Natural Stress Relief

This year I have started studying aromatherapy.  The title of this blog could refer to aromatherapy but I mean the activity of learning and practicing something new.

It is kind of a crazy time in my life to start something new because I am busy enough with two jobs and a parent with Alzheimer’s.  Those days when I am feeling blue and “wanting my life back”,  my mood can completely change when I pick up my oils and start playing with them.  As Spring has finally sprung, I find that gardening has the same effect on my mood.  I really feel light-hearted and energetic when I start doing something.

Dr. Kelly Lambert, PhD wrote a book Lifting Depression and referred to “effort driven rewards”.  These are activities, things that we do and enjoy, that use our bodies and produce a seeable result.  These activities stimulate the pleasure center of the brain.  She asserts that effort driven rewards are as effective as anti-depressant medication.

Depression, grief, and stress rob us of motivation.  Medication is an option for feeling better.  So is aromatherapy.  However, doing something we really enjoy can also be legitimately helpful.  The activity can be as active as running a marathon, hoeing a garden or as sedate as knitting a sweater.  By the way, computer games help the depression, not us.

I think it would be really great if we shared our ideas on what we do that we really like, that gives our pleasure center a boost.  Please post!

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