Speaking on anxiety and depression. We have these deep feelings for a reason. And conversly for no reason. They are in fact feelings. Nothing definite or defining as a person. Yet feelings pop up. Sometimes our feelings overtake us. Stressful circumstances, traumatic expereinces or even for no signifcant reason.
We still cannot run from our feelings. It’s up to us to own our feelings. Accept where we are at. And then, to learn how to bear difficult feelings, situations and circumstances. THEN to transform them.
Over the last 16 years of living with depression and trying all sorts of new ways to combat it, accept it, and welcome the unknown.
I’ve accpeted that it may never completely go away. Although there are many alternatives available today to help and change our states. And we are closer all the time to changing so much scientifically and with the biosocialcycles of behavior. However, having depression myself, I decided to make it, the depression, my biggest superpower. An asset.
Here are a few things you should know about depression.
It’s really, The Depression.
Collectively and as a society depression can begin at any age and it can affect people of all races and across all socioeconomic statuses.
According to the World Health Organization, as of 2017, 300 million people around the world have depression.
Although it’s generally accepted. Still few people want to talk about it or know how to. The stigma and difficulty is real. One thing to understand is. It isn’t you. Nor does it define you. It’s how depression works. Weaving through your mind trying to convice you, this IS you. When it’s simply not true.
Choosing depression over and over. Well like Einstein says, doing the same thing and expecting a different resul is the definition of insantiy. Try as you may, depression won’t let you go so easily. Sometimes we choose it. Sometimes we don’t know we are choosing it.
1.Remember, it’s not you. This is how depression works.
After a spending a few weeks one summer with my sister in law, she helped give me to words to notice THE depression. Giving it, it’s own name. Depersonalizing it. To seperate who I am, verses WHAT depression is. Remember 300 million people have it… it’s THE depression. And as lonely as it can be or seem. It just isn’t true.
Once you notice. Start to notice your thoughts verses the depression.
2. Fear Setting. Stocism.
In Tim Ferris’s TED talk he speaks on his own experience with depression. Tim Ferris is the author of the 4-Hour work week, 4-Hour Body, and 4-Hour Chef and most recently Tools of the Titan’s. And in his famous TED talk, entitled Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals. He talks about embracing Stoicism.
And doing exercises on “fear setting”, visualize in detail the worst case scenerio of what you are confronted with to overcome peralysis. Writing down helped him. And writing helps me too. Start with …
3. Write out a What If List.
Page 1. In one column, Prevent. What can I do to prevent this “worst case scenrio” from happening or decrease the likely hood.
And in the second colunm, Repair. If the worst case scenerio happens. What can I do to repair the damage or who can I call for help?
Write the benefits on page two of the action you are considering. Spend 10 to 15 minutes.
Page 3 write “The Cost of Inaction.” 6 months. 1 year. 3 years.
4. The 5–4–3–2–1 method from Mel Robbins, The 5 Second Rule.
Once you’ve chosen to accept the hard parts of depression. Mel Robbins covers amazing tips in her 54321 method of action. Simple and easy way to get started.
Count backwards from five, to beat your thoughts and feelings of procrastination. This is a wonderful hack and tips for overcoming anxiety. Mel’s books have helped me start and get going on days after nursing my daughter on sleepless nights. Incredible insight.
Tim goes on to say his depression doesn’t go away. He made the decision to live above the chatter of depression. To be more optimal and ways to tread the water above it.
Some things in life we simply cannot delete. Or change. They aren’t taken from us, shed or erased. Trials, afflictions or conditions.
I’ve decided that it becomes a journey of small ways to rise above it. And as theologan, Jeffery Holland would say…To drink from the bitter cup and bare it.
Drinking the bitter cup. Well that sounds like fun. Yummy.
As horrible as that reality may be. Albiet ugly. We certainly aren’t in control of every aspect of our lives or the realty of disease or discomfort. Accidents happen. Bad choices lead to difficult consequences. Unforeseable events and circumstances arise. We are wonderfully capable and empowered to choose our response.
