, as most of us are. Compound that over months of inadequate sleep, either from not getting enough or not getting a restful enough sleep. This leads to not only grumpy mornings, but can lead to the onset of depression if it persists.
Sleep is essential for our health and well-being, particularly our brain health and cognitive function. This is the time when our brain heals and balances itself. Without enough sleep our brains harmony is disrupted and our brain chemistry is imbalanced. Even if you are getting 8 hours of sleep each night, it does not mean you are getting adequate rest. The hours in which you fall asleep play a role, even the activities you perform just before bed can be detrimental to the amount of rest your brain gets. Over stimulation of the brain prior to bed is one of the most common, this is because so many people unwind before bed with the television or computer. This stimulates the brain with unnatural light, images and sounds that seem easy to comprehend, but our brain is put into overdrive because of it. Setting you up for a restless night and grumpy morning.
When the sun goes down, start winding down, read a book or reflect on your day an hour or so before bed. Take the tv and computer out of your bedroom and reserve it for sleeping only. This will result in more restful sleeps, a healthier brain and an improved mood.