Natural Ways to Treat Depression

It is something that can happen to anyone at any stage of life. A traumatic event, a physical change in the body, or simply an inability to deal with the many stresses of life can bring on a bout of depression. 

Some individuals may have a lower ability to tolerate stress and this also may predispose them to depression. It can come on suddenly or it can develop gradually over many years. Because there are so very many reasons for a person to be depressed it is a very individual illness and what works to help one person heal may not work for another.

The good news is that there are a number of proven natural therapies which can greatly help to relieve the symptoms for many and these treatments are quite safe to implement into your treatment program. There are many effective means to fight depression and it is just a matter of finding the method which works best for you. As with all illness it is often a combination of prescription, diet, and lifestyle change which is most effective in treating symptoms. There are many forms of treatment available and whether the depression is psychologically based or physiological in makeup it can be overcome. It is simply a matter of finding the correct formula.

There are as many ways to escape feeling sad and blue as there are reasons as to why people fall into it. A person's means of relieving the ill effects of depression will depend largely on the factors that sent them there in the first place. Time, dedication, and a willingness to change one’s very thoughts, lifestyle, and ideals can effectively change your emotional outlook. Depression can be overcome.

The first important step in healing is to stay active in your life and lifestyle. It is so easy to just bow out from participating in social events when you are feeling low but you must force yourself to not give in to this urge. Life is wonderful and happiness simply too amazing an emotion to miss out on. You must not withdraw within yourself. Going for a daily walk may help chase away your blues. Exercise is a tremendous therapy for depression so try to get outside for a daily walk. That daily excursion actually works in a number of ways to help heal depression. Not only is the exercise great for relieving symptoms of depression but getting outdoors also exposes you to sunlight which is an extremely important element in mood control.

Sunlight aides the body in its production of a number of mood enhancing chemicals and a lack of sunlight has been proven to dramatically affect a person's attitude and mood. SADS is a form of depression which can occur if we do not get enough sunlight. SADS or Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that generally occurs during gloomy winter months or whenever there is distinctly less sunlight hours.

Although some individuals are predisposed to SADS anyone can be affected by this form of depression. People who work in occupations where they are not exposed to sufficient light or individuals who live in communities without a lot of sunlight hours may also be at risk of developing SADS. If you do not get exposure to sufficient sunlight then you are at risk of developing this Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Walking is a great form of exercise for the relief of depression. Going for a short walk each day will expose you to sunlight, increase your oxygen, and give your body the daily exercise that it requires. Exercise is extremely important for a person's emotional as well as physical well being. When you feel good physically it will help you feel good emotionally. Going for a walk is a wonderful form of exercise because it is one that most individuals can participate in and adjust to their level of fitness.

Most types of exercise will help to enhance your mood so try to stay as active as possible. When you exercise you release a little feel good chemical known as an Endorphin. These Endorphins are a chemical message in the brain that travels down the spine to spread throughout the body. They are similar in strength to morphine and can eliminate feelings of emotional or physical pain when they are present.

You release these chemical messages to your body when you exercise, smile, laugh, or enjoy pleasurable experiences. So being happy can actually make you happy you just have to go through the motions. Your brain is really not very smart and does not recognize a fake laugh from a real one so you can actually trick yourself into feeling happy.

Make yourself smile, make yourself laugh, these emotions may not feel genuine when you first begin to make a conscious effort to put them forth, but at some point in the future they will. The more that you encourage happy gestures such as smiling and laughing then the more often you will find yourself spontaneously breaking into a laugh or smile.

Let your endorphins out to play. Genuine laughter on a more regular basis will more naturally occur and each time that you participate in these pleasurable activities you will feel less depressed because you will be flooding your body with endorphins. Caring for ones mental health is as important as maintaining good physical health. Yes, it can sometimes feel like a lot of work but the reward is so very worth it.

Surround yourself with optimistic thoughts and positive messages. A very important and completely natural method of relieving depression is to remove negativity from your thoughts and your lifestyle. There will always be issues that you don't enjoy dealing with in life but you cannot let them control your life. A positive attitude is beyond value.

