4 tips to relieve depression without medication

Depression is a terrible feeling or lack of feeling. It takes so much energy to manage, and the thought of trying to relieve it yourself, without medication is sometimes too much to handle. However, research shows antidepressants do not work for everyone and have negative side effects, so it is sometimes worth trying to relieve depression with lifestyle changes before starting medication.


A hypnotherapist will help you find the motivation to make the following lifestyle changes. They are not challenges you need to take on yourself. Hypnosis will give you the focus you need and the therapy the space to speak about your feelings. Your hypnotherapist will listen to you with an understanding ear and work with you, rather than expecting too much from you.

1. Walk in nature

Walking in nature helps most people feel more vital, alive and happier. Although depression is different to feeling sad, due to the numbness that comes with depression, generally there is a lack of happiness. Some people find walking with a companion holds them accountable. Friends are not always easy to come by in this busy society, especially if you want to walk during the day and everyone is out working so look for a local walking group where you’ll get to know people that might have a similar timetable to you, so you can walk alone together on days that the group don’t meet.

Finding the energy to get up and out of the house when you have symptoms of depression is a challenge for most. Use tactics to hold yourself accountable, and help you feel motivated. Rather than waiting to decide whether you want to go, based on a spontaneous observation of how you feel in the moment, commit to a time and a place in the days before.

If routine works for you walk in the same place at the same time every day. If this feels boring, use an app such as AllTrails to find some exciting new places to explore. Do this over a weekend and plan your walking week. Write the location and time in your diary. When you wake in the morning, you do not need to expend any energy on deciding what, where, how and when. You can simply look in your diary and follow the instructions.

2. Ask for help

Sometimes you’ll need someone to speak to and other times you’ll need someone to come and wash the dishes or cook you dinner. Ask the people around you how they can help you and their availability. Write a list of people in your support network, the things they have the capacity to help with and when they have time to help. This will stop you from asking too much from one person, or asking someone to do something they don’t have the energy for. Stick the list up somewhere you will see it regularly to remind yourself of the support you have around you and so it’s there quickly and easily in times of crisis.

On the same piece of paper, write crisis helpline numbers, such as The Samaritans for someone to talk to or text "SHOUT" on 85258 for text support. The key takeaway point from this tip is to ask for help. Many people feel uncomfortable doing so, however, humans evolved to work as groups, and this is how we thrive.

3. Eat nutritiously

I cannot emphasise how important nutrition is to your brain health. The human gut contains around 100 million nerve cells, one wonders why we say the brain is in our heads! The food you eat is a key player when it comes to mental health. Depression often affects appetite; you may go off food or eat too much. Without food you cannot survive and if you only eat just enough to survive it’s unlikely to leave you feeling well – mentally and physically.

If you overeat non-nutritious foods it’s like overfilling your car with murky puddle water. A nutritional therapist will help you understand what foods your body needs, most nutritional therapists will run checks to see if you have deficiencies which might contribute to your symptoms of depression.

4. Sleep well

When you sleep, your brain clears out the toxins from the day. Dr. Ellen Vora uses the analogy of dustcarts driving around emptying all the bins. If you don’t sleep, the dustcart cannot empty your bins. When you have symptoms of depression, you might find yourself sleeping too much or not at all. Neither is helpful.

If you find yourself sleeping too much, set an alarm and take yourself outside for 10 minutes during sunrise. This will help you reset your body clock each morning and give your body lots of beneficial blue light from the sun. Ensure you put in place healthy sleep habits, avoiding things like caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.

Eat nourishing foods so your body does not counteract a sugar crash with the stress response. Avoid screens and artificial lighting after sunset and have a regular bedtime that gives you the opportunity to get eight hours of sleep each night. A hypnotherapist will help you further if sleep is a struggle.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Farnham GU9 & GU10
Written by Juliet Hollingsworth, MSc
Farnham GU9 & GU10

Juliet is a trauma-informed therapist. Her passion is helping people reach their potential through a combination of hypnotherapy, psychotherapy and transpersonal psychology. Juliet works online and face to face with clients across the world. (DHP Clinical Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy. MSc Consciousness, Spirituality & Transpersonal psychology.)

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