Depression can strike anybody, anytime, anywhere. According to the WHO, nearly 57 million, or 1 in every 22 Indians suffer from depression. Depending on the symptoms, depression is termed as mild, moderate, and severe. The reasons for depression can be an external event (like loss of a job, death in the family or romantic break-up) or internal, due to hormonal or biochemical imbalances. Typically, depending on the severity of the depression, psychiatrists treat depression, with drugs like tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs).
But not all of those who are depressed, want to be treated by drugs due to side effects, that include nausea, loss of sexual desire, low appetite, drowsiness, blurred vision, and insomnia.
Other than severe depression that can only be treated with medication and psychotherapy. There are many natural ways to alleviate depression and boost mood when it comes to mild to moderate depression.
Here are 6 ways you can fight depression without drugs-
It’s simple, any form of exercise releases feel-good chemicals like endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. Do what you love doing; be it swimming, running, yoga or walking and you can have an immediate impact on your well-being and boosting mood.
Do the new
Changing your routine can help. Visit the library. Go on a walking tour. Visit a new cafe. Plan a day trip. Anything new can help change the way you are feeling and may lead to feeling more mindful.
Smile and the world smiles with you. Cry and you cry alone. The old adage is probably true. Smiling makes you likeable, therefore more sociable, it also makes you feel good in the head because everytime you smile you release dopamine, endorphins and serotonin in your head. Say cheese, please!
Being grateful multiplies our happiness. It forces the brain to shift focus on what’s going wrong to what’s going right. Research from University of Indiana and University of California Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center suggest that being grateful leads to well-being and decreased depression. Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be once a year!
Practice Mindful Meditation
Close your eyes, sit in a quiet spot and focus on your breathing or watch your thoughts float by, be aware of your body. Zen Buddhist and Indian monks know this. Perhaps that explains why most look so peaceful. Mindful meditation slows the mind down and helps it to focus on the present, quelling anxiety, and lowering depression. According to the 47 studies analysed in JAMA Internal Medicine, meditation lessens pain, depression and anxiety.
Spend Time in Nature
Cities, with its traffic, closes spaces, office cubicles and tall buildings can make us depressed. Spending time in green spaces: with trees, water bodies, animals, and birds can restore us emotionally and psychologically. Make an effort to get out of the city or find green oases within a city to restore inner balance and stay refreshed.
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