In this post, I want to share a list of natural methods I have personally used for combating depression. I strongly believe they can be of benefit to you as well!
Of course the effectiveness of each method will depend on where you are at personally, and may require some effort on your part.
With that in mind, there is enough variety for everyone to take something away from this list.
I have included some basic activities, suggestions, supplements, and tools to help in your battle against depression.
This is not medical advice, please read the disclaimer
Combating Depression Methods
#1 Get Out In Nature!
Words can not express the serenity of nature, and the natural healing powers it contains.
One of the biggest things for me in overcoming negative thinking patterns was to stop and enjoy the little things.
Low and behold, I have found no place better to do this than in nature.
How does a calm lake make you feel? A snow capped mountain? A rewarding overview of a landscape after a tough hike?
How about spotting a family of deer close up, watching an eagle soar, or catching a fish?
If that isn’t enough, fresh air sure feels a lot less depressing than a stuffy house.
Nature is one of the best natural stress reducers out there.
If I had to guess, I would say there was a lot less depression back in the hunter/gatherer days, but that is just my opinion.
#2 Keep your liver healthy
This one may come as a surprise to people, but the liver can have big implications on your mood.
Your liver is responsible for excreting toxins from your body in an efficient manner. Slowing this process down will back your body up with some nasty stuff.
This can include but is not limited to:
- Household chemicals
- Estrogenic substances
All of these chemicals being backed up in your body doesn’t do any of your other organs any benefits either.
If your liver is failing to reduce toxins you may see a rise in estrogen levels which is a no-no for men and women alike.
Hormone imbalances are one of the leading causes in mood disorders.
Just another reason to cut out drinking!
I personally noticed surprisingly big results when I started taking a liver supplement a few years back. Ironically, I was not even taking the supplement for anything depression related.
The one and only time a couch will help in combating depression.
E-couch is a free cognitive behavioral therapy program that can be found online.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or “CBT” for short, is a system designed to help change the way you think and view your problems.
It can be very effective when used regularly for combating depression or anxiety.
I originally heard of the program during my first visit to a psychologist. She told me to complete the program before returning as it would likely be the equivalent to five or more visits!
At $150/hour I saved myself $750, I also found myself not needing to go back to the psychologist, as I had solved many of my issues.
I am still not sure if that is considered a job well done, or working herself out of a job, needless to say I am happy with the results.
E-couch provides information, programs, workbooks, and self evaluation tool-kits to keep track of your progress.
Like I said it is all free, after all, everyone should have access to support whether the finances are available or not.
There are plenty of good CBT books available as well, but I recommend doing a free program like E-couch and saving yourself some money.
I do not know one person who doesn’t enjoy music, whether they’re in a good mood OR a bad mood.
With so much variety there is endless genres to choose from. There is music for when you are happy, and music for when you are sad.
I personally never get in my car without turning music on. I suggest you do the same.
Not the radio.
I take a couple hours once or twice a month and download some music that really speaks to me.
If music isn’t your thing, it is likely because you haven’t taken the time to find music beyond what the radio is spewing out.
On my phone I keep a few different playlists. In one, I have upbeat songs that will help me stay in a good mood if I am already in one.
In the other I will have more low-key style music. I find this music helps me in combating depression I may be dealing with.
Music is also a great place to find inspiration for your quotebook, which I highly suggest you look into.
First of all, a lot of times people want a quick fix, while some supplements may help, they aren’t miracles.
As much as I would like to tell you that you could just take these supplements and pop champagne everyday as a toast to your new life, that would be a lie.
Just like their title states, they are meant to “supplement” a proper health regiment.
With that in mind, here are a few I have personally benefited from.
St Johns Wort
In my experience I have had the most noteworthy success with St Johns Wort.
Essentially I found St Johns Wort at the lowest point in my depression…It was my last ditch effort before I was going to try an anti depressant.
A healthy fear of experiencing some of the side effects SSRI’s are notorious for was realistically the only reason I didn’t try an anti depressant first.
In my experience with supplementing St Johns Wort, someone could have told me the St Johns Wort was a prescription anti depressant and I would have believed them!
The results were phenomenal in combating depression for me. In fact so much so that I am still surprised months later as I look back.
I didn’t experience side effects, and even after I discontinued use my mood remained stable.
Hopefully this can offer you some benefit too!
(St Johns can have drug interactions so please check with a doctor before using).
This supplement was initially recommended to me for anxiety.
Admittedly it did not help my anxiety but what I did notice was an improvement in mood during everyday tasks.
I was dealing with a chronic injury at a different time in my life, and I was taking fish oil for its anti inflammatory properties.
At one point I tried taking up to 15 grams a day (much higher than the recommended 5 grams). Once again I noticed an almost euphoric well being.
Most doctors, or holistic health practitioners will include fish oils or omega 3’s as a staple supplement for anxiety and depression.
Magnesium is yet another supplement I initially used for anxiety.
I definitely notice an all around increase in well being when on magnesium. This includes lower anxiety levels, a more stable mood, and deeper sleep.
I believe magnesium should be taken by everyone, and is an absolute staple.
It is not some bogus scam, it is an essential mineral that governs over 300 functions in the human body, including serotonin regulation.
Cheap, effective, essential.
5 htp is the precursor to serotonin in the brain, although it is often debated how effective it is.
Personally, I notice a pretty good boost in mood from 100mg, 2-3 nights in a row. It has become a supplement I reach for during excessively stressful periods.
It is a super cheap supplement worth looking into to, the benefits I notice make it a worthwhile mention.
5 htp also seems to be highly effective at lowering my anxiety. This is something I didn’t clue into for over a week, at which point I realized how calm I had been in general.
Embarrassingly enough, I almost forgot my absolute favorite, so I will just say I saved the best for last.
Vitamin D has extreme mood regulating properties, if your aim is combating depression, you need Vitamin D.
In fact, it is so potent it is now being referred to as a hormone.
One of the main reasons why people feel worse in the winter is dramatically lowered Vitamin D levels. Get out and enjoy the sunshine as often as possible!
If you can’t manage that, I recommend an emulsified Vitamin D supplement at 5000-10000iu daily.
Personally I don’t go a day without sunshine or Vitamin D supplementation.
Continued In Part 2
I hope you enjoyed this list but this post is getting long so I will continue it in part 2 here.
Until next time, Take Care!