Some Natural Ways to Fight Depression

Aside from therapy and medication – crucial elements in one’s battle against serious doldrums, there are some natural lifestyle changes that can be quite effective.

“Having a routine gives you a sense of control over the day,” says Ian A. Cook, MD, director of the Depression Research Program at UCLA. “We know that helps, and we know that not having a sense of control makes people feel worse.”

– Exercise is proven to be a great mood-booster.

– A basic healthy eating plan will do wonders.

– Get a good night’s sleep.

–  Set realistic goals daily and try to meet them.

–  Incorporate some downtime for fun or relaxation into your schedule.

– Have a support network of family and friends and don’t distance yourself from them.

–  Make sure you have some responsibilities that give you a sense of accomplishment and keep you active.

– Try a natural supplement such as fish oil, but only after checking with your doctor.

– Stay away from substance abuse.

– When you’re in a rut, go out of your way to try something new and different. Push yourself to go to a museum . . .Volunteer at a soup kitchen . . . Take a language class. . .

Here are some cognitive ways to fight automatic negative thinking:

– Use logic when you have exaggerated terrible thoughts about yourself.
“Try to impose some reason,” says Cook. “Inject some reality.” Is it really true that no one likes you? Is there real evidence for that?  Sure, you might feel like the most stupid and hateful person on the planet, but really, what are the odds?”

– Clear your head of negativity by taking a break. Breathing exercises or a simple walk around the room can help.

Just remember not to ignore serious signs of depression. If you’re not functioning make sure to get professional help.

23. September 2009 by Ruth Folger Weiss
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