Monday
Nov282011

The Pursuit of Happiness

According to psychologists at the University of Wisconsin, people who search out happiness are more likely to have shorter lifespans and are at greater risk of developing depression and other mental illnesses and conditions. Have you noticed that over the past few years we are becoming increasingly persuaded and influenced by a society that believes our happiness equates to pleasure and we are finding ourselves filling our lives indulging in material objects and hedonistic pursuits that maximize the amount of positive feelings we experience?  That is, in the short term. 

There have been many studies conducted around the pursuit of happiness.  Doctors such as Dr Chris Peterson from the University of Wisconson have deemed that chasing after superfluous goals like making money, instant gratification and living the Hollywood version of happiness can lead to even more unhappiness and dissatisfaction. 

When it comes to the three different routes to personal happiness, The Pleasant Life, The Good Life and The Meaningful Life, Doctor Peterson tested the theory on 150 participants in the form of a questionnaire, with questions to elicit responses about pursuing life satisfaction and the results were fascinating.  He found that both the Good Life and the Meaningful Life were related to life satisfaction: the more eudaimonia or the more meaning in your life, the more life satisfaction came as a result.  Interestingly Dr Peterson did discover however, that the amount of pleasure in life did not add to a person’s life satisfaction. It has been proven that having a purpose in life and the rewarding feelings that come from raising children, helping others or volunteering will lead to a longer life and improved physical wellbeing. 

Today in the medical field, depression has become a broadly used term that can be applied to any absence of personal happiness, lack of inner contentment and personal material deficiency. The broad based clinical term has been reapplied generically to anyone suffering from feelings of sadness, low spirits, melancholy or gloominess which subsequently has led to a transformation of our normal emotions into mental health problems which often are suited to the treatment plans being offered. Depression was a once rare condition and now it quite literally is the new black.

Did you know that according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, more than 10 percent of Americans are taking antidepressant medications? Eleven percent of these are men and five percent are women and more than sixty percent have been taking the medication for a period of two years or more.  Instead of changing behaviours or circumstances, people are being prescribed antidepressant medications because they are an easy way out and readily available. 

Depression nowadays takes on many different forms, it can be fleeting, arrive from nowhere and leave as quickly as it came, or it can be a long term problem that affects people for months or even years.  It can be a result of a relationship breaking down, feelings of inadequacy when we compare ourselves with others, loss of a loved one, a changing life event or it could even just be because we feel bad about the way we appear to others.  Depression can affect our appetite, our sleeping patterns, the ability to function and manifests as physical symptoms such as physical pain, headaches, digestive symptoms, fatigue, lack of energy and lack of concentration. 

Natural Approaches to Treat Depression:

For low to mild depression, meditation can be used to relieve or reduce anxiety.  Exercising regularly has been associated with improved mood, as it improves circulation and changes brain chemistry, enhancing overall energy, vitality and wellbeing. Just going for a walk for thirty minutes each day is enough to experience noticeable changes to the way that you feel.

For herbal treatments, Rhodiola Rosea is being used by a number of forward-thinking psychiatrists around the world, as a first line of treatment for depression and mood enhancement and as a beneficial alternative to prescribing pharmaceuticals.

 Nutritional deficiencies play a role in many cases of depression because chemistry is governed by nutrient intake for proper balance. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for proper brain function and enhance brain health and mood significantly. If you’re looking to add more Omega 3 fatty acids to your diet increase your intake of fresh seafood in particular wild salmon or supplement with Omega 3.

Flower Essences have long been used for the treatment of emotional and mood related conditions by harmonising emotional and spiritual energies and repairing imbalances.   Flower Essences treat a specific negative emotion and can be used alone or grouped with a variety of essences to achieve optimum results.  Because they are non-invasive and non-addictive they are a wonderful alternative to medications for low to mild depression. 

One of the most popular essences used by naturopaths to treat depression is Borage as it instills courage and is used to assist people to overcome grief, sadness, and discouragement.  Gentian is suitable if you are experiencing doubt and lack of faith, melancholy, skepticism and disappointment.  Mustard, Sweet Chestnut Willow and Crab Apple can also be of assistance to work subtly on mood and emotion.  The wonderful thing about Flower Essences is that they are safe to use and produce no side–effects, a great remedy for people today who are seeking a natural way to ease and overcome their symptoms.

 

For more information about Flower Essences visit www.drinkbalance.com

Wednesday
Nov022011

Sleep and Flower Essences

Most people have experienced insomnia or sleep deprivation at one time or another in their lives.  If you look at the latest sleep statistics, insomnia is a reality for an estimated 40% of the population. Did you know that more than 10 million Americans use prescription medications to sleep?  This is because the medical system regards insomnia as a disorder, but more and more evidence has shown that it has become a symptom of our busy lifestyles.  In our busy world, it’s very easy to find yourself overwhelmed and overstimulated during the day, and when it comes to sleeping at night it’s especially difficult to relax and wind down.

