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How to squash morning depression

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How to treat depression without meds: A mega guide

Revealing 34 natural ways to end depression and feel better

A common misconception is that antidepressants are the only way to fully cure depression.

The truth, In fact, is that many people who take antidepressants still get depressed again and again. In addition, taking these medications too often can cause side effects such as weight gain, sleep problems, sexual dysfunction, and dry mouth.

Because of this, there is often an understandable need to treat your depression without medication, but this can be a dangerous road to travel without appropriate guidance.

To this effect, I have decided to pull out all the stops to write out these 34 non-medication treatment approach that I have seen work very well to end depression for thousands of people I have come across and worked with over the last 22 years.

As you read, you will discover that some of the tips are highlighted in the subtitles whilst some tips are highlighted in the paragraphs. Just look for the word "Tip" in brackets.

So, without further ado, let's start with a definition of depression....

What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder characterized by a persistent sad or low mood, lack of interest in normally pleasurable activities, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, suicidal thoughts, or an intense loss of energy.

The mood may be accompanied by physical symptoms such as changes in appetite, sleep patterns, or concentration.

A diagnosis of depression requires that you experience a depressed mood for at least two weeks, along with other symptoms that interfere with daily functioning.

In most cases, depression will improve over time with treatment and lifestyle changes, but sometimes depression is a chronic condition.

(Important Disclaimer: Please note that this article is not advising you to discontinue any medication you are currently on.  Any medication change should be managed by a licensed medical practitioner. This article also does not state that medication is bad. Medication can be helpful and is often necessary. However, if you are trying to manage your depression without medication, the following things are things that you must take into account in your treatment efforts)

What are the levels of depression and why it is important you know them

You can categorize depression into levels.

These include...

1)Major depression (severe depression): Depression where you are barely able to function and often think that life is unbearable. You might have difficulty sleeping, or eating, and you may even experience thoughts of suicide. If you have major depression, you need to talk to your doctor right away!

2) Minor depression: You feel sad, but still able to work and function. Some people may have minor depression, while others can only experience it when they are overwhelmed with stress. In minor depression, you are able to function normally.

3) Low mood: You are just having a bad day or week. You may experience these feelings on a regular basis, or just during times of high stress. You may feel anxious, irritable, or angry. You may think about suicide or cutting yourself. This kind of depression is more common in women than men.

(Tip 1) Why is it important to know the various levels of depression?

Lack of understanding of the varying levels of depression can often lead to misdiagnosis,  mistreatment and over prescription.

You see, depression is not always a feeling of sadness or a loss of interest in things.

Sometimes it can be a feeling of being trapped inside your own body and the inability to move forward in life.

Sometimes it can be a feeling of anger and frustration about your own circumstances.

Sometimes it can be a feeling of anxiety about the future or about what others think of you.

Sometimes it can be a feeling of guilt for things you haven’t done or haven’t yet done.

Sometimes it can be a feeling of loneliness or isolation.

Sometimes it can be a feeling of numbness or a lack of feelings.

Sometimes it can be a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.

Sometimes it can be a feeling of being out of control of your own destiny.

Quite often the level of your depression may indicate potential triggers for your depression. And while it's important to understand what is causing your depression, it’s also very important to identify what isn’t causing it.

Why?

because you may be blaming the wrong thing. And finding solutions for the wrong thing will result in time wasted without achieving any progress with depression. This insight might be the missing piece of the puzzle in treating depression without meds.

Your brain chemistry and impact on self-treatment

The brain uses chemicals to help regulate mood and behaviour. It also communicates information between parts of the brain, which is important for normal functioning.

An imbalance in the levels of neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain) can cause symptoms of depression. In fact, there are over 200 different types of neurotransmitters in the human brain. These neurotransmitters communicate the "what" and "where" of your experience.

For example, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and sleep. It is also linked to feelings of pleasure, happiness, and joy. A deficiency of serotonin causes sadness and fatigue. Conversely, too much of serotonin causes anxiety and agitation.

Other neurotransmitters include norepinephrine, dopamine, GABA, acetylcholine, and histamine. Some of these neurotransmitters regulate attention, memory, and motivation.

A depressed person's neurotransmitters are typically out of balance. Treatment involves adjusting the balance of certain neurotransmitters. For example, antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), work by increasing the amount of serotonin that is available in the brain.

(Tip 2) The best thing you can do to influence your brain chemistry is to understand how the brain works in depression. This allows you to treat yourself kinder

(Tip 3)Take action as soon as you see early Symptoms of Depression

What is the benefit of knowing the early symptoms of depression?

If you know the first depressive symptoms you get before spiralling downwards, you will be able to catch your depression before it’s too late.

Common early warning signs of depression include:
1) irritability: You feel irritable about things that should not irritate you. For example, if you don’t feel like working or spending time with family. Or, you have trouble concentrating, remembering, and focusing on things. This could be a sign that depression is about to pounce on you.

2) Sleep never feels enough: You being to notice that you are tired no matter how much you sleep. Or you go the other way.  Where even though you are exhausted, you are still not sleeping enough. You want to sleep all the time. You have trouble waking up in the morning.

3) Loss of appetite: You lose interest in eating or even eat too much. You may notice that your thoughts and feelings about food have changed. You feel less hungry or feel like snacking on junk food.
4) Decreased interest in activities you used to enjoy: You are less interested in hobbies, social outings, and even work.
5) Problems with relationships: You have problems with relationships. You don’t like the way people treat you. Or, you can’t trust people. You have a hard time trusting your partner. You have trouble loving yourself.
6) Social withdrawal: You don’t want to go out or talk to others. You avoid other people. You don’t want to spend time with your friends, family, or partner.
7) Everything takes on a negative tone: You notice that even the most positive things seem to turn negative. Even things that should give you joy feel awful. Or, you feel that all the good things in life are just not that good. They are not worth anything. They are not going to last.

