• 11Dec

    Countering Stress and Depression

    At a fundamental level, as human beings, we are all the same; each one of us aspires to happiness and each one of us does not wish to suffer. This is why, whenever I have the opportunity, I try to draw people’s attention to what as members of the human family we have in common and the deeply interconnected nature of our existence and welfare.

    Today, there is increasing recognition, as well as a growing body of scientific evidence, that confirms the close connection between our own states of mind and our happiness. On the one hand, many of us live in societies that are very developed materially, yet among us are many people who are not very happy. Just underneath the beautiful surface of affluence there is a kind of mental unrest, leading to frustration, unnecessary quarrels, reliance on drugs or alcohol, and in the worst case, suicide. There is no guarantee that wealth alone can give you the joy or fulfilment that you seek. The same can be said of your friends too. When you are in an intense state of anger or hatred, even a very close friend appears to you as somehow frosty, or cold, distant, and annoying.

    However, as human beings we are gifted with this wonderful human intelligence. Besides that, all human beings have the capacity to be very determined and to direct that strong sense of determination in whatever direction they like. So long as we remember that we have this marvellous gift of human intelligence and a capacity to develop determination and use it in positive ways, we will preserve our underlying mental health. Realizing we have this great human potential gives us a fundamental strength. This recognition can act as a mechanism that enables us to deal with any difficulty, no matter what situation we are facing, without losing hope or sinking into feelings of low self-esteem.

    I write this as someone who lost his freedom at the age of 16, then lost his country at the age of 24. Consequently, I have lived in exile for more than 50 years during which we Tibetans have dedicated ourselves to keeping the Tibetan identity alive and preserving our culture and values. On most days the news from Tibet is heartbreaking, and yet none of these challenges gives grounds for giving up. One of the approaches that I personally find useful is to cultivate the thought: If the situation or problem is such that it can be remedied, then there is no need to worry about it. In other words, if there is a solution or a way out of the difficulty, you do not need to be overwhelmed by it. The appropriate action is to seek its solution. Then it is clearly more sensible to spend your energy focussing on the solution rather than worrying about the problem. Alternatively, if there is no solution, no possibility of resolution, then there is also no point in being worried about it, because you cannot do anything about it anyway. In that case, the sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be for you. This formula, of course, implies directly confronting the problem and taking a realistic view. Otherwise you will be unable to find out whether or not there is a resolution to the problem

    Taking a realistic view and cultivating a proper motivation can also shield you against feelings of fear and anxiety. If you develop a pure and sincere motivation, if you are motivated by a wish to help on the basis of kindness, compassion, and respect, then you can carry on any kind of work, in any field, and function more effectively with less fear or worry, not being afraid of what others think or whether you ultimately will be successful in reaching your goal. Even if you fail to achieve your goal, you can feel good about having made the effort. But with a bad motivation, people can praise you or you can achieve goals, but you still will not be happy.

    Again, we may sometimes feel that our whole lives are unsatisfactory, we feel on the point of being overwhelmed by the difficulties that confront us. This happens to us all in varying degrees from time to time. When this occurs, it is vital that we make every effort to find a way of lifting our spirits. We can do this by recollecting our good fortune. We may, for example, be loved by someone; we may have certain talents; we may have received a good education; we may have our basic needs provided for – food to eat, clothes to wear, somewhere to live – we may have performed certain altruistic deeds in the past. We must take into consideration even the slightest positive aspect of our lives. For if we fail to find some way of uplifting ourselves, there is every danger of sinking further into our sense of powerlessness. This can lead us to believe that we have no capacity for doing good whatsoever. Thus we create the conditions of despair itself.

    As a Buddhist monk I have learned that what principally upsets our inner peace is what we call disturbing emotions.  All those thoughts, emotions, and mental events which reflect a negative or uncompassionate state of mind inevitably undermine our experience of inner peace. All our negative thoughts and emotions – such as hatred, anger, pride, lust, greed, envy, and so on – are considered to be sources of difficulty, to be disturbing. Negative thoughts and emotions are what obstruct our most basic aspiration – to be happy and to avoid suffering. When we act under their influence, we become oblivious to the impact our actions have on others: they are thus the cause of our destructive behaviour both toward others and to ourselves. Murder, scandal, and deceit all have their origin in disturbing emotions.

