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Alternative Treatment Therapies for Stress and Depression

Alternative Treatment Therapies for Stress and Depression

It is projected that 40 million American adults suffer from some form of anxiety problem — that’s just under 20 percent of the population. It’s an alarming statistic, but perhaps more concerning is the fact that many who have an anxiety disorder do not seek treatment out of fear, shame, or because they’ve had a negative treatment experience in the past. Traditional therapeutic approaches sometimes do not meet the needs of patients who require treatment, leaving many to look for alternative methods. Some of these may seem offbeat or even radical, but the essential goal remains the same: to get better with few or no side effects.

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation therapy teaches patients with anxiety or depression to focus their thoughts and feelings away from negative concerns using a variety of techniques. Meditation therapy relaxes the body and the mind by focusing on breathing, which lowers the blood pressure, reduces stressful feelings, and helps eliminate panic attacks. Breathing therapy pulls more oxygen into the body, which relieves tension and improves your sense of well-being.

Supplement Therapy

The ability of herbal supplements to alleviate anxiety and depression is also under study by scientists, though researchers have discovered positive links between the use of specific herbs and the reduction of some anxiety symptoms. Some of the more common supplement remedies involve vitamin B-12, which can affect the central nervous system, and chamomile, which has a soothing effect on people suffering from symptoms of anxiety. Supplements such as inositol and valerian can also reduce feelings of anxiety. CBD (cannabidiol) is a chemical found in hemp that has a number of medical benefits, including pain relief and the ability to reduce inflammation in the brain. Keep in mind that you should always consult with a physician before taking herbal supplements.


Yoga is a meditative discipline that seeks to develop a healthy connection between mind and body through a series of poses. In addition to reducing depression and anxiety, yoga improves flexibility and alleviates joint pain. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, yoga is one of the top 10 alternatives for treating a range of mental disorders. It’s an especially popular alternative to more commonplace methods because learning to relax through yoga can help in other aspects of daily life.


Acupuncture is another possible treatment, but it can be a hard sell for people who have a problem with needles, even though it is a centuries-old Chinese discipline known to be effective at treating depression and anxiety as well as many physical ailments. Thin, sharp needles are inserted into the patient’s upper skin layers at points of the body associated with specific organs. Acupuncture’s effectiveness continues to be a source of scientific study, including its ability to engage the body’s natural painkilling chemicals.

Art Therapy

Creative pursuits such as dance, drama, music, and the visual arts help patients become mindful of their feelings through self-expression. The art you create provides a means of creating art that helps you better understand yourself and your responses to external stimuli.


People struggling with anxiety or depression sometimes respond positively to spending time in nature on a regular basis. This method may include taking long walks in the woods, growing your own food in the backyard, or spending time around animals.

With 40 million Americans suffering from anxiety or depression, there’s currently a great need for successful treatment therapies, whether they’re considered traditional or alternative. It’s worth considering that more people might seek help if so-called “alternative” therapeutic approaches were more readily available to them.


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Use Your Imagination

Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.
– Jamie Paolinetti

Take Control

Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now. – Denis Waitley

take controlI got nothing tonight. It was open house and I wasted 3 hours of my life and only had 2 parents show up. I’m going to bed because bed is where I belong.  Before I do, I’m going to talk a bit about the fact that we all need to take control.

This is your life, and I get that there are lots of outside influences pushing you here, and pulling you there.  Take control, and block out those outside influences as much as you can.  You can’t change the past, you can’t predict the future.  You can only control the now.

So take control of your life.  Own your past mistakes and learn from them.  Set goals and reach for them, and live your life they way you want!

Do What You Think You Can’t

Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t. – Rikki Rogers

I love this idea; do what you think you can’t.  I know it sounds crazy, but think about it.  If we only did what we thought we could, there would be do what you think you can'tnothing new in the world. Seriously, think about it.  How many times in life have you said “I can’t,” only to turn around and do exactly what you said you couldn’t?

Granted there are some things that you just can’t do, but that’s not what this is about.  I’m never going to be able to flap my arms and take flight, that’s impossible. That’s okay, there are air planes for that.  This is about those things that are hard, but not impossible.  If I went to the gym right now, and tried to bench press 100 pounds, I couldn’t do it, but it’s something I can work towards and build up to.  I could slowly increase the amount of weight over time and before you know it, I could be bench pressing that 100 pounds with no problem.  Do what you think you can’t.  Take the time and invest in yourself and try.

Here’s the thing, life isn’t easy.  I know a lot of people who believe in the Law of Attraction say that when you’re in the right vibration, life is effortless. I don’t necessarily believe that.  Life can be easy, but it can also be messy and hard and you have to find a way to get through it.  You have to do what you think you can’t.  Believe in yourself, even when you think it’s impossible, and try.  You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish.

It’s About Effort

It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs.  – Jillian Michaels

It’s funny, or maybe it’s ironic that today it’s all about effort, when today, I actually thought about throwing in the towel. Yep, I am giving serious thought to being done with all the positive thoughts, the website, the twitter – all of it.  Why? Because it’s hard work, and I don’t feel like it’s doing it's about effortmuch of anything for anybody, except for stressing me out for posting so late at night!

But guess what?  Life isn’t always easy. In fact it’s hard work at times.  It’s hard work most of the time. Life is about work and it’s about effort. What it’s not about, or what it shouldn’t be about is validation from others. Nor should it be about what’s easiest.  It’s great when things are easy, but what’s more important is not giving up when it gets hard.

