8 Natural Home Remedies for Depression

What do you think of when you hear the word depression? It’s most commonly used to refer to the feelings and symptoms of clinical depression, which can interfere with your daily life and make it hard to get things done.

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait around for anti-depressant medications from your doctor or use expensive treatments from your psychiatrist to manage your depression symptoms.

Instead, here are eight natural home remedies for depression that will help you get back on track!

1) Exercise

Studies have found that physical activity helps treat depression.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week, although you can start with just 10 minutes a day to gain some health benefits.

Try strength training, walking, or jogging—basically anything that gets your heart rate up.

If going outside isn’t an option, try short bouts of exercise on a stationary bike or treadmill in front of your TV to give you something else to focus on aside from your problems.

This should help reduce anxiety and make it easier to get through difficult feelings caused by depression.

2) Eat Healthy Foods

Foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats help balance your mood.

They provide vitamins and minerals that you might not be getting from other foods.

Omega-3 fatty acids are especially helpful to include in your diet because they can help reduce inflammation in your body.

Onions and garlic contain phytochemicals that reduce stress hormones such as cortisol; foods like chamomile tea or lavender oil can also be helpful for reducing anxiety symptoms.

A healthy diet alone won’t cure depression—but it is a great start!

3) Sleep

According to a number of studies, people who are sleep deprived are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.

Aim for between seven and nine hours a night. Getting into a good sleep routine—and sticking to it—is important because it can be difficult to change long-term habits.

To get started, establish a set bedtime and stick to it as closely as possible.

4) Take Supplements

Taking supplements like L-tyrosine and 5-HTP can help alleviate depression and anxiety since they’re precursors to neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, etc.).

However, research shows that supplementing with tryptophan—which is one of those above—can worsen depression in people who have bipolar disorder.

Because of that, it’s best to stick with L-tyrosine and 5-HTP for mood support.

Other supplement options include some herbal pills like Patanjali’s Medha Vati. You can read Medha Vati Patanjali Benefits for more details.

5) Get Fresh Air

Spending time outdoors, especially in green spaces that offer lots of foliage and trees, has been shown to improve people’s moods.

In one study from Arizona State University, researchers found that participants who walked through a dense forest showed an increase in their mood after a 10-minute walk.

Another study from Stony Brook University reported that a 20-minute walk through either a park or wooded area helped patients with major depressive disorder experience significant improvement in their symptoms as well as better sleep quality.

Spending time near water has also been linked to reduced risk of depression and increased overall mood.

One U.K.-based study found that natural environments can reduce stress by up to 68%. So next time you’re suffering from depression, get some fresh air!

6) Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is one of those words that has been thrown around so much in recent years, that it’s easy to lose sight of what makes it such a useful tool.

Sometimes all we need to shift our mood is simply remembering to count our blessings.

Gratitude journaling (writing down what you’re grateful for each day) and gratitude meditations are two ways to help remind yourself of all that you have to be thankful for.

7) Use Essential Oils

Though there are no randomized studies to prove the efficacy of Essential oils, many people claim that lavender oil has helped them to manage their depression.

If you’re someone who suffers from chronic depression, keep a few drops of lavender in your pocket at all times (or on your nightstand).

When you feel a depressive episode coming on, inhale deeply and repeat calming mantras like I am powerful or Everything is going to be okay.

Alternatively, try mixing 2 drops of lavender with 6 ounces of water. Add it to your bath for an aromatherapy experience and then unwind with a book after you’ve soaped up. No luck? Don’t give up!

8) Avoid Alcohol, Sugary Drinks, and Processed Foods

An extensive body of research links alcohol, sugar-sweetened beverages, and processed foods with depression.

According to a 2014 study from Brown University, people who increase their intake of these ultra-processed foods—which include doughnuts, muffins, chips, white bread and breakfast cereals—increase their risk of becoming depressed.

The researchers used data from nearly 15,000 participants in a national health survey collected over a 20-year period to compare dietary habits against rates of depression diagnoses.

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