Many people use Mind Alive products to alleviate symptoms of depressed mood without antidepressant medication. Below are some other ways to try to before reaching for a prescription from Mother Nature Network. My personal favorite is the love letter to yourself, because you can be as critical as you want, but you have to say it in a nice way.
As a holistic practitioner myself, I have some other ideas I'd recommend, but maybe in another post :)
11 ways to beat depression naturally
How many antidepressant users actually need them? Discover helpful tips to kick depression on your own, in chemical-free ways.
By Maria Rodale
1. First, see a counselor.
Don't be afraid or ashamed! A counselor
will be able to tell you if you need more serious medical help. It's
amazing how quickly talking about your depression with someone else (a
professional counselor, not just a friend) can uncover things that
afterwards might seem obvious but in the moment of darkness are
impossible to see. I guess that is why depression feels so dark ... it's
hard to see things!
2. Go for a long walk outside.
In Europe, doctors prescribe exercise for their depression patients. I
think the best is a combination of exercise and getting out in nature
... along with giving your body and mind enough time
of mindless walking to let the true feelings and thoughts rise to the
surface. You will also see that nature has cycles, too — there are times
of joy and times of hibernation. Allow your body and soul to sync with
nature and you'll automatically feel a bit better.
3. Let the sun warm your skin.
A few years ago,
vitamin D supplements were being touted as super-pills that could
protect you from depression and other ailments. Well, it turns out
that's not really true. The truth is that people who spend time outside
and eat plenty of fatty fish
such as wild salmon, have higher vitamin D levels and less depression.
Is it the vitamin D or the lifestyle? I say, skip the pills and go
outside and get your sun on!
4. Read a book.
I recommend "The Mind-Body Mood Solution
," by Dr. Jeffrey Rossman, because he has helped me many times with my depressive bouts. As the behavioral health specialist at Canyon Ranch
, he has taught me how to get to the real issue quickly and change my perspective on my problems. It really works!
5. Eat right.
Eating crap, or overeating anything,
literally feeds the depression cycle. Every time you eat crap, you feel
bad, and then it just gets that much harder to pull yourself out of the
dive. A few foods that are renowned for improving your mood are wild-caught salmon, walnuts and dark chocolate
6. Stop drinking and drugging yourself.
Trust me on
this: While drinking might make you feel better momentarily, all you are
doing is swallowing your problems, where they eat away at you
in even deeper darkness inside your soul. If you are using alcohol or
drugs to anesthetize yourself against your problems, please stop. Get
help if you need it!
7. Fall in love.
With yourself, first! Treat yourself
as you would a precious lover whom you adore, flaws and all. Pamper
yourself with baths, naps, flowers, massages. Write love letters to yourself
Tell the voice in your head that says you are not good enough or pretty
enough or smart enough to shut up and hit the road, Jack.
Studies have shown that laughter does really make you feel better
Watch some silly comedies! Or old "I Love Lucy" episodes. Go ahead,
watch "America's Funniest Home Videos" — at the very least, you'll be
thankful that you are not the one getting whacked in the groin, bonking
your head on something stupid or falling ridiculously from doing
something no person in their right mind should really do.
Write down your thoughts and secrets. Paint
or draw pictures about how you feel. Build something. Garden! Actually,
studies have shown that there is stuff in garden soil that works better than antidepressants
So get out there, and don't wear gloves. Get dirty, get creative and
don't worry about whether it's good enough — if you made it, it's
awesome. And while you are doing all this, listen to music, because that
10. Connect with your dreams.
Do you remember what, as
a child, you dreamed your life would be like? Often, I find, I get
depressed when I have strayed too far from my original dreams. Yes,
sometimes we need to change our dreams
, but it's amazing the power of those deep original dreams and how they can guide us.
11. Have the courage to change.
Truly, I believe the
only way out of depression is to listen to what the darkness is trying
to tell you and change your life accordingly. I've been shocked
sometimes by what I've learned and heard in those darkest moments, but
as long as you trust your heart and soul and what they're trying to tell
you, you will find the brightness again. The light is right there waiting for you
to turn the corner and see it. It will get better, and then you will be
so grateful and happy that you had the courage to get through the
darkness awake and alive.
Now, I'm really going to sound like my mother when I say this, but I'm
going to say it anyway: Always remember that after the darkest storm is
when the rainbows come out.