Exercise, regular sleep and getting out in the great outdoors for your vitamin D quota are all terrific home remedies for depression that really do make a big difference to your moods. Here's why...
Exercise is one of the most powerful home remedies for depression on the planet. I’ve been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 28 years now and in all that time I’ve yet to see someone who is still feeling down or depressed after a good, solid workout! The reason for this is very simple… exercise releases potent “mood elevators” called endorphins. So it's virtually impossible to feel depressed after exercising. Of course we are talking about doing solid exercise here. Just going for a walk from the couch to the fridge doesn’t cut it!
Another big reason exercise helps to alleviate depression is you begin to feel much better about yourself. When you see your body changing (in a positive way) you naturally begin to feel better about who you are. Exercise also reduces anxiety and stress levels because working out actually “de-stresses” you. If you’re feeling uptight, stressed, nervous or worried about something and you go for a workout, you get to take all of your emotions out on your workout.
And boy, what a big difference it makes!
So this is one of the "home remedies for depression" you really cannot miss doing. If you’ve never exercised before then this is going to be a whole new challenge for you. But the rewards make it extremely worthwhile.
The best way to begin is to join an exercise group (such as bootcamp) or a gym with a reliable friend (yes they must be reliable and motivated!). There are so many good exercise programs and groups out there. If you don’t have a friend to join with then you may have to go it alone. Yes, it’s going to be extremely uncomfortable and way out of your comfort zone, but you can do it… you really can. The secret is to make exercise fun, and make it a social event so you actually look forward to catching up with your (new) exercise buddies every week!
We also recommend you try and combine your exercise with the outdoors during the warmer months. Exercising outdoors provides extra benefits as the sunlight and fresh air helps to energize your body and improve sleep.
For further validation on the benefits of exercise for treating depression, there was a recent article published by Reuters titled "Exercising Three Times a Week Significantly Cuts Depression Risk". The study in question is one of the first to really prove that regular exercise does in fact help to lift your moods and treat depression naturally. You can read the full article here.
There's no way any of us can think or function properly without a good night’s sleep. When the brain has been deprived of sleep it becomes foggy and you literally can’t think straight. It’s also been proven that your moods go downhill significantly and you become depressed and angry!
So for your next "home remedy for depression" you need to remember this... regular and uninterrupted sleep every night is absolutely crucial. You need to try and aim for 8-10 hours of solid sleep every night. But you also need to make sure your sleeping pattern is regular by going to sleep at around the same time (10pm for example) and rising at around the same time (7 am).
Another helpful tip for promoting restful sleep is gaining exposure to bright light early in the morning. This might sound silly but 15- 30 minutes of morning light is vital to keeping your body clock, and more importantly, the hormones it controls, in sync. Studies have also shown that bright-light therapy can help control depression significantly in the autumn (fall) and winter months when it becomes light later in the mornings (have you noticed that you are usually more depressed in these months than in spring and summer?). You will need to use a 10,000 lux light box - which is similar to a bright sunny morning - to achieve the required level of light.
There’s no doubt about it, when you’re outdoors and the sun is shining and it’s a beautiful, warm day you can’t help but feel better. Having the sun on your skin, soaking in lots of nourishing vitamin D, really is a potent natural remedy for depression. However, not every day is like this! When its cold and raining it’s a lot harder to enjoy the outdoors. That’s why you need to make the most of the good days.
When it’s a bright sunny day, don’t stay inside… get out! Make the most of the beautiful weather. Soak in the sunshine. Go for a nice walk. Take a drive out in the country. Get family and friends together and enjoy a picnic lunch or barbecue. The options are endless, but it’s up to you to make the necessary effort. The fact is just sitting at home alone is not going to help you with your depression (even though that’s probably what you feel like doing most of the time).
As the saying goes “if it is to be it’s up to me!”.
…As a final note we would like to add that there is one more important ingredient to overcoming depression and that is... “hope”. We as human beings all need something to look forward to in life.
Without hope we are dead.
You really need to see a future for yourself. You need to find things for you to look forward to seeing and doing and write them down in a journal. Yes, set some goals for yourself. And be grateful for the fact that you can actually treat and cure your depression. Be grateful that you aren’t going to be stuck with this condition for the rest of your life.
I strongly recommend you take the time to read the book The Magic by Rhonda Byrne (author of The Secret). I guarantee that if you follow her program to the letter, you will never suffer from depression ever again!