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10 Tips for Depression

depression
Depression is classified as a mental health problem. Personally, I don’t like this label because it stigmatises something that one in four people will experience in any one year.  Also, depression is such a wide issue.  It can mean that you are feeling low, or you have Seasonal Effective Disorder, or Post-Natal Depression, and it could mean that you have Bipolar disorder.

But depression can come from a variety of sources: your thinking (negativity); boredom (apathy); from stress (overwhelm); from sensitivity to life issues and can also have a biological cause – not enough serotonin will be enough to create a depressive phase.

Here are 10 tips to help you get yourself back into feeling good:

  1. Research shows that doing something nice for someone else lifts your mood.  It doesn’t have to be a big thing either.  Sometimes just opening a door for someone, letting someone go in front of you in a queue, or even a smile to a stranger, can be enough to lift you.  Kindness is one of those things that gives you something when you give it away.
  2. Exercise is brilliant for changing your mood.  It creates endorphins (brain chemicals which help you feel happy).  And you can do anything from Zumba, to running, to tennis.  The list is endless and exercising outside has an even more positive effect.
  3. Do things you really enjoy – or used to enjoy before you became depressed.  Do it even though you don’t feel like it.  It may seem a lot of effort up front but it can change your state quite quickly.  Once you start, it’s easier to carry on.
  4. Practice positive thinking.  The nature of your thinking can have a huge impact on mood.  If you feel bad, your thinking is almost definitely going to be negative.  By focusing on different things or changing how you view things, you can have an incredibly positive effect on how you feel.  Think Positive, Feel Good has a simple framework which shows you how to do this.  
  5. Plan your day around a comfortable routine.  When you are feeling low, it is all too easy to stay in bed.  This doesn’t make you feel better, it just disconnects you from the world.  So your routine should include things like taking a shower, doing some chores, taking a walk, calling a friend, listening to some feel-good music, finishing off a project.  Make sure that your tasks are realistic and reward yourself when you have achieved something.
  6. Make a list of your positive qualities and achievements.  Depression detaches you from these so write them down and read them often.  If you are struggling to come up with anything, think about what someone else would say your best traits and achievements are.  If you want a different perspective on this, watch the film 'It’s a Wonderful Life'.
  7. Make a list of all the things you’re grateful for.  Again, depression can cause you to lose sight of what is good in your life and fool you into thinking that only bad things happen.  Look at this list daily and whenever you need a boost.
  8. Avoid nicotine, alcohol and caffeine as these deplete your body of nutrients which can have a negative effect on your mood.  Alcohol is particularly bad because it is a depressant.  Before you wean yourself off these, find a new coping strategy to replace them.  EFT is brilliant for this.  Here is a video to demonstrate EFT or call me if you want some coaching on it (see below for contact details).
  9. Eliminate wheat from your diet. There is research to suggest that wheat is linked to depression.  Consider eliminating it from your diet for a month to see what difference it makes to you.  Instead, eat foods which boost your mood.  For more information on this, read this article about mood boosting food.
  10. Talk to someone.  A sympathetic friend (who doesn’t keep you stuck), The Samaritans or a compassionate professional can all help you to get back to your happy self.

If you are suffering from depression, and would like some support, why not have a free initial telephone consultation?  Call Tricia Woolfrey on 0345 130 0854.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2015

Symptoms and Causes of Depression

Symptoms and Causes of Depression

 

This week is Depression Awareness Week.

Depression feels like a hopeless place that you are trapped in.  It can feel as though the life has been sucked out of you.  Whether you are able to hide your depression from the outside world or not, you can’t hide it from yourself and, if not dealt with soon, can get worse as each day passes.