Individuals vary widely in their sleep needs and practices, for some only 6 hours per night will be sufficient, but others don’t feel rested until they’ve had about 8-10 full hours of sleep.  If you look at insomnia more closely the definition is difficulty with either falling or staying asleep which can be attributed to inadequate quality or quantity of sleep.  Insomnia can continue from days to weeks to months and affects all ages.

The root cause of most sleep problems is stress and anxiety.  Stress is a major contributor to insomnia and keeping stress levels to a minimum is particularly important if you’re looking for a restful night sleep.   The way you feel during your waking hours hinges directly on how well you sleep at night. Many people stay awake at night worrying some even worry about actually getting to sleep.  The next day they can experience daytime tiredness which interferes with their routines resulting in a cranky irritable state and the inability to concentrate. Jetlag can cause transient or short term insomnia and normal sleeping habits return once the body clock has readjusted. There are artificial stimulants too such as caffeine and medications which contribute to difficulty sleeping.

The good news is that insomnia can be treated very simply with gentle forms of natural remedies.  Flower Essences change the way  you feel when going to sleep and certain  flower essences such as Bush Iris  can help relax you during the day and sleep more deeply at night. For example  if it’s 3am and you’re thinking about your to-do list, then using Crowea  will calm the mind and help with worry, making it easier for you to fall back to sleep. Boronia is a useful essence to calm mind chatter and rumination.  Sometimes it’s really hard to wind down after a busy day and this essence helps you to stop the ‘busyness’ in your head so that you can fall sleep and wake up with a feeling of focus and clarity to take on the world.

Flower Essences work through the acupuncture meridians of the body and the electromagnetic resonance communicates information through the meridian system. This results in the the whole body receiving vibratory communication and leads to realignment of the mind and body. Healing occurs when inner and outer nature harmonize with one another.  Because of their fast acting nature, flower essences target the root causes of insomnia quickly without the nasty side effects of over the counter sleeping remedies.  Many users notice an improvement in sleep quality within just a few nights and become aware of a greater sense of tranquility, calmness, clarity, and happiness. Flower Essences are very easy to use and flavorless so make the perfect bedside companion to a good night sleep.

Flower Essences are safe to use and have no side effects.  They can be taken by adults, children, the elderly and nursing mums.  Balance Relax is a functional beverage containing a Flower Essence combination designed to help improve sleep patterns and sleep cycles over time by gently calming, focusing and bringing tranquility to the restless mind. 

Sunday
Oct232011

The On Off Cycle

 

In the pursuit of happiness many of us are constantly on the go, searching for something greater and more fulfilling in our lives.  This may be a bigger house, a new car or even a new life.   Chasing unfulfilled dreams puts a lot of pressure on the body and mind and it’s easy to lose sight of the essence of life and what it all means. 

For many of us, we constantly ignore our body’s signals to slow down, but then we wonder why we can’t focus or get more done and spend our nights awake, worrying, fearing the worst and thinking that we will never attain our dreams. Lack of sleep causes us to feel tired the next day, have less focus and drive, which in turn creates a never ending 24 hour cycle of discontentment.  Our bodies have become permanently switched on and for many of us we just don’t know how to decompress. 

Have you noticed that nowadays in the digital age it’s very challenging for you to naturally wind down, so you can finally get the rest your body’s been needing? Our days have become jam-packed with activity, meetings, phone conversations, hundreds of emails, people dropping in, messages, work being thrown at us, and one thing after another.  

It’s difficult at the best of times to maintain calm and focus in the midst of a workday and stress levels can steadily rise with each request and interruption of our time.

That’s when many of us turn to artificial stimulants such as caffeine and energy drinks to give us energy and keep us going during the day.  The problem is, caffeine can exacerbate or even cause stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia because it interferes with a tranquilizing neurotransmitter chemical in the brain called adenosine. Research shows that caffeine and the caffeine contained in energy drinks increases secretion of particular stress hormones such as adrenaline, so if you are already under a certain amount of stress caffeine will increase these levels further exacerbating your symptoms.

When it comes to winding down at night it’s even more difficult because of the effect that the artificial stimulants have had on our body and the chemicals involved which are still working their way around in our systems.  This process keeps our bodies in a constant state of high alert and then you either spend another night awake or for the majority of people, use another artificial substance to help get to sleep such as sleep aids or insomnia medication. 

Breaking this 24 hour cycle is important for long term mental and physical health and wellbeing.  There are a number of simple tried and true methods to balance your body and break the 24 hr ON cycle.

