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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

How to Have a Stress Free Christmas

Sress Free Christmas

You may wonder why on earth I am writing about Christmas in November, but already the shops are streaming Christmas music, the shelves are full of gift ideas and, it seems, ‘tis already the season to be jolly.  If you don't start planning now, it will be too late to have a stress-free Christmas.  And we all know that Christmas can be a very stressful time. It’s the pressure of the family being together and everyone having unrealistic expectations. Many anticipate an idealised experience yet the reality can be more challenging.  It is a time to be realistic about what can be done to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone. Here are my tips to help you:

Planning is Key

Whatever you do, you need to plan Christmas well in advance to minimise the pressure.   This is where your time management and delegation skills are really useful.  Plan what to do and by when.  Just because this is the season of goodwill, doesn’t mean it all has to come from you!  Make it a team effort, in the spirit of goodwill.  Give everyone a job for the lead-up.  One person buys the groceries, another picks up the turkey, another organises the drinks, yet another arranges the tree, etc.  Make this the year that you teach people how to treat you – you are not the do-er of all things!  And, if you are one of those for whom Christmas just happens, do help out, you have no idea how hard it is to pull everything together alone.

Remember that a lot of things can be ordered on the internet – make the most of it and you save a lot of trudging around in the madness which is the Christmas crowds.

Avoiding Debt at Christmas

Budget how much you have to spend – and only what you can afford.  Christmas is about being with people you love, not about buying the most expensive present possible or having a table full to brimming with food which would feed the whole street.

Allocate how much of this budget can be spent on food and how much on presents.  Then allocate how much you will spend on each person.   Make a list of what you will buy each person and stick to it.  Sometimes the simplest presents are the best.  One of the nicest gifts I received were some hand-made biscuits beautifully packaged.   If funds are tight, consider making it a family rule that no present should exceed a nominal amount.  This can be really fun and will waken up those creative juices, avoid the family rivalry of who spent the most money and bring Christmas in line with what its really all about.

Now, make a food shopping list, and stick to it.  Many people waste a phenominal amount of food.  There’s no excuse to over-buy now as the shops are open almost every day so you can always pop out for extras.  And you don’t need every type of chocolate and every type of cheese and twelve deserts to choose from.  Moderation is key. It will help your waistline too!

The Good, The Family and the Ugly

For the actual day, delegate someone to keep the drinks topped up, another to make sure the CDs are changed regularly, a diplomat to defuse any arguments, a washing up team, someone to organise the party games and a kindly, patient soul to look after Great Uncle George.  In terms of organising the food, perhaps someone could bring a starter and someone else can bring the dessert.

You don’t have to be a hero – it’s your day too!  Involving everyone can really help develop a convivial family atmosphere if done in the right way.

High expectations often lead to disappointment and Christmas is renowned for family disputes.  Keep your Christmas sweet by being realistic about what to expect so that tiny spats don’t develop into full-blown rows.  If you see a row developing, use some diversionary tactics such as asking someone to help in the kitchen, or take the dog out for a walk or have a fun forfeit for each transgression of the peace.  The transgressor can then set the next forfeit so people know what to expect and it can be all part of the fun.

Perfect Balance

Allow yourself not to be perfect.  The most fun can be had by what goes wrong rather than what goes right.  Don’t take it all too seriously and you will enjoy it more.  Too many people suffer from sense of humour failure and this can really feed into family tensions.

Typically, we will see more of our family and more family members at Christmas than any other time of the year.  It can be pretty intense and it’s important to take some personal time out on your own.  Perhaps a leisurely bath, a walk, read a book, reflect on all the highlights of the  year.
Enjoy this season of goodwill by planning early for it.  Do you have any tips that can help others plan for their Christmas with more Merry and less stress?  Do share!

And may I take this opportunity of wishing you the best Christmas ever – it all starts now!

Warmest regards,
Tricia

PS  For gift ideas to help create positive change for the people you love, visit www.self-help-resources.co.uk.

© 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 0845 130 0854 www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

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.

Meditation – A Mirror Within a Mirror

When I was a child I accidentally discovered a way to contemplate infinity using only two mirrors, one handheld and one on the wall.

I was wondering what would happen if I looked at a mirror reflected in another mirror.  I played around and then suddenly there was a moment when an endless tunnel of reflected mirrors opened up, a window into infinity.

In my excitement, I took my father's tripod and mounted the handheld mirror onto it, trying to make it as still as possible to make the tunnel as deep as possible.

As the chain of reflections fused into a dark vanishing point in the "distance", I felt that this dark point was a piece of the same infinity that I saw when I looked at sky at night.

I repeated this experiment often.  It became one of the visual meditations that I loved then and still love to this day, like staring into an open fire, star gazing, watching the sun set, waves rolling onto the shore, snow flakes floating to the ground.

Later, when I started to meditate, I found the same sense of infinity behind closed eyelids in an inner space that deepened and expanded with time.

Go and explore this inner space in yourself, have glimpses of your own infinity!  Unlike the virtual space between facing mirrors, your inner space is full of life, light and spirit.

