Learning how to overcome depression can be a long, exhaustive process without the right tools. In a lot of cases, people simply resort to medication because it’s the easiest method to go about it.
For others, medication isn’t an option due to a number of different reasons, with the main one being the side effects it can cause.
A lot of people don’t want to take medication for depression, either because they don’t like the idea of taking pills every day or because they tried it and didn’t like how it made them feel. Others can’t afford to take medication or simply don’t have access to it.
Treating depression without medication is possible, and there are many natural ways you can get relief from your symptoms.
Signs That You Might Be Depressed
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in things you once enjoyed.
Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.
- Depressing is often triggered by a traumatic life event, such as:
- Losing a loved one
- Being let go from your job
- Being diagnosed with a health condition
- Family issues
- Financial issues
No matter what caused your depression, it’s something that you don’t wish your worst enemy had to go through.
Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
- A bleak outlook — nothing will ever get better, and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation
- Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt
- Fixating on past failures or exaggerating the significance of mistakes
- Difficulty making decisions
- Trouble remembering details or concentrating
- Irritability, restlessness, or agitation
- Inactivity, withdrawal from others, loss of interest in normal activities or decrease in sex drive
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Thoughts of death or suicide (see warning signs below)
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
Learning How To Overcome Depression Naturally
The media usually portrays exercise as something that only athletes do, but the truth is that everyone should be exercising. Exercise is a hugely important part of being healthy and staying healthy, but it’s also a major part of overcoming or even preventing depression in a natural way.
Exercise comes with many physical benefits like weight loss or muscle gain. However, there’s another side of exercise that’s just as important: mental health. Exercise has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression without medication.
In fact, in many cases, it can be just as effective as taking antidepressants. It helps reduce stress levels and anxiety while boosting mood, energy levels, and self-esteem.
It doesn’t take much to reap these benefits either; experts recommend only about 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a few times a week for most people. That can be anything from walking around the block to playing sports or lifting weights. Exerpy, which stands for exercise therapy, is a company that develops workout programs specifically targeted to bettering your mental health.
If you’ve ever been depressed, you’ve probably been told at one point or another to exercise. Maybe it was your doctor, a family member, or that friend who’s always encouraging you to take up kickboxing.
If you’re not ready to try medication, then exercise might just be the best alternative out there.
Exercise will make your brain produce more neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and serotonin that have direct links to your mood and energy levels. If you have low levels of these chemicals in your brain then it can lead to depression and other mood disorders.
Exercise increases the production of these chemicals because the physical activity stimulates their production, but also because of the positive rewards that come from exercising like achievement, body image improvement, self-esteem boost, and even social interaction.
Depression affects more than your mind. It can leave you feeling tired and weak and make it hard for you to sleep at night, or sleep far too much. But getting regular exercise can help you feel better.
In addition to the above-mentioned neurotransmitters being produced, when you move your body, your brain also releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.
The National Institute of Mental Health recommends that adults get around 2-3 hours of moderate aerobic activity, like brisk walking or swimming, every week. If you have depression, exercise may be even more important for you.
How Do I Start Exercising When I Feel So Depressed?
Depression causes a vicious cycle to occur. It kills any motivation you have to get out and do things you once enjoyed. It lowers your energy levels to the point where you feel like doing nothing at all, all day. And doing things like exercising are exactly what you need to do in order to break the vicious cycle in its tracks.
It can feel like a huge brick and burden is on your shoulders when dealing with it.
So, how do you start exercising if you have depression? Here are five steps:
1. Start Small If You Need To
If the idea of exercising seems overwhelming in your current mental health state, then start very small. Exercise in short bursts of 10 minutes at a time and build up gradually. There is nothing wrong with focusing on baby steps for now.
2. Find An Activity You Enjoy
The best way to stay motivated is to choose activities that you enjoy such as playing sports or walking your dog. If your motivation is low, then try experimenting with different types of exercise until you find something that works for you. Consider giving Exerpy’s free trial a try. Your program will be customized according to your current mental and physical health state.
3. Work Out With Others
Exercising with a friend or family member is a good way to boost motivation if you’re not able to do so on your own. Another benefit of getting started with Exerpy is that you’ll have someone constantly behind your back motivating you and holding you accountable. Studies show that people who exercise with others are more likely to stick with their workouts.
4. Set Realistic Goals And Celebrate Success
Keeping track of your progress is a good way to stay motivated. Starting off with the goal of exercising for 2 hours during your first session isn’t a realistic or attainable goal for the short or long term. Starting off with 10 minutes and then gradually building up from there is much more realistic.
If you’ve been inactive for a while, you might want to start slowly and gradually build up to more frequent or intense activity.
Take a 10-minute walk after dinner. Do some stretching exercises when you first get out of bed in the morning or before you go to bed at night. Park farther away from the mall entrance than usual so you can walk several more steps each day.
Once you’re ready for more activity, try walking briskly for 30 minutes on most days of the week. Or try a combination of walking and other activities like gardening, swimming, or golfing.
Exerpy – Exercise Therapy For Mental Health
Starting an exercise program when you have clinical depression can feel like an unattainable goal. A lot of people with severe depression wonder if they’ll even have enough energy to get out of bed.
Exerpy will guide and assist you through accountability and exercise programs to increase your levels of motivation to get you to the point where you’re able to eventually get the energy and step out of bed to do an exercise.
While one exercise might not fully bring you out from the pit of despair, it will feel still get the mood-boosting chemicals in your brain flowing again. Over time, this will become a much easier process to do.
If you think you’re ready to try out Exerpy, reach out today!