Depression affects many people at some point in their lives. While science and medical research have developed medications to treat depression, their side effects are sometimes worse than the depression itself. Consider these four natural techniques for addressing depression so that you can start to feel like yourself again.

Go Outside

Going outside and getting some sunshine could be just what you need in order to relieve feelings of depression. Your body will be able to make vitamin D with some exposure to the sun. Your body needs the vitamin D for strong bones, muscle health and a balanced mood. The fresh air, a nice view of nature and the sounds of the birds could all help to boost your mood. Begin by going in your backyard or sitting on your front porch and reading a book or sipping a cup of coffee or tea. Try visiting a local park. Take a weekend trip that is just a short drive away, or go camping and commune with nature.

Try Muscle Testing to Release Trapped Emotions

When your emotions are stuck, energy cannot flow properly through your body. Trapped emotions can wreak havoc on your brain, resulting in persistent feelings of depression, sadness or loneliness. Try an energy healing course to release trapped emotions. Muscle testing can be done in a comfortable room or even in your own home. With muscle testing, you will be asked to move your body in different ways and think about the issue or emotion that is troubling you. You might feel a wave of energy pass through the affected muscle once your body is finally ready to let go of the problem. After a successful muscle testing session, you should feel less stressed and more like yourself again.

Perform Moderate to Intense Exercise

When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins. These are natural chemicals that boost your mood without altering your brain. Perform moderate to intense exercise on a regular basis. If possible, try to exercise at a moderate intensity every day. When exercising moderately, you should be sweating but not panting. With vigorous exercise, you may not be able to say more than a few words because of the intensity of your workout. Change up your workout routines. If you go jogging one day, try an indoor rock climbing wall the next. You could also alternate aerobic exercise such as swimming or hiking with a strengthening exercise such as weight lifting or resistance training.

Spend Time with Animals

Spending time with animals, like cats or dogs, can help to calm your spirit. As you pet a cat, it may begin to purr. The purring is not only calming to the cat itself, but it is also calming to your mind. If you do not have your own cat, visit a cat shelter and spend some time volunteering in their shy cat’s room. The cats will become more comfortable with the presence of a person. If you prefer more action, take a dog for a walk to a dog park. Bring a stick, ball, or flying disc and play with the dog for a while. You could volunteer to walk dogs at the dog shelter or foster dogs until they are adopted or ready to go to the shelter to find a new home.

Each of these techniques for boosting your mood is natural and has no side effects. You may also benefit from moving your body, getting out of the house and connecting with others who also enjoy the great outdoors or spending time with pets. You could try one or all of these natural anti-depressants to see which methods work the best for your situation.