Depression can be a soul drenching struggle and as one who suffers from depression on a regular basis, I can relate with you. Over the course of the last… maybe 15 years, I have dealt with moment of sporadic fits of depression.
Sometimes, there’s no reason for it – I’m just depressed.
Sometimes it’s mild… while other times, I can barely get my head out of the bed.
Either way, depression is something I don’t look forward to when it hits… but my options are to either ride it out and allow my thoughts of worthlessness and other scrutinizing contemplations, or use a list of techniques I have tried and tested to lift myself out of my own funk.
I’m going to share with you the Top 10 ways I treat my depression in hopes that in 2015, you can find some relief.
Here Are My Top 10 Ways To Treat Depression In 2015…Without Medication
10. Meditation / Prayer
Whether you believe in a higher deity or not, I find that talking aloud when there are no physical people around really helps when I am facing depression. What I do is wait for the house to be clear of people (wife and fam would leave to go shopping or what-have-you) and I would just casually walk around my house meditating out loud.
I would talk out my problems by saying what might be the causes of my depression, because usually, there’s an underlying thought that triggers my condition. Bringing it to the surface is cathartic.
Once I’ve addressed my issue, I usually treat it by then speaking about all the good I have in my life – whether big or small.
For example, I talk about how fortunate I am to be married and be the father of a beautiful little girl; but I also speak about little accomplishments I may have done during that week.. Maybe I encouraged someone else or maybe I completed a task I’ve been working on for a while. Anything big or small can help with lifting yourself out of your funk.
Usually by the end of my meditation / prayer session, I’m feeling much more relaxed and talked out.
9. See A Therapist
If you find speaking to the abyss borderline crazy, then you can always bring in a neutral 3rd party who can listen to you speak out your problems. Unlike meditating, with a therapist, you’ll occasionally hear some suggestions in reply.
Whether you find that helpful or not is ultimately up to you but I find that therapy sessions can be validating as they can help direct your thoughts along and sort out some ideas that may be the root of your depression.
8. Time To Laugh. Watch A Funny Show / Movie
Not just any funny show or movie, but for me, I enjoy putting on a comedy I have seen a thousand times. Maybe that might not work for you however I believe there is something comforting in familiarity. Putting on something I’ve seen over and over really raises the nostalgic factor and with it being a comedy, it never fails to make me at least give out a few chuckles.
Couple that with cuddling under your favorite blanket and it’s absolute bliss…
7. A Nice Walk Outside
You already know that one of the best ways to get an overall exercise is to just get out the house and walk for a while… Well there’s more benefits to it other than it working out your general health.
Walking encourages blood flow through your body and if you were to look at it from a scientific approach, more blood flow through the brain increases oxygen which… if I were into all that biology I’d have a better explanation for you, but all I know is blood and oxygen typically helps the brain treat depression.
Now from a non-scientific factor, I find that walking around outside and taking time to notice some trees and passing by neighbors to remind myself there is life outside my four walls really does a number in calming myself down.
6. Call A Friend
With this one, I don’t put any attention on my depression… Plus, how many of my friends really has time to put up with a guy telling them all the reasons why their life sucks? That’s what therapists are for.
No, when I call a friend, I usually just want an honest human connection. I become the listener, not the speaker because I want to be engaged with how someone else is living their life. When I call a friend, I enjoy hearing what they’re up to and learning more about their own circle of friends and family.
Usually my most honest thoughts come out and I become more interested in what my friend has to say during these times. Again, I’m putting no attention to my depression, but when I’m engaged with someone else, I can disconnect myself with whatever I’m facing and I’m usually over it by the time I hang up the phone.
5. Create My Daily Goals
Over the years, I’ve become quite OCD and when a day passes when I’m not being productive, it really gets me spiraling downward.
So, what I do is by the end of each day I try to take about 30 minutes to think about what things I need to accomplish the next day – AND I WRITE THEM DOWN.
That way, as the day progresses, I can check off little tasks I complete and by the end of that day, I feel a great sense of accomplishment and self worth.
4. Buy Something Fun
I hate to raise the “materialism” card here, but sometimes it just friggin works. Who doesn’t like getting a new toy every once in a while?
Sometimes it helps to go out to your favorite store and buy that new gadget you’ve been eyeing for a while. When you take it home and slowly unwrap it, you can’t help but smile and that depression should be a long gone memory.
Coz hey, if you have it – spend it.
3. FOOD! Make That Tummy Happy!
It’s pure ecstasy… Your nose catches whiff of your favorite meal; your tastebuds savor it; and your stomach feels full and complete with the deliciousness of that good yummy treat.
Enough said. I will say though there is a complete chain of chemical reactions that trigger pleasure in the brain when you eat something you enjoy – but again, I’m no biologist.
I just know that when I’m down… Give me some pizza, wings and ice cream… I’m over it before my first belch.
2. If your MARRIED… Uh-huh-uh-huh
I know these days the dating scene is vastly different, but I’m a Christian of the old school thought so I simply cannot condone pre-marital relations… However, for the married peeps out there, if your spouse is willing to help you get over your depression… let them.
1. Get some good sleep!
Sometimes depression is the body’s way of telling you that it needs some special attention. Are you always active? Are you always on the go? Then heck, sometimes you need to simply stop what you’re doing and get a really good nap in. Because, let’s be honest – you’re not going to get much done when you’re depressed anyway, right?
There has been days where if I’m facing depression, I’ll commit an entire day to just leaving the TV on while I catch up on some Zzz’s (the TV relaxes me).
I’ll spend all day being as unproductive as possible and for those who are OCD about being productive like I am, I do this with the knowledge that the next day I’ll be fully rested and fully capable of being as productive as possible.
Sometimes your body just needs it. You’re not lazy for wanting it, you just need to find balance in your life. Depression is usually a mental imbalance so it’s important to introduce balance into your life with a good amount of down time.
BONUS TIP: NOSTALGIA!
Sometimes my depression is because I feel insecure about something in my life. When this happens, I do what I can to remind myself of things that brought me joy during my pre-adolence and adolescent life. Whether that’s looking at year books, sketch books (I draw), play retro video games or a movie from way back when… do something that will bring you back to happier times in your life, when you felt you had the most stability.
Aroma therapy also helps. I enjoy scents that remind me of cleaning detergents and whatnot because it brings me back to my days in New York when my mother would always be cleaning our home. It just relaxes me.
Did You Enjoy My Top 10 Ways To Treat Depression In 2015 Without Medication?
I hope you did. All 10 of these methods I use myself as I have previously stated – I deal with depression on a regular basis too. Now, keep in mind sometimes these methods are more or less effective depending on the day and what culminates in my little fit.
That’s why I go through all 10 until I find something that works for me and 9 times out of 10, something on my list usually does.
If you enjoyed my list, PLEASE share it!
You can help other people you know who may suffer depression with this list. They’re not tips taken from other blogs, they’re all tips I personally use and find effective so they may be able to help someone else as well.