This time of year we all can get a little depressed.
Depression is not just in your head. It is a chemical imbalance and nervous dysfunction caused by stress, bad diets, negative self image, mismanagement of emotions, and many other things. People with depression are often told to cheer up, that it’s all in their head. When in reality they can’t, without help anyway. The many anti-depressants work to alleviate the symptoms of depression but they do not treat the cause. The main link found is the overstimulation of nerves through stimulant use (coffee), daily stress, and overproduction of adrenal gland hormones. Once the nerves have reached their limit they slow or depress their processes, thus depression develops. It is a process that begins in your head, but it is real, not imagined. What I mean by bad diets is the fact that most of us eat what is fast and easy which means processed and synthetic. The more “fake” foods we eat the more these chemicals affect our body and mind. We weren’t made to consume chemicals, we evolved to consume the natural nutrients from the Earth. Also our negative image and negative thoughts fill our bodies with excesses of naturally occurring chemicals that greatly alter normal nervous function. Our body will normally find ways to achieve balance but it will not be able to keep up if you don’t consciously make a change.
So how do we relieve depression while avoiding the zombifying anti-depressant drugs? I mean they work to control depressive symptoms by altering normal chemical function in the body. Thus restricting brain activity, thought processes, and the resulting bodily reactions. Many people on the medications have told me that they feel very little when they are taking them. I’m not saying you should stop taking the drugs, that can be much more detrimental. I’m saying there are ways to reduce or eliminate your need for the drugs, over time and through conscious effort.
First of all you must address your stress. If you can’t reduce your stress find ways to handle it more effectively. This must be the first step in alleviating almost all mental and physical illnesses. Like I recommended before try deep breathing, yoga, or meditation. These are simple and effective.
Next, you must consider why you are feeling this way, what is it in life that makes you feel depressed. You must take an active role in understanding yourself and your feelings. Gaining an understanding of yourself on the inside will help you understand what is going on, both on the inside and the outside. I know this sounds difficult, but it’s really not. Just take some time for yourself to listen to your body. Five small minutes a day of thinking about yourself and feeling your body will produce great results in gaining control of your mental and physical health.
Then, try some anti-depressive herbal remedies to assist you in your effort. Sweet orange and peppermint essential oils are highly uplifting and stimulating and can be used regularly without side effects. Now many will tell you to take St. John’s Wort as a natural anti-depressant but in reality it is not. It is actually a nerve stimulant and can have detrimental effects, especially when taken every day. Excess St. John’s Wort will cause liver damage and kidney failure. Jasmine, Rose, and Geranium essential oils are very effective anti-depressants for women because they work with the natural hormonal functions. Their chemical compounds work in conjunction with the cells to alleviate depressive symptoms. Jasmine can be very effective for treating male depression as well. Jasmine is an amazing essential oil that can reduce infertility in both men and women, increase libido, reduce depression, and stimulate happy feelings. This can be achieved by one drop of a 7.5% dilution of Jasmine essential oil on your wrist, once or twice a day. You should NOT use any higher of a dilution of Jasmine oil because it is so highly concentrated that it can cause uncomfortable side effects. It is not poisonous but your body will rid itself of the excess oil by excreting it out of your nose and ears; a dark orange-yellow, sticky fluid will run out. The same goes for Rose essential oils.
If you don’t happen to like these aromas there are many, many others. The best thing to do is purchase a sampler pack of essential oils online, they usually provide the most commonly purchased oils. I recommend PlantTherapy.com, they have the widest selection of environmentally conscious essential oils. Mountain Rose Herbs is also a very good environmentally conscious source for oils and herbs. Then try a few blends on your own by mixing a couple of drops of a few different oils onto a diffuser or oil warmer. Making your blend assists you in your own treatment and allows you to create what you like without someone else telling you what you should use.
I simply make suggestions here according to my own personal experiences. Just please remember that all essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts and and should never be used full strength. They must always be diluted in a carrier oil like those cold pressed vegetable oils I recommended in previous discussions, or even the homemade lotion I described. This rule is no different than following dosing instructions on any medication bottle. You never, ever take more than it says to without risking overdose. Just remember that essential oils are more like the chemical compounds found within your body so they work better than man made chemicals.
Another helpful practice to alleviating depression and stress is to take fifteen minutes a day, alone, and listen to your favorite music with headphones. You shouldn’t do this while you are driving because you need to focus on the road. Turn the music to a volume that will drown out the rest of the world and listen with all of your attention. This will help you to clear your mind and alleviate stressful thoughts for a bit. Now many people say that the best music is instrumental or classical but I believe that the music that you love and that moves you – makes you feel good, makes your body move, or makes your heart pound – is the best.
Part of being successful at treating your ailments is knowing yourself and knowing what works for you, not listening to what other people say will work for you. Everyone is different and one practice that works for someone else probably will not work for you. You need to try many different things until you find what will work for you. I’m not saying that any of this will be easy, because making lifestyle changes are never easy. But if you want to live healthier and happier, not just longer, then you will have to work to make it happen. This goes for dieting as well. You can’t eat crap and sprinkle something on it, or swallow a pill with it, and expect to come out healthier. You have to eat and live healthy to be healthy. Why would you want to take a short cut with your life?