Do you know that approximately 16,000,000 Americans suffer from different forms of depression each year? Most of them are taking antidepressants to control this condition. But antidepressants are usually prescribed to people with severe depressions and they aren’t always helpful in the case of mild depression. We will tell you about eight simple remedies that may help you cope with depression without taking medicines.
1. Start keeping a mood diary
Positive thinking therapy may be very helpful in a depressive condition. Keeping a mood diary is one of the most powerful methods against depression. This will train you to remember positive things and events that are happening in your life. The more splendid memories you’ll write down, the less negative moments will affect your state of mood. If you feel that it’s too hard to write in the diary every day, you can do it a few times a week.
2. Play sports
Sports and different kinds of exercises can reduce depression. Physical activity can modify the mood-regulating chemicals such as norepinephrine and serotonin. Those chemicals also help to increase the endorphin level, which is called “a hormone of happiness”. It is recommended to do physical exercises a few times a week for at least 20 minutes. It doesn’t matter if you walk on a treadmill or run in the park, any kind of exercise you choose is better than none.
3. Try to use St. John’s wort
Herbs were the most common remedy in ancient times. St. John’s wort is not an exception. This herb is one of the treatments that can be used in the case of mild depression. You can add its yellow flowers to teas or take as pills and extracts.
But there is one more thing you should know. St. John’s wort can reduce the effectiveness of some medications such as blood thinners, birth control pills, HIV drugs, and some anti-cancer prescriptions.
4. Practice yoga
It’s unbelievable, but taking yoga positions can help ease mild depression. As we mentioned above, every kind of exercise can increase endorphins. Some asanas require physical strength, so such workouts are able to reduce anxiety and stress. Standing still in a certain pose can clear your mind, as well as increase your spirit, well-being, and body energy. Yoga practice is one of the simplest ways to cheer yourself up and reduce depression.
5. Bring more light to your life
In autumn and winter, when the days get shorter and the nights become longer, many people begin to feel depressed. This condition is called seasonal affective disorder. Light therapy is one of the ways to ease the symptoms of this condition. It means that you simply sit and look at a brightly lit box. You can start from 15 minutes a day and extend the procedure to two hours. The length of the therapy depends on the severity of the depression. But you need to know that light therapy is not an absolute remedy, it can only decrease the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.
6. Sign up for a support group
Support groups were a part of the usual treatment in psychiatric settings. They are actually one of the greatest remedies for mild depressions. But for some reason, they are not very popular now. Support groups can teach you how to cope with this condition, give you the needed support and acquaint you with many people who have the same problem. If you are not interested in it or don’t want to discuss your depression with strangers, you can find another group of people that shares your interests. Try to communicate with people you like as much as possible.
7. Take fish oil
Fish oil is very useful for human health in general. It contains omega-3 fatty acids. The deficiency of these acids can even cause mood swings and depression. The effect of fish oil on the depressive condition is still not proven but people who eat salmon, albacore tuna, and herring are less likely to have depression.
8. Try cognitive-behavioral therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is teaching yourself thoughts that evoke feelings. If you learn how to control your thoughts, it will help you modify your brain function and keep your temper. This is a short-term therapy, but it may be very effective in treating different types of depression. The course usually lasts from 10 to 20 sessions.