Beating the Blues

Before taking anti-depressants, try these natural remedies.

Seen as a quick fix, anti-depressant medications are often overprescribed by doctors. Those with moderate to severe depression may find relief with medication, but anti-depressants for mild depression isn’t as effective. While antidepressants can be lifesavers for clinically depressed people and those with hormonal imbalances, it may be worth exploring non-medication methods of treatment before running to the doctor or when you find medication doesn’t help.

Read on to learn the six ways that BattleFord Fit Body Boot Camp says can help you beat the blues without medical intervention

Find the Source

Many physical, psychological, and environmental factors can contribute to depression. It’s possible the reason you’re feeling blue isn’t a symptom of chemical imbalances in your brain, but are rather the result of circumstances in your life. A strained relationship, financial woes, ill health, or discontentment at work could be at the root of your depression. Be honest with yourself and examine your life. Dealing with the source of the problem may be your answer.

Get Regular Exercise

Ever heard of the runner’s high? It’s not a myth. As you exercise, your body produces brain chemicals called endorphins, which have an anti-depressant effect. Regular exercise over time will help your brain rewire itself to improve your mood. You don’t have to run a marathon to reap the benefits of exercise. Just get your body moving 20 to 30 minutes, several days a week.

Stay on Schedule

A lack of structure in your life can make you feel purposeless and lost. Your body functions best when it knows what to expect, so try to sleep and eat at about the same time every day and keep a daily routine. Skipping meals or waiting too long between meals causes your blood sugar to fluctuate and creates mood swings. Go to bed and wake up at the same times each day and avoid naps. Depression can either make it hard to sleep or make you want to sleep all the time, both of which can worsen the condition, says a personal trainer from Battleford fitness centers.

Tell Someone

Holding in feelings of depression, sadness, and hopelessness only make the feelings worse, but talking about what you’re going through can be cathartic. Find someone you trust, whether it’s your spouse, a friend, or a therapist, and talk through your feelings. Join a support group of people experiencing similar issues or undergo cognitive behavioral therapy with a trained professional to help retrain your negative thinking patterns. This form of therapy has been shown as effective as medication for relieving depression.

Eat for Your Brain

Nothing is proven, but it makes sense that eating foods that boost the brain chemical responsible for happy feelings—serotonin—could ease depression. Many anti-depressant drugs work to increase serotonin levels in the brain so why not do the same thing naturally? Eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon or anchovies), healthy fats, and protein. Many supplements claim to treat depression (St. John’s Wort, 5-HTP, folic acid, L-Theanine, SAMe, and fish oil), but Battleford bootcamp suggests that you always talk with your doctor before taking something new.

Do Something

You sit around because you’re depressed but doing nothing makes you more depressed than sitting around. Force yourself to get off the couch and find something to do. Set goals each day of things you want to accomplish. Take the focus off your own misery and do something nice for someone else. Accept new responsibilities to give you purpose and a sense of accomplishment. Challenge yourself to try a new activity and make time for doing things you enjoy.

And at the end of the day, you may find yourself feeling hopeful rather than hopeless, happy rather than sad, and ready to take on the world you were once convinced was out to get you.

More Risk for Whom? Depressed people are at a greater risk for serious health conditions such as obesity, stroke, and heart disease. They’re also more likely to be unemployed or recently divorced. Battleford fitness centers also found that more women suffer from depression than men.