Our guest author today writes a compelling article about depression and how to cure it naturally. Matt admits that he was once a victim of this terrible ailment himself so his thoughts are authentic.
According to the World Health Organization, depression affects about 121 million people worldwide. When you’re depressed, it’s all you can do to drag yourself out of bed to face the world.
Depression saps your will to live, drains your energy and leaves you feeling powerless and victimized by your mind, body and the world. That’s the bad news.
But there is some good news: depression is one of the clearest and most resounding calls to massive action you can ever receive. If you’re reading this right now and you or someone you know is feeling depressed, then it’s time to take a look at some powerful natural cures for depression.
Of course, if you are suffering from acute depression and are considering suicide, then you need to seek qualified medical help immediately. Natural cures for depression aren’t quick fixes, and they don’t promise to bring you back from the brink by tomorrow.
However, the only cures to depression that ultimately work respond to the full-spectrum challenge of depression with a systems approach that attacks the demon of depression along multiple fronts all at once.
Think of depression as a multi-tentacled beast that strikes people down from all angles and doesn’t grant even a moment’s respite. Depression is a mighty enemy and deserves mighty retaliation. Depression manifests as a person’s thoughts, which cycle negatively and prove that the person in question is worthless and past helping. Depression saps a person’s energy and depletes them of the will they need to rise up and seize their own personal power. Depression isolates a person, which makes the help of others harder to request or find.
And so, any response to depression must necessarily attack back on many levels all at once.
There are no magic bullets when it comes to depression. However, depression can become the greatest gift you’ve ever received if you rise to the challenge and vanquish this most insistent of inner demons. Here’s how to do so naturally.
First, take stock of every level of your life. Write out all the different aspects of who you are. Your list should include details about your physical body and health, your emotions, your social life, your career, your spiritual orientation, your mind and anything else you can think to list out.
If you’re depressed, then every single area that you list will likely have some sign of the depression infection that currently has you. On the physical level, you may not be in the best physical shape you could be. Emotionally, you may feel numb or scared. When you take stock of your mind, you may locate a strong tendency toward negativity.
When it comes to healing depression naturally, the key is to start somewhere, anywhere and then build from there. Just getting enough energy to face the day can be a big deal for those who are feeling particularly depressed. But maybe that depressed person can start with 10 pushups or by eating a salad.
Little by little, put a whole new set of habits and practices in place that help transform the many areas affected by depression.
But what are the most effective starting points for battling depression? If you’re going to try to climb your way out of a deep hole of feeling depressed, what are the first things you can do that can help you make the fastest possible progress? Here are five major things you can choose from to get starting treating and healing depression naturally.
Exercise. Since feeling low energy is one of the most persistent problems experienced by those who suffer from depression, it makes sense to start with exercise. As you grow in strength and endurance, you’ll be able to use that extra energy to change other things on the way to a complete recovery from your bout of depression.
Also, physical changes can come quite quickly–in a matter of a couple weeks–and the enhanced muscles or slimmed down figure can definitely contribute to higher self-esteem. Exercise is a win-win.
Healthy Eating. It’s a whole lot easier to feel depressed after eating a bunch of donuts than after a big bowl of salad. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables and get rid of all the processed junk. Expect some withdrawals if you try to give up foods that you’re addicted to, like sugar. Fight any cravings with healthy alternatives like fruit or nuts.
In my experience, it’s more important at first to cut out the bad than to obsess over adding in the good. Processed snacks and fast food send your body chemistry into conniption fits. Cut them out and watch your level of happiness increase magically over time.
Volunteer. A lot of life is keeping things in perspective. Getting out of your head and into a helping mode can work wonders as a natural cure for depression. On its own, volunteering may not be enough, but just knowing that other people have it way worse than you do can help you muster the energy you need to make some other important changes in your life. Hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, jails and schools are often in need of volunteers.
Get out in Nature. Depression is largely a disease of the mind and the cities. Spend as much time outside in the fresh air and pure sunlight as possible. Lose yourself by watching ants or birds or squirrels go about their natural business. Lay down on the earth and feel the support you always receive from the earth below.
As a one-time thing, getting outside more won’t solve your depression troubles. Commit to getting outside on a regular basis and watch after a few weeks to notice if you’ve become more grounded and less lost in your head.
Focus on what’s good. A serious shift in perspective can help jolt your mind out of its habitual negativity. Resolve to focus on what’s good in the world and watch miracles unfold. Of course, the mind is wily and capable of flipping you right back into negative modes of thinking, so don’t expect a cake walk if you decide to start by focusing on what you focus on.
When you find yourself drifting back to focusing on what’s wrong with your life or the world, simply switch back to focusing on what’s right. Make this your most important moment-by-moment practice and refuse to fall back into those old negative modes of thinking.
Start small and build from there.
Depression doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time for all the pieces of the depression puzzle to come into being within a person.
In order to heal depression naturally, you need to take massive action. Start slow, take things one thing and one day at a time and do your best each day to turn over a new leaf.
Most importantly, hold yourself gently. Forgive your slips and trips. Believe that you can indeed heal depression naturally. And then get busy, because the world needs you happy and full of life.
As you make progress, you may find yourself looking back on your depression as I do nowadays. The challenge of depression is inviting you to dig deep and find out what you’re made of. You can heal depression naturally and come out the other side happy and full of life. Start today with one positive change and follow the thread forward.
Matt Coffman is an entrepreneur and writer who runs a website about natural cures for depression and natural depression treatment. His own journey of healing his depression naturally led him to want to help others do the same.