Being sad is not easy. Being diagnosed with depression is even worse. When I was first diagnosed in the fall of 2011, I was just an 18-year-old girl who started her first year in college. I was in my dream university far from home with a partial scholarship and dreams as big as those of others. I had nothing to be depressed about but I fell into it.
After suffering from feelings of loneliness, anxiety, helplessness, and a lot of isolation, I finally asked for help. It was only about 2 weeks after these feelings that I visited my school’s mental health office, but I didn’t know what I was getting into. Once I received my diagnosis, I accepted the fact that I had to start attending individual and group therapy sessions.
Having been in therapy for about 2 years, I knew that taking control of my mental health was not the finish line. I learned that depression is a lifelong battle and that, like addiction, relapse is always a possibility. For this reason, I have adopted four spiritual healing techniques to help me both in need and in my daily routine. You can try these for yourselves:
1. Using Amethyst healing gemstones:
It is a fairly recent technique that I tried. Having undergone a major surgery where three benign tumors were removed from my abdomen last January, the state of my physical health had a major pressure on my mental health. Two amethyst stones were given to me by my grandmother.
I started rubbing these two stones on each side of my head (respectfully) whenever I felt my anxiety settle in at home for a few minutes. Slowly but surely, they helped relieve the mental tension I was experiencing. I also have an amethyst bracelet that I wear.
2. Through aromatherapy:
Sometimes the most relaxing place is at home. Whether it’s a long day at work, or just the general comfort of being at home, being inside the four walls you call home is the best place to be. However, when you are dealing with mental health issues, they can sometimes make you feel even more lonely.
This is why aromatherapy was such a great therapy technique for me. Whenever I feel like my emotions are getting too strong and I’m at home, I alternate between burning incense sticks and lighting candles to ease my anxieties.
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3. Reading meditation books:
As a precaution, I like to read books and meditation articles that help guide me during my meditation practices.
Although I have electronic media to guide my meditation, I find that reading helps to present everything in a stronger light. It is also a way to reflect on mindfulness in your day if you have the schedule that allows you to read bits and pieces.
4. Eating mindfully:
Eating three meals a day is both important and recommended, but how often do we eat one of these meals interrupted by time constraints of the day or upcoming events? After realizing it, I adopted a conscious diet. I eat between 5 and 6 times a day and I proportion my meals in healthy and equal quantities each time. This gives me both something to expect and to be thankful for.
With a more balanced eating schedule, I am also able to enjoy each piece of my meal and practice mindfulness by doing this, both by scanning my body and examining my five senses while I eat my meal. In addition, I drink natural and organic teas.
While these techniques have helped maintain a healthy battle against depression, they are ultimately techniques that can be used by anyone to connect with their spiritual and mental health.