There are a number of symptoms which are used to diagnose depression.  If you have five or more on this list and at least one from the top two for two weeks, it is a sign that you may be depressed:

  1. Depressed mood most of the time
  2. Loss of pleasure or interest in things you would normally enjoy
  3. Loss of energy
  4. Eating more or less than usual
  5. Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  6. Poor concentration
  7. Restlessness or lethargy
  8. Feelings of worthlessness
  9. Guilt
  10. Hopelessness
  11. Withdrawal from relationships
  12. Suicidal thoughts

If you are suffering from suicidal thoughts or the symptoms are strong, you need to get medical help immediately.  Otherwise, there is plenty you can do to help yourself.  Depression can be caused by several factors:

  • Your thoughts (which create feelings).  If you are stuck in a negative thinking spiral then practicing positive thinking, as explained in the book Think Positive, Feel Good can make a huge difference to you.
  • Biochemical – this is the effect of what’s happening in your body.  Depression can be caused by malnutrition, absorption issues (where you are eating well but your body is not absorbing the nutrients effectively),  hormonal imbalance and a lack of the feel good chemicals such as serotonin.  The Asyra Pro is a bioresonence screening technology which can help to determine where there is imbalance and create balance for you.  A session will include a nutritional assessment to see what your body needs to get back into balance.
  • Lifestyle – depression can be triggered by an incident or a general feeling of overwhelm where you simply don’t feel in control any more.  It is often a result of other emotions which aren’t addressed such as anger, sadness, boredom,  guilt,  loneliness, stress and frustration.  When you acknowledge and deal with these emotions in a positive way, depression can be averted or diminished.  If you feel this may be you, why not book a consultation to see what can be done to help you?  An initial telephone consultation is free of charge and I can be reached on 0845 130 0854.
  • Spiritual – sometimes depression can be caused by a lack of purpose or meaning in your life.  If you feel that life is just the same-old-same-old, or that there is something missing, then finding some meaning can make all the difference.  This can be difficult to do on your own, especially if you are depressed, but there are tools and techniques in my book 21 Ways and 21 Days to the Life You Want.  Or working together may help you get there more quickly.

It certainly doesn’t help to have a loved one say “pull yourself together”.  But it can help to see a professional who can determine the cause and help you through it so you can start to enjoy life again.  Do call for a free telephone consultation on 0345 130 0854.  You don’t have to go through this alone.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2013

Tricia Woolfrey is an integrative therapist, an advanced clinical hypnotherapist, master practitioner in NLP, nutritionist and author, and utilises bioenergetics to help you be the best you can be.  She has practices in Surrey and Harley Street, London.  She can be reached on 0345 130 0854 www.yourempoweredself.co.uk.

Food Intolerance and Food Allergies

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE A FOOD INTOLERANCE OR A FOOD ALLERGY?

Food Intolerances by Tricia Woolfrey

There is a lot of confusion about what a food intolerance is as opposed to a food allergy.

A food intolerance is a reaction in the digestive system, producing such symptoms as:

fatigue, bloating, energy dips, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, indigestion, water retention, difficulty losing weight, lack of concentration, poor memory, poor motivation, lack of clarity, depression, flatulence, belching, runny nose, catarrh, excessive mucus in the throat and sinus area, hay fever, eczema, asthma, chest infections, cravings, thrush, nail infections, verrucas, warts, skin rashes, PMT, moods, headaches, hyperactivity, palpitations, panic, raised blood pressure, insomnia, nausea

A food allergy, on the other hand, is caused by the immune system, rather than the digestive system and can lead to anaphylactic shock.  It can also be caused by bee stings and medication.  The reaction can be immediate, severe, and life threatening.  Common symptoms can be hives, swollen tongue or lips and/or fainting.   Even a trace amount can have this affect.  Common allergens are shellfish, eggs, milk and peanuts.  If you have a food allergy, it is likely that your doctor will prescribe an Exipen for emergency self-treatment.

Other than that, both conditions are usually treated in a similar manner – cutting out the offending item.  With a food intolerance, it may be possible to have small amounts of the offending food but, in developing a protocol for you, it would first of all be important to strengthen your digestive system so that you can tolerate a wide variety of foods in moderation.  I believe that the reason we have a lot of wheat intolerances is because it is all too-easy to have wheat as a main component of every meal and we are simply overloading our systems.

