Lifting Depression: 7 Top Tips To Lift Depression
Feeling depressed? Well, join the club – a lot of famous people are reported (BBC News) to be or have been depressives:
Robbie Williams, Sir Elton John, Winston Churchill and Stephen Fry; Writers Tennessee Williams, Sylvia Plath, Evelyn Waugh and Ernest Hemingway; Artists Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, Edgar Degas, William Blake; Performers Caroline Ahern, Ewan McGregor, Morrissey
This illustrious list could already make you feel better, right... ;)
Depression seems to be spreading at a high rate in industrialised countries and is often tied to stress. But what is depression anyway? Well this question is not answered so easily. There is, for instanced, the clinical term. Let's take a look at what the WHO has to say about it:
Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial impairments in an individual's ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide, a tragic fatality associated with the loss of about 850 000 thousand lives every year.
So this is not funny and not just some fad, as some people - who have never been really depressed - think. More and more people suffer from depression – and depression may strike anyone.
Scientific research into the causes and diagnosis of depression shows a number of things, none of them really conclusive. Malfunctions were found on the level of hormones and glands (like thyroid gland), neurological circuitry and brain waves, physiological brain elements, and genes/heredity. Illness, stress, seasons, disrupted sleep-wake cycle, and nutrition were also found to be influential.
While doctors prescribe more and more drugs to treat depression at least one study has shown that chemical treatments yield results that are hardly better than those of placebos (Financial Times). So, except for very severe cases, they don't seem to do much.
Still, not every mood swing is a clinical depression. In our everyday life we tend to use that term rather nonchalantly and may be thinking of certain feelings or even conglomerates of feelings including anger, fear, anxiety, despair, guilt, apathy, grief, sadness, and others.
So the question is: "What to do about it?"
Well, an important disclaimer here: I am no physician, psychiatrist or the like so take responsibility for your well-being and make wise use of this information.
Get A Health Check!
First of all it would be a good idea to let your physician make sure that there are no relevant physical/medical/biological disorders like a malfunction of your thyroid gland, endocrine disorders or other strictly physical reasons for your depression. I personally have a history of hypothyroidism and thus quite a bit of experience with depressive states. And it is no big surprise that at times psychological or energetic means by themselves didn't lead to lasting improvement.
So have the physical level taken care of and if you should suffer from severe clinical depression some expert help may be strongly advised.
It is generally preferable to have someone to support you. Doing it alone can be very tough when you are depressed, especially if it is a severe (or clinical) depression. If that person knows about energy work, all the better.
But now for the 7 top tips to help beat depression.
Tip #1: Healing Food, Healthy Nutrition
Watch your diet. What you eat – or don't eat for that matter – can influence your mood. One single meal can influence your mental state for better or for worse (Dr. Bonnie Spring, MIT, Boston). The lack of nutrients like folic acid, zinc, vitamin B1, vitamin D, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, etc. also seems to be connected with depressed moods.
Our bodies need the proper raw materials for our neurons and glands to functions as they should, and to be able to produce endorphins, those substances that make us feel happy.
Especially if we are worn out with worry, stress, pain, illness or by living in difficult circumstances, we need to eat as well as we possibly can in order to turn the tide on depression. High quality foods, freshly cooked, lots of different vegetables and fruit and a wide variety of food stuffs, especially those which are in season, is simply common sense for everyone but particularly important when depression is around.
Fresh herbs and spices can also be of help; if there is a lack of appetite, make a special effort to provide tasty, tempting, nutrient rich, fresh food for yourself.
On a somewhat more subtle level aroma essences (aromatherapy; AromaEnergy) are also known to trigger specific responses in our brain chemistry that can be extremely beneficial and represent a form of energy nutrition which can strongly uplift and re-energize us.
Tip #2: Movement, Activity & Exercise
Many people who run regularly know this and it may be just the reason why they keep running: After a certain time of running (many say at low or moderate exertion) the body will pour more serotonin into the blood stream. Serotonin is a better help for our mood than most drugs, and running has even been found to be reducing anxiety. This is possibly owed to the fact that physical activity tends to lower levels of stress hormones.
Is does not need to be running, however. It is important to get moving. When we move our heart-rate goes up and our >breathing deepens. This will bring more oxygen into our entire body and our brain. Many low moods seem to be due to a lack of oxygen in our brain.
If you feel depressed, it may be a good idea to start your day with at least 10 deep breaths before you even get out of bed. If the window is open, even better. Fresh air with lots of oxygen.
And make sure to go outside. Have someone help you - it may be difficult go on your own when your're depressed. Bed and sofa are just too attractive. I know ;). So ask someone to go with you for a brisk walk two or three times a week. Later increase frequency.
One of the best ways to get moving is to dance - and if you cannot dance, you can simply move to music. You can also try Energy Dancing which is highly beneficial to release tension and burdens and lift you out of depression.
All movement is good for you!
Tip #3: Bring In The Light
You may combine this with #2: go outside and get moving (walking, running, cycling, etc.) during daylight. As we know from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) a lack of natural daylight may be detrimental to our well-being, causing depressive episodes. Ordinary electrical lighting lacks frequencies of the full spectrum of sunlight. It lacks certain colours, if you will. These days you can purchase special lamps and bulbs that make up for this to some extend.
