When you’re feeling down, it can really impact your daily activities and the overall quality of your life. Fortunately, you may not have to resort to filling your body with unnecessary medications that have the potential of causing their own risks and side effects. Following are four ways that you can help to alleviate your depression without resorting to the use of prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Exercise

If you’ve ever felt or even hear of the “runner’s high”, then you may already understand how exercise can help mood. During moderate to rigorous exercise, the body produces neurotransmitters and endorphins that help you feel good. Even the meditative movements of yoga can be relaxing and mood-lifting. As noted by Harvard Health Publications, just one workout session may not be a magic bullet. Exercise must be done on a regular basis in order to create the desired effect.

Light

Certain light sources increase serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters that is affected through the use of prescription antidepressants. Getting outside in natural sunlight, especially in the morning hours, can increase serotonin levels naturally. Additionally, sunlight helps your body to produce Vitamin D, which can also enhance your mood. If you live in an area where it is difficult to get enough sunlight, you may want to invest in a light therapy box.

Counseling

Sometimes it can help just to talk to someone. Professionals with a master’s in counseling can use a range of therapeutic techniques that are designed to help you to overcome negative moods and certain struggles. You can learn new life coping skills to get you through when your moods get low. If you like people, counseling others can go a long way to improving your own mood. It can really give you a boost to help others. Just make sure that you get the education and training that you need to be an effective counselor.

Self-Expression

There are many forms of self-expression, known as the healing arts, that can improve your mood while giving you the opportunity to be creative. Art therapy, music therapy, movement therapy, and photography therapy. By using your senses, you may be better able to express and cope with your feelings and moods. When these activities are performed in groups, you gain the benefit of getting out around others who share similar interests.

As you can see, you do not necessarily need to resort to the use of medications to help ease your symptoms of depression. There are many natural ways to help enhance your mood.

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