This week I want to focus on overcoming depression!
I have struggled with depression from time to time in my life and I have learned some great techniques for getting past it.
Depression weakens our life force and spirit. It disables our forward progress in this world. How can you have spiritual growth when you are struggling just to do the normal human things in a day? (The truth is that you are still growing spiritually even when you are in a depression, but it’s really hard to see it because you think you are your emotions.)
There are a few key aspects that go of the tracks when depression sinks in and I want to talk about each one. Here are the 3 keys to overcome depression:
Negative Thoughts: When you become depressed typically you have gotten in the habit of telling yourself negative thoughts without even realizing it. To overcome this aspect of depression all you have to do it get the good thoughts to out-number the negative thoughts. This sounds overly simple, but it works. It works for me and it has worked for millions of other people. It works because your brain has triggers in it that tell it if something is wrong or if everything is alright. When you think negative thoughts your brain starts releasing stress hormones because it keeps getting the message, “Everything is not alright.” All you have to do is reverse that trigger by thinking positive thoughts – and you don’t even have to fully buy in to what you are telling yourself in order for it to work!
Action to take: Several times per day and when you go to bed and when you wake up tell your self over and over again, “I like myself, I like my life.” (Even if you think you don’t.) Just repeat it over and over, maybe 10-20 times. It doesn’t have to be super meaningful, it can be pretty fast. You will notice a result within 1-2 days from this simple exercise. I often feel relief right when I am doing it as if the brain takes a big sigh and finally relaxes!
“Depressives have a negative self-schema…” (If the things you think about yourself are negative you will become depressed.) Article HERE
“the findings suggest that depression involves an enhanced accessibility of interconnected negative thoughts that can undermine mental control efforts.” (Your positive thoughts need to be persistent – therefore we need repetition daily for them to sink in.) Article HERE
Nutrition: There are food that make you feel good and foods that make you feel bad. We’ve all experienced this, but did you know that the foods that make you feel good are actually causing your body to produce and release more serotonin!? It’s like taking an anti-depressant without having any of the side-effects or needing a prescription. And there are food that release more serotonin than others.
Action to take: Eat more of these foods and avoid fast food, over processed foods, and sugar (including heavy starches like potatoes).
- Dark Chocolate
- Raw Cashews and Almonds
Here is an article for you with an extensive list of serotonin boosting foods.
Meditation: When you are depressed you have a belief that you are your emotions. It may seem far-fetched if this is the first time you are hearing this, but you ARE NOT your emotions. You are the spiritual being observing the emotion in your physical body. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel awful, but it does mean you can get some distance from it naturally. To start to realize that you are the controller – the observer – the powerful and beautiful spiritual being behind the scenes mediation can help immensely. You don’t even have to know why – if you meditate you will feel it and it will help you feel better – guaranteed!
Action to take: For 10-20 minutes each day (or when you can for however long you can – it matters most that you just do it) sit in meditation and don’t think anything. 🙂 I am referring to “Mindfulness Meditation.” In this type of meditation you become the observer in the present. You observe your thoughts come and go without trying to control them or get lost in them. You stay in the present focused on your breath and if you think anything at all it’s like, “This is me sitting, that was a thought about _____________. There’s an emotion ____________,” and it just keeps flowing through. You are not judging anything as good or bad, you are not solving any problems or dwelling on thoughts, everything is just passing through you. This will give you a break from everything! This will allow you to gain a healthy distance from strong emotions. It’s not about not feeling them – it’s about realizing that you are not your emotions. You are observing them and they come and go, just like your thoughts and other experiences.
Research – depression is caused by ruminative (negative) thought patterns, mindfulness meditation (MM) can reduce this and give relief. Article HERE
This should give you a really good start in the right direction. If you would like to read more about an amazing system for relieving depression check out this link. http://tinyurl.com/qf92a9n (It’s on SALE and has a 60 day money back guarantee so there is no risk to check it out.)
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