Natural Ways to Combat Depression

Mental Illness has certainly made its presence known in contemporary society, and due to the encouragement to eradicate the stigma associated with it, more persons are being forward and honest about their struggles with this type of illness. Being an individual who has struggled with depression (and anxiety) for several years, I wanted to offer some tips to potentially aid in combatting the symptoms of depression.

I am aware that the title of this post implies that the following suggestion may work as a complete solution for depression, however this is not applicable to all persons. Depression is a complicated mental illness, therefore these techniques (derived from cannot guarantee a total abolishment of depression.

(1) Eat healthy and nutrient-rich foods: Consuming healthy foods can aid in enhancing mood and specific foods contain high levels of serotonin, a chemical that encourages happy feelings and emotions. Some examples of foods with high levels of serotonin include oils rich in omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil), healthy fats (coconut oil, avocado), flaxseed oil, cherries and eggs.

(2) Refrain from consuming excess amounts of coffee: It has been proposed that caffeine is able to temporarily boost mood, however said moods fails to last for an extended duration of time and therefore a ‘crash’ can enhance depression symptoms, for example exhaustion. Opt for some herbal tea as an alternative.

(3) Opt for green tea: Green tea, despite containing caffeine, is high in L-theanine, which boosts mood without provoking a crash soon after.

(4) Try meditating: Meditating requires minimal resources and can be performed effectively in a quiet place with time permitting. See my former post about the smartphone app Headspace to learn more about meditation.

(5) Consider experimenting with acupuncture: It has been reported that the practice of acupuncture aids in releasing endorphins in the body which encourage feelings of happiness and relaxation.

(6) Speak with a therapist: This option may seem frightening to some individuals, however I can personally attest to the fact that speaking with a therapist helps to diminish symptoms of depression.

(7) Exercise: Exercise is often recommended to persons who struggle with mental illness, specifically depression, and it is an excellent means to rid the mind and body of stress in a natural manner. Designate a type of exercise you enjoy and be consistent with it.

Depression can impact individuals differently and can vary in its severity, therefore always consult a physician before self-diagnosing or attempting to treat this type of mental illness. It is not impossible to overcome, and there are different options to work through it – maintain a positive mind set and always look forward.

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