That being said, sometimes there are choices to be made, and if it’s about effort, it’s also about deciding how to prioritize and focus your effort.  You’re only human, and so am I and sometimes of effort may have to be directed elsewhere, and that’s where I am right now.  It’s all about effort, and trying your best, and I’m going to do my best to focus on what I have to get done, and direct my effort where it is needed.  And I’m reminding myself that I’m not perfect and I’m not super mom/super teacher/super blogger.  Until I get myself unburied from the roadblock that life dumped on me (not in front of me) I’ll to my best to post every day, and on the days I’m super late, or don’t post at all, I’m going to forgive myself.

It Happens For You

You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events. – Joel Osteen

I through a huge pity party for myself today. The why isn’t important. What is important is that instead of feeling sorry for myself, I should have been it happens for youthinking of this quote.  One shift in thought, and it’s not happening to me, it’s happening for me.

If I had spent even a tenth of the time I spent feeling sorry for myself shifting my thoughts, I would have had a much better day. Instead I went into full blown poor me mode.  Guess what?  It didn’t make me feel one bit better, in fact, it made me feel one hundred percent worse.  I felt bad, and I felt angry and resentful at the people who were throwing up roadblocks in my life.  But what I should have been doing is realizing that every roadblock was making me stronger and more powerful as I found my way past them.  These roadblocks weren’t happening to me. They happened for me.

But hey, l am not perfect, I make mistakes and now, I’m moving on.  Every mistake is a lesson learned, and I’m going to work to remember it doesn’t happen to me and it doesn’t happen to you.  It happens for me, it happens for you and it happens for us.  We take what life is throwing at us and we use it to grow stronger!


But What If

Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart. – Roy T. Bennett

Have you ever thought about something your really wanted to do, some risk you really wanted to take, only to follow it up with but what if? But what if But What Ifsomething goes wrong, but what if people think I’m stupid, but what if….  They are three of the most useless words, ever.

You can’t let fear hold you back and stop you from pursuing your dreams. Don’t let yourself be held back by the but what if.  If you spend your life worrying about what may happen, you’re going to miss out on what may happen and it may be something that is wonderful and amazing.

Trying new things and taking chances is scary, there is no doubt about it.  Fear of the unknown is huge!  But in that unknown are amazing adventures, new inventions and creations and life.  Yes sometimes there may be failures, but that’s okay, because our failures are a chance to learn.  Stop saying but what if and thing about what could go wrong, say but what if and thing about all the amazing things that can go right!


It’s Not a Magic Pill

Staying positive does not mean that things will turn out okay. Rather it is knowing that you will be okay no matter how things turn out. – Unknown

Let’s talk about thinking positive, what it is, and what it isn’t.  It’s not a magic pill.  Maintaining a positive attitude doesn’t fix everything, and it doesn’t make everything all better.  What it is, is something to hold on to when things are tough.

it's not a magic pillI’ve had people (many people actually) tell me that my having a positive attitude means I’m not dealing with the crap that life hands out.  Well here’s the thing, when life gives me crap, I deal with it.  I must, because I’m still here, moving forward ever day.  Second, thinking positive is precisely how I deal with that crap, because I always find something good in all that bad.  I got moved to a new classroom at school. It’s my 8th classroom in 9 years, and this year, I’m on the fourth floor with all the foreign language people. Now they’re very nice people, but they’re not my people.  And the fourth floor is hot, and with the weather we’ve had, it’s been pretty miserable.  And somebody stole a bunch of my stuff while I was moving. There is some crap…granted it’s not huge crap, but it’s still crap.  But guess what, my room is very spacious, and being on the fourth floor means nobody (administration) comes looking for me all that often because nobody wants to go up four flights of stairs or use the ancient elevator.  And as far as my missing stolen stuff – well, I had too much stuff anyhow, and the stuff I absolutely needed to have, I replaced.

That’s what thinking positive does for you.  It’s not a magic pill, but it’s a way to look at things, and it’s a way to remind yourself that no matter what, things will be okay.  Don’t get caught up focusing on all your own crap.  Face it head on, look for the positives, and remind yourself that you’re goign to get through it and it’s going to be okay.

Focus, Don’t Fight

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. – Socrates

My life is a series of lessons, and today’s lesson was to focus, don’t fight.  Focus on what you need to get done, on what you need to change and on focus don't fightwhat’s going on in your life.  Don’t fight. Don’t the road blocks and speed bumps that get in your way, just go with the flow and ease on over them.

It’s one of those life choices you have to make.  You can fight and waste energy or you can focus on what you need to focus.  Focus, don’t fight.  It’s by far the better choice.  I have things I need to accomplish, and I have a lot of speed bumps getting thrown at me, from circumstances and from people. I was faced with that choice and I made mine.

I chose to focus,  not fight.  Not to get caught up stressing over what was going on.  Not to worry about the drama and speed bumps that were being thrown at me.  I put my head down, and focused on what needed to get done.  And guess what.  It got done.  Focus, don’t fight.  Put your energy on going forward!


Forgive Yourself

Free yourself from your past mistakes, by forgiving yourself for what you have done or went through. Every day is another chance to start over. – Unknown

You’re human. You make mistakes, and when you do, you need to remember to forgive yourself. If you don’t forgive yourself, you hold on to baggage forgive yourselfthat isn’t doing you any good.  Baggage weighs you down and holds you back, and really, who needs that?

The thing is, mistakes can be good.  When you are trying to figure something out and you make a mistake, you just learned a way not to do whatever it is you were trying to figure out.  That’s good. Mistakes mean you’re trying something new and opening yourself up to new worlds and new experiences.  That is also good.  But when you hold on to those mistakes, or worse stop trying because you’re afraid, that’s bad.  Forgive yourself. Try new things, make mistakes and let them go.

It’s easy to say to forgive yourself, but it’s one of the hardest things to do.  In fact, it’s easier to forgive other people than it is to forgive ourselves. But you deserve your forgiveness more than anything else.  Don’t hold on to the mistakes of the past. Keep the lessons, but let go of the pain. Forgive yourself.

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