"If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present." -Lao Tzu
Are you or someone you know battling depression? It can be heart wrenching and difficult to say the least. In this article my wish is to bring hope to a hopeless illness, and get those suffering back on their feet.
What does it take? Many times it comes down to being in the present and re-training your busy mind to adopt a new way of thinking. This is no small feat!
Be forewarned. I’m going to be straightforward with this, and no sugarcoating. The only way to cure depression is through hard work; taking the responsibility of health and well being into your own hands.
Depression is very difficult. Why? In a strange way, depression causes physical pain and "feels" good all at the same time. Dwelling in sadness can be addictive. It triggers the release of some of the same chemicals associated with addictive drugs. Whether we realize it or not, negative emotions and old patterns feel safe. They are familiar. Getting out of depression will take determination and daily work, but not to fret; baby steps. You will need to build new pathways in your mind and stay off the old ones. Eventually the new pathways will be well worn and the old pathways forgotten.
The strategies listed, done daily, will make a dramatic difference in your life. The more strategies used daily, the quicker you will feel relief. You will notice there are no pharmaceutical drugs involved in the healing of your mind. Pharma drugs block central lines of energy that are necessary to improve your health. Many of the drugs prescribed for depression have side effects that can make you more depressed or even suicidal. Stay away from them as much as possible.
If you follow the daily protocol you will find everyday gets easier and easier. Stay out of the negative thinking which is habitual. Re-train your brain.
This also works for grief, and heartbreak.
A note about suicidal thoughts:
Suicidal thoughts are never normal. Depression can be painful. Seek professional help if suicidal thoughts become part of the situation. Keep in mind that prescription antidepressants can all cause depression to deepen, triggering suicidal thoughts and actions in previously non-suicidal people. Keep careful tabs on any loved ones started on antidepressants.
Daily Protocol Suggestions:
1. No alcohol. Zilch. Alcohol is a depressant. You will feel depressed for several days after one glass. It's not worth it. Right now concentrate on getting better.
2. Give yourself a time limit to sulk, if needed, but give it a time frame. First day you might give yourself the whole weekend. Second, might be 24 hours. Third might be 10 minutes. Try and reduce each pity party, and don't allow yourself a minute later. Get up and get moving after PRE-DETERMINED time is up.
3. Solfeggio frequencies, binaural beats, and/or isochronic tones: Listen daily for a minimum of 20 minutes. Use headphones for binaural beats. Turn it up until you "feel" the vibration in your body. The point of this is to change the frequency the unhealthy body is vibrating at.
Did you know the galaxy sings? NASA has discovered the constant symphony of strange and interesting sounds coming from space. Earth itself has a frequency of 528 Hz. You can find all of these on YouTube for certain illnesses. Search for "depression".
4. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or "Tapping" - EFT works on acupuncture points on certain meridian channels by reprogramming neurological pathways. By tapping on these acupuncture points negative thoughts and emotions are disrupted so that new, healthy thought patterns can be created.
5. Get away from negative friends. Distance yourself from people that love to talk about problems. Relationship problems? Stay away from people that talk negative about their significant other and complain about their daily life with them. Meet up with people who have healthy, happy relationships and that strive to better their connections. Good friends matter. Laughter is the best medicine!
6. Positive affirmations. Write at least 15 post-it notes of positive affirmations and stick them throughout your home where you would see them constantly. "Seeing" the positive affirmations increases your vibration and reminds you of your worth. Examples of phrases to use: I am worth it. The best is yet to come. I love my life. I am strong. I am healthy. I am blessed. I can get better.
7. Take a walk. Take a walk outside everyday for 5-20 minutes; baby steps. Fresh air helps de-block the system and removes "ick" from the body. Nature rebalances our system and raises our vibration.
8. Meditate. Meditate for 20 minutes everyday. This can be done with the frequencies, tones, or binaural beats. Indian Flute music is great for this. Focus on gratitude to counteract the negative emotions associated with depression. Grace will follow.
9. Eat right. Putting junk into your body during this time will make you feel low, and lousy. Eat lots of vegetables and "real food". Reduce/eliminate sugar and processed food. This is a must!
10. Take magnesium. Taking 248mg of magnesium everyday has been shown to make a dramatic difference in depression symptoms.
11. Use essential oils. Diffusing or rubbing in essential oils (diluted) will raise your vibration and smells good too!
12. Vitamin D. Vitamin D is actually several different compounds. Be sure to take a Vitamin D3 supplement, especially during the long dark winters for those in the Northern Hemisphere. Get plenty of healthy sunshine when you can.
13. 5-HTP, L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, and CBD Oil.These supplements help restore balance to the brain's chemistry.
14. Stop yourself from negative thoughts. It's a bad habit. When you find your brain is saying mean things to yourself make a conscious effort to counteract it with a healthy phrase. Love yourself, and love yourself some more!
15. Find activities that YOU love doing. Take the time to find out whom YOU are and what YOU love to do. Allow yourself time to play. It's all about balance.
You can and will beat depression! Make the decision and start today.
Elaine Evenhouse is a licensed and certified occupational therapy assistant.