So many people silently struggle with their mental health and sharing that struggle can be seen as taboo. It is important to take the stigma out of the struggle and acknowledge the good, bad and the ugly. There are many ways to proceed with your personal healing journey. If you are looking for a holistic route (addressing the mind, body, and spirit) to mental health continue reading for some simple techniques!
Depression and anxiety have been weaved into my life since I was a young child. The feelings of hopelessness and unworthiness pervaded my day-to-day existence. Some days I could not stop weeping. Some days was apathetic to the world around me. Some days I felt rage inside me that I could not control. Even when I was happy it was such a fragile state that was easily shattered.
I was officially diagnosed with depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder as an early teen. I was put on medications for depression and anxiety by my psychiatrist. Those meds made me feel like a zombie and caused a litany of side effects that led me to be put on more medication. By the age of 13 I was taking over 10 different pills a day. In my early 20’s I was tired of taking these pills that hurt my body and numbed my mind. I was desperate for a more natural alternative.
My journey to holistic mental health was a series of baby steps. I started by lightly exercising and incorporating fresh foods in to my diet. I did a bit of research online and purchased a few herbal remedies to elevate my mood and ease my physical symptoms (This is why I am a big fan of doing herbal consults, because I was absolutely clueless!) Changes did not happen overnight for me but with dedication to my health, I lived depression and anxiety free for years.
In the rest of this post I would like to highlight a few things that I did to help my mental health. I hope that you find these useful and informative on your journey as well!
Meditation & Mindfulness
I have heard the phase, “Depressed people obsess over the past and anxious people obsess over the future.” I have found this to be true and letting the mind wander too far from the present moment can cause conflicted feelings. Nothing exists except for the moment you are currently in.
When my mind wanders, I silently remind myself what I am doing. I am writing this blog post. I assess how my body feels. I straighten my posture, feel the smooth keys under my fingers, and feel the light breeze across my skin. I lengthen my inhales and smooth out my exhales. I notice how the air feels as in enters in through my nose, expanding my chest, and the warmth of the exhale.
I view meditation as mindfulness practice. I often hear people say that they are bad at meditating, but there is no such thing! Some days I have to call myself back to center hundreds of times and it is still a successful meditation. Taking the time every day to just be is vital!
I grew up on a very midwestern diet of meat and potatoes. If I ate a fruit or vegetable it was usually from a can. I learned fairly quickly that if I ate unhealthy foods it caused my body to be in pain. I knew if I wanted to eat fresh and nutritious foods that I would have to learn how to cook. Being able to cook a meal from scratch full of high quality meats and vegetables is a very rewarding feeling for me!
Did you know that 80% of your body’s serotonin is produced my healthy bacteria in your digestive system? To learn more about the important role of nutritional and digestive health and it’s role on depression, I would highly suggest reading articles by Dr. Perlmutter.
Move your Body
Keeping your body active and moving will help keep qi flowing freely throughout the body. I suggest finding a hobby or activity that you enjoy that way exercise won’t seem like work. Even better if it involves being outside! Here are a few suggestions:
- Nature hikes
- Tai chi / qi gong
If you are struggling with your mental health I encourage you to seek assistance. You are not alone. There are people and professionals that are passionate about offering assistance to others with mental health issues.
If you are seeking a holistic route to treating your mental health, please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have! We offer many modalities to assist with mental health.
- Herbal consultations
- Nutritional consultations
- Auricular therapy
- Medical massage
If you are suicidal and need immediate assistance, please contact the Suicide Help Lifeline.
These feelings are not forever and you deserve to feel free, whole, and loved. <3