What do you do with these warning signs?

When you see any of these warning signs, you need to pay attention to them. It is the best way to catch your depression early. If you do not see any signs, this is the time to pay more attention to yourself and follow the guidance on this page. You might not realize that you are having an episode of depression until it is too late. That’s why it is important to monitor the symptoms of depression.

You can find more information about things you can do to stop depression from getting worse in this article about how to get out of depression.

Can you treat severe depression without medication?

To understand how to treat severe depression without medication, it is important to understand the difference between mild depression and severe depression?
Mild depression is usually characterized by feelings of sadness, irritability, hopelessness, or loss of interest in daily activities. Severe depression is characterized by symptoms such as feelings of guilt, worthlessness, loss of pleasure, and suicide ideation.

The term "mild" in depression simply means that someone isn’t suffering from major symptoms. It’s a grey area. Some people use the term "mild" to describe mild symptoms and "severe" to describe major symptoms.

However, there is evidence that mild depression may lead to long-term problems that become severe. For example, research shows that people who experience mild depression in adolescence or early adulthood are at higher risk of experiencing a full-blown bout of depression later on in life. This is called the “first-onset recurrent” form of depression.

So essentially, severe depression is very similar to mild depression with the main difference being that there is more of everything. More symptoms and more intensity in those symptoms, In addition, depressive episodes last longer.

(Tip 4) This is good news because it means that the same non-medication treatment that works for mild depression will also work for severe depression with one caveat.  You will have to work a lot harder to get techniques and treatments to work. And it might take longer to see positive results.

And this is where the issue of lifestyle changes comes in...

(Tip 5) Why your lifestyle and quality of life matter in treating depression without meds

When depression becomes severe, or if you've got persistent depression (aka treatment resistant depression), It is usually because you have developed lifestyle habits that keep depression alive.

Quite often, this means that unintentionally, many of the things you are doing to survive and get through life are actually making the depression worse. 

The irony is that many of these strategies are actually positive in nature, but they become negative and even toxic because you rely too heavily on them.

For example, you may have developed the tendency to keep the peace in order to keep stress low, but this causes you to neglect yourself and your needs. Or you have become prone to thinking positively all the time that you avoid dealing with negative things, which just leads to burying a lot of pain that make it hard for you to truly feel happy or contented in life.

Bottom line, as a side effect of trying to cope with life, you have habituated a lot of strategies that were positive at the time you needed those strategies. Sadly those same strategies have become the same things that are making your depression severe or treatment resistant.

And then there is genetics...

Can your genes lock you in a life of depression?

Due to habits that have been hardwired for years, your gene expression may be causing your depression to be more severe. There is now ample evidence that our environment plays a huge part in how our genes are expressed. 
n other words, certain environmental factors can increase your vulnerability to depression. Some examples include:

- A toxic relationship in your life

- Lack of exercise

- Poor nutrition

- Overwork

- Unhealthy lifestyle (not eating well, sleeping poorly, etc.)

- Emotional deprivation (loneliness, rejection, etc.)

- Stressful life events (loss of a job, death of a loved one, financial difficulties, etc.)

- Stressful emotions like guilt, anger, and frustration

- Abuse

- Stressful childhood experiences

- Childhood trauma

- Negative thoughts

- Unhappy memories

The way we relate to these situations has an influence on the way our genes are expressed which then impacts our ability to break free of depression.

(Tip 6) Fortunately, this impact on your genes is not permanent. You can learn to influence the way your genes are expressed by changing your life and breaking habits that have become self-destructive.

The best way to do this is to take the following steps:

(Tip 7) How to treat mild depression without medication

1. Start by observing your life and noticing things that may be contributing to your depression.

2. Notice how you are feeling (depressed, anxious, sad, etc.) and what thoughts you have going on in your head.

3. Make a list of all the things you feel you need to change. It's important to have this list so you can make changes in your life that will help you recover and improve your mood.

4. Begin to implement the changes in your life that you identified in step three. If you notice yourself slipping back into your old ways, it's a good idea to make a note of that and then begin to make a plan to address it.

5. Take time to enjoy the positive changes that have occurred. It is common to feel overwhelmed at first when we start making changes in our lives. It's okay to be overwhelmed. Just don't give up.

6. When you notice that you are having negative thoughts or feelings, ask yourself what you can do to feel better and then do that. For example, if you're feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself what you can do to feel more in control.

7. Make a plan to talk to a friend or family member about how you feel and what you have noticed in your life. Ask them to give you feedback and help you make any necessary changes in your life.

8. Find ways to cope with the things you are feeling. For example, you may have noticed yourself feeling angry or frustrated. Rather than expressing that emotion to people in your life, you may have learned to bottle up your anger or frustration. Instead, try to find a way to express that emotion without letting it build up and become destructive. This might involve finding a safe place to vent or write down your thoughts.

9. Practice acceptance. It's very easy to become stuck on a single perspective in your life. And this is very normal. But you don't want to be stuck on any one thing for too long. Instead, practice acceptance. Try to accept things as they are and not get upset or depressed about things that happen in your life. If you feel bad about something, try to find the positive aspect of it. For example, you may be in a situation where you feel depressed because you're being rejected. What would be the positive side of that? Would you have opportunities to learn new skills? Perhaps you would be able to meet new people. Or you may be unhappy with the way you look or feel. What could you learn from that? Perhaps it would lead to a new diet or exercise program.

