A staggering 70% of people on earth report that they are unhappy, suffering and battling depression and struggling with their mental health. People all over the world are unsatisfied with their living conditions, uncomfortable in their own skin, miserable at their jobs, unhappy in their realationships, family life etc, suffering from things like PTSD or other mental illnesses, eating disorders and addictions resulting in vicious mental health cycles. It is time we change our approach on the way we think about, the way we approach and the way we cope and deal with depression. There are many different kinds and causes of depressions. There are people that deal with seasonal depression from lack of sunlight, lack of exercise, excessive screen time, depression due to grief, loss or trauma, stress, and depression caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. When taking the initiative to treat depression, it’s important to narrow down the causes to better fit a treatment plan. There are many different natural treatments and resolutions to depression, although drugs and medications seem to be a modern reliable way to numb the mind and stabilize the emotions, they will only work to “numb” us of the unresolved pain, emotions, and bad habits we’ve been holding onto. Until we take the initiative to recognize the imbalances in our life, dedicate to the changes and truly heal, our mind will shut down and remain a cold shell and downward spiral because we failed to recognize and treat the root causes of our unhappiness.
According to Healthline.com, A chemical imbalance in the brain, which is the main cause of depression is said to occur when there’s too little of certain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, in the brain. Neurotransmitters are natural chemicals that help facilitate communication between your nerve cells. Examples include norepinephrine and serotonin which is the happy boosting chemicals of your brain. It’s often said that mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. The hypothesis is sometimes called the chemical imbalance hypothesis or chemical imbalance theory. If you’re wondering if the symptoms you’re having are caused by a chemical imbalance, it’s important to know that there’s quite a bit of controversy surrounding this theory. In fact, it’s been largely refuted by the medical community. Researchers argue that the chemical imbalance hypothesis is more of a figure of speech. It doesn’t really capture the true complexity of these disorders. In other words, mental disorders aren’t simply caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. There’s a lot more to them.
Researchers hypothesized that lower-than-normal levels of neurotransmitters can lead to symptoms such as:
feelings of sadness, helplessness, worthlessness, or emptiness
overeating or loss of appetite
insomnia or sleeping too much
a feeling of impending doom or danger
lack of energy
distancing yourself from others
feeling numbness or lacking empathy
extreme mood swings
inability to concentrate
thoughts of hurting yourself or others
being unable to carry out day-to-day activities,
hearing voices in your head,
alcohol or drug abuse
As you can see in the diagram above there is less neural activity in the depressed brain. So, what’s going on? Why is this happening? Depression is the routine activation of certain brain circuits, which we all have, in specific patterns that result in depressive symptoms in a person. This can be a result in many for many different reasons, if you are a victim of trauma or any other type of experience that may have thrown off the wavelengths in your brain I encourage you to seek some sort of professional therapy or counseling. Find somebody you can trust that you can talk to so that you can process your experiences and move on to better serve you in your path to healing. Positive, genuine support is essential for your mental health. So is developing healthy habits and coping mechanisms to keep your brain stimulated and regulate your neurotransmitters or happy hormones. In the following paragraph I’m going to include a few realistic, helpful and healthy techniques, coping skills and activities which can aid your mental health by increasing levels of neurotransmitters and the happy chemicals in your brain.
Find some type of hobby that best suits your interests and needs in expressing your emotions. I enjoy practicing daily journaling and free writing exercises allowing my thoughts to flow and analyzing my strengths and weaknesses throughout the process. Journaling is a great way to let things out and truly explore the mind and get to know and connect with your self better. The practice can go as deep and intimate as you would like and you do not have to share with anyone, or you could start a blog, relate and connect with others like you. You never know, you might save some one’s life by opening up and being honest writing about the challenges you have been facing. Another hobby I truly enjoy that has helped me so much on my path to wellness is arts 🎭 & crafts. There are SO many different types of activities such as painting which is a great emotional outlet, pottery which can have positive calming effects on the mind, even knitting has been known to ease the mind. You can start with just a pen and paper, or you can find your local hobby lobby and gather some supplies and invite your friends and family to join you. The possibilities are endless.
Keeping the brain active is just as important for your mental health as staying physically active. At least a few hours a day of exercise can help increase those neurotransmitters or endorphins in your brain in charge of regulating your mood and elevating your happiness and brain function. Activities like attending a local yoga or dance studio near you, working out, lifting weights, playing a sport of your choice, going on a run or even just taking a walk can make a positive difference in your mental health. It is healthy to work off those suppressed emotions and stress in our daily lives. If you are suffering from anxiety or can’t afford to join a local gym, try exploring some exercise, yoga or dance videos online to get you started but I do recumbent getting active and involved in your communities for best results. If you are lacking energy try introducing more fruits and vegetables in your diet instead of meat, carbs, grains and sweets. A cleaner diet can help clear your mind and give you that boost you need to function better.
There are many different herbal remedies for depression a few of my favorites are Ginkgo Bilopa and Kava which can be sold at your local vitamin shoppe or GNC. Chamomile tea is another one of my go to’s when I’m feeling down. Another wonderful remedy for depression is the use of essential oils. I love the smell of lavender which really helps relax me and ease my mind. The use of different herbal supplements, teas and essential oils are great stress relievers by naturally easing the mind and regulating your happy hormones unlike sugar and coffee which can cause you to crash later on, they are completely safe and effective ways to combat depression.
You are never alone. Even if it feels like you are too far gone to ever turn things around, that is never the truth. Remember these few tips and please know that you are so capable of great things and worthy of love and happiness. If you are struggling with your mental health please feel free to reach out to me with any questions comments or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org I am here for you, I believe in you and I hope these simple tips can help.