It’s not unusual for anybody to experience anxiousness or depression at some point in their life. Perhaps after losing a loved one, being fired from a job, getting divorced and many other difficult situations can lead to somebody feeling sad, lonely, scared, nervous, or anxious which are natural reactions to life’s stressors.
However, some people experience these feelings daily for no apparent reason, making it difficult to function normally and this is what is classed as an anxiety disorder, depression, or both.
It is also quite common for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa. In fact, almost half of people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Fortunately, these disorders are both treatable, separately and together.
Being depressed and anxious can make many people feel helpless, but along with therapy and sometimes medication, there’s a lot you can do to help yourself, for example; changing your behaviour, your physical activity, lifestyle, and even your way of thinking are all natural depression treatments.
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Get in a routine
People suffering from depression need a routine to maintain some structure in their life, otherwise, one day seems to merge into the next which encourages feelings of despair and uselessness. Setting a gentle daily schedule can help people get back on track.
Depressed people might feel as though they simply can’t accomplish anything and that just makes them feel worse about themselves. To offset this, set some daily goals, starting with small things so that your goal is something that you can succeed at, like doing the dishes every other day. You can gradually add more challenging daily goals as you build on your confidence.
Exercising temporarily boosts feel-good chemicals called endorphins which also have long-term benefits for people suffering from depression. Regular exercise helps the brain to maintain clarity. Just walking a few times a week can help.
There is no specific diet that can fix depression, but a healthy diet is definitely a contributing factor to recovering from depression. Take care not to let depression make you overeat either as this can result in other knock-on effects.
There’s evidence, but not scientifically proven, that foods with omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon and tuna) and folic acid (such as spinach and avocado) can help ease depression.
Depression can make it hard to sleep, and too little sleep can make depression worse. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, ie getting into a routine, can really help with sleep problems, as can taking all the distractions out of your bedroom such as a computer and TV.
Take on responsibilities
Being depressed tends to make people want to withdraw from life and give up responsibilities both at home and at work. Staying involved and having daily responsibilities is really important in countering depression as these activities ground you and give you a sense of accomplishment.
If you’re not up to full-time work or school, think about part-time, or if that seems like too much, consider volunteer work.
Challenge negative thoughts
In any fight against depression, a lot of the work is a matter of changing how you think. When you’re depressed it’s easy to jump to the worst possible conclusions, so, the next time you’re feeling terrible about yourself, use logic as a natural depression treatment.
You can beat back those negative thoughts before they get out of control.
Check with your doctor before using supplements
Although there is promising evidence for certain supplements able to beat depression, such as fish oil, folic acid, and SAMe, much more research needs to be done before we’ll know for sure. Always check with your doctor before starting any supplement, especially if you’re already taking medication.
Try something new
If you’re depressed and in a rut, force yourself to do something different such as going to a museum, or just sit in the park and read a book, do some volunteer work or take a class. Some people even turn to eastern methods of healing (with great results), as as Pure Natural Healing teaches.
Challenging ourselves to do something different causes chemical changes in the brain and alters the levels of dopamine, which is associated with pleasure, enjoyment, and learning.
Try to have fun
It sounds easy, but sometimes it is simply necessary to make time for things you enjoy, especially if nothing feels like fun anymore. Keep trying anyway, as strange as it might sound, you have to work at having fun.
Plan things you used to enjoy, even if you don’t feel like it, keep going to the movies or out with friends for dinner. It’s easy when depressed to lose the knack for enjoying life but given time, fun things really will feel fun again.
Depression is a serious condition and the points listed here are provided as a guide. It might be the case that more professional help is required because often people lack the self-motivation to help themselves.
Depression and anxiety disorders are different, even though some people with depression often experience symptoms similar to those of an anxiety disorder, such as nervousness, irritability, and problems sleeping and concentrating. (1)
But each disorder has its own causes and its own emotional and behavioral symptoms. Many people who develop depression have a history of an anxiety disorder earlier in life. There is no evidence one disorder causes the other, but there is clear evidence that many people suffer from both disorders.
Seek professional help and talk to others for support and assistance. Depression is a common condition and has been experienced by many millions of people, so help is available.