Depression can affect anyone. In fact, one out of seven individuals will suffer from a depressive episode at some point in their life. It can be brought on by different triggers that you might not even realize. Research also shows that around 150 million people around the world suffer from this condition.
While some people who have depression prefer to go on medication, there are a lot of natural solutions to try. Below are the most common triggers of depression along with eleven natural remedies to help fight it.
Pinpointing the triggers and learning how to avoid them is the first step in avoiding depressive episodes. These are some of the main causes of chronic depression.
When you smoke, your body takes in high levels of nicotine. Nicotine has been known to cause abnormal neurotransmitter activity in the brain. This means your brain will produce higher levels of dopamine and serotonin. If possible, avoid smoking to help regulate the chemicals in your brain. You might find that you are less depressed once you quit.
-Birth Control Pills and Other Medications
Medications, including birth control pills, often have reported one of the side effects is depression. This could be due to a high level of hormones found in birth control pills, which can throw your natural hormone levels off track. Other medications like Xanax have reports of depression being a side effect, too. If you are on any other pharmaceutical, take a look at the side effects and see if depression is one of them.
Hypothyroidism can also be a trigger for depression. This happens when the thyroid doesn’t naturally make enough hormones. Thyroid disease can cause irregular serotonin levels, which could be why you are feeling depressed if you have been diagnosed or think you might have thyroid disease.
-Lack of Sleep
Believe it or not, if you are not getting enough sleep, this can also be a trigger of depression. In a study completed in 2007, it was reported that those who were not getting enough sleep had more brain activity after viewing displeasing images. This was compared to those who got more sleep.
-Location, Location, Location!
Research shows that those living in a city setting have a greater chance of becoming depressed, just based on where they live. This could be due to there being more activity and less restfulness because of the natural aspects of city living. It is possible that the state or city you live in has been known to cause depression more than others.
-Lack of Omega-3s
Salmon and other types of fish or oils can contain high levels of Omega-3s. Studies have found that low intake of these important amino acids. A study done in 2004 in Finland found this to be true in women, but men were not included in the data. Omega-3s can help to balance out your serotonin.
-Social Media Overload
Lots of people spend a good amount of time on social media sites. Depression due to this trigger can begin in the teenage years and carry through adulthood. The causes could be that having more social interaction than real life interactions can cause a lack of human companionship and social experiences. It can also cause a person to have unrealistic expectations in their life.
Though depression is a serious health condition, it can be treated at home. Here are 11 natural solutions for such.
1. Healthy Diet
Some foods can help to increase your serotonin levels, which could improve your mood. Try adding foods into your diet like fish, coconut and flaxseed oils, and eggs. These foods can help to lessen depression.
2. Give Up Caffeine
While caffeine is a staple in many people’s morning routines, it can be a cause for depression. Although coffee can give you an energy boost, which ultimately will improve mood, it also has a pretty hard crash. This is the part that can cause irregularities in your mood and put you at risk for low serotonin levels.
3. Sip on Green Tea
Instead of drinking coffee every morning, sip on green tea instead. While green tea does contain some caffeine, it is less of an amount than coffee. It also has other important nutrients that can help boost the mood without the crash that coffee causes. L-theanine can make the caffeine crash from green tea less detrimental to your mood than coffee.
4. Try Meditation
Meditation is a practice that can help fight depression. Allow yourself a little time eat day to sit quietly and focus on your breath rather than your thoughts. Start out with about 5 minutes a day and allow yourself to add time as you get better at it. Turn off your phone and get rid of all distractions, so that you can be in your own quiet place for a little while.
5. Sip on Chamomile
Another great tea that can help brighten up your day is chamomile. This tea can help you to get more sleep, which can improve your mood. Chamomile is known to help you relax because of naturally occurring chemicals. Have a cup before going to bed to help sleep more soundly throughout the night.
6. Increase B-vitamins
You may not know that a lack of B-vitamins is causing your depression. These vitamins can help your brain make chemicals that help to regulate your mood. If you think you need to increase your B-vitamin intake, do it by taking supplements or adding more B-vitamin-rich foods to your diet like fish, spinach, and peppers.
7. Get More Magnesium
Magnesium is another important mineral that the body needs to boost mood. If the body are under a lot of stress, this can actually cause magnesium levels to decrease. Get more magnesium by taking a high-quality supplement or including foods like almonds, black beans, and dark leafy greens to your diet.
8. Get More Exercise
Exercise is a natural way to increase the happy chemicals in the brain. It only takes about 15 minutes of activity per day. Sometimes it might be difficult to get up and move, but once you do, you will notice an increase in your mood.
9. Try Out Light Therapy
This may be a natural remedy that you have not heard of yet. During the winter months, many people get depressed because of the cold, short days. In essence, they don’t get enough light to help with their mood. There are bright lights you can get that are specifically made for seasonal affective disorder.
10. Eat More Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are full of vital nutrients our bodies need, like magnesium and healthy fats. L-tryptophan is an amino acid that can help the brain to produce serotonin.
Herbs are a powerful natural remedy for many ailments, including depression. The bonus is that you can use herbs without the nasty side effects that you might get with prescription medications. Some that are known to help out with depression are basil, lemon balm, rosemary, and St. John’s Wort. There are many ways to incorporate these herbs into your daily routine to help fight depression.