Alternative Ways to Manage Depression and Improve Mental Health

October 12th, 2012 by tracey

For Immediate Release

 Sunshine Coast 11th October 2012

Life Coach Introduces Alternative Ways to Manage Depression and Improve Mental Health

QUEENSLAND, Australia October, 2012 – With BeyondBlue reporting 1 million Australian adults and 100,000 young people are living with depression, it’s no wonder Australians are seeking alternatives to the ‘prescription’ method of dealing with the mental illness and are looking for natural and importantly, sustainable ways to manage depression, increase happiness and secure a greater sense of mental wellbeing.

Tracey Carmichael thought that there was something missing in the Mental Health System. With over 15 years experience as a natural therapist, Tracey decided to share her clinical experience of conquering mental illness in a book titled Happy Mind Formula and to offer support through her life coaching business to those who wanted to live a happier life once and for all. The unique and well-respected book details different techniques and strategies for how to manage anxiety disorders, depression, other emotional problems and finally put an end to the mood swings that so many people experience.

 As the founder and director of Happy Mind Formula, Tracey cringes at the thought of so many Aussies resorting to medication immediately upon being diagnosed with an emotional disorder. “There are so many elements that can contribute to our mental health such as learned behavior, traumatic experiences, food intolerances, alcohol or drug abuse, overconsumption of energy drinks or simply low self-worth. Perhaps GPs and mental health professionals do not have the time to go through all these areas with the patient but I don’t think it’s right that many people are unaware of the other factors that can contribute to emotional disorders,” says Tracey. Tracey’s book, Happy Mind Formula, is helping many Aussies manage their mental health through more natural ways such as food, exercise, and personal development.

It provides an action plan for each person to be in control of their life and how they live it. Tracey says, “I am motivated and inspired each time I see an article or program on the alarming rates of depression and how it is increasing in our society.   The facts and figures on anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications being prescribed is nothing short of alarming.” Tracey believes that people go through a depressive state in their lives due to a variety of problems or stressors, but believes people can learn to conquer it without prescription medication and reorient their lives towards reaching happiness. Tracey’s motto is: Responsibility + Actions = Results to enrich all aspects of life. For more information contact Tracey on  07 5444 1044                                                                       


End Your Relationship and Find Happiness

October 5th, 2012 by tracey

For Immediate Release      

Sunshine Coast 5th October 2012                          Contact Tracey

Sunshine Coast Woman Begs Unhappy Locals To End Their Relationship With depression now ranked as one of the most common mental illnesses experienced by Australians, it is estimated by experts that 1 in 5 Australians will experience depression at some stage in their lives, and Sunshine Coast residents are not immune.

Whilst many people with depression seek help from medicos who are often too quick to prescribe potentially dangerous medication like Xanax, one local Sunshine Coast woman who herself suffered with anxiety and depression for most of her life, has found that the answer lies not in ‘taking’ something but in ‘giving it up’.

And what she found specifically was that it was her relationship with addictive foods such wheat, gluten and sugar was one of the root causes of her unhappiness, and now she is on a quest to educate others about going through the ‘food-based break up’.   And as with any relationship that ends, there’s always doubt it will be better on the other side, but Tracey Carmichael is living proof that there is!

“Whether you are depressed or not you will experience positive benefits from ‘breaking up’ with these foods and ditching them from your diet. Once the break up takes place, people will experience a lift in mood, increased energy levels, better sleep patterns, decreased anxiety, less bloating and decreased intestinal and weight loss problems” Says Tracey who is now 12 years into her ‘new’ relationship with food.

• A study from the University College London UK, found people who eat a diet in processed foods have a 58% higher risk of depression

• Dr Sherry Ann Rogers says “In the 26 years I have been in medicine, if I had to choose the number one food that has caused the most depression, it would be sugar. The second most common food to cause depression is wheat.”

