“This was an article I stumbled upon from Natural News a few days back. Its written by Mike Bundrant who was able to compile this brilliantly inspiring list of ways to heal depression on the physical and psychological planes using holistic methods. Including reasoning that has been discussed within several strong sources, Bundrant explores the concepts of transforming mind and invigorating the body through 9 simple steps.” -Enjoy, Robyn
As you pursue natural remedies for depression, it is important to understand that depression has both physical and psychological components.
To be happy, healthy and enthused about life, you must get both your mind and body balanced. Falling into a depressed state, however, only requires that one element of your body or mind is out of balance.
The following nine natural ways to combat depression are broken down into physical and psychological elements.
Healing psychological components of depression
1. A future worth embracing
Your perception of the future has a lot to do with your emotional state. An exciting future naturally produces feelings of enthusiasm. A blank future can produce feelings of uncertainty or anxiety. In fact, panic is often called a complete ‘future blowout.’ The future is gone, which means it all ends right here!
People who suffer with depression often report a seeing a future in which they do not want to participate.
This factor alone is enough to make anyone feel down. If you took the healthiest person and mentally installed an unacceptable future into her mind, she would immediately begin to feel discouraged and eventually depressed.
If your future is not what you want it to be, then it is imperative that you consider your options.
What are your goals?
Are you living someone else’s idea of the good life?
Do you feel you deserve to create the life you want?
What skills, training or education do you need to feel excited about your future?
You may wonder if depression causes you to perceive an uninspiring future or if an uninspiring future creates a depressed state. BOTH are true.
2. Relationships that fulfill
The evidence is in. Bad primary relationships correlate with high depression. It doesn’t appear to matter how good your physical health is. If you are in a stressful, unhappy relationship, you will be stressed and unhappy.
Being in great physical health does NOT mean that you make good decisions about people, money, business or other factors that also determine your quality of life and state of mind.
A happy mood goes with fulfilling relationships and vice-versa. Learn the relationship skills that support happiness. Don’t get stuck or cling to bad relationships! They wear on your psyche and your body.
Sometimes, in the throes of a painful relationship, you blame yourself and think you are broken. I did this for years. It was the untenable relationship that was the source of my angst. Yes, I was still participating in the problem, but when I finally ended that particular relationship, I was freed.
You can’t just blame others, but you should absolutely consider that feeling trapped in a relationship is depressing in its own right. Check out some of the little known reasons why people stay in bad relationships.
3. A friendly mind
It seems to be universal – the human tendency to self-condemn. Do you live with a critical voice inside their head that punishes you and warns you (irrationally) that you will fail?
Does it feel like no matter what you do or where you are, you ruin your mood with inner negativity and pessimism? This is your inner critic at work.
Healing that critical voice in your head requires making friends with it. This is a part of you that won’t rest until you come to terms with self-sabotage. Most people need help with this, but here is a video you can watch that offers a great little method to calm down your inner critic.
4. A present mind
Most people live inside their heads, with thoughts that meander in the past and the future. You worry about what might happen in the future. You obsess about what already happened in the past. You do anything but enter the here and now.
Interestingly, many people simply do not know how to enter the present moment. Getting to the Now is easily achieved by grounding yourself through sound. Best of all, you don’t need special equipment.
Your environment is filled with white noise. The hum of your computer, the sound of a blowing fan or running refrigerator, the smooth sounds of running water. All these and more are actually hidden portals into the present moment.
When you tune in exclusively to white noise, your brain responds in the most amazing manner. The brain’s Default Mode Network, responsible for self-referential, autopilot thinking, switches OFF. Then, your brain grounds itself in a new consciousness that is clear and peaceful.
This is has been proven through fMRI scans, which you can read about in the March 2010 issue ofScientific American magazine.
Natural remedies for physical depression
5. Vitamin D fights depression (and so much more)
Vitamin D is said to be one of the most underrated nutrients of all time. Vitamin D is a steroid hormone precursor. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, osteoporosis, and cancer. As you can tell, this is an essential vitamin the body needs to stay healthy.
In 2006 the CDC concluded that one fourth of the population is Vitamin D deficient. Canadian researchers have done 14 studies with 31,424 participants that all prove the strong correlation to Vitamin D and depression.
In 2006, a study on 80 elderly people showed that those who lacked Vitamin D were 11 times more prone to depression – a number that is shocking, considering most people would never link this vitamin to such a serious disorder.
Safe sun exposure may help raise Vitamin D levels. Being outside with no sunscreen can actually be good for your body. Of course, supplements can also be taken and are proven to help as well.
6. Omega 3 fatty acids
Researchers have noticed that a sharp rise in depression occurred as people consume less omega 3 fatty acids and more processed foods.
A Columbus University study analyzed 59 patients diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, 18 of which also suffered from Cormobid Anxiety Disorder.
Low levels of omega 3 prevailed among the study group, but were most pronounced in those suffering from anxiety and depression. Although is it not on the front line for treating depression, it is a way to attack it from another angle.
By treating a different area of the brain associated with depression, it can be an effective method for the right patient.
Sam-e is a naturally occurring compound found in almost every element in the body. It helps the immune system, maintains cell membranes, and produces and breakdown chemicals in the brain such as serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine.
Research indicates that Sam-e treatment is more effective than placebo in treating mild to moderate depression. It works more quickly and is just as effective as prescribed medications without the headaches, sleepiness, sexual dysfunction, and other side effects that occur.
Unfortunately. Sam-e cannot be found in food, but it can be prescribed in capsules if you consult with your healthcare provider.
8. Heavy metals – a rarely discussed cause of depression
Heavy metal toxicity can disturb brain chemistry, which can cause anxiety and depression, and can also weaken your immunity.
Heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, mad aluminum affect different chemicals in your brain that are associated with depression. Examples of these would be GABA, which contributes to anxiety and a dull intelligence, dopamine, which gives the brain energy and motivation, and acetylcholine, which makes the brain sharp and have good memory.
Ridding the body of the excess heavy metals that harm vital brain chemistry involves balancing mineral antagonists. This dislodges the metals from the tissues into the blood with cheating agents that bind the metals in the blood and prevent them from being re-deposited elsewhere, so the kidneys can properly excrete them.
9. Amino acid therapy to balance brain chemistry
Depression and anxiety can occur when there is an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain, and amino acids are the building blocks of neurotransmitters.
By giving the body specific therapeutic doses of amino acids, we are giving the body the raw materials it needs so it can feed the pathway of neurotransmitter production and balance out the chemicals in the brain.
For serotonin, 5-HTP or tryptophan can be used. For GABA, doses of GABA can be used. Both of these help soothe and calm the brain, which is helpful with depression, anxiety, and also insomnia.
Amino acid therapy is a method that was discovered in the early 1900’s and used up until the 1980’s when other methods, such as SSRI’s became more popular.
Amino acids can be used in place of antidepressants and don’t have the harsh side effects. With a doctor’s supervision, it is proven to be a powerful method in overcoming depression.