Beating Depression Naturally – Simple Steps To Get Back To Happiness
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” — Aristotle Onassis
Depression is one of the most widespread mental illnesses in the world. 1 in 5 people will experience depression in their lifetime. In Australia alone, one million people will be suffering from depression at any one time.
I was one of those people.
It is hard to find words that give justice to how harrowing the experience is; but there is a way out and recovery is possible. Mild and moderate depression can be treated by understanding and working on your wellness.
What is wellness? There is a misconception that wellness is just being free from illness and is based on fitness and nutrition. However, wellness is so much more than this. Wellness encompasses you and everything around you, including your mind, body, soul, spirit, friends, family, work, communities and the natural world. It is an ongoing a process of love, growth, change, education, awareness and acceptance. It is ever-changing and challenging, but rewarding. Wellness is part of you, including everything you do and everyone you connect with. Working on all areas of your wellness not only treats depression but increases your meaning, happiness and purpose in life.
Natural Depression treatment
There are many different treatment options for depression. Natural therapies are a growing treatment as many of us are now looking for new approaches for recovery. There are many natural therapies that can help with depression; mindfulness, gratitude, physical activity, support, nutrition, natural supplements such as St John’s Wort as well as connecting with nature.
St John’s Wort
St John’s Wort is a natural antidepressant that works in a similar way to standardised antidepressants. It has been proven to be just as effective for mild to moderate depression with less side-effects. St John’s Wort can interact with other medications so please seek advice from your GP before taking.
Spending time in nature increases your wellness as it helps you feel grounded and connected to the natural world. Your levels of happiness will also improve. There are many things you can do in nature; hiking, swimming, mediation and reflection. A mindfulness walk is a great way to increase your connection to the environment; it also lets you fully connect with your body in the present moment.
Here is a quick guide to mindfulness walking.
• Become aware of how your body feels and all sensations.
• Begin walking and keep paying attention to how your body feels as you take each step.
• Look around and pay attention to your surroundings, listen to the birds sing, the cars driving by, the man in the shop making a coffee, the heels of the women walking by.
• To help you be present, keep concentrating on your breathing.
• As your mind wanders, keep coming back to your breath, keep looking around- taking in every sight and smell.
• Practice for 5 minutes and try increasing it each week.
Having a good work-life balance is essential for the mind and soul. Spend time doing the things that you love and that bring you joy. If you are struggling to think of these then you can create a circle of joy. Write down all the things that have bought you joy in life and circle the ones that you think would still bring you the same joy today. Set yourself a task of doing one of these things each week. Another fun thing that you can do is create a play area in your home; it can be in a drawer, in your wardrobe or under your bed. Fill this area with lots of fun things.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
A colouring book
This Is Not The End. Inspirational Speech on Depression – Watch FREE on our YouTube channel:
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said ’Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food’. Throughout its history, food has not only been used to nourish our bodies, but it has also been used for healing.
These foods, known as functional foods, or more recently labelled ‘superfoods’, contain nutritional benefits that improve our health and wellbeing. Not only do they have a long history of use with their medicinal benefits, but recent scientific research has revealed even more extraordinary benefits of these foods. Many fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, legumes, nuts and spices contain effective nutrients that can prevent and treat depression. Conversely, studies also show the consumption of processed and fast foods can increase the risk of developing depression.
Research has shown that connecting with your spiritual side enhances mood, reduces depression and heightens serenity. To find spirituality you need to be able to connect with yourself, those around you and with your environment. You can practice spirituality by being compassionate, forgiving, accepting and grateful. Here are some tips to help get you started.
• Keep a Gratitude Journal and list 3 things every day that you are most grateful for.
• Tell someone you love them and how much they mean to you.
• Look at the beauty around you and immerse yourself in nature.
• Smile at everyone.
• Nurture all your important relationships.
• Compliment someone.
• Thank the bus driver, postman, shop worker.
• Embrace life’s challenges and turn them into opportunities to grow and learn.
• Focus on your strengths.
Depression is a serious and complex illness. The first step is getting support. If you feel you may be depressed, please seek professional advice or contact beyond blue on 1300 22 4636.