However don't rely on those exclusively; natural light is still to be preferred. Even an overcast or cloudy sky has enormous "light-power" and will do us good. In some cases light therapy utilising specially designed lamps or "light boxes" may however be indicated.
If this sounds like too much trouble, looking at pictures of nature - flowers, animals and natural landscapes - in a book or on the computer for a short time each day can help stimulate the neurology with colors and lights. The natural colors and shapes found in nature images have a very beneficial effect on our moods.
In the same vein, do not spend too much time in the dark, or looking at chaotic, dark or disturbing images or TV shows which will deepen depression if not avoided.
Tip #4: Let Music Lift Your Mood
I'm sure you know this one. Have you ever experienced how even just a few notes of a song that triggers happy memories can change your mood in an instant. I guess, we all have. There is the aspect of (hopefully positive) emotions that get enlivened through memories, and there is the aspect of psychological and energetic effects of music.
Many depressed people play depressing music because it matches their mood. But this causes a vicious cycle of depression feeding back onto more depression and makes matters much, much worse.
So make the effort and instead of turning to your mood matching depressing favourites, play uplifting music instead. Music helps to loosen frozen states of mind and feeling. Maybe you might even dance a bit?! (Think Energy Dancing!)
* Music To Lift Depression: Sunrise by Nicola Quinn, Co-Creator of EMO
Tip #5: Practice Thought Control
When you find yourself in a depressed mood, make an effort to occasionally observe your thoughts. What are you thinking?
Hmhmm... and those thoughts trigger corresponding feelings... and them there feelings trigger corresponding thoughts... and...
You get the picture.
Thoughts and feelings or emotions are interconnected. So, when you feel low down, monitor your thinking – and when you catch a negative thought (judgemental of you or others, pessimistic, sarcastic, destructive) stop right there and then and replace that thought by a different, a more positive one.
I know, that may sound like hard work. But it still works. Yet you have to give it a good try to find out. And that is not easy when you are feeling down. I know. I have been there. It is still true that every time you try to control what you are thinking about, you get better at it and it becomes easier with practice. And every negative thought replaced is a small but important victory in the fight against depression!
A good resource for assistance is, for example, Silvia Hartmann's self help mind training program "Power Affirmations". The most up-to-date work on the subject of using positive thoughts for affirmations and giving it a new angle that makes them really work .
Tip #6: Take An Instant Energy Shower And Let Go Of Stress
Stress is one of the major causes for depression, so the more stress we can release, the more the depression can recede.
We carry our stress in our bodies and it literally start to weigh us down and "depress" us, literally making us feel as though joy is being pressed out of us and we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders and in our heads.
Ok, relax. Breath deeply in and out three times.
Now imagine yourself under an energy shower. Tiny, microscopic droplets of energy with a temperature perfect for you are raining down on you and through you (well, it is only energy and thus it can run through you. It usually does without you noticing).
Let this energy trickle trough your entire body, refreshing everything, cleansing, healing. Now have it run especially over an area in your body that feels particularly tight or dense or heavy - this is where we hold the stress. Feel how this lovely rain of energy is softening and melting it all up.
Take note of how your feelings are gradually changing, getting lighter – oops.. how could that happen? ;)) Now, seriously: Don't be too surprised when it does!
Enjoy as often as you like, and do this as often as you can remember. The more stress we can release, the less depressed we are likely to become.
There is a spoken version of this exercise by Dr Hartmann here and a German language version here.
Practice makes perfect!
Tip #7: Healing The Energetic Causes Of Depression With EMO
Depression or depressed moods usually go along with injuries or damages in the energy system of our body (energy system refers to a concept that acupuncture, ayurveda, yoga and many more have been dealing with on a daily basis for thousands of years; our culture, however, is largely ignorant of this; much to our detriment).
Often there will be blockages that keep the energy from flowing naturally. This results in areas that experience excess pressure while other areas suffer from lack of energy. Think of a riverbed that gets blocked by a dam. On the one side of the dam more and more pressure builds up and on the other side there may be no flow at all or just a runlet.
The energetic damages can be repaired, can be healed with EMO.
Where do you feel the sensations of depression most strongly in your body?
Simply place your hands where you feel or know the problem is (and if at all possible get the assistance of a trained EMO practitioner). Inhale deeply and imagine your breath flowing through your arms and hands into the problem area. Of course it is not your breath that goes there, but energy (yes, it CAN be that simple – just allow it). The blockage will begin to soften, to melt and thus the stuck, pressured energy will be more and more able to flow again. Allow it to flow out of your body.
Notice how your feelings change. Relieved, lighter, oh – is that a bit of joy? Wow. ;)
BUT: Carry on. Let much more of that blocked energy flow away. Ideally till all of it is gone.
You may finish with a nice energy shower.
So, there you have it. That's how easy EMO is.
The earlier in the process of getting depressed we take note and take action the better are our chances of cutting it very short and have our life back in just about no time at all.
Don't let depression get you down. Depression is a natural process that happens when our energy levels get low through stress, illness, and circumstance. When we look after ourselves and take a little more care with our minds, bodies and energy systems, depression can be alleviated and made a thing of the past.
Detlev Tesch, Jan 19, 2009
International EMO Trainer
& Project Sanctuary Master
© Detlev Tesch 2009. All Rights Reserved