Natural Ways To Overcome Depression
I think we all have experienced depression at some point in our lives. Some feel it more intensely and frequently than others and some only feel it when major life events happen like death or the loss of a job, relationship, etc. For me, I'm one of those people who feels all the spectrum of emotion pretty intensely (I am a Pisces after all)... Nowadays, with a steady meditation practice, yoga practice, exercise, healthy eating, etc, my emotional well being has balanced out quite significantly. This wasn't always the case however.. and I still have bouts of depression here and there. I actually used to be on antidepressants when I was in college. But after only six months, I felt more disconnected than ever before and knew that wasn't a good path for me either.
Slowly but surely, I realized I had to have a healthy way to overcome depression, sadness and the undesirable feelings. When I was much, much younger, I even had suicidal thoughts and tendencies because of my hypersensitivity. My inability to handle life situations felt overwhelming and thus... I had to find was to work with life and all its uncomfortability and search for the joy in every moment.
Thus, here are my tips on overcoming depression:
1. Get Into Nature
This is my number one suggestion for a reason. If you don't read anything else below this point, then you will have received my number one suggestion for working with the energy of sadness and depression.
You see, when you are in a remote location and in nature, you are surrounded by organic matter that is endlessly and consistently creating more of itself. You are literally around creativity that is constantly birthing, blossoming, rising, nourishing itself, etc. From a microcosmic level, you are connecting to the universal energy of abundance. If you can find somewhere where fruit trees are, like an apple tree, you will feel so supported, healed and nourished. The first time I lived on an ashram, there was four apple trees and those four trees created more than enough apples for the entire community there. We couldn't keep up with the abundance of apples getting produced.
You are also surrounded by a lot of green, earth element or, if you went to an ocean or lake, you are surrounded by blue. Color therapy exists because of how colors in nature heal us. Think about when you are up early enough to enjoy a sunrise in all its stunning beauty. How many times have you said to yourself that it looks like a painting? Have you noticed how you are in an emotional state of appreciation and just grateful, almost unable to identify why you are so grateful? You just are.
If you are by water, your emotional intuition becomes heightened and more easily able to process your emotional stresses. You see, while color is powerful, what its source is, is elemental. You are either connecting with one of the five elements for balancing the primary elemental nature within your own self. We all have a few elements in our makeup that are dominate and some that get all out of wake and out of balance. And, getting into nature is the fastest, best and easiest way to get grounded again.
Make sure to take your time in nature too. No need to rush away. Sit down, or if you can walk around barefoot and continue to connect to the earth and ground yourself even more. Maybe sit and breath, meditate.
2. Try A Juice Detox
A lot of times when we are depressed, it could have to do with our gut and intentional health. There are plenty of great kundalini yoga kriyas that help to balance the glandular system by the way... But, before we get into that, your gut may need some love. And the best way to support a healthy system is to go to your local juice bar and get something nice and green, earthy and definitely with some turmeric and ginger in it.
Here is what I loovvveee to do when I hear my inner being asking for some nutrition:
Celery (2 sticks)
Ginger (1 whole root - I love ginger)
Apple (Gala - just one to sweeten it up)
Cucumber (just one)
Kale (2 cups - note: if you have any kind of inflammatory disease, kale is NOT good to use, use spinach instead)
This is seriously one of my favorite things to drink - not all the time, just a couple times a week. But if something within me feels really thrown off, I will have this every day for at least 3 to five days.
And if you think the grocery bill for this adds up, first think about how prevention is the key to longevity and good overall health. A huge medical bill later on will be way more costly. Just something to think about on your path to abundant health! :)
3. Meditate... !
Okay, I know this one may just be totally obvious because a large portion of this blog is about teaching and sharing meditation with you, however it still is important to reiterate. A great resource to check out is my other blog about A Beginner's Guide To Yoga & Meditation.
If you start out your day with mediation, you start out your day in a vibrational state of well being. You are enjoying a moment just to yourself where you can tap into your intuition, creativity, goals, visualize your desires, gain clarity, or just totally let everything go for a moment and seek complete stillness, peace and contentment.
I'm continuously fascinated with the deepening of the scientific understanding of what meditation can do for us individually and collectively. The more of us to take the time to tap into that presence of peace, the more we will be able to create a world that is a bit more stable, clear, fun, safe, creative, joyful and filled with love. Meditation helps us to look at things like depression too. If you just close your eyes for a moment and begin to deepen your breath and contemplate and ask yourself what this depression is and how to work with it... ask what it is trying to teach you. If you can quiet your mind enough to uncover what that answer is, or at least begin to create a deeper dialogue with yourself, pondering these questions, within time something may surface for you to see that could change your life and way of perceiving altogether.
This was the case for me. I realized that my depression came from a very deep and subtle longing for my fathers love. This came from deep within my being, very subtle and hidden away. My family was broken up when I was young and I was too young to have the awareness to even understand what was happening around me. In time, I came to realize how much that did impact me. It was an out of balance masculine influence. Years later, I began to reach out to my father more and put the effort into rebuilding and repairing our relationship. That healed so much of my mysterious pain and depression.
Now, whether you have a similar experience or story.. or if you can't relate at all to this... if you meditate and ask these questions and clarity to reveal itself to you and if you train yourself to listen deeply, then trust what you hear... act on that guidance and know you will be guided to the truth, a truth that you can only discover for yourself. We can have help from the external world, but at the end of the day, we have to dive into ourselves to realize truths that only can be revealed from within.
4. Get Creative Again!
Remember, we live in an infinite and creative, unlimited universe. You are a piece of creation. You keep forgetting this and that's why we must keep reminding you, over and over again. The spiritual path is a continuous process of falling asleep and waking up again.
Now, being apart of creation, you came forth into this time space realize to create! Now just take moment here to acknowledge this truth. You came here to create. In whatever way that looks like in the infinite and diverse variety of life and the multitude of things to do here on Earth. This statement stands true whether you are in a creative field like me or if you are in a 9-5 finance desk job. You have the ability to tap into your creative essence and merge that with you innate talents. When those combine together - you will have an unstoppable combination of ambition, drive and propose.
When you have purpose again, you are uplifted and inspired. Stay connected to your purpose. Which deep down is joyful and creative. Whether this means getting some paint out and letting yourself be like a little kid, getting all messy with paints or going to the beach and making a sand castle.... be diligent about reminding yourself of fun and creative things you can do. When you do this, your spirit will spark and you'll be alive one more. I promise you this as this is something I have experienced over and over again to overcome by depression.
Also - leave a comment below about how you can be more creative, share your creativity!