Depression is a serious problem that is becoming increasingly pronounced, especially for people staying in metropolitan cities. A busy schedule, fight to survive, constant competition, and stress are bound to develop depression. It is estimated that at least 17% of adults have faced the problem of depression at least once in their life. Almost 30% of adults have the risk of getting a lifetime depression problem.
Depression is temporarily and in most cases can be cured by prescription drugs. However, their outcome has been questioned many times. Since many of these are just temporary solutions or even create some serious side effects in the individual if consumed regularly. However, depression can be got rid of by the combination or the sole integration of a few eastern methods especially practiced in India. These help in defeating the problem permanently without any side effects and in a very short time.
Depression facts – Why it is so dangerous?
At the worst, depression can lead to suicide. WHO reports, nearly 264 million people suffer from depression worldwide and is the leading cause of disability. 25 million people in the US suffer from depression every year. More than 50% of suicides result from depression. If the number of depressed alcoholics adds up, it shoots up to 75%.
Depression basically is considered as a mood disorder. This cannot be gauged by the mere presence or absence of certain neurotransmitters or brain chemicals but stems from erratic mood regulation by the brain, stressful life, medications and genetic predisposition. However, it can be of various stages such as deep depression, slight mood changes, mania etc. People suffering from depression face a prolonged mood problem.
1) Sad mood all day.
2) No pleasure or less interest in the daily activities.
3) Weight loss or weight gain (5% change in the body weight in a month)
4) Sleeplessness or excessive sleep.
5) Psychomotor agitation or retardation
6) Weakness or loss of energy.
7) Lack of confidence and feeling of loneliness.
8) Lack of concentration
9) Recurrent thoughts of death.
Depression has no single factor for its occurrence. It is subjective in nature. However, people surrounding the depressed individual too are likely to face this problem. Depression simply means that the person needs some personal attention.
Depression can be treated in a number of ways. The medical method is to advice medicines such as Tricyclic, Heterocyclic anti-depressants or the new SSRT drug. Another practical method is to undergo sessions of psychotherapy, group psychotherapy etc.
The Eastern method is by practicing yoga, pranic or energy healing, sound healing. Early symptoms of depression can be healed with these eastern practices. However, if the problem is severe then the eastern and western methods can be combined. Also the cause of the problem can be identified and solved using the Indian Ayurvedic solutions.
How to treat depression naturally
Set a routine
Depression mingles up things for the sufferer. Thus, to get a clear direction, one should set a daily routine for oneself. If any of your relatives is suffering from depression, you should help them the same way by providing a structure to their life.
Set daily goals
A depressed person might not feel like working on anything, as they feel that they would not be able to achieve their goals. Thus, it is necessary to have them push themselves. This can be done by setting small goals for them to achieve on a daily basis. When they start achieving them, the goals can be made more complex. The goals would offer them something to look up to.
Inactivity can lead to depression. Thus, the person suffering from depression should exercise to receive some long-term natural benefits. Exercising releases endorphins in the body that make people feel good. Getting involved in regular physical activity enhances the functioning of brain. Therefore, a good walk few times a week can greatly help in fighting depression.
Take healthy food
Depression may lead a person toward overeating or under-eating. Both the conditions are unhealthy and need to be controlled. If one is overeating, a diet control is necessary. On the other hand, if his/her diet is reduced due to depression, there is more intake of healthy diet is needed. Although there is no magical diet to treat depression, one should try to consume foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids. Such foods help in easing out the depression symptoms.
Get proper sleep
Generally, depression disturbs the sleep pattern of a person. Thus, an individual facing depression should alter his/her lifestyle for getting sufficient and regular sleep. There should not be any distractions while the person is sleeping.
Fight negative thoughts
If someone faces depression, various kinds of negative thoughts appear in his/her mind. These negative thoughts need to be challenged and beaten back. One way to avoid negative thoughts is to get involved in some hobby or activity.
Mental yoga exercises to avoid depression
Yoga has always proved beneficial in curing various diseases. It has also proved extremely helpful in other problems like obesity, anxiety and depression. Depression is the worst effect of a busy lifestyle these days. With the rapid increase in the run for betterment, there are always failures which are not very welcomed by people. Hence, depression becomes our worst evil. It can, however, be very effectively controlled with the help of yoga. Meditation and yoga when practiced with the right postures and the right state can cure depression without any medication.
