Mental Health – Taking a holistic approach

“If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become a truth for you.”
Louise Hay

Did you know that over 2 in 5 Australians aged between 16-85 have experienced a mental disorder at a point in their life. In this blog, we are discussing various holistic approaches you can take to support someone or heal your own mental health.

So, let’s start simple. What exactly is a holistic approach? This is simply using the w-h-o-le person when thinking about how to offer techniques. I know what you’re thinking, “do some meditation” or “keep a journal”. Well, yes, those ways do help, although let’s dive into other holistic approaches to get you started.

Aromatherapy

I believe it uses the largest sense of the body, the nose. “How does this relate to the mind?”. Well, your sense of smell directly links to your memories, good or bad.
Best oils to calm that busy mind:

  1. Cedarwood: Commonly used through meditative practices, it allows us to reconnect with ourselves, and release feelings of aggression and anger therefore promoting restful sleep.
  2. Chamomile: This promotes inner calm, reduces anxiety, and calms the nervous system.
  3. Rose: With sedatives and antidepressants and promoting calm aligns with releasing nervous tension and emotional crisis.
  4. Basil: This is of course a lesser-known herb that can assist in the calming of the mind, although it has beneficial properties that range from reducing anxiety, fatigue, mental strain, and depression.

The best ways to use these oils include in the shower, on your pillow before bed, wearing an essential oil bracelet that soaks up the oil for a long-lasting smell or placing directly on your pressure points (behind the ears, balls of feet and wrists).

Art Therapy

Now, this is a self-explanatory one. It simply puts to use your artistic flow. Whether this be through intuitive dancing, painting, drawing, or colouring. Art therapy allows you to focus on the art process instead of the final form and in doing that this practice allows you to:

  1. Make “mistakes” and turn it into something.
  2. Give a voice to experiences that are not easily expressed with words.
  3. Boots confidence to express.
  4. Provides you with a relaxing and calming environment to de-stress.
  5. Manage anxious behaviours.

This technique can be used for any ages, and the best part is you don’t have to be an artist to use this method. Using the creativity method of art therapy, it provides the body with a level of calmness and allows you to not become overstimulated like technology might.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or Tapping

This technique allows you to connect with the spiritual body and mind. This technique refers to allowing you to overcome challenges by changing the narrative in your mind, that little niggle of self-doubt or anxiety.

This is quite a process although the benefits are greatly founded. Here is a step by-step.

  1. Identify something that is making you sad or anxious.
  2. Create a statement that describes said something, and follow it with a phrase of self-acceptance. (e.g. Even though I’m anxious about my assignments, I accept that I am not perfect and it’s ok to not be perfect)
  3. Begin by tapping:
    – The edge of your palm.
    – Top of your head.
    – Top middle of eyebrows.
    – Top edge of one eye.
    – Top bottom of one eye.
    – Tap between your bridge between nose and lips.
    – Tap between lower lip and chin.
    – Tap beneath the collarbone.
    – Tap under the armpit (3-4 inches below).
  4. Once completed, assess how you feel (still operating in the flight or fight, still feeling anxious) don’t think it worked try again.

These are some holistic ways to heal the mind, body, and spirit. These ways may not benefit you or they might take what resonates. Mental health can be challenging although it is not impossible to overcome and find your inner strength. Never give up hope and determination that you can do difficult things in life. Stay true.