5. Movement and Exercise.
Exercise and movement in general helps uplift, clear brain fog and reset your mind. When I haven’t found ways to move. My mind feels the difference. Weather it be running, to yoga, to walking or high intense interval training to crossfit. However you like to move. Do that. I’ve done it all. And recently am taking some part time par core classes. I feel amazing from it.
6. Nutrition and Suppliments.
I’m a huge advocate of you are what you eat. With the way healthcare is going in the United States. It’s becoming more common to have more diabeties, more medications and more cases of cancer popping up in younger genertaions. If that alone doesn’t shock you, it definitely is effecting our happiness and moods.
I’m not shy about saying I partner with a vegan nutrition company for a reason. A huge reason is I feel it has helped my depression leaps and bounds. And I can tell when I eat like shit, I feel like shit. I’m not a vegan, but I do know I need to eat more vegetables. That are nutrient dense and REAL RAW plant based. Plants are our life source and hold so much key biological benefits for our bodies to function. Superfoods are super for a reason. They are packed with brain energy. When you are depressed your brain isn’t firing optimally.
Intermitent fasting. Fasting is good for our bodies. And offers a shock to the system. We need that jolt to help our bodies reset, and use the excess fat around our bellies.
A keto friendly, low on the dairy- high fat, healthy fat diet can help our brain use that to mylinate our nuertransmitters. As well as red meat sparingly for ATP uptake. Building fuel for our brains. Check out Dave Aspreys book, Super Human. He goes into the benefits of a high brain fat diet.
A whole food diet, Whole30 and Paleo are great ways to start getting into eating differently. From the earth diet. Cutting out gluten and sugar- and replacing them with real food. All need more vegetables and fiber. And we aren’t getting enough in our food sources.
Go Non- GMO and Organic to cut out toxins and harmful chemicals that are changing our cells.
You don’t have to do all of these. These are simply suggestions on which diets you can try and see which fits best for your lifestyl, blood and body type. I myself reccommned a Paleo or Whole Food diet regularly, with intermiten fasting and more healthy fats with twice a year doing vegan/alkaline lifestyle diet for 4 to 6 weaks to clean out your system and have a healthy reset.
Our quality of sleep is super important to prevent brain fog. Turning off the compter, phone, or TV 2 hours before bedtime. And less LED light exposure as well as actual daylight to help our circadium rhythm process is huge in our ablity to rest and recover. Oversleeping is a huge problem when depressed. And under sleeping can happen with too much stress. Make a commitment to yourself to gaurd your sleep. Get out side to aid in melatonin production and serotonin production. They go hand in hand in reseting our biological clock. And remember it’s about quality over qantitity.
Because our bodies are 60% water. Water. Pure water and quality water is important. We need it help celluar function and flow. Dehydration can cause fogginess. Dizziness and headaches. Which causes us to make poor decicions and you guessed it effects our moods.
9. The Outward Mindset & Service.
Choosing to see the sliver lining while taking as much action and personal responsibilty as possible is a small and courageous choice. Taking a look inside and then a look in the mirror. Facing your own demons, then to look outward.
As Jim Ferrel and the Arbringer Institute outlines in their book, The Outward Mindset. To be other-centric in selfie world. Serving and giving back then becomes away of life and second nature. An antictdote to the abyss of depression and to move out of fear.
Find a local soup kitchen this Christmas as away to serve. Give your time to a local charity you would find joy in, like a dog rescue center or a community garden. Something be more invovled in, that are in need of volunteers. Or simply look at your home and do something kind for someone right in front of you.
10. Find a larger purpose.
Your purpose in life is more than a goal. Goals help, for sure. But diving into a why deeper than yourself and to wake up knowing theres more than yourself and more change to reach for or impact to be made. Gives more than hope. It becomes desire. My family and growing businesses has helped me grow a new outlook. We want to help more people, and that has grown us closer has been a fullfilling lifestyle change.
I haven’t been cured from depression. Nor am I able to prescribe or advise. Simply I’ve decided that the depression won’t define the life I want anymore. And I hope you won’t let it define yours either.