• Melbourne University released a study showing that gluten and wheat based products caused addiction withdrawal symptoms for over 70% of the 200 people tested

• Wheat, gluten and sugar along with alcohol and caffeine have a direct affect on blood sugar levels resulting in Hypoglycaemia and dramatic mood swings – and most people have no idea

Hypoglycaemia is the dramatic spike and fall of blood sugar levels. During a hypoglycaemic episode the blood sugar levels skyrocket, causing a spike in serotonin our “happy hormone” and after a brief euphoric period sugar levels then crash; resulting in irritability, anxiety and depression. These highs and lows create a dangerous and addictive cycle.

Now in control of her depression, Tracey Carmichael founded the Happy Mind Formula on the Sunshine Coast as she believes local people needed to know this valuable information so they can take control of their own depression and get off addictive prescription drugs.

With over 15 years as a Natural Therapist and Weight loss consultant, Tracey now shares how eliminating these foods dramatically improved her mental health, and how anyone can do it too in her acclaimed book  “Happy Mind Formula”.

Tracey uses the book to educate people on not only the WHY, but the HOW to making this life changing step, end their relationship with damaging foods and come out the other side happier and healthier.  It even covers food lists, food to avoid and over 150 gluten and sugar free recipes and food combinations.

If you like more information on how foods make us sad and fat contact Tracey on  07 5444 1044




Australia’s Largest Health Problem Goes Unabated

September 21st, 2012 by tracey

MEDIA RELEASE Immediate Release

With Xanax addiction reaching epic proportions; the numbing of Australians goes unabated   Said to be more addictive than cocaine, Xanax is the anti-anxiety drug in the medicine cabinet of millions of Australian homes. Many feel it is being over prescribed here by doctors unaware of the drug’s dark side.

Last year a staggering one million prescriptions for the drug Xanax alone were issued to treat anxiety and some symptoms of depression in Australia.

As the founder and director of Happy Mind Formula, Tracey Carmichael cringes at the thought of so many Aussies resorting to medication as the first and only option upon being diagnosed with an emotional disorder. “There are so many elements that can contribute to our mental health such as learned behaviour, traumatic experiences, food intolerances, alcohol or drug abuse, overconsumption of energy drinks or simply low self-worth. Perhaps GPs and mental health professionals do not have the time to go through all these areas with the patient but I don’t think it’s right that many people are unaware of the other factors that can contribute to emotional disorders,” says Tracey.

• By 2020, depression is predicted to be one of the world’s largest health problems

• Mental illness affects one in four females and one in six males

• It is predicted that 30% of young people will have had an episode of mental illness by the age of 25 years.

Tracey Carmichael thought that there was something missing in the Mental Health System. With over 15 years experience as a natural therapist, Tracey decided to share her  experience of conquering mental illness in a book titled Happy Mind Formula and to offer support through her life coaching business to those who wanted to live a happier life. The unique and well-respected book details different techniques and strategies for how to manage anxiety disorders, depression, mood swings and low self-esteem that so many people experience.

Tracey’s passion is teaching people to take responsibility and action to achieve optimal mental health. The Happy Mind Formula helps readers to understand just how much power they have to help themselves. Tracey shares the blueprint for the way she lives her life and creates an action plan for reader to follow.

This enlightening read is a great resource for anyone suffering anxiety, depression, mood swings and low self esteem. It helps people to source the necesary support, understand why this support is important, and discover how to break the cycle of drepression and anxiety. For more information contact Tracey Carmichael 07 5444 1044


Everbody is Right; but how can that be?

June 11th, 2012 by tracey

Does that statement make the hair on your neck stand up? It may, particularly if you have been in conflict recently with someone in your life. Or perhaps you have someone who is trying to drag you along through life and be perfect just” like them”


Did you know we are bombarded by 2,000,000 bits of information per second from our outside world.

2,000,000 bits per second!!!!!

This massive amount of information is received via what we hear, see, touch, smell and taste.

