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Depression can result in enduring states of sadness, emptiness, and lethargy that may persist for weeks, months or even years. While many people wrestle with depression at some point during their life, this mental state continuing for more than a few weeks may be symptomatic of Major Depressive Disorder. Major depressive disorder is a severe psychological condition. The symptoms can become severely debilitating if left unchecked. This condition may hamper one's ability to perform daily tasks. Moreover, many cases may be prone to suicidal tendencies which could be fatal for struggling individuals.

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Adopt a Healthy Diet

A study in "Archives of General Psychiatry" stated that the Mediterranean diet is inherently good for the heart and that it could help treat depression effectively. Indeed, a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of depression. Some foods enhance the production of serotonin naturally. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that makes a person feel happy. Some of the foods that can contribute to the manufacture of the happy chemical are eggs, fish oil, flaxseed oil, sour cherries, and healthy fats.

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Take Up Meditation

A robust solution for curing depression is the practice of meditation. A strong mind-body connection has a therapeutic effect on relieving clinical depression. Meditation battles stress, heart disease, and slows down the aging process while helping make you calm and happy. There isn't just one way to meditate. All you need is a peaceful location where you can sit comfortably, relax, and focus on your breathing. This type of meditation is not unlike the concept of mindfulness -- looking inward. Just 15 to 20 minutes of meditation a day can help. Meditation also reduces the suicidal thoughts by changing a person's brain structure, primarily by regulating the emotions and balancing hormones.

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Exercise

Many studies have proven that regular workouts can help manage moderate depression. 30 to 45 minutes of mild exercise five days a week - can lift mood, improve self-esteem, and lessen stress. Exercise releases endorphins and creates the feel-good chemical dopamine. Dopamine floods a person's brain with positive emotions and helps fight sadness and anxiety. These chemicals also boost one's immune system and improve their mood. Physical activity done three times every week for 15 minutes or more at a time can lessen the severity of depression symptoms and boost your energy levels.

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Cut Caffeine

Caffeinated drinks that fuel many people's day -- like coffee, tea, and energy drinks -- may provide an energy boost momentarily, but have an insidious long-term impact. Caffeine worsens anxiety and depression. However, if you're a caffeine veteran and have been relying on it for an extended period, it's wise to take your time cutting back on caffeine. Quitting caffeine can be tricky. A lack of caffeine may cause a temporary depressive episode. Instead of withdrawing all of a sudden, consider limiting your intake and slowly easing yourself off of caffeine.

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Get Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an excellent addition to antidepressant medications. These tiny needles inserted lightly into the targeted areas of the body is an ancient treatment that may aid in alleviating the symptoms of depression. Thin needles are inserted in 400 different parts of the body, which in turn causes your body to release endorphins, and makes a person calmer and happier. A professional acupuncturist can help patients in controlling their body, mind, and lifestyle by finding equilibrium. However, one needs to choose a trained professional.

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Improve Sleep Routine

One of the most common complaints of people struggling with depression is the inability to get proper sleep. Depression causes restlessness at night, which interrupts their rest. While some people with this condition don't get enough sleep, there are others who tend to sleep way too much. Improper sleeping patterns can be severely detrimental for people dealing with chronic conditions. The regeneration system breaks down. Therefore, it's essential folks living with clinical depression get a balanced proportion of sleep every night. Proper sleeping practices include going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Yes, this includes weekends and holidays. Light up alarms can help you wake up naturally in the morning. Sleeping aids can also be beneficial, but contact a doctor before taking any sort of medication.

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Do Yoga

Yoga is a series of stretches and mindfulness that's been around for almost five thousand years. The regular practice of yoga can boost your emotional health and aid in building confidence, mindfulness, and grace. It's an effective natural treatment that has the power to positively impact psychiatric disorders and reduce the severity of symptoms of depression. Yoga is a combination of breathing work, postures, as well as repetitive movements. You can try out different yoga postures, such as child's pose, warrior pose, cobra pose along with other breathing exercises. Yoga is most useful when practiced regularly and in conjunction with meditation, and a healthy diet.

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Cut Out Depressants

A lot of people experiencing depression turn to self-medicating for relief from their symptoms. However, alcohol and other drugs are a natural depressant. Therefore, it's best to reduce these harmful elements from your diet as it can only intensify the symptoms. Alcohol may improve your mood initially. However, the physical consequences and adverse side effects of excessive alcohol or dependency on other substances can lead to devastating consequences. Alcohol makes a person impulsive and even increases the chances for suicidal attacks.

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Add Magnesium

Many studies link magnesium deficiency with depression and fatigue. Symptoms of depression and anxiety from moderate apathy to psychosis are related to magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is a mineral which relaxes muscles and produces proteins and energy. Apart from this benefit, magnesium is necessary for healthy bones and joints. So, for proper mental functioning, you must increase your consumption of magnesium. A magnesium-rich diet, which includes foods like seeds, sesame seeds, legumes, dark leafy veggies, nuts, beans, and whole grains, should be consumed.

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Have Some Fun

Perhaps, one of the most challenging tasks for people living with depression is to go out and enjoy themselves. They will often detach themselves from everyone else. Social withdrawal is a common tendency witnessed in people with clinical depression. It's important for people to socialize and try to connect with others. Humans are social animals and require other people to live healthy lives. Depression is a challenging condition and individuals living with it need to be supported by their families and loved ones to hang out and do things that they formerly enjoyed.

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Use Light Therapy

Light therapy, also known as phototherapy can be used to treat depression, mainly seasonal affective disorders (SAD). The treatment is simple. You need to wake up early and walk in the morning sun to improve your mood or treat yourself to a unique light lamp to help battle the winter blues. Exposure to the sun is suitable for depression symptoms. In fact, it'd be best to make sure that your home is rich with indoor light. Alternatively, fluorescent bulbs installed in a quiet room where you can meditate may help effectively deal with depression.

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Consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Depression causes negative cyclical thoughts and damaging negative behaviors which can impact a person's overall health. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that examines the beliefs and practices which contribute to depression. The study of these factors helps many people reevaluate their patterns and embrace a healthier mental state.

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Take Multivitamins

Certain vitamin tablets and supplements are known to elevate one's mood and ease depression symptoms. Vitamin B and C supplements in the diet can work wonders. Multivitamins play a significant role by affecting the chemicals released in the brain. It, therefore, makes sense to include vitamin B rich foods in the diet, such as fish, cheese, turkey, shellfish, and spinach. Also, increase your intake of Vitamin C by consuming fruits and vegetables like strawberries, berries, dark leafy greens, pineapples, melons, and tomatoes.

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Stick to a Routine

Setting a routine works well for a person with depression. Be soft, yet flexible with your schedule, and plan to stick to it. Think about completing all of your daily tasks within a set time. For example, wake up on time, eat your food at the right hours, and sleep on time. A proper routine will help ease the symptoms of depression. It's vital to remember that even the smallest accomplishment while dealing with depression is still an accomplishment. Be kind and gentle with yourself and practice holistic self-care.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.