There are numerous self help therapies and natural remedies which you can use to help you to raise your mood, dispel the blues and stop depression.
In earlier articles, I wrote about the many possible causes and contributing factors of depression, how basic lifestyle habits must form the foundation of your healing, and how retuning your mental patterns from negative to positive ones will help you conquer depression.
Here are some therapies and natural treatments you can explore using, either on your own or with the help of a qualified professional.
1. Journal Therapy
Journals serve as a useful outlet for expressing your thoughts and feelings instead of cooping them up inside. Unlike people, journals do not judge you and you can be free to say what you want. It’s also like a form of mental and emotional detoxification.
In addition, penning your thoughts helps you to process life issues and gives you added perspectives.
2. Art Therapy
Something pretty similar to writing in a journal is art therapy. Art serves as another useful outlet for your emotions and thoughts.
Plus, there is one further benefit – art allows you to open your eyes to the beauty of the world around you, something which most of us take for granted every day. Vibrant colors and stunning sights are all around us, yet they pass us by unnoticed more often than not.
3. Music Therapy
Music affects moods and can thus help depressed persons. Indeed, research conducted at Stanford Medical School some years ago found that music therapy helped to improve the moods plus boost the self esteem of persons suffering from depression.
When lacking energy, quick, upbeat and uplifting music would be useful. Slow, relaxing tunes would help to calm a worried or anxious mind. When busy and stressed, slow, gentle music also helps. Upbeat instrumental music could help unclog a blocked mind. When unhappy, begin with slow, sentimental music to help you express your negative emotions, and then listen to some cheerier and happier tunes.
To better reap the health benefits of music therapy, make sure you listen to it in the dark.
4. Anger Management Therapy
Is anger a regular part of your mental patterns? It could be eating you up inside without you realizing it. If so, be sure to learn some anger management techniques.
5. Visualization Therapy
Visualization is a mental technique which has been successfully used for many purposes, including sports excellence and healing health ailments. Thus, it could help for depression, too.
Visualize peaceful and serene settings to help you relax; visualize positive scenarios in your life which you wish to happen, for example a dream job or a blissful marriage; or imagine your depression being physically removed from your life – for example, imagine it being a dark cloud being blown away by strong winds, or being dirty water flushed away in a river. Be sure to really feel the positive emotions within you.
6. Color Therapy
Colors affect moods as well. How do you feel being in a room with all four walls painted black, as supposed to one with its walls decked in bright yellow? The effect is clear.
By using the right colors for your clothes, walls, bedding, curtains, etc, you can achieve certain effects in your life.
And notice that the bright blue skies and oceans as well as the green grass and trees are calming to look at. Nature uses color therapy, too!
7. Nature Therapy
Speaking of nature, it’s been proven through research that being in natural environments benefits our health in many ways, including regulating blood pressure and improving immunity. Now, in truth, even without scientific proof, it’s not hard to realize that being in artificial man-made environments for prolonged periods creates a cooped-up feeling, while being at the seaside, by the lake or in a forest has a relaxing, soothing and even uplifting effect.
Communing with Nature combines natural light therapy, color therapy and exercise therapy. On top of that, you get fresh air therapy and open spaces therapy, too. Heck, while you’re at it, kick off your shoes and let your feet touch the earth for some grounding therapy as well. Nature heals, so be sure to get in touch.
8. Hobby Therapy
Inactivity leads to more sluggishness and depressive thoughts, and a vicious cycle results. It is important to find something which you enjoy doing and to do that thing. Instead of spiraling downwards, inject some fun and novelty into your life and create a virtuous cycle.
9. Task and Stress Management Therapy
Overwhelming tasks can really stress you out and even make you feel down. Manage your chores and tasks by breaking them down into manageable, smaller bits. Write these tasks down on “to do” lists and then slowly work on them one by one. This can help you to keep your stress levels in check.
Along the same vein, you must learn to say “no” to invitations and requests you cannot handle or are not interested in. Many people have packed schedules which overwhelm them because they have difficulty saying no. Often agreeing to things you wish you didn’t also lowers your sense of self worth and raises feelings of helplessness, making you unhappy.
It takes time to get used to rejecting others without feelings of guilt, but for your own long-term wellbeing, it has to be done. Bear in mind that saying no to a specific question only applies to that particular situation – you are not saying no to that person permanently.
10. Herbal Therapy
There are numerous herbs and herbal remedies which can help relieve depression. It’s something you could try, too.
Perhaps the mostly widely researched and used herb for depression treatment is St John’s wort. Herbs such as ginkgo biloba also help to increase blood flow to the brain.
11. Supplement Therapy
Broadly speaking, it is usually better to get your nutrients from natural whole foods as supposed to single-compound supplements. If you wish to use the latter, you must be sure that your body is able to absorb and utilize them, and that you do not create nutritional imbalances in your body.
12. Massage Therapy
Massages are wonderfully relaxing and stress-relieving. They have health benefits too, such as improving circulation and clearing blockages. With knots untied and circulation boosted, healing energy can flow better.
Seek out a qualified massage therapist, or you and your partner can give each other massages.
13. Vacation Therapy
A relaxing vacation offers so much to recharge and rejuvenate the mind and body. There’s just something about being in a virtually stress-free state that does a lot for us physically and mentally. Even a short trip to a nearby location can do wonders.
Make sure it’s really a relaxing trip and not a stressful one which you try to fill with too many activities. To be truly healing, a vacation must be a real vacation.
14 to 20. Other Natural Therapies
21. Professional Counseling Therapy
Often, you can make significant headway fighting and defeating depression through self help strategies and therapies. But it could come to a point where you may need to seek professional help. And there is nothing wrong or embarrassing about that. Qualified practitioners with clinical experience helping many depressed persons to find healing will likely be able to offer something to your recovery journey as well.
Getting external help is especially important and necessary if you have begun to hurt yourself physically, or if you find yourself beginning to entertain thoughts of suicide. If this is happening to you, please seek help!
You May Wish to Consider Getting a Comprehensive Body Check-Up
The main underlying reason for your depressed moods could be a malfunctioning thyroid, chemical intoxication, or simply a nutritional deficiency. Overcoming depression is easier if the root causes of your condition can be pinpointed, and someone with the expertise can help you out there.
And that sums up the many self help remedies you could use to improve your mood and boost your happiness levels.
Every journey begins with a single step, and the ocean is made up of millions of water droplets. Celebrate every small achievement you have in your journey of depression recovery.
Bear in mind that every bit counts in the grand scheme of things. Every self help therapy or natural remedy which you implement will make a difference to your healing, and step-by-step and bit-by-bit, you WILL get there.
Follow Reuben’s health Facebook page here.
Here is where we get most of our supplements and natural products.