The human mind however, can only process 134 bits of information per second and only 7 bits of this information, plus or minus 2 bits are actually utilised.

Just imagine that you and your friend or partner are experiencing the same experience and you are both receiving 2,000,000 bits of information per second, processing 134 bits and only utilising 7 bits plus or minus 2 bits.

Good grief who is processing what?

We all process information differently depending on whether we are visual, auditory, kinesthetic or digital.


People with a visual preference, will tend to:  

•Be organized, neat and well-groomed. Why? Because they want to look good. And what do they expect from you? Yes, the same thing!

 •Use visualization for memory and decision making – often getting insights about something.

 •Be more imaginative and may have difficulty putting their ideas in words.

 •Speak faster than the general population. Why? Because they have a picture(s) in their mind and if it is a moving picture, there is a lot to tell in so little time!

 •Prefer in-person interactions – to see the other person and his/her reactions.

  •Want to see or be shown concepts, ideas or how something is done.  

•Want to see the big picture.  

•May not remember what people have said and become confused if you give them too many verbal instructions. However, if you can draw a map or picture for them, then they can see what you are saying.  

•Remember faces more easily than names.  

•Be distracted by visual activity and less so by noise.


People with an auditory tonal preference, will tend to:  

•Be more aware of subtle change in the tone of your voice and be more responsive to certain tones of voice.

 •Perceive and represent sequences and are able to remember directions or instructions more easily.  

•Learn by listening and asking questions.  

•Enjoy discussions and prefer to communicate through spoken language rather than the written word.

 •Talk through problems and like to have someone available to serve as a sounding board for their ideas.

 •Need to be heard.

 •Be easily distracted by noise.


People with a kinesthetic preference, will tend to:

 •Speak slower than the general population. Why? Because they need time to get in touch with how they feel about the topic.

 •Be more sensitive to their bodies and their feelings and respond to physical rewards and touching.

 •Learn by doing, moving or touching.  

•Dress and groom themselves more for comfort than how they look.

 •Make decisions based on their feelings.

 •Stand closer to other people than those with a visual preference – to feel the other person’s energy, whereas the person with a visual preference will stand back to see more of the other person (body language, etc.).


Digital is devoid of the senses. People with an auditory digital preference, will tend to:  

•Have a need to make sense of the world, to figure things out, to understand.

 •Talk to themselves and carry on conversations with you in their mind. Often they will say they remember discussing something with you, when you actually did not have the conversation. They did, however, in their mind!

 •Learn by working things out in their mind.  

•Not to be spontaneous, as they like to think things through.

 •Have logic play a key role in the decision process as do facts and figures.

 •Memorize by steps, procedures, sequences. 

The information we receive is directly related to how we are wired to process our outside world. It is not about being right or wrong; it is about understanding and accepting how we and others perceive and function in the world.

Having a clearer understanding of how different our models of the world are, helped me to stop judging others, let go of being right and trying to change others. It gave me freedom to be me and to stop worrying about what others thought of me.

I hope it helps you too!

 Tracey Carmichael – is Life Coach and Author of Happy Mind Formula – Your Action Plan to Mental and Physical Wellbeing. During Tracey’s 15 years as a Natural Therapist she discovered a missing link between depression and happiness. Through her own personal experience she discovered a formula to break this debilitating condition. With a holistic approach to food, movement and exercise she was able to create positive change in her own life and in the lives of her clients. Her passion is to share this message with the world to help people understand that they do have the power to move from depression and happiness.

Tracey can help you to communicate effectively and change or embrace your world to experience it in the best possible way for you. For more information on coaching packages email







Goal Set to Create Self Worth

June 3rd, 2012 by tracey

 Setting and achieving goals is the first step towards creating a positive self image and outlook. Setting goals creates purpose in our lives. When we have purpose we find our identity, we feel valued, we feel capable and this in turn changes our behaviour and how we function in the world.