    This inevitably gives rise to the question – can we train the mind? There are many methods by which to do this. Among these, in the Buddhist tradition, is a special instruction called mind training, which focuses on cultivating concern for others and turning adversity to advantage. It is this pattern of thought, transforming problems into happiness that has enabled the Tibetan people to maintain their dignity and spirit in the face of great difficulties. Indeed I have found this advice of great practical benefit in my own life.

    A great Tibetan teacher of mind training once remarked that one of the mind’s most marvellous qualities is that it can be transformed. I have no doubt that those who attempt to transform their minds, overcome their disturbing emotions and achieve a sense of inner peace, will, over a period of time, notice a change in their mental attitudes and responses to people and events. Their minds will become more disciplined and positive. And I am sure they will find their own sense of happiness grow as they contribute to the greater happiness of others. I offer my prayers that everyone who makes this their goal will be blessed with success.

    The Dalai Lama

    December 31, 2010

    Originally published in the Hindustan Times, India, on January 3rd, 2011

  • 25May


    How Bananas Are Better Than Pills For Treating Depression, Constipation And More

    by: Ethan Huff (05-11-2014)| 29 views| (0) Comments | Post A Comment 0

    (NaturalNews) They’re often the fruit of choice for athletes looking to boost their electrolyte levels and get a quick energy boost, but bananas are a whole lot more than just a sweet treat or a pleasant addition to a morning smoothie. Rich in vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds, bananas can also serve as a natural remedy for treating depression, promoting regularity, boosting brain power and calming the nerves, among other important functions within the body.

    A closer look at the scientific literature on bananas reveals a host of little-known benefits associated with eating the fruit. Everything from regulating blood pressure and healing a damaged gut to relieving the symptoms of arthritis and even battling drug addiction have been attributed to this simple fruit, easily labeling it as one of the most amazing, widely available and inexpensive superfruits known to man.

    Eating bananas can help relieve depression and improve one’s mood

    As bananas contain tryptophan, the same compound in turkey meat that promotes a calm, relaxed mood, bananas are also said to aid in relieving the symptoms of depression. Combined with the benefits of B vitamins, the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin, the so-called “happy hormone,” helps improve mood and overall feelings of well-being.

    “Keeping your B vitamin intake up could ward off depression as you age,” explains Emily Main in a Rodale News article. “[W]hen you combine food sources of B vitamins with the added boost of supplements, the positive effects on depression are more pronounced.”

    The fiber in bananas helps promote regularity

    Like many other whole fruits and vegetables, bananas are an excellent source of soluble fiber. Fiber is necessary for maintaining regularity. Remembering to incorporate bananas into your regular diet can help you avoid constipation and other intestine- and bowel-related conditions.

    “Bananas help restore normal bowel function, especially if you have diarrhea,” explains one report. “This fruit also has lots of fiber to aid digestion.”

    Boost your brainpower with bananas

    In addition to B vitamins, bananas also contain high levels of potassium, an electrolyte mineral used by the heart, kidneys and other body organs for normal function. Brain neurons rely on high levels of potassium, a lack of which can lead to “brain fog” and other cognitive problems.

    “A 2013 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Letters researched potassium supplementation and levels of free radicals in the brain,” reads a SFGate report on potassium and memory.

    “After 20 days of supplementation with potassium, the levels of harmful free radicals decreased significantly, reducing the amount of oxidative damage that occurred in the test subjects. Because oxidative damage leads to decreased brain function, potassium counteracts this effect and prevents brain damage.”

    B vitamins in bananas help calm the nervous system

    Of the eight known B vitamins, bananas are an excellent source of five of them — thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folate (B9). The basic food source of the nervous system, these B vitamins aid the body in digesting and using other nutrients, as well as supporting a healthy heart, muscles and nerves.

    B vitamins “help produce and maintain new cells and are an essential part of many biochemical reactions in your body,” explains a report on bananas written by Joanne Marie for SFGate. “Bananas contain useful amounts of these B vitamins, ranging from 785 micrograms of niacin to 24 micrograms of folate in one medium banana.”

