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May their words be pleasing to others. May they be free from fear, tension, anxiety, worry, and restlessness. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body, yet it is readily depleted in the face of chronic stress. If you're low on magnesium anyway, stressful times can cause an even bigger deficit that, without intervention, can result in more stress, which depletes even more magnesium from your system. Schisandra has a long history of use as a mood lifter in traditional Chinese medicine. Because it increases dopamine levels in the brain, schisandra is often used to enhance focus and motivation. Studies have found that this ancient herb also restricts the amount of cortisol in the brain during times of stress. Problems getting to sleep (and staying that way) affect everyone from time to time. But when you're stressed or anxious, it's hard to shut off your thoughts, making sleep even more elusive. A full night's sleep contributes to not just physical health and energy but to your mental health and outlook as well. A quiet, calm, and dark sleep environment with a quality mattress is a great foundation for consistent and restorative sleep. A healthy diet, not eating too late, and calming yourself prior to bedtime (think meditation) are great contributors to ensuring quality sleep. The following herbs and nutrients can help as well: California poppy is a gorgeous orange wildflower packed with alkaloids that have sedative, analgesic, and antispasmodic benefits. Often used to treat insomnia, California poppy can also ease anxiety and nervous tension. One study that appeared in the journal Planta Medica found that California poppy acts to reduce anxious feelings under stressful conditions, and it does so safely.[10] Other research shows that it improves both the quality and the quantity of sleep without the "hangover" common to pharmaceutical sleep aids. Hops is best known as a major component in beer, but it also has a long history of medicinal use. According to a professor at the University of Extremadura in Badajoz, Spain, taking hops shortly before bedtime increases the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA.[11] This effectively decreases nocturnal activity in the circadian rhythm, normalizing the sleep/wake cycle and making it easier to get a good night's sleep. Everything we've been talking about leads up to a single point - you being able to look at someone, analyze their body language and determine what their mind set is. When you learn how to do this, you can start posture mirroring. The reason this is such a tricky action is that you really don't want to come across as making fun of them.

Imagine what happens if you stand there copying their every gesture. They might not realize at first, but as time goes by, it will grow awkward and eventually they'll either be offended or weirded out. So, instead of simply mimicking them like a monkey trying to get a banana out of the machine, you should look for the drive behind their actions and take on that persona. If someone is relaxing, leaning back and talking smoothly and calmly, they are relaxed and inviting. Mirror this by relaxing your arms, settling into your chair and slowing the pace of conversation. If they are excited and energetic, showing it with rapid hand gestures and quick speech, don't necessarily copy their hand gestures, but display your own level of excitement to mirror that attitude. In mirroring someone's actions, you create a strong Affinity and Empathy with that person, connecting with them on a level that cannot be reached through conversation alone. It's all subconscious, but it can lead to a much greater conversation almost immediately. Again, avoid direct mirroring and if someone is displaying posture and body language indicating discomfort or annoyance, don't mirror that. Try to draw them in with your own relaxing body language instead. If you're a lark, the cues to sleep may be as simple as getting into bed and turning off the light. If your buffer zone activity has you already in bed, maybe the signals that it is time to sleep are setting your alarm for the next morning, turning off the light, and assuming your regular position in bed. If you have a bed partner who goes to sleep at the same time, maybe you say goodnight to each other. (And if you have a bed partner who goes to sleep after you, hopefully they are skilled at crawling in later without waking you up.) Then off you go to sleep. For owls, sleepiness can feel elusive at times. The repetition of waking up at the same time and winding down at the same time every day will teach your body that when the wind-down routine comes to a close, it is time for sleep. That said, there may be nights when a relaxing hour has passed and you still feel awake. In those moments, what do you do? You don't want to fret about it because the more anxious you get, the harder it will be to fall asleep. Instead, you might want to build in additional external cues to help communicate to your body that it is time to sleep.

