Today’s post was written by a member of our AromaTools team based on her personal experiences.
Depression is something I never understood until I lived with someone who had it. I am a generally positive and optimistic person. My son has always been a “glass-half-empty” kind of guy. He would always come up with the pessimistic point of view. I have always known that we are polar opposites and just figured this was part of the difference in our personalities. As a teen though, his “pessimism” became concerning as he grew more and more despondent and withdrawn. My husband and I became increasingly worried about him as he further withdrew and talked about not wanting to live. He agreed to see our family physician. We thought our physician might refer us to a psychiatrist or therapist; instead, he encouraged me to take our son straight to the emergency room and get him admitted if I wanted to save his life. And so began my journey of coming to understand depression as best an outsider could. I’ve always believed you could choose your attitude––and to an extent that is true––but people who suffer from depression don’t always get to choose their attitude. Depression is a real thing. It is debilitating, and it hurts the individual who has it as well as those around them.
While working with my son, I have tried to learn more about depression and how I can be a better support. When I saw the new book Essentially Happy by Rebecca Linder Hintze with Stephanie Gunning, I thought that it would be a great resource for me.
This book aligns well with what our therapists and doctors have been telling us and also gave me additional information on how to better incorporate essential oils and better nutrition into the care of my son. In this book, Rebecca Hintze outlines 3 simple answers from Mother Nature for overcoming depression.
1. Happy Nutrition
2. Happy Lifestyle
3. Happy Relationships
The book gives a variety a great natural ideas for overcoming and working with depression. In each section, she goes deeper into how “happy” nutrition, lifestyle, and relationships can improve your life. She shares a variety of holistic remedies, including essential oils for helping various mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. She also includes a section on the emotional impact of essential oils. Her goal in this book is to “suggest tools and techniques to sustain and improve your mood no matter where you fall on the scale of happiness and depression.”
We already have seen first-hand how some of the ideas in this book can be beneficial. Our family doctor tells us that the most important medicine is what we put on the end of our fork. Hintze’s suggestions for “happy nutrition” support that idea, and she shares several ideas that could help decrease depression based on what you eat.
One of the ideas she talks about in the section on “happy lifestyle” is mindfulness. Mindfulness is a concept my son’s therapists have taught us to help us be more aware of how we are feeling and what we are thinking as well as being present in the moment. It has taken a lot of effort to try to be truly mindful as we navigate our new normal; but I find that when I take the time to be mindful, I am more at peace in the storm that surrounds me.
The last section of her book addresses “happy relationships.” Depression can put a real strain on relationships, but we need each other, and we need to not give up on those around us––whether we are the one struggling with depression or a loved one trying to support someone with depression. Our relationships are what matter the most. They are worth fighting for, and learning how to change our attitudes and perceptions to allow healing to begin is crucial for those relationships to grow. I have seen positive change in our family when I am willing to step back and try to be more open to a different way of thinking.
By improving our nutrition, lifestyle, and relationships, we each can be “Essentially Happy” and work towards overcoming the crippling effects of depression and living a happier life. If you or someone you know suffers from depression, this book may be a great resource for you as well.
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Spanish sage, also known as sage lavender (Salvia lavandulifolia), is steam distilled from the leaves and stems of the plant. It belongs to the Lamiaceae botanical family. The aroma is herbaceous and camphorous (with camphor as a primary chemical constituent), with a subtle lavender undertone.
Guaiacwood (Bulnesia sarmientoi)—pronounced GWHY-ack-wood—is steam distilled from the heartwood of the plant. It belongs to the Zygophyllaceae botanical family and is native to parts of South America. The aroma is woodsy with a subtle smoky-sweetness reminiscent of sandalwood. Its properties are...
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