    Sources for this article include:

  • 01Nov



    October 31, 2013

    Diet Fuels Depression

    October 31, 2013

    Women who consume a diet defined as inflammatory—high in red meat, fish, sodas, and refined grains—have a higher risk for depression, compared with women who consume low amounts of these products. As part of the Nurses’ Health Study, researchers analyzed the diets of 43,685 women who were free of depression at the onset of the research and followed them for an average of 12 years. Using measurable lab values associated with depression as well as a physician’s diagnosis and use of antidepressants, they found that women who favored inflammatory food products were 41 percent more likely to be depressed.

    Lucas M, Chocano-Bedoya P, Shulze MB, et al. Inflammatory dietary pattern and risk of depression among women. Brain Behav Immun. 2013. In press.

    Subscribe to PCRM’s Breaking Medical News.

    Breaking Medical News is a service of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 5100 Wisconsin Ave., Ste. 400, Washington, DC 20016, 202-686-2210.

  • 28Jul


    “…Deep breathing while holding Lung 1 (Lu 1) opens the respiratory system, clears repressed emotions by being able to breathe deeply again, and thus releases grief, emotional holding, frustration, and anger. If you are stuck, these Lung points can allow you to let go of what you’re holding on to….

    Holding the Lung 1 acupressure points releases emotional pain, numbness, heartache, sadness, and depression by increasing the body’s ability to breathe more deeply and assimilate the vital energy you get from oxygen. Holding these acupressure points while you breathe deeply can release tears and thus free your spirit.  Video clip ~

  • 29Oct

    by David Wolfe, one of my favorite raw foodists on the planet, ‘Avocado Wolfe”.
    Here’s what he says:
    “To break a bout of depression, eat one or more trays of berries in the morning for breakfast daily for 5-6 weeks.
    Eat them on an empty stomach and avoid other foods until 12 noon.
    Berries are an incredibly balanced food and their moderate sugar content does not jar the nerves
    …Eat mildly sweet foods such as berries throughout the day to keep your blood sugar up.
    If one is too sensitive to sugar or fruit, one can eat combinations of seeds (pumpkin, hemp) and vegetables
    to maintain energy without stimulating the body with sugars.
    Avoid dried fruit binging, complex carbs ( baked potatoes, french fries, breads, cakes, cookies, rice and alcohol)
    as these can cause erratic blood sugar fluctuations

  • 18Feb

    Here are things my family and I have come across that really work for us! I hope you find it useful,
    Dorothy, M and R
    Things That Work:

    For energy:
    – Maca powder in your daily smoothie
    -Alkaline or other purified water
    -Tea with a little caffeine – white/green
    -Gynostemma (tea) – to balance you, whatever you need in regards to energy – SpringDragon seems to be the purest source

    -Exercise (seriously, even just a daily walk), stretching, yoga
    -Being grateful
    -Don’t oversleep (7.5-8 hours a night, max)
    -decrease dairy and sugar in your diet
    -deep breathing through your nose
    -track your food intake and sleep for 1 month, see if your energy level has a pattern to it
    -if you need caffeine, avoid sugary drinks. Try green tea which also has a lot of antioxidants
    -take a nap! 20 minutes and you’ll be good as new.
    -Don’t feel guilty. It’s an energy suck.
    -watch a great comedy. Laughing makes everything seem easier
    -turn on some fun music.
    -DANCE! and if you don’t feel like dancing, dance like you don’t feel like dancing. If you feel tired, dance like you are tired. If you feel sad, dance like you’re sad. I swear, it makes me laugh at myself every time and that I get a lot of energy from laughing at myself.
    -hug someone. Tell someone that you love them. They’ll brighten up and so will you. Sympathetic joy is wonderful.
    -Treat yourself to something that will make you feel good. Spend money on a healthy treat or on a yoga class. You are worth it.

    For aches and pains:
    -MSM powder (or capsules)
    -Zheng gu Shei – a Chinese medicinal rub that starts at your bone marrow and heals outwardly
    -Magnesium – http://www.activationproducts.com/bewell-buzz-magnesium.html?AFFID=53213
    -Hot water bottle
    -Tiger’s balm (rubbed onto sore spots)
    -White flower essence (for headaches rub a tiny amount onto temples or neck)
    -Peppermint oil (for headaches rub a tiny amount onto temples or neck)
    -Ginger for upset stomach
    -Clove Oil for tooth pain
    -Lessen/give up foods that promote inflammation: dairy, caffeine, un-sprouted grains, etc….