Sometimes people spin into a negative way of thinking and then must relearn how to develop and maintain a positive attitude again. It happens. Negativity is unfortunately infectious but luckily so is a positive attitude. It is simply a process of changing your thoughts. You must basically brainwash yourself by blocking negative messages and substitute these with optimistic messages instead.

Positive feedback is very important for maintaining a positive attitude toward life. Although it is nice to receive compliments from others this positive feedback does not have to come from external sources. It really is okay to compliment yourself throughout the day.

You can encourage yourself. Pat yourself on the back and reward yourself with positive feedback throughout the day or whenever it may be needed. Tell yourself how wonderful you are. Tell yourself how strong and capable you are. Tell yourself how truly amazing you are. We are human and we need to hear these compliments to encourage us on to successful outcomes in our undertakings. It is important to get out and continue to participate in the little processes of living that make it so worthwhile. Even if you feel like you are simply going through the motions of living, do it anyway. Get out there and do all the little things that make life worth living.

Go out for coffee or dinner with friends, go to a hockey or baseball game, join a club, or begin a training program in a particular area of interest. Just keep going through the little processes of living. Although you may not be aware of when the change begins at some point in the future you will begin to realize that you are truly enjoying your life again.

Maintain a clean and attractive appearance. When you look good you feel good. A new haircut, outfit, or make-up can increase your mental outlook. Always dress to look good. Focus on keeping your appearance, clean, neat, and attractive. Treat yourself to a new haircut, hairstyle, manicure, or pedicure.
When you look in the mirror ignore any negative qualities and focus on your positive ones. Tell yourself that you are beautiful and practice postures, expressions, and poses that will highlight your best features. Yes, this means you guys too. Surround yourself with positive messages, quotes, and compliments. Get any negative thoughts out of your thoughts.

Practicing your most attractive poses will actually help you feel more natural when you display these looks in public. You will definitely feel more positive about yourself when you are more confident in your appearance. Confidence is a very attractive quality to other people so work very diligently to increase your self assurance. 

Take an assertiveness training course to help you. These principles are very helpful and take only a short time to learn. Always try to stand tall and use correct posture, also very important is to make eye contact with individuals that you meet. Again these things may not feel natural when you first begin to practice them but they will become genuine the longer and more comfortable that you become with them.

It really is okay to say no. People do not like to hear that word sent in their direction but if they hear it often enough they do get the message. Say no and mean it. Reduce the stress in your life. Feeling overwhelmed by life and the many issues that occur within it can lead to frustration and a feeling of losing control. There are times when you will be able to reduce the pressure in your lifestyle simply by saying no.

Eliminate stresses that you are able to. Reduce your obligations or step backwards and reduce your lifestyle goals. Yes, you are allowed to lower your expectations for yourself. Don't take on more than you can handle. Just say no. It can be quite easy to take on more than we should and there comes a time when it is important to simply say no. Take time for yourself and time to simply relax. Take time to play. Play is an important way for you to begin to enjoy your life more. 

Don't look at the big picture as it can often be very overwhelming. Break the big picture down into smaller sections and deal with each small issue as you are able to. Visibly seeing that you are resolving small sections will give you encouragement and acknowledgment that you are getting somewhere.

When feeling overwhelmed stop and take time to rejuvenate. Have a relaxing spa bath, hop into bed with a book that you've been wanting to read, practice yoga, go for a walk, or go for a walk. Sing at the top of your lungs. Act like a kid. Give your body the break from stress that it needs to heal itself. You are the one who must insure that life does not overwhelm you. It is you who must change your current method of thinking so you can develop a better pattern of living. You can work hard to improve your mood.

Like every other person on this planet you deserve to be happy. I have fought very hard to become the woman that I am today and I continue to fight to become the most content person that I can be. My battle was not to escape depression but instead to keep myself from becoming depressed against a series of circumstances which threatened to steal my very desire to exist.

I was very lucky to have been raised by a father with an exceptionally positive and optimistic outlook on life. His memory carried me through the toughest of times and serves to remind me how desperately I want to truly enjoy my life. You too can change your life. It just takes courage and the willingness to change. If you are unable to accomplish this on your own then please consult with a medical professional for help.

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~ Laughter Yoga: Healing Through Happiness