Saturday, February 26, 2005

Improving Your Mood

I thought it might be interesting to tell of some mood-lifters that were used in former times, passed on from my great-grandmother's time.

Sometimes when girls felt low or depressed, their mothers would tell them to wash their hair. The movement of the arms and hands, combined with the massage of the scalp, and the smell of the shampoo, would often create a change in mood. After the hair was dry, styling it and putting a ribbon in it made things seem much brighter.

Another thing that they used to lift the mood was lavender grown in their gardens. A lavender wand could be made by a special way of weaving ribbon around several stocks of the flowering plant. This wand was put in drawers of clothing, including handkerchiefs. In the days before paper tissues, ladies liked their handkerchiefs to be scented. Putting a lavender scented hanky to the nose often improved a "blue mood." Both the flowers and leaves were used to make a hot tea. Boiling water was poured over a teaspoon of lavender and allowed to steep a few minutes, and then sipped. It was used to cure depression.

Going for a long walk was another remedy for depression. Freshly picked flowers were a must in curing the blues.

Women of means usually found that buying a new dress or hat cheered them up considerably.

In church circles, women found that getting a basket of good things to give to someone in need, was a sure way to lift the mood.

Hobbies such as paper dolls, scrapbooking, letter writing, and sewing, were also common remedies.

My grandmother said she used to mop the floor and clean house when she was feeling a bit low.

Cleaning house, then dressing up and having a cup of tea in a pretty cup, changes a person's mood considerably.

Music is also a great mood lifter. Even without a radio or a tape player, a person can sing, and even if the singing is not quite note-for-note on tune, the act of singing cheers the heart in a mighty way.

There are certain scents that create a feeling of well being. Even if you dont' drink coffee, the smell of it is said to make people feel good. Cinnamon is another great scent, as well as a freshly peeled orange. Leave the peelings in a bowl for awhile and let them scent the house. Bread baking can make people feel happy and relaxed. You can take a shortcut by buying frozen dough at the grocery store and following the directions on the package. Often it is just a matter of putting it in the oven at the right temperature. Sometimes the bread is already in a tin, prepared for baking.

Colors are also great ways to improve the mood. Red in all forms, including cranberry, wine, burgundy, scarlet, etc. can often make people feel cheerful instantly. Some people are made more happy by other colors, such as pinks, peaches, or blues.

My own solution is usually to think of the pioneer women who settled out west, and endured much loneliness and hardship. I'm sure they had many depressing and lonely times, and much tragedy, yet they loved a bouquet of flowers and some pretty fabric, just like I do. The lives they led give me endless inspiration.

Romans 12:1-2 be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Some of he things you must transform your mind to are found in Philippians 4:8

The mind needs to be renewed often, because it can become full of many extra things.

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