    -Eating mostly alkaline
    -Hot bath with epsom salts
    -reduce amount of time seated or in front of screens
    -work on posture when you notice it
    -get acupuncture for specific or overall problems.
    -go to a chiropractor as needed
    -don’t be a martyr. Take a pain killer when needed! No need to suffer!!!
    -watch the pain. It changes. It shifts. Sometimes pain is not where you think it is. Try to get an overall sense of the pain. What does it feel like? Does it have a form? Does it feel sticky, shaky, stuck, hard? Sometimes locating it and giving it form helps somehow.

    For appearance (skin, form) and health:

    -Aloe (to drink)
    -vitamin E added to your (natural) oils with cacao butter or coconut oil
    -pink clay for my (previously) dry skin
    -Lots of water
    -rubbing an ice cube on your face (to close pores, reduce inflammation)
    -dry skin massage
    –have a salve handy that can be used on scrapes, scars, wrinkles etc.

    -A good night’s sleep
    -periodic fasting and colon cleansing
    -Eating mostly alkaline (lots of greens)
    -stop using over the counter acne treatments – only natural products
    -have a salve handy that can be used on scrapes, scars, wrinkles etc.
    -stop eating 2+ hours before bedtime. It actually makes you lose or maintain your weight!
    -don’t look in the mirror so much.
    -remember “no one thinks about you as much as you think they do!”
    -remember “It’s none of your business what other people think of you.”
    -remember, it doesn’t matter what you look like, it’s what you FEEL like.
    -if you feel ugly, overweight, tired, etc. what’s the worst that could happen? Someone judges you? We all do that all the time. It’s gone in a second. And if they continue to judge you that’s their problem. Not yours. They have to carry that judging weight with them. Live free from your appearance.

    For The Immune System/Warding off Sickness:
    – astragalus
    -2500 mg.+ Vitamin C powder
    -ginger tonic
    -cinnamon tonic
    -Brain tonic
    -lots of water, herbal teas

    -plenty of sleep, exercise and good food
    -vent your emotional worries to a friend, diary, or counselor
    -don’t overwork your will power. Let yourself indulge sometimes!
    -don’t rush the healing process (emotional, physical, mental, etc)
    -deep breathing
    -reduce unnecessary stresses. Write a list of your worries and mark off the unimportant ones and the ones you personally can’t solve.
    -go outside.
    -watch a crappy movie, curl up on the couch, and eat some chocolate!! Take care of yourself.

    For Sleep:

    -gotu kola
    -drinking lots of water
    -lavender tea or spray
    -Sleepytime Tea/Chamomile

    -drinking lots of water
    -not eating before bedtime
    -not eating before bedtime
    -regular exercise
    -making a list of things that need to get done tomorrow (once they are out of your head and on a paper, let them rest there)
    -going over your day in your head and seeing where you could be more compassionate (letting go of the day after you’ve done that)
    -writing down your dreams
    -reduce all light in your bedroom. Even small lights affect sleep
    -spray lavender on your pillows (5-10 drops of lavender essential oil with 1/2c water). It will make you breath deep and relax
    -make a ritual of turning the lights low, taking a bath, brushing your teeth and geting ready for bed in a darker environment (candles)
    -have Sleepytime tea before bedtime
    -make sure your bed is comfortable! Get the right pillow, luxurious sheets and you’ll look forward to bed time.
    -have a bit of airflow near you – an open window or a fan can make you continue to breath deep throughout the night
    -have pillows all around you. Snuggle with them. move them around and don’t be afraid to get totally comfortable.

    For Depression/Hormonal Balance/Emotions
    -vitamin D3
    – maca
    -Kava Kava
    – ginkgo biloba tincture and tea – improves memory and brain function, promotes longevity
    – angelica root tincture and tea for PMS
    – nettle tinctures and tea for PMS
    – chamomile, comfry, yarrow and marshmallow root tincture or tea for inflammation and calming of the nervous system
    – avoid estrogen high foods – soy milk, tofu, etc
    –Gynostemma (tea) – to balance you, whatever you need in regards to hormones- SpringDragon seems to be the purest source.