How do you go about this?  Find out here www.reiki-meditation.co.uk/meditationcourses.asp

About the Author

Michael Kaufmann is a Meditation Teacher, a Master & Teacher of Reiki Healing, a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Time Line Therapy™ and an Ericksonian Hypnotherapist with many years of clinical experience.  He has practices in the City of London and in Canterbury, Kent.  He can be reached via www.reiki-meditation.co.uk.

Substance Abuse, Addiction or Habit?

Substance Abuse by Tricia Woolfrey

Have you ever wondered whether you, or someone close to you is addicted to a substance, or if it’s just a bad habit?  Or perhaps that they abuse substances?  There is a lot of confusion between these terms which I would like to clarify in this article.

A habit is simply an automatic action, without any dependency.  It is something you do without thinking.  Like always having a biscuit with your tea, or brushing your teeth as soon as you get out of bed in the morning.  You do them automatically.

Addiction refers to being unable to stop a particular behaviour, despite repeated attempts to do so.  It is more a psychological dependency which can build a tolerance requiring more and more to get the same effect.  It is no longer about pleasure, it is about need as though the person can’t function without it.  The tolerance build up can fool the person into thinking they don’t have a problem, such as the heavy drinker who doesn’t get drunk.  This actually means that he has built up a tolerance which can hide the dangerous consequences for his health.  An addict will experience withdrawal symptoms – both psychological and physical which can be extremely unpleasant.

An addict will also be unable to stop, will exceed self-imposed limits (I’ll only have one), the behaviour will cut into the time they would usually spend doing other things and they will use despite the negative effect it has on their health.

An addiction can involve substances such as drugs (prescription or recreational), stimulants, cigarettes and alcohol. It can also include compulsive behaviours such as internet use, sex, gambling, shopping, or work.

Substance abuse, by contrast, involves getting into recurrent trouble as a consequence of the behaviour.  It is defined as one or more of the following over a 12 month period: reckless behaviour such as driving under the influence; the behaviour affecting work or school; continued use despite the impact on personal relationships; legal and/or financial problems as a result of the behaviour such as being charged with disorderly conduct, or going into debt to fund the behaviour.

A habit can easily lead to an addiction and addicts can kid themselves that it’s only a habit.  So, good questions to ask yourself are “is this habit positive and balanced?  Or is it negative and out of balance?”  “Can I stop now?” If it has become out of balance and you are unable to stop – it has become an addiction.  Addictions can also build up as a means of distracting from what else is happening in your life.  Distracting yourself is not a healthy way of coping so it’s important to build up your internal resources so that you are able to deal with life’s stressors without the need to resort to distractions.

It’s also important to beware that, in stopping one addiction, you don’t start a dependency on another addiction, for example moving from a dependency on alcohol to over-spending.  This becomes the doorway to start drinking again.  It’s always helpful to see a professional to deal with these complex issues.

If you would like to find out more about any of this, contact Tricia Woolfrey www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

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 0845 130 0854 www.pw-hypnotherapy.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.

Hypnotherapy for a Change

Hypnotherapy by Tricia Woolfrey

Creating change in your life can be difficult – habits can be ingrained for many years and it can seem easier to stay stuck than move forward.

In the hands of a skilled professional, hypnotherapy is great at overcoming those blocks to achieving change, making change easier.  However, it’s success depends on your motivation, which a good hypnotherapist will assess in your first session.  Hypnotherapy can’t force change on you but facilitate the change through you, so that you regain control over your life.  It doesn’t take away your free-will in any way.

Would it surprise you to know that hypnosis has been around for thousands of years?  It was also accepted by the British Medical Association in 1958.  Hypnotherapy, is a process not an event and the number of sessions you need will depend on the complexity of the problem and the degree to which you are reliant on the problem as a coping mechanism for other things.

Your choice of hypnotherapist is very important – find someone who is well trained and who has a lot of experience.   Finding someone who really understands psychology is a must too, as there can often be subtle nuances to behaviour which will affect the approach taken.  Don’t be afraid to ask for their qualifications and what continuous professional development they do – it’s important to have someone with a strong level of skill who is motivated to keep their skills up to date.  You also want to find someone who you feel comfortable with.

So, what IS hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis allows communication with your unconscious mind – that part of you which is constantly influencing your thoughts and behaviour –  to help you achieve your goals and overcome any obstacles and unconscious blocks.

It is an altered state of awareness called trance, and is something we experience naturally every day – like when you drive from A to B and don’t recall the journey, because your conscious mind has been thinking about other things, or when you are out for a whole evening and feel that you have only been out for short while, or even when you cry at a sad film.  All of these are natural hypnotic states.  During hypnosis, you are in control throughout..  It is not sleep.  It is not even relaxation, though most people feel relaxed when they are hypnotised.

Hypnotherapy  is creating this naturally occurring phenomena for therapeutic effect – that which is good for your emotional and physical wellbeing.

Whilst hypnotherapy is not a magic bullet, it does need your active collaboration. It is a very powerful tool to help you on your journey.

