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mental health| Terezia Farkas | Lets Talk | Depression Help | Beliefnet

 

There’s an exciting new trend in mental health. People with lived experience of mental health are driving research and charities. This is great news for mental health. It’s also great for the person, because it improve the sense of self. It empowers someone who feels powerless from depression, anxiety, PTSD, or trauma. People with lived experience are also being given mental health supports so that they can carry their emotional burdens while helping others.

Training encourages people to use their lived experience to help others.

Mental health peer support workers often have first hand knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. This knowledge is gold for charities and researchers. But not everyone with lived experience is at the same level of emotional health. Everyone heals at different rates. People are at different levels of emotionally healing.

Mental health charities realize this. They use a model that recognizes the different levels of emotional health. So emotional support mechanisms for people suffering mental health issues like depression, anxiety, PTS, and trauma are built into the charity. Self help groups, getting participants to run their own meetings, and holding regular meetings to get feedback are also tools used.

People are eager to offer suggestions based on their lived experience.

People with depression and other mental health issues are eager to share their lived experience. They want to help others. They want to reassure others, usually with the truth that “things will get better.” Advice is usually about self care, getting help, relationships with mental health professionals, and keeping up social contacts.

People with lived experience want others to see them as real people. They want others to see depression and anxiety as a human experience, not just as a disease. This helps break stigma by putting a human face on depression. As people with lived experience often say, your life is long, and depression is just one part of it.

It’s the exam, the job interview, or the dinner with the new in-laws. Whenever you are stressed, your breathing becomes shallow and hard, and your chest constricts. A deep breathing exercise can relax your chest muscle and return breathing to a normal pace.

Breathing and stress.

Breathing is especially impacted by stress. Lung tissue is fragile. It’s thin like tissue paper. Air expands the lung, filling it with oxygen, which is then picked up by the blood vessels around your lungs. These vessels carry oxygen to the rest of your body.

Normally, your lungs fill up with air and then deflate as oxygen is downloaded. The more stressed you get, the quicker your lungs inflate and deflate. If stress goes on for a while, the lungs hyperventilate. This means they are deflating faster than they are filling up with air. Your body isn’t getting enough oxygen and you might feel faint or black out.

Your diaphragm helps push the air out of your lungs, but your chest muscles also help lungs move. Chest muscles expand and contract the ribcage. Your chest muscle automatically contracts when you get tense. Your diaphragm pushes up, squeezing air out of your lungs. You feel that familiar “tightening of the chest”. 

Gentle stretching and deep breathing relaxes chest muscle. But your lungs also need to de-stress. Deep breathing exercises help expand your lungs. As your lungs expand, more oxygen gets into your body. Fresh, oxygenated blood is pumped throughout your system, helping to relax tense muscles and get your breathing back to normal.

Breathing exercise

Having a good breathing exercise in your depression tool kit can help you fall asleep, soothe aching muscles, and get you into meditation faster. Learning a simple breathing exercise can be handy when you’re in a tense, stressful situation such as exams, a job interview, or dinner with the in laws.

Deep breathing exercise

  • Stretch the rib cage and spine (overhead arm stretches, side to side, clasp hands in back and lift to fully open the chest area)
  • Inhale through the nose (count of 3)-this allows the air to be filtered, moistened, and warmed.
  • Breath slowly and in a relaxed manner – allow complete exhalation (exhale count of 4)
  • Practice breathing exercises in several positions – for varied air distribution.

Upper chest breathing:  Concentrate on filling the upper chest area with your breath. Place your hands on the chest area to focus on this particular area.

Abdominal breathing:  Concentrate on filling the lower lungs with your breath and observe the abdomen rise and fall. Place your hands there to confirm expansion.

Lateral chest breathing:  Concentrate on expanding your lower ribs with each breath. Place your hands on each side to help focus your attention to this area.

* The deep breathing exercise taken from Aromatherapy – A Lifetime Guide to Healing with Essential Oils by Valerie Gennari Cooksley (1996)

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SAD Kit| seasonal affective disorder | Terezia Farkas | depression help | Beliefnet

Its autumn and daylight hours are getting shorter. Time to get your SAD Kit ready. What’s that? You don’t know what’s a SAD kit? Well, let me first explain SAD.

SAD

SAD is seasonal affective disorder. When seasons change, there’s a distinct shift in weather, temperature, and how much sunlight there is in a day. Researchers know that the amount of daylight available affects people’s mood. Not enough daylight and you can feel gloomy and become depressed. But genetics can also play a key role in determining if you will get SAD or not. Women are more likely to experience SAD. Adults are at higher risk for SAD than kids. The further north you live, the more likely you are to experience SAD.

Most people think SAD affects you the same way whether its fall or spring. But fall/winter SAD is different from spring/summer SAD.