The cause of food intolerances can be varied from poor enzyme function, affecting your ability to digest food effectively, Celiac Disease (where a person is unable to digest gluten), food additives such as dyes, or sulfites in wine and canned goods, and stress.

If you think you may have a food intolerance, why not book a test.  With the Asyra Pro we can not only check which foods you are intolerant to but also check out your gastro-intestinal system to see if there are any weaknesses which need to be dealt with.  To book an appointment call 0845 130 0854.  For more information visit www.yourhealthuk.com or www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.   Remote food intolerance tests can also be conducted.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

About Tricia Woolfrey

Tricia Woolfrey is an integrative therapist, an advanced clinical hypnotherapist, master practitioner in NLP, nutritionist, practitioner of food intolerance and allergy testing and author.  She has practices in Surrey and Harley Street, London.  She can be reached on 0845 130 0854 www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

10 Steps to Boosting Your Seratonin Naturally

Seratonin and Depression by Tricia Woolfrey
Feeling good is your birthright.  But it isn’t always easy when there is so much doom and gloom in the media, so many demands placed upon you and with little time to think about your wellbeing.  We can all feel a little low sometimes, but if you are feeling low more than seems natural, you may be low in serotonin.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter – a chemical messenger in the body communicating signals between neurons and cells – and is good for:

  • Mood stability
  • Self-esteem
  • Impulse-control
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Promoting restful sleep
  • Pain control
  • Overcoming negativity
  • Feelings of wellbeing

There are numerous things you can do to boost serotonin.  Some people do this synthetically through anti-depressants but these don’t always work and you can become addicted to them.  Or you can do this naturally with the following healthy tips:

  1. Eat protein with each meal
  2. Have a small jacket potato (with the skin) before you go to bed – it’s OK to have a little butter with it too. (Read Potatoes, Not Prozac for more information on this).
  3. Reduce serotonin leaches such as wheat and rye bread.
  4. Enjoy some sunlight every day (even if it is a grey day, you can benefit from the sun’s rays).
  5. Practice positive thinking.  It’s good to start your day with a positive focus too – what you are looking forward to in your day for example.  Read Think Positive, Feel Good for excellent help in this area.
  6. Moderate aerobic exercise (too much can have the opposite effect).  Exercise such as aerobics, running and cycling are particularly good.  If you aren’t in the mood for exercise, it could be a sign of low serotonin.
  7. Regular massages feel good and promote positive serotonin.
  8. Manage your stress levels.  EFT is an excellent way of doing this.  See www.self-help-resources EFT Demo.
  9. Look at a supplement regime with a qualified nutritionist – preferably using the Asyra Pro which, in itself, can boost your serotonin levels.  
  10. Eat the following serotonin-boosting foods: 

     

    Vegetables

    Spirulina seaweed
    Spinach
    Soybeans
    Parsley
    Asparagus
    Mung Beans
    Greens
    Bamboo shoots
    Mushrooms (white or portabello)
    Red leaf lettuce
    Soy Sauce
    Tofu
    Nigari

    *****

    Fish and Seafoods

    Prawns
    Lobster
    Crab
    Crayfish
    Cod
    Tuna
    Dover Sole
    Mussels
    Snapper
    Salmon

    *
       

    Fruit

    Plantain
    Pineapple
    Banana
    Kiwi
    Plums

     

    Meat

    Pork
    Game
    Lamb
    Beef
    Veal
    Duck
    Turkey
    Chicken

    *
       

    Seeds

    Sesame seeds
    Sunflower seeds

     

    Dairy

    Fat free cottage cheese
    Mozarella cheese from skimmed milk
    Low fat cheddar cheese
    Skimmed milk

     

If you follow this 10-step plan, you should find that you enjoy a more positive mood, better sleep a greater sense of wellbeing without the negative side effects of anti-depressants.  You know it makes sense.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

Tricia Woolfrey
tricia@pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk
www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk
0845 130 0854

About Tricia Woolfrey

Tricia Woolfrey is a hypnotherapist, coach and wellness practitioner with practices in Byfleet Village, Surrey and Harley Street London.