Almost everyone will experience some form of depression or anxiety in their lifetime. Far too often medical professionals are quick to treat these symptoms with prescription medications, but leave out a number of natural remedies that can be utilized to help as an overall treatment plan.

Some natural remedies for depression include:

Exercise

While in a spout of depression the last thing you want to do is get out of bed. However, one the best ways to help boost your mood is to get moving, get your blood pumping, and get your sweat on. Those natural feel-good hormones like serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine are released when you perform physical activity. This naturally makes your body and even mind feel good. Oh, and did I mention physical exercise can actually help improve memory and information processing? Learn more about the effects exercise can have on the brain.

Diet

Many of us are stress eaters. Diving into that bag of cookies when we are feeling down…why? Because again food has the power to very briefly release some of those feel good hormones. However, this feeling of happiness from cookies is temporary. Eating a well-balanced diet can help prevent and even treat symptoms of depression and anxiety. Think for a moment how do you feel after you eat a big juicy burger and fries compared to eating a fresh salad with some mixed berries? You are what you eat.

Meditation

As the Old Zen saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy then you should sit for an hour.” Select a quiet place and for just 20 minutes a day, clear your mind and allow yourself to meditate. Sit up tall and strong to avoid getting sleepy. Focus on your breath, taking full breaths in and out. Focusing on your breath will help to clear your mind. Are your thoughts racing? Is your mind busy? Be mindful of how busy your mind is and allow yourself to push all thoughts away.

Because our minds are so busy and stressed out all the time, taking just 20 minutes a day to clear your thoughts and focus on breathing can greatly help to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and even depression.

Breath

If you are feeling particularly stressed out or anxious think about your breath. Take some very large inhales in and let your body exhale every lost drop of air out. Repeat several times. This simple trick can help to lead to a more relaxed body and mind.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or any mental illnesses, find help here.