10. Keep an open mind about the things that are happening in your life. Your thoughts, emotions, and experiences are all unique. And that is okay. So try not to let your experience dictate your beliefs about the world. Instead, keep an open mind and make room for things to change.

11. Remember that nothing will ever be perfect. Sometimes life is just hard and there's not much we can do about it. At other times, we are blessed with opportunities that others never get. Don't get discouraged by setbacks or obstacles in life. They are all part of the journey.

Can you treat depression caused by thyroid disorders without medication?

Many people don't realise that the underlying cause of their depression is an undiagnosed thyroid disease. A malfunctioning thyroid gland can lead to treatment resistant depression because the thyroid problem is not being addressed.

Common symptoms of thyroid conditions include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, feeling overwhelmed, weight gain, and changes in menstrual cycle.

(Tip 8) Whilst there is no current evidence for Natural medication that can cure Thyroid conditions, it has been suggested that any treatment processes that can help...

- Control inflammation.
- Reduce autoimmune triggers
- Increase hormone production...

can help in managing your symptoms well enough to reduce depressive symptoms.

See the section on foods, herbs and nutrients that help with depression.

Can manic depressive disorder  be treated without medication

Manic depressive disorder (also known as bipolar disorder) is a chronic condition that causes extreme shifts in mood. It is characterized by periods of extreme highs, such as euphoria, extreme lows, such as depression, and episodes of mixed symptoms in between.

The first symptoms of bipolar disorder may include extreme mood swings and may be difficult to identify because they are often similar to those of other disorders, including personality disorders and depression.

The most popular treatment includes a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and support groups.

Some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder include:

- Depression

- Manic behaviours (such as spending money irresponsibly or becoming overly emotional)

- Extreme anger

- Excessive energy

- Increased irritability

- Loss of interest in activities and hobbies

- poor sleep
- Excessive sexual desire or activity

- Inappropriate laughter

- Changes in eating habits

- Difficulty concentrating

- Poor memory

- Suicidal thoughts

- Irritability and/or aggression towards others

- Poor concentration

- Decreased appetite

- Psychosis

- Abnormal beliefs

- Psychotic behaviour

- Paranoid thoughts

- Hallucinations

- Disruptive speech

- Catatonic behaviour

- Impulsiveness and loss of judgement

- Disturbing thoughts

- Hypersexuality

- Anxiety

- Obsessive thoughts

- Unusual religious practices

Can schizo affective disorder be treated without medication

Schizo affective disorder is a form of depression that has psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations. It is also characterized by episodes of major depression or mania or hypomania. 

The actual causes of schizo affective disorder are yet to be determined, however, the most common risk factors include a family history of mood disorders, stressful life events, genetic factors, brain injury, substance abuse, and a prior diagnosis of a mental illness. The onset of Schizo affective disorder typically occurs between 20 and 40 years of age and the disorder is frequently misdiagnosed as schizophrenia.

Like with bipolar, it is NOT advisable to attempt to treat schizo affective disorder without medication as this is likely to lead to worsening symptoms.
There are three primary treatment options for Schizo affective disorder: pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy and electroconvulsive therapy.

(Tip 9) Use your body is a crucial guide for treating depression

How can your body be a crucial guide in the treatment of depression

Your body is one of the best indicators of your mood. The more energy you have, the more alert you are, and the better you feel. 

If you are feeling low or depressed, you need to pay attention to what your body is telling you. Your physical body is a good source of information about what’s going on in your life. Listening to your body can help you notice the triggers in your life that are making you feel low. It can also give you clues about how you can make changes in your environment to improve your mood.

Sadly, most people relate to the symptoms they experience in the body in a negative way and those symptoms contribute to keeping their depression alive. This can lead to sticking to familiar patterns, even when they don’t work.

When you become aware of your thoughts, feelings and sensations, you can begin to question what your body is telling you about your relationship to those thoughts, feelings and sensations.  You can start to see how they influence your mood and the way you live your life. Once you start to become aware of these influences, you can begin to change the way you live your life.

You can also start to notice when you're feeling tired or sluggish, maybe you should cut back on caffeine, alcohol or other stimulants. If you notice that you have trouble sleeping, it might be a sign that you have too much activity during the day.

Essentially, if you start to become aware of your body and its signals, you will begin to notice what you’re doing and not doing that may be contributing to your negative mood. And if you make changes to your lifestyle using this knowledge, you will begin to experience positive changes in your life.

(Tip 10) Build your recovery foundation on balance 

Balance means that the three domains of life—mental, emotional, and physical—are in harmony with each other. The three domains are the foundation of wellness.

We need the mental domain for thinking and problem-solving. We need the emotional domain for feeling and expressing our feelings. We need the physical domain for living and functioning, such as walking, talking, eating, sleeping, exercising, etc.

You cannot be well if any one of these domains is unbalanced. 

Another way to consider balance is to think about it as an external and an internal focus.

An external focus means thinking about your goals, values, and purpose. An internal focus means thinking about how you are feeling and what you are experiencing in the moment.

This distinction between an external and internal focus helps you build a stronger foundation for recovery. By building an external focus, you gain the strength to manage stress, worry, fear, and anxiety. By focusing on what you are experiencing in the moment, you regain control over your emotions.

When you build your recovery effort on balance, you get the best results possible.

