How to Fight Depression Naturally
Jul 20, 2021
Depression can leave you feeling tired, drained, or empty. It’s a serious condition that affects an estimated 18.1% of adults in the United States each year. Depression and symptoms of depression should always be taken seriously. If you’re experiencing any of them, consult a medical professional to get the help you need.
While unfortunately depression won’t simply go away on its own, there are some things you can do that may help living with depression. We’re exploring how to fight depression naturally as a means to potentially help those with symptoms find ways to cope.
Learning How to Fight Depression Naturally
As we said, learning how to fight depression naturally won’t make it go away entirely, but it may help support those living with depression. With small lifestyle adjustments you may be able to improve your symptoms of depression alongside professional care.
Consult with your healthcare professional to see how some of these methods for how to fight off depression naturally may be beneficial to you:
- Avoiding foods that cause inflammation
- Boost endorphins through exercise and other activities
- Practice meditation to manage stress and anxiety
- Participating in self care activities like using a massage chair
- Learn self-acceptance and acknowledge feelings constructively
- Get enough restful sleep
Eating Foods That Fight Depression
It may come as a surprise to you that what you eat may have a significant impact on how you feel, including contributing to symptoms of depression. While we all know that yearning for comfort food when we’re feeling down, part of learning how to fight depression naturally is eating foods that fight depression.
Try starting a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and oily fish like salmon. These foods may help reduce inflammation, which has been associated with an increased risk of depression. Other foods you may want to try when you’re figuring out how to fight off depression naturally include:
- Lean meats
- Whole grains
- Foods with probiotics (like yogurt)
To help fight depression you may also want to limit the amount of caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and processed foods as these have been linked to increased risk of depression symptoms.
Pro Tip: In addition to being potentially beneficial when learning how to fight depression naturally, eating a healthier diet is a great way to boost energy levels, too.
Exercise, Endorphins, and Depression
When you’re feeling depressed, the last thing you might want to do is exercise, but the truth is that exercise may help fight depression. How is this? Learning how to fight depression naturally includes finding some methods for elevating your mood. Exercise releases endorphins in your body, which are a natural hormone linked to mood and pain relief.
Think of endorphins like little feel-good chemicals your brain produces. Their effects are sometimes likened to the effects of morphine, but natural. If you’ve ever heard of a “runner’s high” or people feeling great after a workout, that’s the result of their brains having released endorphins into their system.
Exercise has other benefits that may help you as you’re learning how to fight off depression naturally such as lowering blood pressure, boosting your energy, building muscle strength, and even improving self esteem (an important aspect in how exercise may help with depression). Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. If you can’t exercise every day (or don’t feel up to it), try adding an exercise routine at least 3 days each week.
You may also find that you can help increase endorphins as part of fighting depression naturally with your dietary adjustments and how you take care of your mind and body on a regular basis.
Practicing Mindfulness Meditation for Fighting Depression Naturally
Stress and anxiety can have a major impact on your symptoms of depression. Another way for learning how to fight depression naturally is practicing mindfulness meditation for depression symptoms.
Studies have shown that mindfulness-based meditation may have positive benefits for depression and that its effects may even last up to 6 months or longer. Meditation is all about focusing and centering yourself. It’s commonly used as a method to help manage stress and anxiety, two key factors that contribute to depression. Mindfulness meditation for depression isn’t about emptying your mind of everything. Instead, it’s about learning to center yourself, be present, and acknowledge your thoughts without judgment.
While mindfulness meditation is a commonly suggested type of meditation for depression, there are lots of different techniques you may want to try. For example, some find guided meditation to be calming and uplifting. You may also consider other types of meditation for depression like spiritual meditation or even movement meditation (with activities like yoga or tai chi).
Benefits of Getting a Massage for Depression
One of the most relaxing self care activities you may want to try while figuring out how to fight depression naturally is getting a massage. In some studies, massage has been linked to significant decreases in feelings of depression when experienced regularly.
If your busy schedule prevents consistent appointments to a massage therapist (or you want to avoid how those costs add up quickly), consider getting a luxury massage chair for your home. Is a massage chair worth buying, you ask? The evolution of massage chairs to today’s 3D and 4D massage chairs has eliminated the difference between using a massage chair vs human massage. This means you can experience the benefits of massage therapy at home whenever you like without sacrificing effectiveness or quality.
In addition to how getting a massage for anxiety and stress may help when learning how to fight depression off naturally, massage chair features today also help take care of your physical health at the same time. The benefits of heat therapy, for example, keep muscles loose while deepening relaxation that may positively impact symptoms of depression. A massage chair with chromotherapy treatment features may also help improve symptoms in those living with depression.
Acknowledging Depression in a Constructive Way
When you’re learning how to fight depression naturally, finding ways for acknowledging depression in a constructive way may be helpful. While you may think that suppressing your feelings is the way to go, part of living with depression and learning to cope means recognizing your feelings.
There's an important difference between acknowledging depression in a constructive way versus being overwhelmed by them. If you’re feeling symptoms of depression, take time to acknowledge how you feel and potentially what may be causing you to feel this way. If you’re able, some suggestions include taking scheduling time to sit and think of everything that’s on your mind for a period of time so that you’re able to focus on other things when that period has passed.
You may also consider keeping a journal to write down your feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Studies have shown that journaling may be beneficial to helping symptoms of depression when part of a daily routine.
How Sleep Deprivation and Depression Are Linked
Last up in our exploration of how to fight depression naturally is recognizing how sleep deprivation and depression are linked. It’s widely understood and recognized that sleep deprivation may lead to feelings of depression. This sleep deprivation is often the result of common sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or insomnia. Unfortunately, these two are also known as a bidirectional relationship because sleep disorders may cause depression whereas depression may also be the cause of some sleep disorders.
In order to try and learn how to fight off depression naturally, try getting back to your circadian rhythm for a sleep/wake cycle. If you feel the need to nap during the day, try to limit it to 20 or 30 minutes and more towards the noon hour. This can help prevent issues falling asleep at night. You may also want to consider how you should sleep to improve your posture and help fight sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea that may block airways while lying flat.
Getting enough sleep is a simple, yet potentially effective way for learning how to fight depression naturally. Other tips that may help you unwind for the evening to get restful sleep include stopping all screen time at least an hour before bed, journaling before bed (this may help reduce anxiety), or listening to calming music with 60 beats per minute.
We hope that our exploration of how to fight depression naturally has given you some new techniques to try. Depression and symptoms of depression should always be taken seriously and you should seek out a medical professional if you’re experiencing them. In the meantime, try out techniques like adopting a healthier diet, practicing ways to boost endorphins, or choose a massage chair for home to experience potential health boost to mental and physical health any time you want.
For more information about massage chair benefits and how they may be beneficial for your lifestyle, check out these resources:
- What is a 3D Massage Chair?
- What is a 4D Massage Chair and Its Benefits?
- What to Consider When Deciding The Best Massage Chair to Buy
- What's The Difference Between S-Track vs L-Track?
- Wait, AI Massage is a Thing?
- Prenatal Massage Routine and Other Self Care Tips for Pregnancy