These additional cues can include a five-minute relaxation exercise that you do in bed, with the light off, right before you assume a sleeping position. You might take slow, diaphragmatic breaths for a few minutes (I'll share detailed instructions for this in Principle 4), or you could evoke a visual image of yourself in a peaceful place and imagine all the sights, sounds, and smells around you. You might say a prayer. When sleep feels far from me, I do an abbreviated version of progressive muscle relaxation, or PMR. PMR involves intentionally tightening and then relaxing different muscle groups to elicit a relaxation response. You can work through multiple muscle groups across the body--legs, feet, hands, arms, shoulders, stomach, face--tightening each area for 5 to 10 seconds before loosening and releasing. In my abridged version, I squeeze my hands into fists, then loosen and open them, noticing the contrasting sensations from tight to relaxed. Next, I clench my toes for a few seconds, then loosen them, again noticing the contrasting sensations from tight to relaxed. Because I have repeated this simple sequence so often right before falling asleep, the act has become, over time, a powerful cue that it's time to sleep. Experiment and see what happens. Do note that repetition is the key to making any of these suggestions work. The more you get yourself wound down in the same way, tucked in at the same time, and out of bed at the same time, the easier it will be for your body to fall asleep when you turn off the lights and close your eyes. If you only learned about the symptoms and treatments of depression, you'd only be seeing half the picture of mental illness. This chapter will highlight the often unwritten and unaddressed aspects of depression. To understand the full depressive experience, you need to know details about psychotherapy, medication, and healthcare coverage. The good, the bad, and the ugly of them all. What I call the "inside track." PSYCHOTHERAPY: THE INSIDE TRACK Human beings have been talking to others about feelings and thoughts as far back as prehistoric times. Be it in pictorial cave draw-ings or at a local Starbucks, social intervention continues to thread itself into the fabric of human life. Talking to another about issues became more scientific with the discovery of the talking cure in the 1890s by neurologist Sigmund Freud, physician Josef Breuer, and patient Bertha Pappenheim. Freud developed the talking cure further and created the study and practice of psychoanalysis.

Since Freud, numerous types of psychotherapies have been born, with some emerging as more modern in their approach, while others remain classical. All of these forms of talk therapy have the same goal, which is to reduce symptoms and develop well-being. With regard to depression, the treatment of psychotherapy can offer great success, but there are some fundamentals you need to know. Psychotherapy cannot be successful unless you want to be there. Though I believe everyone can benefit from psychotherapy, you can't heal if you don't come on your own accord. First and foremost, it's essential that you not feel trapped into making an appointment. Out of concern and love, parents sometimes force children and teens into therapy before they are ready. The same goes for adults when partners, friends, or relatives pressure them to get into treatment. If you feel coerced into going to therapy, express your discomfort to the therapist. Often, I detect when this has happened and rework the session to give the decision-making power back to the patient. There are other times that I'm not so attuned and miss the clues. Therapists are nurturers and helpers but not mind readers, so don't hold in your reluctance. May all rulers be gentle, kind, generous, and compassionate. May they have understanding of the oppressed, the underprivileged, the discriminated against, and the poverty-stricken. May their hearts melt at the suffering of their unfortunate citizens. Let these thoughts of loving friendliness embrace them, envelop them. Let every cell, every drop of blood, every atom, every molecule of their entire bodies and minds be charged with thoughts of friendliness. Let the peace and tranquillity of loving friendliness pervade their entire being. May the oppressed and underprivileged, the poverty-stricken and those discriminated against, meet with peace and happiness. May they be free from pain, afflictions, depression, disappointment, anxiety, and fear.

May all of them in all directions, all around the universe, be well, happy, and at peace. May they have the patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome the inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life. May these thoughts of loving friendliness embrace all of them, envelop them. May their minds and bodies be filled with thoughts of loving friendliness. May all beings everywhere of every shape and form, with two legs, four legs, many legs, or no legs, born or coming to birth, in this realm or the next, have happy minds. May no one deceive another nor despise anyone anywhere. May no one wish harm to another. Toward all living beings, may I cultivate a boundless heart, above, below, and all around, unobstructed without hatred or resentment. May all beings be released from suffering and attain perfect peace. Loving friendliness goes beyond all boundaries of religion, culture, geography, language, and nationality. It is a universal and ancient law that binds all of us together--no matter what form we may take. Loving friendliness should be practiced unconditionally. My enemy's pain is my pain. His anger is my anger. His loving friendliness is my loving friendliness. If he is happy, I am happy. If he is peaceful, I am peaceful. If he is healthy, I am healthy. Just as we all share suffering regardless of our differences, we should all share our loving friendliness with every person everywhere. No one nation can stand alone without the help and support of other nations, nor can any one person exist in isolation.