By L.J. Devon

Depression comes in many forms and is experienced differently from one individual to the next. Depression can be caused by spiritual, mental, or emotional factors and can be exacerbated by specific experiences. It can be of biological origin, of nutrient deficiency or even hormone changes. Modern psychiatry treats depression as a serotonin deficiency. The common “anti-depressant” drugs (SSRIs) attempt to change how the brain uses serotonin, but this singular mode manipulation often leads to more serious consequences. Serotonin levels are only an indicator, just a symptom. The root problems of depression often go ignored.

Here are 15 tips to break the stronghold of depression, whatever form it manifests.

Perform hard physical labour and get a deep, restful sleep

Some of the most depressed individuals also have some of the most comfortable lives. Never before in history have humans been able to access information at the touch of a screen, communicate with other people in seconds, eat out, and travel. But even with all these conveniences, people are depressed more than ever before. This is because we do not appreciate what we have. Sometimes the body needs to endure hard, physical labour in order to appreciate again. This also lets the body get a deep restful sleep that resets the mind.

Get a healthy perspective

If your depression seems to hinge on your life situation, remember that people throughout history had to survive much tougher situations than you and they are the reason why you are here today. Be thankful.

Get out of an abusive relationship

It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.

Eat fermented foods to fortify your microbiome

There are species of bacteria that are designed to live symbiotically within the human gut to protect the blood and the blood-brain barrier from incoming toxic threats. Fermented foods help establish the diversity and strength of the human microbiome. Apple cider vinegar with the mother enzymes combined with prebiotic-rich raw honey is a great tonic to take daily to re-establish healthy gut bacteria. Probiotics are a key ingredient to your inner resilience.

Stop taking antibiotics

These drugs indiscriminately deplete the body of both infectious bacteria and the beneficial co-hosts that make up the all-important microbiome. Researchers are now calling the microbiome the “third brain” because of the bacteria’s role in protecting the brain and maintaining homeostasis of important brain chemistry.

Limit glyphosate

Like antibiotics, glyphosate interrupts the life cycle of commensal bacteria species in the gut. If the microbiome is continuously assaulted, the mind and body go unprotected and are more readily influenced by toxic elements that are sure to enter the body.

Protect your hormones

A hormonal shift can be the baseline factor for your mood swings, low libido, or depression. There are numerous endocrine disrupting chemicals assaulting the body on a daily basis. Limit your exposure to plastics, herbicides, and cosmetic chemicals. Consume a raw root like Siberian ginseng (male) or dong quai (female) to assist the body’s ability to maintain hormonal homeostasis. Fenugreek seeds and chaste berries also produce a hormone-balancing effect.

Vitamin D activates happiness

Vitamin D is naturally produced within the skin after you are exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D strengthens human immunity and activates happiness in the brain. Most people are vitamin D deficient, so a good Vitamin D supplement could change your outlook and erase pessimistic, depressing thoughts.

Revitalise the mind with minerals, macronutrients and good fats

The minerals that are missing from depleted, over-farmed soils are essential for the mind to function. Selenium, chromium, magnesium, zinc, and all the B vitamins are important for a strong mind. A healthy brain also requires healthy fats, so omega-3s are important, too.

Get into nature and breathe deeply

The cadence of our modern lifestyle is often hurried and stressful. Our bodies have learned to breathe shallowly and therefore we are starved of oxygen. Taking time out to deep-breathe is therefore essential for clearing the mind. Likewise, getting out in nature can change your outlook for the day.

Listen to music

Music therapy is now being used in nursing homes to lift the spirits of elders. Music can excite old memories and experiences. The frequencies of music have a noticeable effect on the mind.

Eat natural substances that strengthen the nervous system

CBDs from cannabis strengthen the nervous system. Rhodiola, passionflower, and skullcap herbs all fight depression where it counts. Oat straw and lavender tea is calming. St. Johns Wort herb is a safer mood elevating intervention than SSRIs.

Support network

A support network with common spiritual ties is a key component for long term happiness. This can be found in a marriage, in raising a family, or could come from church groups or other spiritual gatherings. Showing empathy and compassion for one another is vital in any community if the feelings are real and genuine.

Think flexibly and take charge of your emotions

Don’t let other people’s words upset you or define you. You are in control of your emotions. Don’t let a doctor pin you with a condition or a psychiatric diagnosis label. You are responsible for your reactions in any situation. Even emotions such as anger or sadness can be used as motivation to change a situation for the better. If the situation cannot be changed, don’t dwell on it, forgive, and let go. Sometimes darkness can show us the light.

Above all else, stop claiming depression. Stop feeding it sympathy.