Here is a counter intuitive article that gives crucial insight into how to practically incorporate balance in your recovery efforts.

(Tip 11) Aim for habituation and not for recovery

It is a hard truth...

The habits you form in life control your mental health.  That is why it is so hard to break free from mental health problems. But the good news is that if you can pinpoint the problematic habits, you can build new habits to replace them and get on a positive path to improved mental health. 

However, there is a subtle caveat. Because in depression, even good habits can be culprits to keeping you down in the dumps. Hence, it is essential that you focus on habituating a balance of your habits.

In some situations, you may need to skew a little closer to habits you might consider unhealthy whilst in other situations, you stay clear of unhealthy habits. It is more about what is holding your version of depression together.

Essentially, to achieve an effective cure for depression, work on turning the necessary behaviours and thinking styles into habits.

Habituation is a process of learning that allows us to form associations between a stimulus and a response. For example, we learn that when a particular sound comes, we turn to look at the speaker. The more often that happens, the easier it becomes to recognize the sound.

And once habituation has occurred, recovery becomes much easier. Habituation, as it is commonly understood, is not the same as recovery. Recovery occurs when the stimulus and response become entirely automatic. And so, recovery in depression means learning to go through life without thinking about the things that used to distress you. And being able to go through life without living a lifestyle that naturally depletes you psychologically, biologically and spiritually.‍

(Tip 12) Allow your values to help you treat depression

How your values can help treat depression
Your values are your greatest assets in recovering from depression.

Why?
It is because your values give you purpose and meaning. Purpose and meaning are powerful forces. And they change your attitude toward life.

To have purpose means having something to live for. It is a motivating force in your life. Meaning is the connection you feel to your life and what you are living for.  The more meaningful you are to yourself, the more meaning you will have in your life. 

your values define the meaning you attach to the world around you. In particular, values are what you care about most deeply. Your values are your life’s purpose or your reason for living. And, once you know what your values are, you can use them to guide you through difficult times and find the strength to carry on.

Your values are also the things you want to continue doing, even when the going gets tough. As such they are your best resource for getting through life’s challenges. And, in addition to providing you with a source of motivation, values are also good guides for helping you create your own happiness.
To help you identify your values, you can ask the following questions:

1) Is there anything you love doing so much that time flies by fast whenever you are engaged with that thing?

2) If yes, create a list of these things. There is a high chance that these are your values

3) Once you have a list of them, try to figure out how to work them into various aspects of your life. For example, what values can you fit into your work or your relationships? What values have the power to lift you up when you are down in the dumps... etc.? If something you value is music, does your work give you the space to listen to music which may help to take the edge off the tedious nature of work?

Essentially, the value-driven lifestyle is one in which we work hard at what we love and allow the rest to take care of itself. We value what matters to us and ignore all the rest. And in this way, we create our own happiness.

(Tip 13) Why mastery of enjoyment is a natural antidote to depression

Life is meant to be enjoyed. Happiness is a normal part of being alive. Unfortunately, depression can block enjoyment. And when it does, the feelings of depression can last much longer than normal.

The reason it causes depression to last longer is because you fall into a downward spiral where you feel sad because can't enjoy anything and beat yourself up for this.  But, the more you beat yourself up, the more your depression becomes and the harder it is to break free of it.

Instead of getting frustrated with yourself for this inability to enjoy things. Think about it like this.

Your brain has an enjoyment muscle that needs to be flexed. The same way that exercise strengthens the muscles that control your lungs, heart, arms and legs. It also strengthens the pleasure centres in your brain. The more you exercise the pleasure centre, the better you will get at enjoying life.
If you fail to flex your enjoyment muscle, you become locked in a cycle of demotivation and that inability to enjoy anything gets worse. Leading to more depression.

Bottom line, it is crucial to continue engaging in activities you used to enjoy even though depression has taken the enjoyment factor away. If you keep this up, you will eventually begin to find yourself enjoying the activities again.

I know...

Reading this might feel like a tough pill to swallow. And if you have been depressed for a while you might be thinking that what I am asking you to do is pretty impossible when desperately depressed because that's what major depression does!

So let me just say...

I understand why you would think this. However, after over 22 years of working with loads of people struggling with major depression who were eventually able to start experiencing enjoyment again. I would not say it was impossible.

They all did feel it was impossible too, but those who stuck with the process and kept practising the things they used to enjoy without beating themselves up for not feeling the enjoyment surprised themselves when they started enjoying things again.

 

(Tip 14) The power of Self-compassion and self-soothing for treating depression

Self-compassion helps us to recognize and care for ourselves in times of distress so that we don’t go into a downward spiral. It provides us with emotional support. It reminds us that we aren’t alone.

When we feel depressed, we can become self-critical and judge ourselves harshly. When we do this, it makes us feel more self-focused. We focus on how we've failed, or what we're lacking, or how much we hate ourselves. We tend to blame ourselves for how we feel.

In addition, we may also compare our current mood to how we used to be and see ourselves as better than we are.

This is a very common way to fall into depression.

What's important to remember is that we are not our moods. Our moods fluctuate constantly, and we don't need to be defined by our moods. We are more than our moods.

Moving on to self-soothing...

Self-soothing is the practice of engaging in activities that are soothing and comforting to you. Self-soothing can include things like listening to music, reading, exercising, talking to a friend, journaling, painting, or going to bed early.

These activities help to calm the mind by reducing negative thoughts, reducing the feeling of anxiety and panic, and helping to regulate mood. It is important to engage in these activities, even if you only do a few minutes each day.

