For many people who suffer from depression, or stress or anxiety, the only way to find relief is by taking antidepressants. Sometimes they help, often they don't.
Here's five more effective but wholly natural ways you can use to help you lift the fog of a depressive episode.
1. Start and end each day in a positive way. Listen to upbeat music, and avoid reading or watching anything too heavy.
For example, starting the day by watching an hour- long news bulletin filled with images of war, crime and disasters is not a good way to brighten your mood.
Instead, turn off the TV and play some easy-listening music. 70's disco works for me, as does R & B. Beats watching war and violence over breakfast.
2. Take a daily 20-minute "time-out" from the firing line to rest. Turn off mobile phones and pagers, switch off the mind, relax and just enjoy the peace and quiet.
3. Accept change. Change is the one constant in life and refusing to accept change will be harmful.
Embrace changes and use them as an opportunity to grow.
And remember, change isn't what causes us problems, it's how we react to it. You can choose to react positively or negatively. Choose wisely.
4. Try not to assign single negative outcomes to problems. Single negative outcomes are rarely true and will trigger the fear response.
Generate multiple outcomes to problems and work towards more positive solutions.
Rarely will a single, negative outcome be true and if you take a step back and take your time to assign a meaning, you will generate more positive solutions.
5. Sometimes, it's hard to cope with life. During these times, the plate is already full. Don't pile the plate higher by making major, life-altering decisions.
Postpone changes at work, relationship commitments, house moves etc. until the plate is less full and control has been regained.