Goal setting is an important part of moving forward from depression. Although the black, paralysing feeling often associated with depression makes you feel as though it is the last thing you could do; it is so important to start. I learned early on that “doing” was an important part of crawling out of the black hole.

 “Without goals the mind begins to wander, and more often than not it will focus on unresolvable problems that create anxiety”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Setting small goals initially will make them easier to achieve, allowing you to slowly build your confidence and energy levels. It is these small successes that will slowly but surely build your self esteem and move you toward setting greater goals. Start with short term goals, such as writing a list in the evening of what you would like to achieve the next day. Writing a list helps with the poor concentration that is often associated with anxiety and depression.

 Your list for the day may be as simple as

1. Get out of bed

2. Go for a walk

3. Shower

 4. Have breakfast

5. Pay the bills

 6. Vacuum the house

Work on what you can where you can, but at least write the list. Tick the list off as you achieve each goal and congratulate yourself on having done so. If there is something on the list that you did not get to, do not berate yourself; simply add it on to the next day’s list. As you start to feel a little stronger, challenge yourself by adding more activities or tasks to your list each day.

 The symptoms of anxiety and depression can often be at their worst first thing in the morning, making this the most difficult time to cope. If you feel better in the evenings, maybe this is a good time to get things marked off your list, like making sure that your room or house is tidy, the dishes are done and your clothes are laid out ready to start the next day. When you go to bed at night, have everything ready, including all the basic ingredients to prepare a Happy Mind Breakfast.

“If you aim at nothing, you are sure to hit it every time” Zig Ziglar

Achieving small goals will empower you to repeat these tasks daily and move onto bigger and better things. As time goes by, you will feel more confident to start setting some long term goals. Long term goals may include taking up a new hobby, starting a training course, joining an exercise group, finding a new place to live or looking for a new job. The possibilities are endless and very achievable, if you take baby steps along the way.

 In order to set long term goals, some of the things you may like to ask yourself are:

 • What motivates me?

• What interests me?

• What would I do more of if I could?

• What do I want in my life?

 • What am I passionate about?

• Where do I want my life to go?

 • What makes me happy and brings me joy?

 • What are my dreams and hopes for the future?

 When you set long term goals it is important to break them down into smaller tasks to prevent feeling overwhelmed and resulting in doing nothing. Choose one long term goal at a time and have a look at how you can break that down into achievable steps, so that each day you do something towards achieving that goal. Your daily task could be as small as making one phone call or sending one email that will move you slowly and surely towards your long term goal.

 “The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”  Lao Tzu

Share your story of “How setting small goals helped you to build your self worth”

Healthy Breakfast for Busy People

June 3rd, 2012 by tracey






Egg and Fruit Platter

Serves 1

This is a great breakfast for busy mornings as the boiled eggs can be cooked in bulk and the fruit can be pre-prepared and stored in airtight containers in the fridge. For additional versatility, this breakfast can also be packed into a lunch box for a breakfast on the go!

1.Boil two eggs

2.Cut boiled eggs into quarters

 3.Lay eggs and fruit of your choice onto a platter

4.Season eggs to taste with salt and pepper.


Try the following fruit combinations for your

Egg and Fruit Platter:

  •1 diced plum, 12 blueberries, 6 cherries

•1 diced nectarine, ½ cup diced mango, ½ cup diced pawpaw

•1 quartered fig, 1 quartered kiwi fruit, 8 grapes

 •½ sliced pear, ½ sliced apple, 1 diced apricot

 •½ cup diced pineapple, ½ cup diced paw paw, 1 halved passionfruit.

Find more delicious recipes and food combinations to stabilise your blood sugar levels in Happy Mind Formula – Your Action Plan to Mental and Physical Well Being





Spicy Pumpkin and Capsicum Bake

May 27th, 2012 by tracey

YUM, YUM, YUM!!!!!!! That is all I can say about this one. I prepared it over the weekend and served it with a grilled chicken breast for dinner and then recycled the rest of it the next day and served it cold as a delicious salad. Enjoy this weeks Happy Mind Meal!!!




