Healing Emotional Pain – Natural Ways to Feel Happier
If you had a headache that refused to go away for weeks at a time, or if
you had a backache that would not heal, you would eventually go to the
So, when it’s emotional pain that is plaguing us, why do we do nothing for
so long? Why do we suffer the feelings of hopelessness or anxiety without
searching for some help?
It seems that once we are in a pit, it takes more effort than we can muster
to help ourselves get out of the hole we’re in and the vicious cycle of
emotional pain continues unchecked.
It’s called depression – or anxiety – or mood disorder. Whatever it’s
called, it does not have to be a life sentence. There are dozens of
pharmaceuticals out there that might help. Or, then again, they might not
and they could make your situation worse.
Why not try some natural ways to feel better before calling the doctor for a
prescription. It can only help you feel better. But, you need to find the
motivation to do something now!
In a survey by SELF Magazine in conjunction with Discovery Health and
Mental Health America, 53 percent of women say they’ve felt intense worry
for weeks - a sign of anxiety - and 54 percent say they’ve been
consistently sad or hopeless, hallmarks of depression.
Yet only 35 percent have received an official diagnosis of anxiety or
depression. It takes, on average, six years for people to get treated for
Let me repeat – you need to do something now! Don’t wait!
Look, I’m a moody person and I watch my moods cycle from high to low
every few weeks. Usually, at a low point, it’s some type of disagreement
that pushes me over the edge for a day. But, when I’m way down, I
always know that by tomorrow I’ll feel better.
If this is not the case for you and you remain in that really low place for
days, weeks, or months, here are some ideas to help you rebound to a
healthy state of mind.
Phone a Friend
Lifelines are not just for game shows! Talking to a friend on a daily basis
is good for your state of mind. If a friend is not around, get out in public.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a funk and I wanted to stay
that way. But, I talk to some cashier at a store and I feel better. Why
does it work? Because I’m embarrassed to have a complete stranger see
me in such a state of mind. Even the few seconds that I interact with
someone else in public helps “break the spell” of despair.
But remember, a friend is the best thing for your long-term mental health.
Find someone who cares and can be honest with you - and you with them.
Then, trust them enough to share what’s going on with you. It’s scary
sometimes but that’s what friends are for.
One of my favorite quotes is, "It is one of the blessings of old friends
that you can afford to be stupid with them." -Ralph Waldo Emerson-
Fish oils with omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most popular supplements
on the market today and for good reason. Among other things, it can
improve your mood. Take 2 or 3 capsules per day.
(Hint: be sure they are enteric coated)
In addition, don’t live on junk. It’s been said that you are what you eat.
If you eat junk you will feel like junk. Trust me, fruit and veggies really do
(Another Hint: don’t tell anyone I said this, but chocolate really does make
you feel good. Caffeine too. But, remember moderation and don’t make
dessert your main course.)
If you are into supplements, you should also try GABA. It’s a mood
elevator but the effects are very mild. I take one capsule every night at
bedtime for a better night’s sleep.
Get Your Beauty Rest
It’s not just beauty rest - it’s happy rest! Getting a full 8 hours of sleep is
one of the best things you can do for your emotional health.
A study at the Univ of North Texas found that people with insomnia are
5 times more likely to suffer from depression than those who are well
rested. That’s a substantial statistic that you should take to heart.
To insure quality sleep, try to keep your room as dark as possible. If you
get up during the night, avoid any bright light as it stops your natural
melatonin production. If you are over 40, consider a time-released
If there is a lot of background noise like traffic or barking dogs, try running
a fan at night to create some “white noise” to blank out anything that
might disturb your sleep.
Sunshine For Your Soul
It has long been known that a lack of bright light can lead to depression.
During the long nights of the arctic winter, depression is a common
problem. So, the prescription is to get some bright light every day.
Another benefit of getting out in the sunshine is that sun on your skin
produces vitamin D which boosts your immune system and improves your
mood. But, if you can’t get outside, open the shades and turn up the
indoor lights. It really helps.
It’s a fact – if you sit around for too long, you lose motivation and your
mood suffers. On the other hand, if you get moving, you will fell better.
Get some light exercise every day. Even if it’s just walking around the yard
or the grocery store. You need to get moving!
And, if you actually get a little aerobic activity or some weight lifting into the
mix a few times each week, that’s even better. Much better. You see,
exercise causes the brain to release dopamine - a chemical that makes you
feel good. Very good!
Activity is essential for both your physical health and your mental health.
Am I saying just the opposite of “get busy”? Well… maybe.
While you do need exercise every day, you also need some down time too.
The problem is that most people think “down time” means staring at the
TV or reading a book.
I’m talking about taking some quiet time everyday to close your eyes and
be still. Prayer is far more than therapeutic. It brings life to your soul and
heals emotional pain.
If prayer is not your thing, try some simple meditation or 10 minutes of
deep breathing exercises. Turn off the TV for 10 to 20 minutes and
connect your soul and spirit.
There was a good line in the newest Karate Kid movie –
“Being still and doing nothing are two very different things”.
I hope I quoted that right but you get the point (I hope).
If you suffer from anxiety, talk to God about it every day. Even if you
don't understand what the anxiety is all about. Don't worry, He already
knows your issues - it's for your benefit that you need to talk it through.
As long as I’m quoting stuff, I think this verse is excellent advice –
“Be still and know that I am God”.
Life changing stuff. Try it!
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