Discussed below are certain postures by which you can curb depression:
This is the simplest posture. In this, you need to lie on your back and rest your legs against a wall. Inhale and exhale slowly. While both inhaling and exhaling, try and keep a count of 5. Your eyes should be closed.
This posture does not involve any kind of strain on your body. Hence, anyone can perform it.
Apart from curing depression, people suffering from lack of sleep can also be benefited by this exercise. It helps you in your concentration, brings you back in the present and re-routes circulation.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
You start by lying down firmly on the mat. You should keep your hands towards the side with palms down. Now you bend your knees. Next, you have to lift yourself up using your abs. Hold this position for a while.
This posture brings in positive energy. You can feel the sudden rush on energy through your body once you complete it. It also calms the mind and hence, frees you of depression.
You can use a pillow or any other support to hold that position for a while. People with back ache can avoid this position.
This asana can be performed in two ways. The first is the cow. You remain on all fours. Keep your backbone in one line, your knees below your hips and your hands below your shoulders. The next step is to pull your stomach towards the floor and pull your face up, towards the sky. Hold this position for a while.
The next position is the cat. You again have to remain on all fours. This time, push your stomach upwards and bring your face down. Hold this position for a while.
People with back ache problems should especially do this exercise as it cures backache problems. It promotes an ideal spine alignment and also strengthens back muscles. It thus builds up concentration and helps cure depression.
Lotus position or Padmāsana
The Lotus position or Padmāsana is the basic pose to release the tension of your mind and body. In this pose, you need to focus on the rhythm of your breath, by counting or listening to the heart beat, which immediately calms down your nerves and anxiety. All you need to do is sit in an upright position with crossed legs and hands placed on knees with palms up and eyes closed. After attaining the right body pose, now you have to inhale and exhale fresh air slowly for 5 to 10 minutes to quiet down hasty breathing and excitement. As soon as your breathing finds a rhythm and become natural, you’ll feel more calm and composed.
This is also called the fish position. You start by down on your back with arms on the side and palms down. The next step is to pull yourself up. Keep your legs firmly on the ground and make your chest protrude.
This causes your lungs to expand making more room for the air. This improves breathing. Your heart gets opened in this position. This unclogs all the tension in the core tissue. It thus helps in curing tension and depression.
This position is very basic and anyone can do it.
This is called the locust position. You start by lying down on your stomach. Keep your hands on the sides with palms facing upwards. Next you lift up your legs as well as the upper torso including your arms. You should lift up your chest as high as it is comfortable.
This posture again opens up your heart. It not only cures depression but also helps in curing indigestion, gall bladder problems, low energy levels and fatigue.
People with backaches could also do this exercise. But people with serious stomach ailments or back problem should abstain from practicing this yoga exercise.
Essential pose – Savasana
This is the most essential pose in yoga practice. This step must always be done while winding up your yoga session. All you need to do is lie straight on your back with your arms on the side and feet apart, in a neutral position. It is also known as corpse pose.
When in the right posture, relax yourself and start stretching your body. It should be stretched as if someone is trying to pull our head and body in two different directions. You need to ease your breathing while practicing Savasana. You should practice to hold your breath when in the stretching position. You should focus on your breathing when doing the mental yoga exercise. This increases concentration and improves blood circulation. It improves concentration and majorly helps in relieving tension thus curing depression.
The warrior pose, as the very name indicates, infuses positive energy and eliminate negative vibes or thoughts from your mind and soul. Named after the mythical warrior sage, Virabhadra, this pose improves mental capacity and self control, while shaping and toning the lower body. In this pose, you have to stand straight, keep your legs apart (about 3-4 feet) and move the right foot out at 90 degrees and left in at 15 degrees angle. Now, raise your arms sideways to the shoulder level (parallel to the floor) with palms facing up, turn your head to the right and bow the right knee to form a straight line with the right ankle. Hold this position for about half a minute, and then turn to the other side to repeat the same practice.
One of the most calming and soothing of all yoga positions, the Child pose (Balasana) helps you relax your body and soul. In this pose, place your body in a fetal position facing the floor. Bend your knees and hips with shins on the floor and rest the chest on your knees, if you find difficulty in spreading knees and positioning the chest between them. Stretch the head forward and rest the forehead on the floor, while stretching the arms forward or backwards. Take deep breathes and stay in this position for about two minutes with closed eyes.