Did you know that your body can be trained to switch OFF at night for a restful night’s sleep and switch ON during the day to achieve mental clarity and focus? Here are a few tips that will help;

Disconnect

Technology is wonderful but it has its time and place.  Knowing when to turn it off and enjoy down time is very important. Going offline and shutting off the outside world for a while and turning off all computers, phones and devices will give you the opportunity to reconnect with you and help to lower stress levels. The more that you rest in the evening, the more productive you will be during actual work time. It’s also good to take mini breaks during the day, get outside in the fresh air and come back with a new perspective.  If you don’t work in an office or online, take breaks during the day from worrying about problems and slow down the constant mind chatter.

Take a Breath

Remember to breathe and take time out to breathe deeply.  The best way to do this is to take a large breath, hold it for up to 10 seconds, then exhale as slowly as possible.  Just feel all your anxieties and worries float away with the outgoing breath.  You can repeat this up to 10 times. It will calm your body and your mind.

Exercise

Getting the right kind of tired is the key.  Exercise will help you increase your energy levels and help you fully rest and have ultimate relaxation. Just like when you lay around and don’t do anything for a few days and it makes you feel even more tired, exercise has a similar effect by actually energizing you.  If you work without taking breaks and exercising this will take away your focus.  Staying active gives you mental and physical energy to achieve your goals.

Have a Nanna Nap

Mexicans  have their afternoon siestas and Mediterraneans have their time outs and now studies have shown that  the humble Nanna Nap can dramatically improve performance and significantly reduce levels of stress hormones .  Longer than a power nap and shorter than a proper sleep, taking a thirty minute nap during the day can be refreshing for the mind and body and give you a break from the everyday stresses of life resulting in more focus and concentration. 

Drink Plenty of Water

Water is essential for good health.  Did you know that water makes up more than half of your body weight?  Taking care of yourself and keeping hydrated is an important element when it comes to mental and physical wellbeing. Your body depends on water for survival and you lose water just from daily activities such as going to the bathroom, sweating, and even when you breathe. Balance Mind is a water which is infused with Australian Bush Flower essences to help you calmly focus, concentrate and multi-task. Drinking the right kind of water to help you focus means no more caffeine crashes, sugar spikes, carb cravings or energy drink after effects. 

When it comes to stopping, relaxing and putting your feet up and slowly exhaling the stresses of the day you can enjoy a restful evening and peaceful night’s sleep without all the mind chatter with Balance Relax .  Infused with Bottlebrush for coping with change and Grey Spider to help calm feelings of fear and worry it will give you the ultimate good night’s sleep.

 

Wednesday
Oct052011

Flower Essence Life Moments

 

There are certain times in your life when you feel stressed, overworked, fatigued, rushed off your feet or just simply out of phase.  Sometimes you need a little extra assistance to help you regain your balance. Using flower essences is extremely helpful in those particular situations. 

It may be a mental, physical, emotional or spiritual dilemma you are facing.  Flower Essences help to release stuck emotions and create a change in perception, to open your life up to new possibilities and provide comfort, reassurance, strength and courage exactly when you need it.

There are so many times in our lives when a little extra help wouldn’t go astray. 

Here are our “Top Ten Life Moments” when flower essences can be used to help you tackle any situation that is causing you to feel overwhelmed. They are in no particular order.

1. Overwhelming Deadlines at Work: Having calm, clear thoughts and quiet confidence helps you deal with job-related stress. If you are finding that work is getting on top of you then Boronia will help by calming the mind chatter so that you can focus on the job at hand with clarity and motivation.

2. Coping with Children: When you’re a parent, it’s inevitable that every now and then kids can be overwhelming to deal with, particularly when you’re feeling tired and stressed and need a good night sleep. It’s not like you can just take a day off from being a parent! Bush Iris helps with circadian rhythms for sleeping and Boronia helps to quiten the mind chatter to give you a better night sleep and to make your days a little bit easier coping with the demands of busy family life.

3. Your Wedding Day: It’s perfectly normal to feel a little nervous, anxious or jittery on your wedding day. It’s only a problem when you become a runaway bride or groom and everyone is waiting at the church for the vows to be exchanged. The lead up to a wedding is stressful too with much time spent planning and practicing for the big day. A calming essence such as Crowea will help alleviate the wedding day jitters and assist with worry and nervousness. Crowea has a centering affect leaving the bride and groom and wedding party to enjoy the day and head to the reception.

4. Fear of a Confrontation: Confrontation is never easy but conflict is often necessary to get to the root cause of a problem instead of sweeping it under the carpet. The use of Pink Mulla Mulla helps to overcome obstacles, and enables you to open up and have forgiveness for others.

5. Fear of Flying: Flight anxiety is a very common concern for many people, even the most adventurous travellers. Whether it’s bad weather, turbulence, flying over water, claustrophobia, losing control (panic attacks), or terrorism it’s a very real fear for many people. Grey spider is a wonderful flower essence for flying as it releases fears and phobias of perceived danger.

