It is normal to feel sad occasionally. However, when you suffer from low mood frequently or for a prolonged period that affects your day to day life, it could be a sign of clinical depression. Depression is a major mood problem that affects millions of adults worldwide. While there are medications for treating depression, the antidepressants often cause unpleasant side effects. Fortunately, you can easily overcome depression with the help of natural remedies. Free from adverse side effects, these remedies help in restoring the healthy balance of brain chemicals and improve mood naturally.
The Following Natural Remedies Can Help You To Feel Better:
Yoga poses, by harmoniously balancing the mind and the body, help in providing relief from depression. Studies have shown that practicing yoga daily causes dramatic improvement in mood. For beginners some of the best yoga poses to reduce depression are the mountain pose (Tadasana) with arms raised, child pose (Balasana), warrior pose (Virabhadrasana) and corpse pose (Shavasana).
Practicing meditation helps in calming the mind and reducing anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that practicing mindful-meditation daily for 30 to 40 minutes helps in relaxing the mind. To do mindful-meditation, sit comfortably at a quiet place, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Every time a thought comes to your mind, gently bring back your mind to focus on your breathing.
20 to 30 minutes of cardio workouts such as brisk walking, running or jogging helps in balancing the brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine. If you are prone to depression, exercises will help in boosting your mood naturally.
Exposure To Sunlight
To improve your mood naturally, spend some time in the sunlight. Low vitamin D level is often blamed for mood problems. Exposing your skin to the sunlight, triggers vitamin D synthesis.
If you are vulnerable to winter blues sitting in front of a light box that closely resembles the natural outdoor light for about 30 minutes in the morning provides relief from depression. However, light therapy is not recommended for people suffering from lupus, retinal problems or who have a history of skin cancer.
To treat depression naturally, add oily fish to your daily diet. Studies have shown that the omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil help in boosting mood and reducing risk of depression. As omega-3 fats constitute almost 20% of the cell membranes in the brain, they are essential for maintaining healthy flow of brain signals.
Red Meat and Poultry
Low serotonin level in the brain causes depression. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is essential for serotonin production. Red meat and poultry are loaded with tryptophan. To fight depression naturally, consider adding turkey, chicken, lamb, pork or beef to your meals.
Oatmeal is a source of complex carbohydrate, which is broken down into glucose molecules during digestion. Insulin released in the blood stream to aid absorption of glucose eases transmission of tryptophan to the brain. Hence, consuming oatmeal, by maintaining a steady flow of glucose, helps in improving the serotonin level.
Magnesium Rich Foods
Magnesium deficiency reduces serotonin production. Hence, to improve your mood naturally, increase consumption of magnesium rich foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds and bananas.
Milk is an excellent source of calcium. Calcium along with magnesium and tryptophan and other nutrients is needed for serotonin synthesis. In addition, milk contains alpha-lactalbumin, which is one of the best sources of tryptophan.
Vitamin B6 is involved in production of the brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine. Low levels of these neurotransmitters cause depression. To fight mood problems, add vitamin B6 rich foods such as poultry, fish, lentils, carrots, spinach and whole grains to your daily diet.
For centuries traditional medicine practitioners in China have used massage therapy for treating depression. Besides promoting circulation and easing aches and pains, massage therapy aids in relaxation. Moreover, the human touch reduces the feeling of alienation and stimulates production of hormones that help in improving mood.
In the Middle Eastern countries saffron has been used for centuries for healing depression. Studies have shown that saffron is as effective as the standard antidepressants used for treating mild to moderate depression.
Chamomile contains a phytochemical that aids relaxation. To treat depression naturally, consider sipping a cup of warm chamomile tea.
St John’s Wort
The herb St John’s wort is an effective herbal remedy for depression. It contains a phytochemical called hypercin, which helps in balancing the serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and GABA levels in the brain. To treat depression, you can take 300mg of St John’s wort supplement up to thrice a day.
Griffonia Simplicifolia Seeds
The seeds of Griffonia simplicifolia contains 5-HTP, a natural mood enhancing chemical. It is a precursor of serotonin. This herbal remedy helps in treating mild to moderate depression. If you cannot access Griffonia simplicifolia seeds, you can take 50 to 300 mg of 5-HTP supplement daily.
Black cohosh is another effective herbal remedy for depression. It is especially effective for treating depression caused by hormonal changes during menopause. However, avoid this herb if you have a liver disorder.
Reflexology involves application of pressure to acupuncture points of the hands and feet to stimulate the body’s natural healing process. This natural healing method provides relief from depression and boosts mood.
Music therapy can help people suffering from grief and depression. Select the music that best suits your mood and listen to it when you feel sad or depressed.
Guided imagery is a type of relaxation technique that involves focusing the senses on certain vision, sound, smell or touch that promotes relaxation. It is a reliable method for combating depression naturally.
To treat depression naturally, add a teaspoon of cardamom powder to a glass of milk or water and drink daily. Cardamom is a natural antidepressant. It helps in soothing the mind and reduces depression.
The refreshing aroma of lavender helps in soothing the mind. Sipping lavender tea or inhaling the fragrance of lavender essential oil provides relief from mild to moderate inflammation.