This is because it builds new pathways in the brain and helps to reinforce those pathways, which can help reduce the negative thoughts and feelings that are associated with depression.

It is important to remember that the biggest benefits of self-soothing tend to be compounding. So so allow yourself some weeks of practicing it before deciding to stop.

(Tip 15) How to use healthy Isolation to encourage recovery

Normally self-isolation in depression is depicted as a bad thing, but when you look at it the right way, self-isolation is actually a good thing.

When you look at it the right way, self-isolation is actually a good thing. We've designed a healthy form of self-isolation that helps people with depression to recover from their depression. I call this kind of isolation "Recovery Isolation" and it is a powerful tool that can help you heal from depression.

"Recovery Isolation" is particularly useful for you if your current lifestyle and environment tend to bombard you with reasons to feel unhappy, stressed or worried.

How Recovery Isolation works

Recovery Isolation means isolating yourself from the things that trigger your depression, such as:

- Negative thoughts, people who put you down or remind you of things you are trying to forget

- Negative emotions, such as anger or sadness

- Things that remind you of how depression is holding you back in life

We recommend isolating from these triggers for at least 1 to 3 months. It will take some time to get used to the idea that you need to isolate yourself from the things that trigger you to feel depressed. It is also a good idea to try to do this every day.

The goal is not to completely Isolate. It is more about giving yourself regular long breaks as you do other things to work on your depression. Almost like what happens when you go on holiday and it feels your depression is cured because you are not carrying the heavy load of life on your head.

(Tip 16) The power of resting and pacing for treating depression

We all know that sleeping too much or staying in bed for too long is a bad recipe for depression.

But could there be a scenario where staying in bed was actually helpful for depression? Rest and sleep can affect mood in many ways. They can help regulate hormones, reduce inflammation and blood pressure, reduce pain and increase focus. All these can have a positive impact on depression.

The problem however exists when you feel unable to switch off your mind when you are resting. In these cases, it can often feel pointless to rest.  When this happens,  you may feel powerless to stop the thoughts and feel like you have no other choice but to go along with the negative thought cycle.

However, it's important to remember that you don't have to give in to every negative thought. and use tools like, attention training, mindfulness, sleep stories and meditation to help occupy your mind as you rest.

Why is it important to have a rested mind when you are resting or trying to sleep?
It is because your brain needs time to switch off and clear its thoughts. And your brain needs time to heal and repair itself.

During periods of rest, your brain creates new connections. Your synapses (the connections between neurons) get stronger and you develop new skills. The new connections also increase your ability to focus, think more logically, and understand what is happening around you.

This allows you to cope better and deal with situations that cause stress and anxiety, such as dealing with stressful events at work, relationships, finances, or family.

Can natural remedies help treat depression

Natural remedies have a long history of helping people with a variety of conditions. Depression is no exception.

One of the main benefits of using natural remedies is that they tend to have no side effects. Many people find that taking them over a long period of time doesn’t interfere with their ability to function in their daily lives.

Moving on...

There are many reasons why depression can be difficult to cure naturally. But one of the reasons is that depression can be caused by a deficiency of certain nutrients, vitamins, minerals and/or amino acids, for example, B-vitamins, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, L-theanine, serotonin, and tryptophan. These deficiencies can make depression worse because they can make you more sensitive to stress.

Here is a list of common herbs, nutrients and vitamins that can help you in treating depression.

 (Tip 17) Vitamins and hormones that help treat depression

Vitamin D: Vitamin D is a hormone, produced by the skin in response to sunlight, which is needed for bone and muscle formation. It also plays a role in the immune system and mood. Studies have found that people with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to have depression. If you are vitamin D deficient, talk to your doctor about whether you should take supplements.

 (Tip 17) Magnesium: This mineral helps with a wide range of functions in the body, including nerve conduction, the production of energy, the release of hormones, and the synthesis of DNA and RNA. Low levels of magnesium are associated with depression.

Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), play important roles in brain development. A high-fat diet rich in fish oil, which is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, can have antidepressant effects.

L-Theanine: This amino acid is found in green tea. It improves the way the brain processes information and reduces anxiety. It is also believed to be involved in regulating the production of serotonin.

Serotonin: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood, sleep, appetite and pain sensitivity. It also helps regulate how the brain processes stress. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to depression.

Tryptophan: Tryptophan is the building block for the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is found in protein-rich foods, such as milk, meat, eggs and legumes. Research has suggested that low levels of tryptophan are associated with depression.

‍Calcium: Calcium is a mineral that is found in your bones, nerves and muscles. It is necessary for the production of a protein called actin, which is important for nerves to conduct electrical signals. Calcium also plays a role in maintaining the structure of your bones and teeth.

Melatonin: Melatonin is a hormone that helps your body to sleep and regulates the secretion of hormones in the brain. It is produced in the pineal gland in the brain. It is also an antioxidant that helps to remove toxic substances from the body.

Amino Acids: Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They are involved in the body’s ability to synthesise proteins and to maintain the integrity of body tissues. Amino acids are vital for the proper functioning of the immune system and for the production of nerve cells.

Zinc: Zinc is an important mineral that is vital for the synthesis of DNA and the development of the nervous system. It is also needed for the production of hormones.

Iron: Iron is an important mineral that is important for the production of energy in the body. Iron is involved in the production of hormones and is necessary for the function of many enzymes.

Book a consultation with Adewale

 

(Tip 18) Herbs that help treat depression

Mint: Mint is a relaxing herb that can improve mental energy and boost concentration. Mint tea has also been used to treat depression.

