What is depression?
The word depression covers a range of problems, from periods of low mood to clinical depression causing impaired daily function, the majority of cases that involve low mood do not require medical intervention, but at any one time, between 5-10% of the population experience depression that requires support, and an even higher number will experience brief episodes in their lifetime. Due to this growing number of people, more and more are looking for alternatives to pharmaceutical treatments. Fortunately, when it comes to depression treatment, there are a variety of natural ways to treat.
Physical activity has been repeatedly shown to be one of the best natural ways to fight depression. Ample exercise improves physical wellness, as well as the mental and emotional state, resulting from the release of endorphins during physical exercise. Spending time in natural settings in clean air and getting exposure to the sun are effective and all natural ways to fight depression.
The effect of relaxation in easing signs of depression cannot be underestimated. Exercises such as yoga, Tai Chi, meditation and others that use focus and breathing exercises, work as a natural relaxant to the body, and create a calming, well-balanced and mood improving effect.
There are many herbs which have been shown to be highly effective in fighting depression. St. John's Wort has long been used in the treatment of mild and major depression, by protecting the reuptake of serotonin and has even been found to be safe and effective in children and adolescents. Ginkgo works by increasing the flow of oxygen to the brain by increasing cerebral circulation as well as affecting serotonin levels in the brain. Studies have proven both herbs to be of great benefit in fighting depression.
Other natural ways to fight depression are by finding activities to alter your negative or depressive thoughts. Read a book, listen to music, re-organize your home. Spending time helping others who are less fortunate is an excellent way to keep depression in check. Starting a new hobby or doing something you have always wanted to do is a great way to tackle depression.
It is now known that nutrition plays an important role in warding off full blown depression. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to be critical to mental health; ocean fish like salmon are quite rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and other compounds beneficial to the heart and the brain. Eating more of these fish, or getting fish oil capsules may be useful in treating some instances of depression. In addition, low levels of folic acid are associated with heart problems, memory problems, and depression.
Finally, remember that creating a routine, setting goals, taking on responsibilities and challenging negative thought patterns are all key natural ways to fight off depression. Incorporating all of the above aspects of natural treatment for depression is the best formula for an optimal outcome.