As the seasons change and monthly cycles hit, depression can swoop down and claim victims. Unexpected losses, and even expected ones, often push people to feeling down and depressed. Once you're in the depression cycle, getting out can be really difficult.
Immediately resorting to medication may not be what is needed. A lot of easy, drug-free ways are available to help lift your mood when you're down. Check out these 7+ remedies to help boos your mood.
1. Dark chocolate. When hit by monthly cycles and feeling down comes upon you, Prevention says to grab a piece of dark chocolate and snack away. Dark chocolate has tryptophan in it which may boost the serotonin in the brain, causing you to feel calmer and better.
2. Sunlight. Vitamin D has been shown to lift depression. One of the best sources of it is sunlight, says Health. Spending time outside in the sun or opening up the curtains and blinds and letting the sunshine in can immediately start to lift depression. If the weather is bad and you can't spend time outside, you can get a light bulb that mimics the sunlight and sit under it every day.
3. Exercise. Working out releases all kinds of good chemicals in the brain: norepinephrin, serotonin and endorphins. Health recommends doing some form of aerobic exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day, three to five times a week.
4. New hobby. Sometimes the cause of depression is simply being in a rut of doing the same-old, same-old. WebMD says to consider doing something new. Pick up a new hobby, try a new sport, or read a new book.
5. Aroma therapy. You may find that certain smells calm you, make you feel comfortable or boost your energy. Prevention says to try sniffing "comfort smells" when struggling with depression. A few tips include using lavender for relaxing, lemon for feeling sunny and peppermint for feeling more alert.
6. Saffron. According to Healthline, consuming saffron stigma seems to be fairly effective in treating mild to moderate depression. Speak to your doctor for a proper dosage.
7. Dog. People like pets for a reason. Health states that petting a dog for 15 minutes releases serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin in the brain. If dogs aren't your thing, try petting a cat or some other animal.
8. Positive thinking. Sometimes the cause of depression is simply thinking negatively. WebMD reminds you that positive thinking takes a conscious choice and is work.
9. Greek yogurt. According to Prevention, probiotics appear to help when trying to think positive. Grab some Greek yogurt, sauerkraut or kimchi.
10. Smile. Smiling not only helps boost your mood, according to Health, but it will help brighten someone else's day. Although you may not feel like smiling, plaster on a sunny smile and see if it makes a difference. You may be surprised.
Depression is a real problem, and not all forms of it can be treated through natural remedies. Speak with your doctor to find out what is best for you, but for the occasional down day, grab some chocolate, a good book and go sit in the sun to read.