Ginkgo: Ginkgo is a plant that’s been traditionally used in China to treat dementia and mental illnesses. It’s been suggested that ginkgo can help improve memory and focus.

Echinacea: Echinacea is a flowering plant that’s been used in homoeopathy to treat anxiety, depression, and respiratory infections.

Catnip: Catnip is a relaxing herb that can help people who are stressed and anxious. It’s also been used to promote sleep and to improve concentration.

Chamomile: Chamomile is a herbal remedy that can reduce stress. It’s also been used to treat depression.

Cayenne: Cayenne is a warming herb that helps relieve anxiety and irritability. It can be helpful in the treatment of depression.

Ashwagandha: This herb, which comes from the roots of a tree, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat depression and anxiety.

St. John’s Wort: St. John’s Wort is a popular herb that’s been used to treat depression for hundreds of years.

Lavender: Lavender is widely used in aromatherapy to help alleviate depression.

Passionflower: Passionflower is a herb that’s been used for centuries to relieve anxiety.

Ginger: Ginger is a spice that’s been used to treat nausea, abdominal pain, and motion sickness. It’s also useful in treating depression.

Kava Kava: Kava kava is a calming herb that's been used to relieve stress and depression. It's also known to promote relaxation and calmness.

(Tip 19) How exercise can help treat depression.

Research has shown that exercise can help reduce the severity of depression and the chances of relapse. Here are some examples of how exercise can be helpful:
Exercise increases the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which is associated with feelings of well-being and happiness. In addition, exercise improves blood flow in the hippocampus, a region of the brain responsible for emotional processing and memory.

If you’re feeling depressed, consider adding some physical activity into your daily routine.

There are a number of reasons why exercise can help with depression. For one thing, it can be a good distraction from thoughts about the past and future.

A regular exercise program also provides a sense of accomplishment, as well as a feeling of control over your life. So if you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, exercise is a great way to change the focus of your attention away from negative thoughts.

But keep in mind that it’s important to avoid exercising too much when you’re feeling depressed. It’s best to avoid getting injured or overexerting yourself.

(Tip 20) The best foods to eat to help treat depression

Eating the right foods may help to treat depression and reduce the likelihood of developing depression in the first place.

Research shows that diet can play a major role in the development of depression. Eating certain foods is related to a lower risk of developing depression. 

Many foods contain vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are important for brain function. In addition, certain foods are linked to the production of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, both of which play a major role in mood regulation.

So, what foods should you eat to help treat depression?

Foods to consider include:

- Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, collard greens, chard, turnip greens, and arugula

- Salmon

- Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds

- Beans, especially black beans

- Whole grains, such as oats, quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat bread

- Oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and tuna

- Egg yolks

- Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream

- Fresh fruit and vegetable juices

- Soups, salads, and soups made from bone broth (broth made from cooking bones and marrow)

- Avocados

- Hemp seeds, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds

- Herbs and spices

- Canned tomatoes

- Bananas

- Whole grains, such as oatmeal and steel-cut oats

(Tip 21) Guidance on alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant. When you drink alcohol, your brain slows down, blocking away a lot of things, and as a result, you get less depressed. That’s why some people find that their depression lifts after they've had a few drinks.

However, this effect only lasts a few hours after drinking. The next morning, when you wake up, you’ll probably be as depressed as ever.

Using alcohol as a treatment for depression is a dangerous path because of this. If you have fallen it may be necessary to seek professional help. You need to find someone who is trained and certified to help you with addiction recovery. trying to go it alone can actually make the situation worse.

(Tip 22) Learn to Recognize Negative Thinking

Your thoughts control your emotions and your emotions determine your actions. Therefore, if you want to change the way you feel, you need to change the way you think.

If you are experiencing depression, your thoughts and feelings are often very distorted. It is not uncommon for people to experience feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, despair, sadness, loneliness, fear, anger, frustration, guilt, shame, hopelessness, resentment, or bitterness. These emotions, along with the negative thoughts that go along with them, often have a negative effect on your behaviour. 

Some negative thoughts are very obvious whilst some are extremely subtle. to help you identify your negative thoughts are some common types:
1. Overgeneralization: Overgeneralization is when we think we are always a bad person. We might say, "If I do something wrong, I am a bad person." This can lead to thoughts such as, "I'm always going to be a bad person," which can cause us to lose our sense of self.

2. Disqualifying the positive: If we think a particular situation is hopeless, we may think that we cannot achieve anything, or that it is impossible to make things better. This can lead to feelings of helplessness and powerlessness, and it can also lead to us giving up on ourselves or our goals.

3. Personalization: This is when we blame ourselves for things that are happening to us or for things that happened in the past. This can lead to feelings of shame, guilt and disappointment.

4. Mental filter: This is when we only think of the negatives and ignore the positives. For example, if you are trying to lose weight and you think, "I'm going to fail at this." This leads you to only think about the negative and not the positive. This can lead to you feeling discouraged and thinking that you will always be overweight.

5. Blaming: Blaming is when we think that other people are the reason we are having a problem. This leads to feelings of anger and frustration. We might blame the boss or the coworker for our problem.

6. Black and white thinking: Black and white thinking is when we think that everything is either good or bad. For example, you may think, "All people are either liars or honest."

7. Emotional reasoning: This is when we think that our feelings are real. For example, if you have a bad day and you feel sad, you might think, "I really feel bad."

8. All or nothing thinking: This is when we think that there is no middle ground. For example, when we think that someone is a jerk or a nice person, we might say, "He's either a jerk or a nice person."

