Beat Addiction and Depression with these Natural Anti-Depressants Part 1
There is an abundance of scientific evidence leading professionals to believe that depression and addiction often go hand in hand. Many times, those who have an addiction to drugs or alcohol and are depressed often turned to drinking or using as a coping mechanism for their depression, in other cases it is the reverse. According to statistics, at least 30% of individuals suffer from both addiction and depression. When an individual is experiencing both of these problems at the same time, they must work extra hard to overcome them. There are many natural aids that act as an anti-depressant and are said to help a person beat addiction and depression.
Many of these natural anti-depressants are easy to do and can be very useful after treatment, as an extra aid in recovery. It should be noted, while there is no ‘cure all’ for depression, there is research supporting these natural anti-depressants listed below.
Natural Anti-depressant 1: Play in the Dirt
Gardening has been long known for its meditative, relaxing, and grounding like effects; all great feelings that can help beat an addiction and depression. A recent scientific study reported that soil contains friendly bacteria that are able to increase an individual’s serotonin levels. Many people believe that a large amount of land is needed to grow a garden; in fact, gardening can be done just about anywhere, including balconies, small yards, indoors, and in pots!
Natural Anti-depressant 2: Hit the Snooze Button
Many experts recommend getting around 8 hours of sleep every night; but for some, this is very difficult to achieve. Irritability and mood swings, both of which have a part in depression, can often be related to a lack of sleep. To help beat an addiction and depression, try to turn electronics off, such as TV’s, half an hour before bed and block out any light or distractions. Try to get these 8 hours of sleep, in the morning, go ahead, and hit the snooze button even if it is just for an extra 10 minutes.
Natural Anti-depressant 3: Get Up and Move
Put some fun music on and dance around, or pull out your running shoes and go for a jog. Both not only help circulate the blood, but studies have shown that exercise can be just as effective as anti-depressants or psychotherapy. There are so many ways to exercise, get those endorphins going, and this can help beat depression and help you not relapse back into an addiction.
Natural Anti-depressant 4: Have a Zen Moment
Meditation, mindfulness practice, and yoga all offer extraordinary stress reducing benefits. In fact, scientists are slowly discovering that meditation has a tangible and positive effect on the brain. Another study showed that these types of mind-body therapies can reduce the likelihood of depression by up to 50%, while dramatically improving those that are currently depressed. These practices can be done anywhere, at any time, and can change brain patterns in a positive life altering way.
Natural Anti-depressant 5: Eat Breakfast
Many of us skip breakfast, when in fact, breakfast is the most important meal and can set the mood for the entire day. Try avoiding the ‘traditional’ breakfast, which consists of eggs, bacon, and the like. Instead, opt for fruit, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, or yogurt; savor the traditional foods for a special Sunday treat.
Natural Anti-depressant 6: Absorb Light
Take some time outside each day to absorb some of the sun’s rays. These rays are full of Vitamin D which has been shown to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain. Scientists have noticed that those who are suffering from depression, especially those with seasonal affective disorder, seem to improve their overall mood as they increased Vitamin D. Be sure to limit unprotected sun exposure to no more than 15 minutes for light skinned people, and 40 minutes for darker skinned people. One could beat an addiction and depression by not only getting some sun, but also exercising at the same time!