The Top Natural Ways To Overcome Depression

Depressed lady with hand outstretched

Depression is affecting more people in society now than ever before. Below are the top 5 natural methods you can easily incorporate into your lifestyle to help minimise its effects. Overcoming depression is all about making changes to your core mindset and lifestyle patterns. Putting in place the suggestions below you can expect to experience vast positive changes across your mind and body. You just have to consciously make the effort to do them.

1. Get 15-30 minutes of sunlight each day (especially in the morning)

Exposure (and non-exposure) to sunlight stimulates certain hormones in the brain. Simply standing out in the sun each morning for half an hour while you have your coffee or play with your pets etc. can help overcome depression. Sunlight triggers the release of Serotonin in the brain which enhances your mood and promotes happy, calm thoughts. Sunlight also helps stop the production of excess melatonin which actually lowers our mood and promotes feelings of malaise and tiredness – both key indicators associated with depression. Exposure to sunlight also helps the skin produce Vitamin D. With this comes a myriad of other health benefits which will make for a healthy body and healthy mind. Just don't overdo the sunlight as there are obvious risks associated with being in the sun too long.

2. Eat foods high in Omega 3

A 2002 study featured in the 'Archives of General Psychiatry' found that participants who ate foods high in Omega 3 experienced a more happy and positive outlook. Foods high in Omega 3 include:

  • Flaxseed oil and seeds
  • Fish oils – salmon, sardine, cold liver oil
  • Oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel
  • Chia seeds

Incorporating these foods into your diet can help anxiety, sleep disorders, sadness, suicidal thoughts, and decreased sex drive, according to the 2002 trial. Don't forget them next time you are shopping!

3. Become more aware of negative self-talk

Self-talk is the inner voice or thoughts that we all experience. Most of the time we chose not to pay much attention to these. If you consciously try to become aware of your self-talk and always ensure it is in a positive context (no negativity), this can greatly assist reducing depression. This is because the subconscious mind acts upon our self-talk, eventually manifesting in conscious action. Too much negative self-talk will create negative actions, decisions and thoughts – all at a deeper subconscious level. What we think is what we create. It is a cyclical pattern and therefore very important to be aware of negative self-talk and putting a stop to this as soon as you identify it.

4. Do more physical activity and exercise

When you do physical activity, your brain releases endorphins. These are 'feel good' hormones which lift your mood and even boost your immune system. This is crucial to eliminating depression and filling your mind with feelings of happiness, positivity and euphoria. Exercise helps clear your mind especially away from any immediate thoughts of negativity or malaise. Physical activity also tires your physical body, in turn helping achieve better sleep and an overall healthy body and mindset. When you feel depressed, just make the conscious decision to go and exercise. You don't have to become a gym junkie – simply do some physical activity or exercise each day in line with your fitness level to achieve noticeable results.

5. Keep your mind occupied and inspired

Passion is the opposite of depression. It goes without saying that occupying your mindset with things you are passionate about goes a long way to fighting off depression. Make a conscious effort to fill your time doing things you love and not sitting around being inactive. When you have time on your hands the mind tends to overthink and this exacerbates the effects of depression. Go find a new hobby or project and spend time on this. Make goals, achieve them, become inspired and most of all, just spend time having fun. Fill your life with wonderful people who don't bring you down and rather support you. If you are having a bad day organise to spend time with them or to participate in something else that makes you happy.

Just Do It!

All of this sounds easy right? The hardest part of overcoming depression is just breaking your cycle. If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got. It's all about making a conscious effort to break the cyclical nature that leads to depression, replacing with the natural ways to beat depression listed above. Once you get started with your new patterns you will notice the results get better and easier every day.

If you are finding it hard to get started this is where hypnosis can also help. As a hypnotherapist I regularly help people break their patterns and become automatically motivated to put in place better ways of doing things. If you live in Perth and would like to organise a hypnotherapy session with me, please contact me on the details below.