9. Discounting the positive: Discounting the positive means that we think that things are either not going to happen or are going to happen. We might think, "I probably won't get a raise this year."

10. Should statements: This is when we think about what we should be doing instead of what we should be doing. For example, if you feel depressed, you might think, "I should be happier than I am."

11. Mental filtering: Mental filtering is when we think that something is true for everyone else but not for us. This can be because we think that everyone is like us and because we think that other people know what we are thinking.

12. Jumping to conclusions: Jumping to conclusions means that we think that we know why a thing happened. For example, if you get angry at someone, you might think, "He's a jerk."

13. Selective attention: Selective attention is when we focus on only the negative and ignore the positive.

14. Jumping to conclusions: This is when we jump to the conclusion that something is true. For example, if you see someone driving too fast, you might think, "He's dangerous."

(Tip 23) Learn to Change Negative Thinking

To change negative thoughts, you need to recognize the pattern that they belong to. If you look at your thinking critically, you will notice that most negative thoughts go in a particular order and they are repetitive and predictable. 

When you recognize that, you can change the pattern, so that it no longer serves you.

1) Start by noticing how your negative thoughts start. For example:

"What am I going to do?"

"Nothing's ever good enough."

"Nobody cares."

"I'll never succeed."

"I'm not as smart as other people."

"I suck at everything."

You notice these patterns in your thoughts and you realize that they are the result of your subconscious mind. They don't come from the real you. It is your subconscious mind, which is responsible for creating your world and your reality. And what it creates is a story about your past and future. 

Now, it is time to step back and take a close look at your life, including all the circumstances, events and people that you are involved in, and the emotions that you experience.

With a strong focus on your present, you can change your future by changing your present. You can change your future by transforming the emotional energy that you use to create your current circumstances. 

2) You can use mindfulness to understand the thoughts that are causing you suffering. You can use mindfulness to notice when you start to think negatively and when you start to ruminate about the past and the future. 

3) As soon as you notice your negative thought patterns, you can replace them with a positive thought. You can choose to think differently and change your emotions.

4) With practice, your brain will learn to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

5) Don't fall into the trap of trying to eliminate negative thoughts and just focusing on thinking positively. Remember that the reason why we think negatively is because our unconscious minds are trying to protect us from danger. So, if you start thinking negatively, your subconscious mind will try to prevent you from getting hurt. 

6) When you're feeling down, remember to be grateful. Gratitude will change your mood, so you can start thinking more optimistically.

7) Your subconscious mind is constantly changing and adapting. Sometimes, you feel sad and miserable, and other times, you feel happy and optimistic.

You might even experience a mix of both. That is perfectly normal and it is how the human mind works.

8) Try to learn to see your life as a series of small moments. Your life is made up of a series of small moments. Each moment is like a seed that contains everything that you are, everything that you have and everything that you will ever experience.

When you focus on the future and the past, you will experience all of your emotions at once. This means that you can't predict the future. So, when you think about the future and the past, you end up experiencing all of your emotions all at once.

But when you look at the future as a series of small moments, you can begin to experience the present moment as it happens. This means that you can think about the future in a way that doesn't trigger all of your emotions at once.

This simple process can help you to learn how to live fully in the present and to enjoy your life in the moment.

(Tip 24) Develop a daily routine to help treat depression

Having a daily routine is one of the best things you can do for your depression. It is the foundation of many other self-help strategies. And it also works well as a way to manage the side effects of medication.

When you start to feel better, your energy level improves. You become less tired. You become less depressed.

And the first thing you should do is create a daily schedule. This can be as simple as planning ahead. If you know that every day you'll get up at the same time and go to the gym, you can plan to set your alarm for the morning when you need to go.

It can be as simple as planning ahead. If you know that every day you'll get up at the same time and go to the gym, you can plan to set your alarm for the morning when you need to go. It can be as simple as planning ahead. If you know that every day you'll get up at the same time and go to the gym, you can plan to set your alarm for the morning when you need to go.

Another reason to start to create a daily routine is that it helps you stay on track. Without a daily routine, it's easy to put off starting to work on the things that will make you feel better. For example, if you're struggling with feeling overwhelmed by anxiety, it's likely that you'll find it hard to focus.

But if you have a daily routine and you know that you'll be going to the gym in the morning, you can set aside an hour to get your head right before you go.

Another reason to start to create a daily routine is that it helps you stay on track. Without a daily routine, it's easy to put off starting to work on the things that will make you feel better. For example, if you're struggling with feeling overwhelmed by anxiety, it's likely that you'll find it hard to focus. But if you have a daily routine and you know that you'll be going to the gym in the morning, you can set aside an hour to get your head right before you go.

If you decide to start exercising, there are also several benefits to keeping a consistent routine. If you have a daily exercise routine, it helps you to stick with it and gives you a sense of purpose. It also helps you to maintain your motivation. If you do something every day that helps you feel better, it keeps you from losing interest.

If you decide to start exercising, there are also several benefits to keeping a consistent routine. If you have a daily exercise routine, it helps you to stick with it and gives you a sense of purpose. It also helps you to maintain your motivation. If you do something every day that helps you feel better, it keeps you from losing interest.

A daily routine can also keep you more focused. If you have a daily routine, you know that you have to get up at a certain time and you know that you have to eat breakfast, you can concentrate more fully on your daily tasks.

Having a daily routine also makes you feel more grounded. You know what you have to do and when, and that helps you to feel more in control.

