It is an entirely natural thing to feel down as a human being. We may feel this way due to societal pressures to be “perfect,” our plans have failed, or life just below chunks of shit in our face.
Now, I suppose a disclaimer is in order before I proceed further. This blog post is not to forego professional help from experts, but to highlight my experience as a person who struggles with depression and a dissociative disorder. I highly recommend a good therapist if you are having a severely lousy time or even medication to get you out of the downward spiral. I have done these actions to make sure I survive these dark times.
The following will be a collection of natural ways I use to maintain my good mood and to help drag my ass out of a mood hole if needed.
I am not a fan of taking any modern medications for most anything. However, sometimes it’s necessary. If you are suicidal, an herbal remedy isn’t going to work fast enough to help. I also think that some people need to take these medications, and there is nothing wrong with this need. If you need it and it helps you, then do it.
The reason I don’t like it is that people tend to want to make us into meat robots. Personally, I think that being sad or mad or any other negative feeling is a bad thing. It is not wrong but just a natural response to stress. It just is more extreme in other people.
I am very into prevention of these bad phases that pop up. If I have to take medication, it is a bad time, but I realize that I am lucky enough to be able to stop them when I feel like I can handle myself properly again.
For me, the medications make me feel like I lose a part of myself, but it gives an “I don’t give a shit” platform to work through overwhelming issues. If overly worried or depressed about not being able to change the things about life that are undesirable it is hard to see reality. So, medication can help this fight tremendously.
Wow! That sounds perfect! Sure! In the short-term it indeed does, but to me, there is a downside. At least for me. The meds tend to conform you to “norms” and make you into the perfect meat-bot. I hate it after a few months, so I eventually I found natural options. However, please do what works for you!
Medication is very useful in working through your problems paired with counseling. Counseling helps you create coping methods when times are hard. Plus, there is nothing like getting shit off your chest. These people are like modern day priests. You go in and confess your “sins,” and they cannot tell people you love. Instead, they give you something to work on until the next session.
These people must be saints in there own way. If you think about the exchange of energy that goes on, you sit and tell them negative things that no one wants to hear, and they take money for it. This way no one can complain about you being a downer.
I have found a few great counselors. This person encouraged using the Tarot and mindfulness in order to help cope with my issues. With these coping mechanisms, I was able to notice that I have a cycle of feeling like garbage. Because I now know about the cycle, I can do something at those particular times to hopefully prevent anything from becoming blown out of proportion.
Hypnosis & Meditation
These two may be very similar, but there are some major differences. In hypnosis, you are a willing participant in the exercise, but in meditation, it is more about relaxing the mind so you are not worrying so much.
I have been to a ton of sessions in various hypnosis protocols, and I am secretly trained in these techniques. I say secretly because I do not have a practice. I do believe beyond a doubt that these exercises can help ease both depression and anxiety if the individual wishes to get rid of these issues.
In order to really work, the person needs to want to change the issue. If they do not these exercises will not work. There can be a secondary need an individual has that they do not wish to get rid of such as the person gets attention because of this condition.
Hypnosis is a relaxation exercise with an end goal in mind. This can be smoking cessation, weight loss, relieving anxiety, etc. You go into a deeply relaxed state, but do not think that you are not in charge! You are and you can wake yourself from this state. So, you are still in charge of you! This might be a big deal for those who like to stay slightly conscious of their actions.
Hypnosis and stage hypnosis are very different things. So, do not expect to be made to bark like a chicken or something similar. People have different tolerances when it comes to hypnosis to hypnotic inductions, so not everyone will be as easy to put into this state like others. Stage hypnotists can pick out who will be easiest to induce into a “trance.”
Specifically, mindfulness meditation can help you relax when you’re overly worried, or your brain is racing. At the same time, you are re-framing what you chose to focus on while your body is in a more reactive state. When you feel overly anxious, it seems to help calm your heart rate and control your breathing.
There are a ton of guided meditation apps that you can download to your phone, and there are YouTube videos as well. You don’t need to do it for an hour unless you want to, but I know that I am not great at doing anything like that. I wish I could, and ideally, I would.
I use plant allies daily to help me maintain my composure on a daily basis. Every morning, I consume a few types of herbals on a regular basis. Tulsi, Peppermint, and Ashwagandha are my main allies. These are what is known as adaptogens in herbalism.
Adaptogens are herbs that are useful in helping the body adapt to stressful situations. When it comes to herbals, there are several rules that you must follow. You must make sure that the product you are ingestion has the actual herb, not just filler, and all of these are from a reputable source.
I tend to think of herbs as a preventative measure. Some herbs cannot be taken in the long term. Eucalyptus is a good example because the plant can act as a neurotoxin when used in the long-term.
With all herbs, you should start out with the lowest dose possible to make sure you do not react adversely to them. Treat herbs as if they were medicine. They can interact with conventional medications. Balance is the key, and you don’t want to make your symptoms worse or get sick.
In addition to these herbs, I take a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar every day. Taking this helps boost my energy and helps with lower blood pressure. I notice a huge difference if I don’t drink it for a few days, but mostly to do with acne. ACV will help prevent breakouts.
For the love of all gods, please water it down before drinking it. It tastes pretty rank alone at first, but eventually, you end up liking it. I recommend getting Bragg’s apple cider vinegar. Its flavor is the best in my opinion, but either way, you want one that is organic and with the “mother.” You can also make a batch if you’re handy.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin D is helpful for your mood as well. Since we have moved more to indoor jobs, a lot of us do not get enough sun. Seasonal Affective Disorder often happens when the sun is at it’s weakest, and we don’t want to do anything other than lay under a blanket.
A physician performs a blood test to see if there is a deficiency. Preferably if you do need more Vitamin D in your life, you will go outside more or eat more leafy greens. However, if you’re like me, you just take a supplement in the form of a gummy.
Magnesium is also essential to our health as well. While it doesn’t seem like a deficiency in this mineral would effect anxiety on any level, it does help. Mostly, I just use a little every day in my deodorant, because it’s best when absorbed through the skin.
Diet and Exercise
Now, the bane of my existence, the sweet stuff. Sugar is the enemy of a good day from what I have found. I had a horrible addiction to candy after I quit smoking. So, not only was I eating sugar all the time, but most foods in the United States also contain sugar. So, while you cannot escape it entirely, it is possible to cut it out.
I started noticing a pattern. When I ate candy, I hated my life, and sometimes I would lash out at people. It was great, but not really. While I still eat sugar on occasion. I’ve noticed that I don’t react as extreme as before. I have done a ton of research on this, and it’s one of the worse things for your body.
Exercise is beneficial. Moving around and working with your body gets the blood flowing. The blood flows more efficiently throughout the body and also the brain. It is also more important to stay active, and not just exercise.
So, if you have a sit-down job, experts are saying that this can be just as deadly as eating lard each meal. Thus, it is super important for you to stretch and move around throughout the day.
Ideally, you should not be hurting yourself and be in constant pain. That’s bullshit. Do what you can do, and make sure it’s fun for you. Be active within your abilities. Garden, walk around the mall or swim. Do something you love, so you will always want to do it.
Depression and anxiety can feel like a person is fighting a dragon, and your job should you chose is to be your knight in shiny armor. You just need the shield and the sword to fight it off. Some battles are going to go better than others. That’s okay. It’s not a race, but a journey.