Many people these days are struggling with depression in one form or another. This depression is often compounded in the winter time when there is less sunshine. Many people seek relief using prescription anti-depressants; and others seek it with alcohol, and other recreational drugs. Most people who are taking antidepressants, and recreational drugs do not need to medicate themselves to feel better. Most people can find a way out of depression through natural means. We will discuss a few of these methods in a minute, but first, what is depression?
Most doctors believe that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. While this is true in some cases such as manic-depressives, and psychotics, who need medication; most depressives can be helped without antidepressants. Antidepressants tend to suppress the emotions which makes most users feel like robots that are incapable of feeling. They seldom help as intended and leave the user feeling empty as well as depressed. If you are one of these folks, put down your Prozac and try some of these remedies.
Cut back on your sugar intake. We all know what sugar does to children; well adults are no different. Sugar provides a lift for a short time but also induces a mood crash after it burns off.
Find ways to externalize your thoughts. Many people suffering from depression spend too much time thinking about themselves. This is the breeding ground for all sorts of negative thoughts and feelings such as worry, feelings of inferiority, and stress. The cure for this is to find things to do to get you to think of something besides yourself. This could be a hobby, volunteer work, painting, writing, or any number of things. The important thing is to find something that you really like to do, and go do it.
Get some exercise. This really ties in with externalizing your thoughts, but also provides other benefits such as producing endorphins, and other mood lifting chemicals in the brain. You don't have to be a workout warrior to get the benefits. Go for a walk, or light jog every other day, that will do wonders for your over all feeling of well being.
If you live in a northern climate take extra vitamin D during the winter time. In the winter very few people get the amount of vitamin D they need. Less sun means less vitamin D production in your body, so you need to account for this. If you have a job where you get very little sun you should also be taking vitamin D supplements.
Open the spiritual channels to your higher self. Man is a spiritual being living in a physical body. If the ego becomes too distant from the spiritual self, depression is often the result. Try to take a few minutes each day to open yourself to spirit. This can be done in any number of ways such as meditation, contemplation, and prayer. I personally like to take a few moments to sing the HU during the course of the day, and before bed. HU is the secret and powerful name of God which makes a marvelous mantra to reconnect with spirit. Just fill yourself with love by thinking about someone you love, and sing HU (pronounced Hugh). As I said there are many ways to open yourself to spirit, you just need to find the best one for you.
If you are suffering from the blues, or a clinical depressive, you will find that many of these techniques will help and improve your quality of life.