We all experience some form of depression in our lives.  Feeling down, sad, alone, and discouraged can happen to anyone.  However, it is when you are unable to overcome these feelings over time, or they continue to grow in strength that more intentional action needs to be taken.  Clinical depression is defined most directly by consistent feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.  The belief that nothing will ever get better and there is nothing that you can do to improve your situation.  That belief can often make it very difficult to overcome depression because we often lack the drive/desire to take the initial steps.

Depression can bring on a strong loss of interest in daily activities.  It can cause sleep changes, weight changes, a loss of energy, self-loathing, concentration problems, irritability and unexplained aches and pains.  Finally depression can bring on strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt.   These feelings, combined with feeling hopeless can lead some to contemplate taking their own lives.  For that reason, depression needs to be taken very seriously.  It needs to be treated in a very direct and effective matter.

For those that are not directly dealing with thoughts of suicide, an anti-depressant may not be the best place to start when it comes to overcoming depression.  In fact, the best natural anti-depressant you can start with is exercise.  If you are able to elevate your heart rate (cardio exercise) for 30-40 minutes a day, 4-5 times a week, you will likely feel a change in your level of depression. This is in large part due to the release of endorphins that your body has during exercise.  Studies have shown exercise to be a very effective treatment to clinical depression.

In addition, a healthy diet including plenty of fiber and protein is very helpful as well as a regulated sleep schedule (7-8 hours a night with no naps during the day).  Finally, there are many benefits to seeking cognitive behavioral counseling to help you overcome your feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or general lack of desire to get anything done.  If you would like more information on overcoming depression or would like to schedule an appointment to meet with either Nathan or Amy Oliver, please feel free to contact us at www.olivercounseling.com.