Fall SAD symptoms usually are:

  • oversleeping
  • changes in appetite with an increased craving for sugars (like chocolates)
  • weight gain
  • tiredness or low energy

Spring SAD symptoms are:

  • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • poor appetite
  • weight loss
  • agitation or anxiety

Getting your Fall SAD Kit ready

A SAD kit contains everything, or almost everything, you will need to feel better. It’s an emergency kit that’s ready for use when you feel most vulnerable. It won’t contain everything you’ll use, but it will have enough things so that when you’re sluggish and depressed, all you have to do is reach for the kit. Make sure you keep the kit close at hand, or somewhere you know you’ll likely use it. I prefer by the head of my bed, so I can reach for it if I don’t feel like getting out of bed.

Most items of the SAD kit can fit into a bag. Find a nice, big tote bag. Decorate the outside with sparkles and bright colours if you are creative. Your SAD kit will contain gadgets and ideas to help you cope with depression, low energy, and problems sleeping. These items need to be things that make you feel good. So if you pack in a box of chocolates, don’t feel guilty! Chocolates are great emotion boosters so if you need one during fall, include it in your kit.

Some suggested SAD kit items:

  • A fragrance diffuser with your favourite essential oil.
  • A fragrant candle.
  • A light therapy lamp. It might not fit into your bag, but you can place the lamp where you will use it. 10 minutes of light therapy can improve your mood.
  • Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. Vitamin D is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because your body makes it by absorbing sunshine. When these Vitamins are low, mood is depressed.
  • Dark chocolate that’s rich in cocoa content. It’s not enough to just have any Hershey bar or tub of chocolate ice cream. The chocolate needs to have high cocoa content. High cocoa content gives your body an antioxidant boost, which is good for your body and improves mood.
  • Snuggly warm slippers. Warm feet can be just the comfort you need.
  • Skin moisturizer. During fall, skin becomes dry. Dry skin can cause irritability, which combined with your already low emotional state, will only make you feel worse. Moisturize with day and night cream.
  • Thermal temperature bag. Get one of those easy to warm up bags, which you can heat up in the microwave. You can feel better from a cozy warm bag heating your body.
  • Mini ipod loaded with your favourite music, or inspirational Native American flute, spiritual, or soothing nature sounds.
  • Bath bombs.
  • Wellness balms. Apply a dab on your temples, pulse points, and any aching spots.
  • Sage or rosemary twigs.

These are just some suggestions. Its up to you what you fill your SAD kit with. The important thing is to get one ready for when you need it.

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flower essence and essential oil | Terezia Farkas | depression help | Beliefnet

 

What’s the difference between flower essence and essential oil?

Flower essences and essential oils complement each other in the healing the human soul. But the way these two work is very different.

Flower essences heal the aura fields around the body and soul. Sometimes the word etheric is used instead of aura when talking about the energy surrounding a human soul and body. Etheric bio-fields regulate the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical functions of a person. Thus flower essences help balance and regulate the energy vibrations of the etheric fields.

Essential oils react with the body through the senses, mainly the olfactory system. From the nasal passages, scent is carried in chemical packages to various parts of the brain. Memories can be stimulated by different scent. That’s why some scents, like freshly baked cookies, can elicit childhood memories.

The difference is what part of the plant is used.

Essential oils have distinct aromas, and as mentioned above, they work on the olfactory sense to heal. Essential oils are highly concentrated chemicals. Most essential oils use the natural chemicals that are found in different parts of plant material, like the roots, seeds, bark, or flowers. To make an essential oil, you need to steam distill large amounts of plant material. Sometimes, man-made chemicals are added to essential oils to enhance the smell. These artificial chemicals are specially designed to affect certain parts of the brain. The purer the essential oil is, the more expensive it is.

You cannot ingest an essential oil because it is highly poisonous or can burn. To use an essential oil on your skin, you first have to dilute the oil in what’s called a carrier oil such as olive oil.

Flower essences use only the flower part of the plant. Only small quantities are needed and the process of creating a flower essence is gentle. The vibrational energy of the flower is what’s important. The most common way to get that out, is to put the flower in a bowl of water that’s placed in direct sunlight. 

Flower essences are safe and gentle to use on the body. They can be ingested, although some are harmful to pregnant women and pets. You can squeeze a few drops of flower essence directly on your tongue and be safe.

Flower essences affect the different etheric bio-fields of the body. A flower’s resonance energy responds to and interacts with the vibrational energy of a person. This subtly removes negativity from different auric fields and restores balance and harmony to the body, mind, and soul. In order for a flower essence to have full healing potential, the correct flower must be matched with what the person is experiencing spiritually, emotionally, or physically. This is especially important when it comes to distinguishing between depression and anxiety, as both have similar characteristics.

Flower essences and essential oils – it’s your choice.

Flower essences and essential oils are great healing alternatives for depression and anxiety. They are safe and easy to use. It’s your choice which one you prefer to use. You might want to use both at different times of the day. Positive energy and happy healing to you!

Visit me on Twitter  @tereziafarkas

Visit my website http://www.tereziafarkas.com

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