A Holistic, Complimentary Approach
© Jane and Lino Stanchich
Sadness is a natural part of life. We all feel grief, melancholy, “down-in-the-dumps” or the “blues” at times. We all may experience personal suffering, profound disappointment, deep loss, or loneliness. In these days of the Covid anxiety, modern stress, social turmoil, cultural hatred, along with a diet of processed, junk food, we can too easily fall into feelings of depression. We want to share with you some powerful, gentle, natural and highly effective solutions to begin to heal milder, more beginning forms of depression. One should always seek the professional care of a knowledgeable healthcare provider while also considering this holistic and integrative lifestyle approach.
People of every age, every country, from all racial and economic backgrounds suffer depression. The ancient Greeks wrote about this emotional illness. Depression, by definition, is a cumulative, as well as a chronic, persistent condition affecting one’s total life. Famed artistic, political, military, and literary figures throughout history suffered chronic depression. Recently, several celebrities have revealed, in books and interviews, their personal struggle with depression. These days, with Covid, the numbers are growing tremendously.
A prevalent psychological disorder, depression often leads to drug and alcohol abuse, accidents, diseases, crimes, and tragically, suicide. If our depression is chronic and severe, we should consult medical professionals. According to the Washington Post,1 US Census Bureau data shows that over one third of Americans now show signs of clinical anxiety or depression…or both. Most understandably hard hit are young people and the poor. Generally treated medically with prescription drugs, sometimes multiple drugs that may help establish balance, depression can be a risk to life. Results can be shattering. Integrative lifestyle changes can be quite effective.
Depression can manifest in many different, yet interrelated ways. It can reveal itself in mental, psychological, neurological, nutritional, and other physical signs. Emotional signals of chronic depression are: overwhelming frequent or daily feelings of sadness or hopelessness; intense fatigue or nervousness; self-loathing, a lack of ambition with decreased ability to work; incapacitating crying spells, self-criticism, recurrent guilt, or crippling panic. Often there is a replaying of painful memories like a disturbing movie, over and over, and over in our mind. We just cannot let go and begin to heal.
Other, more physical symptoms of depression may include either insomnia or oversleeping, frequent fatigue or agitation, chronic headaches or digestive disorders, marked appetite loss or increase, and sexual dysfunction. Depression often leads to isolation, fear of intimacy, paranoia, alienation, and poor communication, resulting in divorce, job loss, and alienation. Covid is starkly increasing the incidence of depression. Deeper depression may escalate into alcohol or drug addictions, abuse by one’s self or by others, with, too often, tragic results.
Depression has been called a river with many streams contributing a multitude of causes, from a severe trauma, underlying physical disease, brain chemical imbalance, to the side effects of medication, isolation, negative outlook, or imbalanced lifestyle. However, our daily diet is the most vital and generally overlooked influence on one’s emotional and physical health. We know how much daily diet affects our nerves, our entire body and our mind. It is urgent to look at diet and what is causing our symptoms, our relationship problems, our destructive feelings, and our despair with life. Know that what we eat may likely be “eating at us.”
Junk food is junk fuel for your body and mind. You deserve better than junk food. An organic, balanced, highly nutritious whole foods diet, high in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and good carbs, such as the macrobiotic diet, creates greater vitality, wellbeing, and optimism. It helps restore mental stability and inner peace. As though a parched, tired, hungry being revitalizes, finding pleasure in the act of eating. Add to that good feeling, even more vitality and pleasure! As we eat, thorough chewing of food increases endorphins and serotonin, neuro-transmitters, and brain chemicals, which emit more feelings of peace and pleasure.2 The simple act of cooking and eating quality foods is in itself a life-affirming demonstration of love and nurturing of oneself. And it feels so good.
What are our emotions? Are emotions our thoughts and feelings, or are they uncontrollable and overwhelming sensations? Depression and all emotions are forms of energy that live in our mind and body. They come and they go. Thoughts, memories, experiences, and teachings all carry feelings that affect us, often deeply. Some vividly painful memories cling longer, bringing up recurring feelings that may shade and even harm our entire life. However, if we can better understand these feelings and begin to release and heal, we may begin to overcome depression.
Every food we eat contains a unique energy that creates an emotional response and reaction. Both animal foods and highly refined or chemicalized foods impart intense swings of emotions, resulting in a “wild” and often uncomfortable “roller coaster” up and down effect. We eat the energy of the animal. Animal foods are dense, contracting, and salty. Chemicals and pesticides also flow through our veins and disturb the natural, healthy structures of our blood, cells, nerves, and organs. Everything we eat has an impact. A profound impact. As adults, it is up to us to choose what we put into our bodies. We hope you choose the best quality.
Macrobiotic dietary guidelines promote a sound and balanced plant-based diet, shown in numerous studies to be optimum for total health of body and mind. Providing an organic selection of nutritious whole grains, protein-rich legumes, high mineral sea vegetables, fresh vegetables, colorful fruits, seeds, nuts, flavorful fermented foods, and optional white fish, the delicious high-fiber macrobiotic standard diet contains all the necessary nutrients for rebuilding and restoring the blood, cells, organs and body systems. Supplementation of Vitamin B 12 may be necessary for some persons.
According to ancient, time-honored teachings, the best way to reduce depression is to eat foods that strengthen and cleanse the lungs and large intestines, organs associated with the development of depression. For these organs, it is recommended daily to consume a wide variety of balanced, well prepared macrobiotic quality foods as listed above, with an emphasis on brown rice, miso soup, dark leafy greens, sea vegetables, lotus root, and onions. Warm, strengthening macrobiotic soups and stews, complimented with refreshing salads, fermented pickles, grain-sweetened desserts, and healthful teas also create satisfaction and lasting, pleasurable feelings.
