8 Tips to Help with Depression
Depression clouds our mind and heart, creating a disconnect within the self. We become overwhelmed with sadness, doubts and fears. It can be quite crippling and the solutions are different for everyone. In my experience, self-love is a crucial component. When we lack self-love we create an emptiness within that can never be satisfied. This emptiness is like a dark abyss that erupts with pain when avoided. However, if we dive into the dark abyss (the unconscious), we uncover great freedom on the other side.
Here are 8 tips to help embrace the pain and free yourself from depression, by expanding on self-love and appreciation.
Tip 1 – Self-Image
Your self-image, how you genuinely feel and think about yourself, plays an important role in your self-worth. A low self-worth continues to create thoughts of feeling unworthy and not good enough, which feeds depression and addictive behaviors. If you were not raised with a positive self-image, or if you hear a lot of negative inner chatter when you look in the mirror, you will find great benefit in rebuilding a positive self-image. Meditation serves as a great tool to help you learn how to quiet your mind. It is far easier to start with quieting your mind than it is to try to focus on changing the crippling thoughts. Most of the crippling thoughts reside deep in the unconscious. Meditation (a practice of embracing silence) is a tool that helps bring them to the surface for change. Make the necessary time to reflect and meditate daily as it will greatly benefit your life. Be easy on yourself.
Here are a few good resources for rebuilding your self-image:
–Core Transformation: Reaching the Wellspring Within
–Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life
–Essays on Self-Esteem
–What Is Your Self-Worth?: A Woman’s Guide to Validation (specifically for women)
Tip 2 – Positive Sleep
We spend 1/3 of our lives in sleep so it’s important to get sleep to work for you. What you put in your mind prior to sleep replays in the unconscious all night long. Often we go to sleep worrying about things causing us to sleep on ‘worry’ all night long. The idea here is to start an intention of shifting your mood to feeling good prior to sleep. This allows for your mind to cycle positive thoughts and feelings while you sleep. This makes a huge difference in how we wake up the next day, both with our energy levels and with our feelings towards life. Create a gratitude list and review it every morning and night. It’s more effective if you practice this with energy and focus, so try going to bed earlier before you’re exhausted to intensify your focus. Use a journal to track your progress with your daily thoughts and feelings.
Tip 3 – Gratitude and Appreciation
Gratitude is known as a natural antidepressant. It serves wonders with shifting your point of focus. Create a list of all the things you’re grateful for and review it daily, especially prior to sleep. Think about your best moments of the day, the things that made you feel good, or laugh, as it will elevate your mood and feelings. Those thoughts generate the “feel good” hormones in the body which automatically place you into a happier state of mind. This is especially important prior to sleep for setting the mood to sleep upon.
Tip 4 – Mirror exercises
The eyes are known as the gateway to the soul and mirror exercises greatly aid with connecting you to your inner self. Get an egg timer or use the timer on your phone. Then gaze into the mirror (directly into your eyes) and repeat the phrase “I LOVE YOU” for approximately 1 minute. Do this with intensified feeling as though you are speaking lovingly to a little child. Then visualize yourself hugging your younger self (your inner child), while again repeating “I LOVE YOU” for another minute. Now hug yourself physically while gazing directly into your eyes and repeat the phrase “I AM WORTHY” for another minute. Feel free to add any other affirmative statements that you resonate with. Affirmations work wonders when accepted and received, which is done through feeling. While doing these exercises, incorporate deep breathing with good posture in a slow and relaxed manner. That will help relax the body. These exercises work wonders, when repeated daily, for expanding self-love and unconditional acceptance.
Tip 5 – Limiting TV and the News
TV puts us into an immediate state of hypnosis. When we are in this state it is very easy to impress the mind. The mind replays what is impressed upon it. So monitor your TV watching and do what you can to minimize your watching of the news and commercials. The news often stirs up negative emotions and anxiety which feeds the cycles of depression. Try going 30 days without the news and notice how you feel. Shift your TV watching to inspirational shows or movies and monitor your feelings before and after the shows you watch. This will help you gauge your TV watching accordingly.
Tip 6 – Goal setting
As noted in an earlier post, 12 Lessons of Psycho-Cybernetics, goals are important for increasing your self-image. A healthy self-image leads to greater appreciation and joy with life. Think about things that you’d like to achieve and make yourself a list. Review this list daily and modify it accordingly. Update your goals as you grow and change, keep them flexible to match your growth.
Tip 7 – Exercise
It is well known that exercise plays a key role in increasing how you feel. It helps balance your hormones and provides mental clarity. This can be a challenge when struggling with depression. Find a way to encourage yourself to get outside for a walk as often as possible. Or check into joining a fitness center, fitness class, or yoga studio. See how you feel as you work through it. There is great power in facing our discomforts, for it’s in doing something differently that leads to a different experience.
Tip 8 – Human interaction
Social activity is extremely important as well. Typically, when we are depressed we isolate ourselves. It’s difficult to break the cycle if we don’t do anything different, so we must find a way to get out and have some human interaction. Find a friend that you can meet or check out Meetup.com to meet others with similar interests or support groups. This can be challenging at first, but when faced, it has great potential for elevating you out of that slump. We are all here for each other, sometimes it just requires one to reach out.
I hope these tips help you on your path for greater joy and appreciation. Journal and pay attention to your dreams, as they will help provide guidance and direction for facing challenging decisions in life.
Until next time,