Everyone is unique. Some people experience symptoms of anxiety, perhaps feelings of panic and excess levels of fear. Some people are more inclined towards depression, or perhaps get a measure of both. Therefore it is important to apply a technique or a remedy specific to the individuals symptoms.
In my research and practice I have found the most effective way to maintain mental health is to use 2 or 3 techniques, some which work with the mind e.g. cognitive behavioural therapy, hypnotherapy, counselling, life coaching, meditation; and some which work with the chemistry of the body, e.g. herbal medicine, exercise, aromatherapy, massage and nutritional therapy.
Empowering Self-Help Techniques
Self-help can feel like hard work at the start, we can feel lost in our own fog of issues that create these mental health problems. But we have to take responsibility for own health if we want to have long term change in our life. I see it as a priority to help my clients find their way out of the fog with little changes in their lives which will add up to make big changes in how they feel inside.
These changes can be very small but very powerful, a good example would be using a few drops of a calming aromatherapy oil in the bath at night to help calm the mind, relax the body and aid sleep. Each change in our lives needs to suit our lifestyle. Taking up yoga an hour a day may not be possible, but a few minutes relaxing in a bath, or having a massage once a week may fit and therefore produce much better results than struggling to achieve a worthy but unobtainable change.
Mind-Apples for preventing Anxiety and Depression
mindapples.org came up with the idea that we could ‘eat’ 5 portions of good mental health a day – like our government recommendation for fruit and veg. My 5 a day would be:
1. taking at least 10 minutes a day to be alone and meditate, or practice self-hypnosis
2. drinking some herbal tea – see below for suggestions
3. enjoying a soak in a warm bath with my favourite essential oils
4. tending to the garden
5. smiling at a stranger everyday – spread the happiness
5 Herbs for Happiness
Lemon balm – a truly balancing herb, whether you are anxious or depressed this herb can bring back a sense of balance into your life and it tastes delicious as a herbal tea.
Valerian – a great sedative for anxiety and insomnia with no hangover effects
Chamomile – a safe remedy for children, it soothes them to sleep, has a reputation for preventing night terrors and helps relieve grumpy tantrums
Peppermint – traditionally known as a herb for grumpy old men (but if you hadn’t noticed women are grumpy sometimes too), it will work to settle an upset stomach too.
Skullcap – (a powerful herb now only available from a Medical Herbalist) for the overactive mind that can’t switch off, this herb can help those who don’t let go so easily from the troubles of the day, or just need a break from their own thoughts when times are tough.
Asking For Help
If you have been feeling a little lost in the fog – please do ask for help – it may seem like a big journey but all journeys start with just one small step. Get in touch with me or the other wonderful therapists at the Chamomile Clinic and we can get you started on the path to health and happiness.