Eliminate foods that contribute to depression and respiratory symptoms of Covid. Watch the 60 Minutes You Tube entitled, “Sugar as a Toxin,”* and consider reducing or eliminating sugar in your diet. Mucus-forming dairy products, especially ice cream and soft cheeses, contribute to respiratory/lung congestion and depression. The Standard American Diet of fast “junk” food, refined flour products, high meat consumption, sodas, and sugary desserts is a real recipe for the emotional “roller-coaster” more and more Americans are experiencing… anxiety or depression, or both.
Chemicals, additives, alcohol, yeasted baked flour products, and refined carbohydrates can cause allergic reactions mimicking depression. Remove pollutants, insecticides and other environmental toxins from your life, as they are frequently the cause of many illnesses, including depression.3 Eat plant-based and organic!
Feelings of self-loathing, sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, and depression too often produce a “domino effect” of chaotic living and crippling health disorders. Depression often makes one too lethargic to exercise, too tired to cook, too angry to communicate, too worried to sleep. Insomnia then occurs with resulting headaches, confusion, nausea, or upset stomach. Multiple medications may be mixed up and taken, causing dangerous side effects or drowsiness. Falls or accidents then can result in this harmful and too common cycle. It takes self-love and personal discipline to make change. However, when we are depressed, both self-love and discipline are often diminished. We recommended that you reach out to friends, family, counselors, therapists, and teachers. Ask for help.
Begin a more stable lifestyle and strengthening plant-based diet, as this can be a powerful and proven “anchor” in the rough seas of life that we all experience. Attend Macrobiotic Wellness Conferences, Online Retreats, and Cooking Classes. Supportive counseling is available online. Through the natural macrobiotic diet and lifestyle, we can rebuild our physical and mental health, and gain a more positive view and inner peace. Most of all know that you are valuable, you are meant to be here, and you can, with faith and care, begin to uplift your spirit and your life.
LIFT DEPRESSION WITH LIFESTYLE
• Seek daily relationships with stable, healthy people who can offer positive support.
• Establish a daily schedule of macrobiotic eating, exercise, cleanliness, fresh air, and activity.
• Cook and eat macrobiotic quality meals daily. Consult a macrobiotic educator. Take cooking classes….online now!4
• Avoid going to places where alcohol, drugs, or negative-minded people may influence you.
• Receive professional counseling with a psychotherapist, clergy, or social worker.
• Establish a regular eating schedule and calm dining atmosphere. Chew well.
• Exercise daily in an enjoyable manner. Walking is free of charge, exhilarating, and shown to reduce depression.
• Spend one to two hours outdoors per day, preferably in a park or in nature. Get ample sunlight. Breathe deeply.
• Clean your house and office of toxins, mold, dirt and excess items that pollute the air and environment.
• Open windows in your house for at least thirty minutes a day and crack your windows, if safe, in your bedroom at night to receive more oxygen. Add live plants to clean the air. Toxic indoor air can lead to fatigue and illness.
• Check your home for depression-causing mold, radon, poisonous gas, chemicals and remove or move.
• Remove synthetic carpeting, especially if carpets are newer than five years old.
• Watch movies, websites, and shows that are uplifting and positive.
• Practice speaking clear statements of your feelings to others.
• Go to bed early and rise early, as this is excellent for overall health.
• Develop an attitude of gratitude, finding blessings in your life and helping others in need.
• Practice conscious laughter; watch funny movies and shows- proven to help prevent Covid.5
• Faith, spirituality, and support groups can give life-saving support.
May you begin to practice healthier living and find deeper healing, faith, and hope. You can do this!
If severe depression, overwhelmed with severe anxiety, or suicidal thoughts, seek the help of mental health services, a qualified therapist, or psychiatrist, or contact 911, or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517) from ParksMD.com
VISIT our website www.greatlifeglobal.com to receive details about the Macrobiotic Counseling,
Diet, Exercise, and Lifestyle to enhance wellness, happiness, strength, and vitality. Read inspiring success stories too!
1. Washington Post, “A third of Americans now show signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau finds amid coronavirus pandemic,” By Alyssa Fowers and William Wan, May 26
2. Power Eating Program: You Are HOW You Eat, Lino Stanchich, L.N. c 1986 Healthy Products, Inc.
3. “Coronavirus Anxiety and Panic” by Ron Parks, MD
4. "Finding Calm in a Sea of Anxiety, Fear & Anger with Macrobiotics & Oriental Healing"
Video Lecture with Michael Rossoff, L.Ac. and Macrobiotic Counselor
5. Tired or Toxic, Sherry Rogers, MD, available online. This Environmental Illness expert reveals the immense effects of pollutants in our homes, offices, and towns that can lead to severe mental disorders.
6. Macrobiotic Summer Conference Online REGISTER HERE >
TEACHERS AND SCHEDULE CLICK HERE > :
Sherry DiMaris Online Cooking CLICK HERE >
5. Patch Adams, MD Quote: Laughter boosts the immune system, and helps the body fight off disease, cancer cells, including viral and bacterial and other infections. Being happy is the best cure for all diseases.
* You Tube Video on “Sugar as a Toxin,” Sanjay Guptah, MD and Dr. R. Lustig
The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health, Michio Kushi and Alex Jack, Ballantine Books, © 2003
Natural Body, Natural Mind, Bill Tara, Xlibiris, © 2008
© Jane and Lino Stanchich 2020
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