This new page holds resources and tools to help heal the mind. Having struggled with depression, anxiety and anorexia nervosa; many of these things have been integral to my recovery and I continue to practice and incorporate these tools and therapies to support my mental wellbeing. The road to recovery is complex and unique to every individual and from my experience, there is no fixed path or one stop pill to a free mind. Having an open mind to accept a range of complimentary treatments and taking the time to allow these things to nourish your body and brain is where the magic happens.
First things first, check in with your GP (and check in with a few if the first or second GP didn’t offer the support or suggestions that you feel happy with – if I gave up after the first doctor I saw, I wouldn’t be where I am today). Get their advice on what they would recommend and ask them about a few of the things I mention below if you want a medical perspective. Can they offer it to you as part of your complimentary treatment or do you need to explore this on your own? What else would they recommend that might help you? Ask questions and be brave. You can do this.
Talking therapies, counselling and coaching
Perhaps one of the best things you can do for your Mental Health is to start talking. Often this is challenging to do however, speaking to a qualified professional in a confidential and safe environment can be an extremely effective way of making positive change.
Talking therapy such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
Talking therapy is for anyone who’s going through a bad time or has emotional problems they can’t sort out on their own. CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle. It can help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts and you’re shown how to change these negative patterns to improve the way you feel.
Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves one or more therapists working with several people at the same time. This type of therapy is available in private therapeutic practices, hospitals, mental health clinics, and community centres.
Counselling can help you gain a better understanding of your feelings and thought processes which in turn can help you find your own solutions to problems. While CBT therapists and clients work together to change a client’s behaviour or thinking patterns, counselling is less directive and through listening, empathy, encouragement and challenge, counselling hopes to help the client to better understand themselves and find their own solutions to cope with the issues that face them.
Health and Wellness Coaching
Coaching can be used if you are recovered or in a stable position but would like some further support with issues you are experiencing or changes you want to make in life. A coach is there to guide you in forming a clearer understanding of your issues or concerns and support you with changing limiting beliefs and/or reframing the habits or thoughts that hold you back. A coach helps you to look forward to your aspirations and inspire the necessary changes in your behaviour to ensure the realisation of those objectives and desires. The client is in control of the process and the coach is there to help you make manageable steps each session towards your desired outcome. Health and Wellbeing Coaching can include:
- Stress management
- Confidence, self-esteem or body image
- Lifestyle balance
NLP was developed by Psychotherapists and is a method of influencing brain behaviour (the “neuro” part of the phrase) through the use of language (the “linguistic” part) and other types of communication to enable you to “recode” the way your brain responds to stimuli (that’s the “programming”). This enables you to form more resourceful feelings and better behaviours, which in turn can help you respond in a more effective way to situations. NLP can help with:
- Confidence, self esteem or body image
- Performance (goal setting, motivation, action)
- Public Speaking
- Habit change (smoking, nail biting for example)
Don’t wait for things to get worse
Sometimes there are waiting lists for various forms of free therapy or counselling and sometimes, the wait can be that bit too long. Never underestimate the value of a peaceful mind and if you can, investing your money in private therapy or coaching can be the key to powerful change.
I’m opening my own Neuro Linguistic Programming and Wellness Coaching Practice after I’ve received my full qualifications (June 2018). Want more information when I do? Pop your e-mail in the form below and I’ll be sure to drop you a direct message with what I can do to help you.
Some charities offer cheap or free talking therapies or group support. These include:
You can also access Mental Health phone hotlines here in the UK (if you’re elsewhere, try searching online for charity hotline numbers and resources). You can use these if you are concerned about someone else too.
I’m going to keep this very brief because quite frankly, I’m not qualified to give you information on prescription drugs. What I will say is, you don’t walk around with a badge on saying what medication you’re on for the world to see. If you think you need a helping hand to balance the chemicals in your brain, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. You don’t have to tell anyone, and on the reverse, you also shouldn’t feel like it’s anything you need to hide. The fact that you are taking the step to make improvements is already exceptionally brave. Talk to a medical professional and find out your options if this is something you want to consider.
Some people find holistic forms of treatment beneficial either in isolation or as a complementary form of treatment.
The following I have used directly in my recovery and to be transparent how it specifically helped me, I have given some details below.
Acupuncture – Acupuncture is based on an ancient Chinese treatment. Needles (which are tiny and don’t hurt) are placed on the body to stimulate sensory nerves under the skin and to release energy through channels (meridians). I found this extremely relaxing, therapeutic and valuable as a stress and anxiety release. At the time of treatment (6 weeks), I was weight restored however, was still suffering from amenorrhea (no periods as a result of suffering from anorexia). During my treatment I had my first ‘normal’ period after 4 years – whether or not Acupuncture specifically had a direct impact, who knows but hey I’m behind it.
Meditation & Mindfulness – Pro-actively placing more energy on the present moment rather than worrying about the future or the past has challenging yet super beneficial in my recovery. Finding time to incorporate aspects of self care and stillness into every day is fundamental for me now, as it helps to slow down my busy mind and ensures I don’t spiral into negative behaviour patterns. I feel more relaxed in times of stress or when i’m feeling anxious and by staying more present, I’ve been able to regularly find that happy little sweet spot in life.
Yoga & Intuitive Movement – I tried and tried a whole bunch of times with yoga and thought for many years it wasn’t for me. Exercise has admittedly been used as a form of self punishment in the past so, slowing things down wasn’t really an option but when I started to listen to my body and move my body more intuitively, it had a far more positive impact on my mental health. As I mention a great deal on this website, exercise is awesome for the mind if used in the right way. Find a teacher that works for you or go it alone and follow YouTube videos. Go for a walk, a run, a swim. Find what you love and get moving.
Homeopathy & Herbal Medicine – As a result of post traumatic stress I suffered with chronic hives and rashes all over my body. I tried a number of medical treatments to resolve this and only found success through a holistic approach. Homeopathy and herbal medicine comes with some scepticism alongside other holistic treatments and remedies however, I’m not one to dismiss a method that also has a great deal of history and success behind it. My skin completely cured after 4 sessions and I was also given support with my adrenals, sleep and anxiety levels through herbal remedies which I felt helped.
Other treatments not tried but also worth considering:
Massage – Shiatsu, Swedish and Aromatherapy
Spiritual/Energy Healing such as Reiki or Sound Healing
Hypnosis (this can also be received clinically)
I’ll keep adding to this little list as I go but for the time being, here’s some additional resources which you can use as and when you need to:
Mindfulness, Self Care or Psychology Literature
Digital tools and Apps as recommended by the NHS
I hope you find this page useful should you need it. It’s not going anywhere some come back another day if you would like to think about your options or want to pass this to a friend, colleague or loved one.
Oh and before you go, if you have experience with other methods or have other tools/resources you would like to share with me, I would love to hear from you! Please use the contact form below and get in touch 🙂