1 large butternut pumpkin

1 large red capsicum

25og green beans

1 cup pecan nuts

1 cup fresh basil leaves

2-3 teaspoons Cajun spice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup crumbled Feta


1. Preheat the oven to 200’C

2. Roughly chop pumpkin into 2cm cubes leaving the skin on

3. Seed and slice the capsicum into 2cm slices

4. Place pumpkin and capsicum into a baking dish and sprinkle with cajun spice and vegetable oil and toss

5. Cover the baking dish with al foil and bake for 30 minutes

6. Trim the beans. cut in half and lightly blanch, set aside

7. Roughly chop the pecan nuts and set aside

8. After 30 minutes remove the vegetables from the oven and toss

9. Return them to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes or until they are golden and tender

10. Remove the vegetables and toss through pecan nuts, fresh basil and beans and cook for a further 5-10 minutes

11. Serve with a protein portion of your choice and top the vegetable bake with crumble feta

RECYCLE this recipe by tossing the left over vegetable bake with rocket and baby spinach, top with feta cheese and serve with lemon juice.


Find more delicious recipes and food combinations to stabilise your blood sugar levels in Happy Mind Formula – Your Action Plan to Mental and Physical Wellbeing









How to Reduce Stress and Overwhelm

May 27th, 2012 by tracey

I know this one all too well. I spent a huge part of my life being the “Yes” girl.

When a request was made of me, I would automatically blurt out YES. I didn’t take time to consider the request or the consequences it would have on me or my family. In hindsight I feel the catalyst for this behaviour was low self esteem. I was so desperate to “fit in” and be accepted that my only focus was not letting the other person down.

I demonstrated this behaviour in my personal and professional life.

I was like a mouse on a wheel; working full time, juggling a family and pandering to every whim. I lived in a constant state of anxiety; sometimes so bad I found it difficult to breath or swallow food due to my throat and chest being so constricted. I felt trapped, burnt out and exhausted.

Actually, I remember going to see a healer when I first began my journey to mental and physical well being and I recall him asking me what I did when I felt my body responding this way. He was referring to constriction in the throat and chest.

Talk about lack of awareness back then.

This was my answer “I just keep pushing through it; hoping it will go away”

Although this fellow was a bit out there and not someone I would recommend my clients to today;  he did  give me my first lesson in Awareness.

I became aware that day that I was not listening to my body at all.

The constriction in my throat and chest (anxiety) was my body screaming out  “give me break”.  I left his house feeling so much lighter; I now had permission to listen to my body and give myself a break.

Old habits die hard and it took me a long time to break the YES habit, however I can happily say that I now have it down pat. It is very liberating  to set boundaries with people and commitments that do not serve you.

I read a book many years ago called “First Things First” by Stephen Covey and he explained how to use the “gap” which I found to be a very useful tool in reducing stress and overwhelm in my life.

Using the gap allows us to identify the difference between what is urgent in our lives and what is important.

Urgency refers to how quickly action is required. Urgent tasks may include a ringing phone, a drop-in visitor or a text message. Important things in life are those that do not have a deadline but are crucial to balance, happiness and well being. Important focuses include family, finances, relationships, exercise, diet, personal development and relaxation.

We often confuse urgency with importance because of the high energy that is attached to urgency. We become extremely busy doing the things that jump out to grab our attention and seem important at the time. It is this confusion between what is urgent and what is important that can leave us feeling trapped, stressed and overwhelmed.

How do we break this cycle?

We start by implementing the use of the “gap” into our lives. The gap is simply that; a gap in between action and reaction, ensuring that you never compromise on what is important to you with someone else’s urgency. Using the gap eliminates the possibility of saying “yes” when you should have said “no”.

