If you suffer from, or are concerned that you might suffer from severe depression then you should speak to your doctor immediately. Depression is a very serious problem facing this country and the world in general, and in some cases medication may be necessary to help you find balance in your life. After speaking to your doctor, he or she may have some alternative and more natural methods of coping with your emotions.

1.) Sunlight Is Your Friend

As much as you might feel like pulling the blankets over your head and staying inside for weeks at a time, getting out into the fresh air and sunshine can be a huge help when you're feeling blue. Sunshine helps trigger natural endorphins which send happy signals to your brain, much the same way as exercise, chocolate, and sex do. If you're feeling down and out, a walk in the park might be just the thing. If you can't bring yourself to go anywhere too social, sit out on your deck or in the front yard with a book and soak up some sun. If the sun isn't out in your area, try a tanning bed.

2.) Sleep More, Worry Less

Sleep plays a HUGE role in how you feel about yourself and your surroundings, and when your body doesn't get enough of it there can be some serious repercussions. Depression can be caused by sleep deprivation, and for many people it may go unrealized. Try to get yourself into a more regular sleeping pattern by setting a bedtime and wakeup time that you can stick to. Don't eat before bed, or do anything too strenuous prior to sleeping that might keep you up or stimulate your brain.

3.) Find An Outlet

Find somewhere to pour out those sad feelings; for some this can be found through meditation, yoga, or other motivators of Zen. For others speaking to a therapist, counselor, or even a friend can help get all of the bad feelings and negativity out of your system. Everybody is different so you will have to try a few different things to find one that works for you, but don't give up if it takes some time.

4.) Stay Healthy

This might sound obvious but many people completely give up on regular exercise and nutrition when they begin feeling depressed. What you eat or don't eat can greatly affect the mood that you're in, and many studies have shown amazing results for those who work out in relation to happiness.

5.) Find Natural Relief

Finally, if you find yourself struggling but aren't ready to turn to medication yet, there are some natural remedies, such as vitamin D which has been shown to affect depression. St. John's Wart has also shown positive results in trials with people who have reported symptoms of depression to their physicians. For others, acupuncture has become the alternative to traditional healing methods. If you want more information on any of these practices, or additional methods of curing your symptoms speak to a medical professional before attempting to change your schedule in any dramatic way.