    – exercise, yoga, tai chi, walking
    – sleep
    -counting my blessings
    – meditation/breathing in the moment
    – get out in the sun
    – vent to friends and family. Don’t be afraid to tell someone you are depressed. There is no shame in it. Depression is a universal emotion. We all feel it to varying degrees. Hiding it won’t help.
    – don’t brush off your feelings. Experience them. If you feel depressed, allow yourself to feel it. Avoidance doesn’t solve anything
    – exercise. Hard! Push yourself and you’ll build confidence and sleep well. Plus you’ll feel more energy and release endorphins
    – treat yourself well.
    – see a counselor. Sometimes it helps to have someone trained to listen to you and hear what you are saying
    – journal. notice if you get depressed around certain times of year
    – reduce stress from any place you can
    – make a list of your outside pressures and see what you can get rid of
    – Say yes to people’s invitations. Getting out of the house can do a world of difference. Don’t be afraid to ask others to hang out.
    – Emotions are the physical manifestation of thoughts. Meditate on your emotions. Don’t try to change them. Just observe. Where in your body do you feel it? Does it have form? What does it feel like? Watch how it shifts.
    – Reduce dairy and sugar around hormone swings.
    – get a massage, get acupuncture, or go sit in a sauna. Pamper yourself and don’t over-exhaust your willpower.
    – go for a walk. It’s been proven to alleviate stress and calm the central nervous system. Watch your right foot step. Watch your left foot step. Concentrate on your breath and your steps. Lets everything else pass by.
    – take a long hot bath, light candles, and drip a few drops of lavendar essential oil in there.
    – practice dep breathing
    – practice yoga. Especially Iyengar’s poses for emotional stability (work your way up to these times and ALWAYS use supportive props):

    Down dog (supported) 3-5 mins,
    legs up wall (w/soles together) 3-5 mins,
    fish (supported) 3 mins,
    shoulder stand (supported) 5 minutes,
    plow (supported) 5 minutes,
    supported bridge 3-5 min,
    legs up wall (supported) 3-5 min,
    supported forward bend 5 min,
    wide leg stretch (supported) 3-5 minutes,
    butterfly (supported) 3 minutes,
    corpse pose (supported) 5 min.

  • 09Sep

    Natural Treatment For Depression
    With Nutritionist
    Shawn Stevenson

    In this podcast expert nutritionist, Shawn Stevenson, talks about root causes and natural treatments to problems of depression.

    Many people suffer quietly because they don’t realize they have an illness. They may feel the depression is a weakness and as a result don’t make the call for help. Let’s clear up some things right now. Depression is more than just having the “blues”. Depression is not a personal weakness or personality fault. This podcast will give you some solutions.


    When you listen to this podcast you will learn:

    How depression effects you biologically.
    The chemical process of depression.
    How Vitamin C helps reverse depression & its best botanical sources.
    This legume can help with dopamine based depression.
    This yellow flower has been clinically proven in helping depression.
    The amazing history and benefits of Ginkgo Biloba.
    People suffering with depression have a low level of this.
    You MUST remove these oils from your diet.
    This nut works just as well as a pharmaceutical antidepressant.
    And much more…

    Tackle depression with these natural treatments –


  • 09Feb


    Oat straw is used for:

    – Fighting osteoporosis

    – Building bones

    – Pain relief

    – Calming hyperactive children

    – Soothing elderly people

    – Fighting anxiety

    – Panic attacks

    – Boosting immune system

    – Depression and nervous exhaustion

    – Antidepressant

  • 12Dec

    a clip from Food Matters about a little known way to help with depression. That’s here:



    The second is the trailer for the film, a documentary on pharmaceuticals.


  • 03Jan

    Being a raw-foodist doesn’t necessarily keep one from depression, or any emotional state.

    In fact, becoming “raw” often brings to rise a number of emotional states. As one lets go of patterns in eating, emotions rise to the surface. Looking at them, watching them while not responding, helps them to leave quickly.

    As far as depression, I, as a raw-foodist for 2 years, still notice a depression, lasting a week or longer, during the winter. This year, living in Montana where there are a number of grey days in a row, my family and I are supplementing with vitamin D3, to see if it will help. We don’t receive enough sunlight in this area, to give us the adequate vitamin D needed for our systems.

    So we’ll let you know how it goes! So far, so good!



See my new site at RomaineCalm.com for recipes, travel tips, spanish word of the day and many pics of my journey!