6. Public Speaking: Public speaking is a common source of stress for a large percentage of the population. You don’t have to be brilliant or perfect to succeed at public speaking. Bush Fuschia can be used to give courage and clarity in public speaking situations or when having to front up with a group of people. It helps to strengthen convictions and gut feelings and provide insight and purposefulness. Even famous stage and screen actors use Flower Essences; Cate Blanchett is one such example.

7. Dental Appointment: If you fear your next root canal then you are not alone. Dental phobia is the main reason why many people avoid going to the dentist. To lessen the uneasiness, and conquer your fear, Waratah can be used to provide courage, and faith and adaptability, honing in on your own survival skills, without the use of toxic happy gas.

8. Driver’s Test or Exam: Tackling your test in a calm, composed and confident manner is the best way to approach the big “D” day. Paw Paw brings focus and clarity to your emotional wellbeing and helps when dealing with a confronting situation such as a driving test or school exam.

9. A New Job Interview: It’s perfectly normal to be nervous and anxious about an impending job interview, wondering what questions may be thrown at you and how you’ll react especially if you are shy. The flower essence Tall Yellow Top provides comfort in different and strange environments which helps you to appear calm and collected even when faced with an unusual and daunting situation.

10. Loss of a Loved One or a Break Up: Few times in our lives are more devastating than the loss of a loved one. Coping with the loss or a partnership breakup can be very challenging. Using Bottlebrush will help you cope with change and find clarity in extremely difficult situations so that you can begin a healing transformation.

For more info about Flower Essences visit www.drinkbalance.com

Saturday
Aug202011

Women and Flower Essences


There are a multitude of reasons why flower essences are supportive to women. Traditionally women have benefited from the use of flower essences for different reasons such as stress, fatigue, insomnia as well as PMS, irregular menstrual cycles, hormonal imbalances, pregnancy, menopause.  In Australia, aboriginal women who have a strong connection with the land and the flora and fauna upon it, consider particular bush flowers sacred and believe that they are a symbol of female spirituality.

Certain Flower Essences work extremely well when used for specific ailments and additionally can be also used in times of emotional crisis. Flower Essences can be used safely throughout life and at any age, from childhood, to puberty through to adulthood and old age... Learn more about the history of Flower Essences here.

Nowadays women can find themselves overwhelmed by the demands of their lives and in their roles as mothers, careers, wives, whilst juggling their busy and demanding careers. Did you know that women perform 66 percent of the world’s work? This means that many more women are working in stressful jobs and find themselves entangled in a web of commitments, constantly juggling balls in the air.  Motherhood, work and family demands can take a toll on a woman’s health and emotional balance.

The use of flower essences can support women emotionally and help to restore balance and stability to their frazzled lives by working on mental and physical levels to give them clarity and calm and to target specific emotions. More specifically, Flower Essences work by helping calm and soothe in a delicate and gentle manner. In doing so they remove blockages. These blockages are often suppressing stress. In women particularly this stress may be the result of rumination and constantly ‘stewing’ over unresolved issues rather than releasing or letting it go. Keeping this tension circulating throughout the body is unhealthy on mental, emotional, physical and spiritual levels. 

One of the most beneficial flower essences used by women across the world is Paw Paw (Papaya), which triggers connection with women’s intuition and gives them the confidence to trust their inner voice.  Women have many different decisions to make on a daily basis and Paw Paw can help override the feeling of being overwhelmed, by calming the mind allowing clarity to prevail.  Students often take Paw Paw and Crowea essences during their exams to help them concentrate and focus and bring tranquility and composure to an otherwise stressful situation.  Crowea calms and helps with worry and has a centering effect. Bottlebrush is also a very interesting and old flower essence that has often been used by indigenous people to help with times of sadness or emotional upheaval and change.

 At important times during a woman’s life such as conception, pregnancy and menopause, flower essences can be used to restore female balance. She Oak helps with menstrual cramps and fertility and also helps to balance water retention, a condition that many women suffer from. Mood swings can be a thing of the past just by implementing Peach Flowered Tea Tree flower essence into your daily routine.  This essence works well for hypochondriacs and women who get bored easily and become disdainful after meeting challenges.  Bush Fuchsia can be useful during pregnancy and birth, supporting a woman emotionally with courage and integration of information. Perfect for when the doctor says PUSH!

Balance Women is a spring water which is enhanced with 8 key flower essences handpicked to restore calm and clarity for women. The essences contained in Balance Women are Banksia Robur, which restores vitality, Crowea to help with worry, She Oak for menstrual cramps and fertility, Paw Paw for overwhelming feelings, Peach Flowered Tea Tree for mood swings, Bush Fuchsia to balance the right-left hemispheres between being creative and analytic during the course of the day, Bush Iris which helps with circadian rhythms for sleeping and digestion and Bottle Brush for coping with change.

For more information about Flower Essences visit www.drinkbalance.com