Other useful tips to treat depression naturally
The symptoms and causes of depression maybe innumerable, and differs with age, sex and ethnicity. Yoga poses are great to treat depression but the following vital tips will also help you to tackle depression. Few changes in life attitude can make a great difference.
Find a role model
Always keep in mind that you are not the only one to suffer from depression. Reading biographies of great personalities is a great idea. These biographies of the who`s who will help one realize that, almost everyone of these role models have been depressed at some point in life, but the best part is that they have won over those depressions and won. Their battle against depression, their winning, and ascent to success can only work as a morale booster for you.
Going through the biography of Steve Jobs or Marilyn Monroe, Buzz Collins, or an Woody Allen story can act as a great inspiration, or your key towards fighting depression. Even Jim Carey had come back from depression and the world laughs at his will.
Stop excluding yourself and go out
Secluding yourself and self pitying might feel good during depression, but that only worsens the mood, and deepens the feeling of being lonely. Push and take yourself out, even if not feeling to do so, attend parties and gatherings. Doing so there are chances of meeting different kind of people. Happy and positive company does wonders in lifting mood and bringing in a positive attitude. Reach out to your old friends, family and those, who accept you the way you are, and are always there at your beck and call.
An honest discussion, and a heart to heart talk about irritability and reclusive behavior with the trusted ones also does a lot good. Be around people who doesn’t buoy or drag you down, always acts as a good support network. Spending time with positive people and sharing their visions and ideas towards a positive approach to life, acts as an inspiration to change attitude.
Good support from family and friends will help attain a positive and upbeat attitude towards life. These people will give the much needed space and time out whenever needed, and that too with all the respect and understanding that is needed.
During these times, it is always better to avoid people who are good at being negative, and whom you cannot stand even in normal circumstances.
Join a cause or event
Making life merrier, working for the less privileged people can make one feel better. This kind of work not only lifts the spirit, but also makes one feel someone on a mission. These works are mostly organized or coordinated by charitable organizations or similar other organizations. Finding such an organization and joining them is a very good idea. Working with the less privileged and the sick, poor or helpless people gives a sense of joy and fulfillment. The contentment felt by making someone else happy, without expecting something in return is an out of the world experience. Moreover working for these people helps one realize, that the situation is not that bad as it seems, on the contrary there are people in much worse condition, and yet they are happy and willing to fight back. This lesson can act as a great inspiration and source of strength for the future.
Take care of yourself
Depressive thoughts, lowered resiliency may be a result of neglecting and overworking the body. Moreover a tired and malnourished mind and body is much more susceptible to depressive trends. To cope up with depression good sleep is very essential. Sleep makes the body healthy and balanced. It is very important to give the mind and body adequate time to sleep, rest and recuperate. Also a good workout is also essential for good living and fighting depression. Initiate with a walk and slowly upgrade to rigorous workout. Recent studies also show the importance of workout and fighting depression. Tagging friends to group exercise, or sports that allow expression of extreme emotion can also be better option, like karate, running etc.
Food habit should also be taken care of, more vegetables, fruits and whole foods are good for the cause. Plenty of water in the diet will also help in feeling better. Also indulge yourself in having a make over, a new hair style, new clothes and do everything to make yourself precious and most importantly rediscover your love for yourself.
Some more things to do
Do things that make you happy, and convince yourself that you have every right to be happy. Believe in the age old saying, A fun thing a day, keeps the blues away. Take up a hobby, like gardening, swimming etc. Remember things that make you happy and indulge yourself in those things, like watch your favorite comedy, read your favorite book, go for a long walk, or hiking.
Look for the goods in life, replace unhappy memories with happier ones. Start thinking positive and try to look at every little positive aspect in all. Try alternative forms of therapy to fight depression, like art therapy, music therapy. Pursue your dream, like joining an art class or going back to the university, for some courses. Try for a change in your career, look for a job that you might have had in your mind for a long time.
Getting depressed often can be dangerous. It kills the quality of life. By engaging your mind in healthy activities and channelizing negative thoughts, it can be overcome. You just need to be diligent and disciplined.