You are in control throughout

Hypnotherapy helps you achieve what you want for yourself.  You can’t be forced to do anything you don’t want to do or say anything you don’t want to say – you are in control throughout.

Almost everyone can be hypnotised

Anyone from the age of around 5 with at least a normal level of intelligence can be hypnotised – if you want to be.  You cannot be hypnotised against your will so feeling comfortable with your hypnotherapist is very, very important.  I like to give the first half hour of my session free of charge and no obligation – so that my client can be 100% sure – and this really helps their progress.

What does it feel like?

Everyone experiences it differently, but most people simply feel as though they have their eyes shut, and able to hear everything that goes on around them.  Nothing more than that.  Others feel a tremendous sense of relaxation, yet others feel tingly or numb, heavy or light.    Or all of the above.  Or none of them.  The secret is not to expect a particular experience, not to try to relax, simply allow it to happen in whichever way is right for you.

How is it different to stage hypnosis?

People often think that hypnotherapy will be a magic cure where someone can make them do anything without any effort on their part – just like the stage shows.  And sometimes it is.  However, the only similarity with a stage show is that they both use the state of hypnosis.  A stage show uses this state for entertainment.  All individuals who participate do so because they want to.  The engagement is momentary.  There is no emotional agenda involved – just fun.  With hypnotherapy, this can involve working on problems which have often existed for years, through layers of self-awareness, vulnerability, denial, and even resistance.  If there was no resistance, you would have resolved the problem on your own.  Working with your subconscious mind with hypnotherapy, it is easier to overcome these, developing new ways of being so that you can live the life you want.

What people say about hypnotherapy

Here are some typical comments people make to show you the different ways people respond:

  • “I got immediate results – I was very impressed!”
  • “I didn’t notice anything until friends and family started to say how much happier and calmer I seemed – then I realised I was!”
  • “I’m still not sure if I was hypnotised but I do know that I have achieved what I wanted to – so I guess I must have been”

If you are looking to make changes in your life, do try hypnotherapy.  It just makes change easier.  It helps you deal with stress, self-esteem, anxiety, depression and insomnia.  It’s also great for weight loss, smoking cessation and IBS.  If you have anything which stress makes worse, hypnotherapy can usually make better.

My clients regularly tell me that they gained far more than they came for as often other problems are resolved at the same time.  Hypnotherapy could be the best investment you ever make in yourself.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

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 0845 130 0854 www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

Stress and the Five Pillars

Stress Management by Tricia Woolfrey

Stress seems to be an ever-present force in many people’s lives.  If you are lucky, you will have long periods of positive stress interspersed with periods of enjoyable calm, punctuated by the odd bout of negative stress (nobody can avoid it altogether).  If you aren’t that lucky, you may be encouraged to learn that it is possible to manage your stress but first of all it is useful to understand more about it.

There are basically three levels of stress.  The first level is calm.  You’ve heard the expression “he is so laid back he’s horizontal”?  Well, you need a little stress to have sufficient adrenaline to function at your best.  You also need a little calm so that you recharge your batteries and create balance in your life.

The second level is eustress.  This is any stress which has a beneficial effect.  It provides feelings of fulfilment and achievement.  It is where you feel energised and focused and in your flow.  It gives you confidence and makes you feel empowered.  However, too much excitement can also be bad for you as it raises your adrenaline and heart rate too high.  So relaxation is important for balance.

The third level is negative stress and this is what can be harmful to your mood, your relationships, your productivity and your health.

The five pillars, below, are the ways you respond to or contribute to stress:  psychologically, emotionally, physically, spiritually and life-load.  They each interact with the other to influence your stress in one way or another:

THE FIVE PILLARS
PSYCHOLOGICAL   EMOTIONAL PHYSICAL  LIFESTYLE   SPIRITUAL
Your thoughts Your feelings Nutrition & biochemistry Life load Purpose & meaning
Your behavioural response to stress Your emotional response to stress Your physical response to stress How your lifestyle contributes to stress Your ability to transcend negative stress

Your thoughts create feelings – if you think a negative thought you feel bad, and if you think a positive thought you feel good.  Your feelings, in turn create a physical response.  How you treat your body can also create an emotional response (have you had the feeling when you are over-tired and become tearful or irritable?  Or too much coffee makes you anxious?).  Your life-load – how much you have to do – can leave you feeling exhausted.  And finally, if you lack purpose and meaning in life, your ability to deal with stress can be compromised.

When your thinking is positive, you feel emotionally strong; when you take care of your health you contribute to your emotional resilience; when you manage your life so there is a balance of doing and being, you feel a sense of equilibrium to rise above challenges; and when your life has purpose and meaning then you are more able to deal with life’s trials and tribulations.  This then gives you the five foundations:

THE FIVE FOUNDATIONS
Clarity ▪ Skills ▪ Confidence ▪ Health ▪ Energy

As an integrative therapist, I work on all these levels to help people develop their stress resilience, become healthier, happier and more confident. To find out more call me on 0345 130 0854.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

About Tricia Woolfrey

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

Contact:
tricia@yourempoweredself.co.uk
www.yourempoweredself.co.uk
0345 130 0854

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.