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How to Beat Depression Naturally in 5 Proven Ways
Depression is no trifling matter—around the world, more than a hundred million people are affected by one or any of the combined variants of depression. And it seems our modern lifestyle is to blame: the results of several studies point to one major culprit: our sedentary way of living. Indeed, with office jobs that “cage” us almost throughout the day and our general lack of physical activities make us all vulnerable to developing depression at certain points in our lives. The matter of how to beat depression naturally, therefore, is essentially finding a work-around with regard to our current work setup and lifestyles. The following are just five of the most effective ways to beat what Winston Churchill once called “a terrible black dog.”
1. Get out and soak up in the sun
Studies have shown that getting at least 30 minutes of good sunlight each day is enough protection from depression. The caveat, however, is that it’s best to choose that time of day that is least damaging, such as early in the morning when the sun’s ultraviolet rays are still not enough to cause harm on your skin. It appears that sunlight helps in maintaining the regular settings of your internal clock, which in turn helps give us a good night’s sleep. As you probably know, a well-rested person is unlikely to develop depression. Just remember not to wear sunglasses—the sun exposure should include the eyes.
2. Work out
While you’re outside, you can also simultaneously do this second important tip on how to beat depression naturally—engage in some aerobic exercise. Doctors prescribe at least 30 minutes of such exercise at least three times a week, so that your body gets a regular boost in endorphin levels and also to safely keep your cardiovascular system in good condition. You can start by walking around the neighborhood in the morning sun.
3. Be with actual people
Humans are social beings, and what better way to counter the crippling manifestations of depression than acting as if it doesn’t exist and going out there and mingling with others. Maintain deep interpersonal relationships with your family and friends, help them out when they need you (you’ll be surprised at how helping others can actually uplift you), grab a cup of coffee, or just have lunch at your favorite dining place. By staying in touch with people (and here we speak of actual physical presence, and not just communicating with them through their Facebook wall), you can take your mind off your own sense of isolation, and you’ll have something else to focus on. Moreover, it has been proven time and again how making the effort to assist or help others can effectively alleviate depression due to some spiritual “feel good” mechanism.
4. Get some good sleep
Depression sometimes occurs when you work for long duration without enough sleep—your body’s production of “mood hormones” plummets, leaving your internal system in quiet disarray. Keep in mind that while you need to get enough good sleep, sleeping for too long can actually do more harm than good. So keep things as balanced as possible and make sure that your exercise and sleep complement each other.
If one of your biggest concerns these days is how to beat depression naturally, then meditation is the way to go—it lets you tap right into your subconscious mind and influence it in order to inculcate positive values. Moreover, studies have shown that regular meditation can significantly improve the mood, as it helps increase the brain’s production of mood-enhancing hormones, such as serotonin, melatonin, GABA and DHEA.