Psychotherapy and medication are tools for healing clinical depression, but sometimes they aren't affordable or accessible to people who suffer from the condition. Self-maintenance and coping skills for depression can be practiced at home. You can heal depression naturally by changing your diet, practicing positive self-talk and getting good exercise.
Diet and Nutrition
The foods you eat can help ease symptoms of depression that can be caused by chemical imbalances. Certain foods and nutrients help produce positive-mood neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Foods such as milk, eggs and turkey contain concentrations of tryptophan. Tryptophan is the amino acid that helps build serotonin. Magnesium is another mental-health booster. Magnesium is responsible for keeping the brain cells active and communicating. A study published in the December 1977 Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease showed that many depressed patients have magnesium deficiencies. Omega-3 fatty acids also appeared to be lacking in depression patients, according to a 2006 University of Pittsburgh study reported on the Science Daily website. Artichokes, whole wheat flour and almonds are high in magnesium, while salmon is a good source of Omega-3. B vitamins such as B6 help raise levels of serotonin; B6 can be found in tuna, bananas and garlic.
Psychotherapists can provide you with self-talk ideas that can help you deal with depression symptoms such as misappropriated guilt and loss of self-forth. Many of these thoughts are automatic. First, acknowledge those thoughts out loud. An example would be, "I'll lose my job if I miss too many days." Then examine the feelings associated with these thoughts, such as, "I feel horrible for leaving my coworkers behind." Finally, acknowledge the positive and realistic aspects of those thoughts and situations. For example, "I am getting better every day and my coworkers are supporting me through this crisis." You don't need a psychotherapist to give you the basics of self-talk; you can order books like "What To Say When You Talk To Yourself" by Jennifer Rothschild. Sites like Amazon.com also offer DVDs and audio books on positive self-talk. Read the user reviews to help you pick the ones that best suit your needs.
Getting fresh air and exercise is another natural way to heal depression symptoms. Exercise stimulates the endorphin hormone, which helps produce the "feel good" feelings all over the body. Participating in an exercise program such as aerobics or team sports can also boost confidence. Depression patients can set small, achievable goals as the programs move on. Doing yoga or tai chi can provide both mental and physical balance as you concentrate on the movements and oxygen circulation. Just participating in exercises that require concentration can serve as a healthy distraction from continuous depression-related thinking.