(Tip 25) Tend to Your Social Life

Living a socially active life can be difficult if you are depressed because many of the social activities that can provide enjoyment or meaning also require energy. So, when your energy level is low, you may find it hard to participate in social life.

You might also be worried that your depression might rub off on other people and that your depression is taking away from the happiness or positive vibes everybody wants.

As a result, you might become overly self-conscious, shy, and withdrawn. 

However, withdrawing would produce more depression. So, in order to get better, it’s important that you engage in enjoyable social activities, even when your energy is low. It's important to remember that having a social life doesn't have to mean having a life that is perfect all the time. Even if it is only on some days, engaging in social life can be very beneficial. So, in order to keep being social without making your depression worse, you can try the following...

1) Understand that it is okay to not always want to be social

If you are having a hard time keeping up with social activities, it is okay to understand that some days you might just feel like being alone. Don't let your depression make you think that you are a failure as a social person. You are doing your best, and it's okay to sometimes feel a little sad that you can't always be happy and social.

2) Have realistic expectations of what you can do

It is also important to set a realistic expectation of what you can do in a day. So if you want to hang out with your friends, but you have a really busy day with work, don't push yourself to socialize all day.

Set a goal of hanging out with one friend for a couple of hours, or going to a movie once every week or so. Make sure your expectations are reasonable so that you don't become overwhelmed by guilt if you can't keep up with them.

3) Find your own balance between socializing and being alone

Sometimes, you may want to socialize and sometimes you may want to just be alone. The key is finding your own balance.
If you are having a really hard time, and you need to just be alone for a while, it is okay to spend a couple of days in a row just wanting to be alone.

Just make sure that you don't let your depression prevent you from doing anything.

4) Remember that your depression is not your fault

Even though it is tough to keep up with your social life, remember that your depression is not your fault. It is not a sign of laziness or of a weak person. It is a medical condition that needs help, and it is not your responsibility to fix it. You cannot force yourself to be sociable all the time, so don't feel guilty if you can't do it.

5) Be realistic about what your social life can offer For example, if you only have a couple of friends, and you can go to a few things with those friends, then that can still be a pretty good social life.

Relaxation and mindfulness techniques that have been proven to help depression

Relaxation techniques:

(Tip 26) Progressive muscle relaxation: In this technique, you focus on each part of your body and repeat phrases such as “I relax my…” and “I release the tension in my…” while picturing your body relaxing. It’s great for the whole body and works quickly.

(Tip 27) Body Scan: A great way to get back into the present moment. It's a simple exercise that can take you back to a state of mind when you were feeling good, and can remind you of how to stay grounded when you feel overwhelmed. Start by lying on the floor. Bring your awareness to the sensations in your feet, legs, torso, arms, and head. When you notice yourself thinking about anything other than your body, gently bring your attention back to your body. After a few minutes of focusing on your body, move to standing up and sitting down. Practice this at least twice a day.

(Tip 28) Breathing: Deep breathing is a great way to shift your focus away from negative thoughts and feelings, and back to where you are right now. If you find yourself caught in negative thoughts or feelings, try taking a deep breath and saying “Inhale. I am feeling…” as you breathe in and “Outhale. I am letting go of…” as you exhale.

(Tip 29) Creative activities: Creative activities can be a great way to boost your mood, relieve stress and improve your well-being. These activities can include anything from drawing to playing an instrument. They can be fun, they can be relaxing and they can be educational.

Mindfulness techniques:

(Tip 30) Visualization: If you have trouble sleeping, try doing a visualization exercise in the evening before bed. This helps you to relax and wind down for the night. You can use any of the techniques mentioned above, or you can simply close your eyes and picture yourself in a peaceful setting.

(Tip 32) Imagery: Use your imagination to help you to calm down and unwind. For example, if you feel yourself feeling overwhelmed, imagine a place you’re safe and comfortable and picture yourself in that environment. Alternatively, you could imagine a time when you felt calm and relaxed and see yourself in that environment. The important thing is to choose a positive image that’s calming. It can help to write down your visualization, or tape it to the side of your bathroom mirror, so you can practice it every day.

(Tip 33) Mindfulness meditation: You can practice mindfulness by focusing your attention on your breathing. You can start by noticing how you feel when you’re breathing in. What are you thinking and feeling as you breathe in? If you feel like there’s nothing there, notice what you’re thinking and feeling as you breathe out. What do you notice? What do you notice? What do you notice? Try this meditation for five minutes, and repeat it whenever you find yourself stuck in a negative thought pattern.

(Tip 34) Self-affirmation: Self-affirmation is a way of reminding yourself of your strengths and values. It can be practised daily and is a great way to create distance from negative thoughts and feelings. It can also be a great way to practice staying positive.

The secrets to overcoming depression naturally, without medication

Depression can be a real killer. However, the reason most people struggle to break free from depression is because of a lack of understanding of what they need to do consistently to overcome it.

Taking the time to master the strategies on this page will certainly feel daunting to start with. Boy, it is a lot to remember and a lot to achieve. 

To help you push through the learning process, think about the reward at the end.

Think about how this will help you put an end to the life of pain. The hard work will be well worth it. 

Imagine a life without depression. A life where you wake up feeling great every day and you never worry about getting depressed again.

Imagine a life where you are happy, successful and have a better quality of life. Imagine feeling like you are living a life you love instead of one you hate. Imagine doing your best, achieving success and being the best version of yourself. Imagine a life where you wake up feeling like your body is a temple and you can feel healthy, happy, energetic and in control.

With enough time and perseverance, you'll soon find that the strategies on this page will be working in your favour. 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Adewale Ademuyiwa
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