When an urgent request is made of you that clashes with what you consider important in your life, consider using one of these responses

  • I am not sure what I have on. I will check my diary and give you a call tomorrow
  • Yes I can help you, but not at that particular time. I will get back to you with a time that suits

There is no need to feel as though you are doing an injustice to a loved one, shirking a responsibility or being selfish. It is necessary to take care of yourself to prevent becoming mentally and physically exhausted. You may even find that as you  learn to set boundaries with people and commitments that do not serve you, your circle of friends and social engagements may change and this should not be met with feelings of guilt.

Here are some Happy Mind Tips that may help you set boundaries and experience more time for you

  • Use the “Gap” between action and reaction before making any decisions
  • Make a commitment to stop being the “Yes” person
  • Turn off your mobile phone during quality family time and “me” time
  • Return phone calls and emails in block times rather than sporadically throughout the day
  • Make a commitment to only check your emails, face book and twitter once or twice daily
  • Ask your friends to stop sending you junk email or block sender if you do not know them
  • Unsubscribe to newsletters via emails that are no longer relevant
  • Leave work at the time you are meant to
  • Delegate tasks at work where necessary 
  • Do not take work home
  • Delegate tasks to others in the house – particularly if they are teenagers or adult children
  • If you are struggling; ask for help

I love this quote from Richard Carlson and it is one that I have used for many years to remind myself to back off; I hope it helps you too.

“When you die; your in tray still won’t be empty”

Are You suffering from Urgency Addiction? – Click here to find out

If you have a story you would like to share; I would love to hear from. You can comment below.

Health and Happiness Tracey Carmichael

Author of Happy Mind Formula – Your Action Plan to Mental and Physical Wellbeing








Self Love Muffins

May 21st, 2012 by tracey

To love yourself is to love and respect your body and what you put into it. This does not mean that we deprive ourselves.

This recipe is by Sarah Wilson author of “I Quit Sugar”

These gluten -free rhubarb muffins are by no means pretty but nevertheless make a lovely breakfast or snack treat. Rhubarb has a low fructose content but is perfectly sweet when baked and the beautiful spices make these muffins complete. The addition of hazelnut meal and almonds provides the perfect balance to stabilise blood sugar levels and maintain a Happy Mind. Enjoy them with lovely cup of herbal tea!!!

MAKES 8-10

175g hazelnut meal

85g almonds chopped

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)

2 large eggs beaten

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 tbsp milk, nut milk, coconut milk

200g rhubarb chopped in 1cm pieces


1. Preheat the oven to 170’C and prepare a 10 cup muffin tin

2. Combine the hazelnut meal, almonds, baking powder and soda, salt and spices in a bowl

3. Whisk together eggs, oil and milk and add this to the dry ingredients

4. Fold through rhubarb

5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups and bake for 2-30 minutes or until the muffins feel firm to touch

6. Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving

7. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze




Who Presses Your Buttons?

May 11th, 2012 by tracey

If we believe that someone has the power to upset us or we have the power to upset others then we must believe in…..

Cause and Effect which is the belief that others have the power to cause us to feel unhappy and the belief that we have the power to cause unhappiness in others.

How does this one sit with you? Do you believe this to be true and correct?

I think most of us would, however I would like to share a different way for you to look at cause and effect.

In order for someone to makes us feel unhappy or for us to cause pain and unhappiness in others we must have access to their emotional buttons.


We must be able to press or stimulate these buttons to get a reaction?

Cause – pressing the button/ saying or doing something

Effect – emotional reaction to the words or actions

So where are your buttons? Do we have buttons on the outside of our bodies that read

 “Press here for Anger”

“Press here for Sadness”

“Press here for Happiness”

Of course not! We all have full control of our emotions and how we react to situations.

The key to changing this pattern is to have “awareness” of these emotions and make a conscious choice to react differently.

If you have someone in your life who is constantly causing you pain and unhappiness, try looking at the situation from this new perspective.

 You now know that only you can press your emotional buttons

Make a conscious choice to react differently to the same behaviour and watch your relationships change.