Why does it suddenly seem like everyone is depressed, anxious, and stressed out? If you look around carefully, you will see that a majority of people are crippled by depression.

Talk about mental health issues has become more common, and going to therapy means that one seriously cares about their mental and emotional health. Depression is not something that is being handed out to you and everyone else by the universe. It is something that occurs as part of another underlying condition. It might be work-related, or maybe you aren’t happy where you are in your life right now.

It might also feel like you are stuck in a dead-end with no way out. Before we plunge into the list of what steps you can take to treat your mild to moderate depression without medication, let us go through the most common symptoms of depression.

What are the most common symptoms of depression?

Suppose you experience all or more than 3 of the following symptoms each day or for more than a fortnight. In that case, you fall into the category of mild to moderately depressed people. Depression is accompanied by a depressed and easily irritable mood. You might also find someone sleeps too much or does not sleep at all. A massive change in interests and hobbies can be seen. For instance, the activities that were enjoyable once aren’t fun anymore. People going through depression also form a low self-image and develop low self-esteem. The energy level drops, and routine tasks like taking a shower seem like a massive problem. A decline in concentration span and appetite are also common indicators of depression. You might also develop the unhealthy habit of binge eating to distract yourself from negative thoughts. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts and think about self-harm, we recommend talking to a therapist right away. Lastly, severe anxiety and panic attacks are also part of depression.

Treating depression without medications

1)     Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The first non-medicated option that is typically recommended to people suffering from mild to moderate depression is cognitive-behavioral therapy. Also known as CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy includes you and a therapist with whom you can discuss what is depressing you. The therapist is a professional who helps you manage your stress by changing your thought and behavior patterns. CBT is considered useful as medication as a psychologist helps you understand how your negative thoughts impact your life. A good therapist will help you develop an excellent coping strategy to manage your stress and depression.

2)     Exercise & Eating Right

Both “E” words of exercising and eating right go hand-in-hand when treating depression without medication. Exercise is beneficial for treating depression. Numerous studies have proven that moderate-intensity and high-intensity exercise sessions can be useful when treating depression. You might have heard about the term “runners high.” Studies have proven that there is an actual release of chemicals that positively affects mood. When we refer to modern exercise, it indicates that as a result, new connections are made in the brain that is responsible for your mood. It is recommended to workout at least 30 minutes for 5 days a week. A brisk walk through the park might even kick-start those chemicals and make you feel instantly better.

Unfortunately, when one is depressed, exercising might be the last thing they want to do. However, you will feel differently after your first session and benefit from the positive effects of exercising on the brain. Let’s talk about eating right, the second “e” word. When we closely scrutinize our diet, especially in the United States, we notice that our diet is horrible. The things that we call food and consume daily, is sadly often garbage. If you step back and really analyze what we put in our bodies, you will see that 99% of it is processed food and chemicals. All those chemicals, additives, and preservatives are destroying our bodies. It wouldn’t be wrong to state that we are consuming edible drugs in the name of food. That said, you should reduce your caffeine intake and start consuming organic food. Consume more fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins.

3)     Getting enough sleep

In depression, sleep can be a struggle, but it is essential. A sure way to feed depression is sleeping late at night and waking up late the next day. Stay in the present instead of trying to solve your problems late at night. Simply put, it is essential to get those 7 to 8 hours of sleep for the effective functioning of your mind and body.

4)     Practice Mindfulness & Surround yourself with Positivity

Sit down and do a real brutal assessment of yourself and where you are at. Staying in the present is one thing, and practicing mindfulness is another. Cut yourself some slack and replace kindness with self-judgment. Surrounding yourself with positive people and influencers can work wonders when it comes to managing stress and anxiety. Instead of isolating yourself, surround yourself with friends and family who genuinely care about you. Stay away from those who are negative and damage your emotional and mental health.