Overcoming Depression

Overcoming depression is undoubtedly a major challenge in any one’s life, particularly as it is a condition that is likely to affect one in every three of us. A major life event can trigger this condition in any one of us, creating an extreme sense of loss.

Once we have identified that our low moods seem to stubbornly overshadow every waking moment, it is important to seek medical advice. In the meantime there is a strategy we can use for ourselves to help us on our way toward recovery.

 

An effective strategy is to start being grateful for what we do have and to focus on what we actually have. Simplistic as this strategy may seem, it is in fact a very powerful tool. Let me firstly explain why.

 

When we feel so low that we begin to feel like life is synonymous to going through some endless dark colour-less painful tunnel, it is usually because we are experiencing some intense form of ‘lack’. This lack can result from a lack of love from a meaningful relationship, a lack of money from a change of circumstance, a lack of confidence/self-esteem from losing your job or status, a lack of life’s opportunities due to a life changing accident. These are just a few examples of many. Either way they all represent an intense form of loss, leaving us with what we think to be a bleak future. So, the answer lies in reversing this condition with our own inner resources. A quote from Albert Ellis (a renowned American Pschycologist) “You largely constructed your depression. It wasn’t given to you. Therefore you can deconstruct it”

Now, just before you feel immensely offended at the potential accusation that you alone are responsible for your depression, do take into account that depression is not necessarily inherited, but in fact is learned behaviour. If you come from a family seemingly plagued by depression it is only natural that you would have learned how to respond to life events by the behaviours you saw and copied, as well as the attitude of others around you influencing how you view the world and life opportunities around you. In growing up, your habits, or ways of thinking, would seem perfectly normal to you as that was the only way to be as you knew it. We can change the way we view the world as indeed the way we interact with it and of course how we view ourselves.

 

There are several strategies to fully overcome every possible negative thought we hold about ourselves but the one strategy we can more easily employ above any other to reverse that great sense of lack that presides so strongly with depression is “gratefulness”.

 

This strategy requires a 4 week commitment. You will notice an improvement very usually around the second and third week. So let’s begin:

On days one to three, each day think of five things for which you are grateful, examples might be:

‘I am grateful for having a roof over my head’

‘I am grateful for having somewhere to sleep’ (many are homeless, sleeping rough)

‘I am grateful that I have family that care’

‘I am grateful I have access to running water’

‘I am grateful for living in a country that allows freedom of movement’

 

On days four to seven think of 10 different things you are grateful for each day. There are so many things that we possibly take for granted, if you can think of more than ten different things each day then all the better! Celebrate your mobility, celebrate your level of income, celebrate your friends, celebrate your mobile with which to communicate, celebrate nature, the parks etc.

 

On days eight to ten be grateful for 15 things a day, on days. eleven to fourteen 25 different things. On days fifteen to twenty one, think of 35-40 things for which you are grateful. At this stage as you enter your final week, your ‘gratefulness juices’ should be flowing to such an extent that you are easily reaming off 50 and more different things to celebrate. You are likely to have begun developing a sense of appreciation and joy of those things around you in your life. At this stage there is every likelihood that your low moods will have improved somewhat in readiness to begin using positive self-talk which will help improve your confidence and self-esteem.

Those of you who have had long-standing depression may be further helped using the Bach Flower remedy ‘gorse’ to balance your sense of feeling a sense of total hopelessness.

 

In recognising the wealth of so many things that are good and positive around you, there is an increased likelihood that you will start engaging your emotions that were previously switched off. The emotional numbness previously experienced will very likely dissipate and become replaced with that wonderful sense of joy, as long as we allow ourselves to think and feel positively about ourselves – and why wouldn’t we?. It’s just down to choice, for whatever anyone told you, believe me, you are a miraculous being bursting with individual talent and you can achieve anything once you put your mind to it.

Overcoming depression is in fact a reversible process but requires effort and commitment as indeed is the case with all worthwhile projects. Applying the principle of gratefulness regularly on a daily basis for 28 days can not only improve our low moods but direct us toward a successful path of full recovery, opening us up to connecting with our emotions so we can begin to attract more positive things in our lives. It’s just down to choice, for whatever anyone told you, believe me, you are a miraculous being bursting with individual talent and you can achieve anything once you put your mind to it.

Beauty, Health and Life… Sustained and Nurtured by Words and Thoughts

Dr Masuru Emoto (A scientist), is known for discovering how water responds to the spoken, sung and written word. If the words are positive the frozen water will form symmetrically shaped crystals that look quite spectacular. As you might expect he found that if the water was exposed to negative words, the frozen water will form ugly shapes and if a crystal shape did appear, it was inclined to be very small and asymmetrical. As our bodies are 70% water it is easy to correlate the crystal phenomena to how we function when exposed to negative or positive messages.

Further tests using cooked rice created interesting results. One jar of rice was totally ignored, another was called ‘you fool’ and the third jar of rice was told ‘ I thank you’ On repeating these same interactions regularly each day, the jar of rice that had been ignored turned black, the jar of rice that was called ‘you fool’ turned brown whilst the jar of rice that was told ‘I thank you’ started to turn yellow. This experiment has been repeated my many others with exactly the same results.

Imagine what we are doing to ourselves if we use lots of self talk that is negative. Most of the time we are unaware of our thoughts as we tend to flow on automatic. Deepak Chopra, a qualified doctor and author of the metaphysical, a specialist in the field of alternative medicine, states that we have approximately 90,000 thoughts a day. Over 70.000 of these thoughts are the same thoughts we had yesterday, as we are having today and will have tomorrow. So, it is important that we start to increase our awareness about what we are thinking and what we are feeling if we are to maintain optimum health.

So, if we catch ourselves thinking something negative, stop it immediately with a positive image of something that makes you go soft at the knees,. For some it might be thoughts of soft fluffy kittens, for others a cute small, nephew, niece or baby. Maybe an exotic holiday scene or a favoured video clip does it for you. Whatever it is, place this image firmly in your mind. It will negate the negative thoughts, as you can only have one thought in your mind at a time, so ensure it is a positive one. Now make a positive affirmation or statement, so for instance, if you were thinking earlier that you are rubbish at tidying up feeling down by a messy room, tell yourself ‘I am good at clearing up and enjoy it’ Put on some music and dance to it as you get on task. Treat yourself for completing the task, making sure you associate positive actions with the task and turning it into a positive experience. Go to the mirror so you see and hear yourself say ‘Well done, what a fantastic job, the room is so tidy and lovely’.

The positive vibrations and actions will make you feel good and boost your sense of well being and your immune system. This same process can be applied to any situation that might feel initially overwhelming. In fact, use this process in reversing a negative thought you are holding of yourself. Repeat this process regularly and you will begin to believe in your own worth more and more. This will add sparkle to your being, and make you very attractive for others to be with.

We all know instinctively that to obtain the best results from people, we need to be optimistic of their worth and supportive of their efforts, so why would we do anything less for ourselves? Interestingly our culture has us place our energies in others but not in ourselves. This is a form of conditioning from which we need to break free. Promise yourself today that you will be realistically positive about your own worth, that you will support yourself well when you are less than perfect, using language that is positive, appreciative and encouraging. Now just watch your life take off as you grow into the person you were always meant to be and let every droplet of your being crystallize into something quite amazing.

To remain positive in any set back take the Bach Flower Remedy ‘Gentian’ . If you are inclined to think and feel everything is pointless – give yourself a fresh outlook with ‘Gorse’ If you find it hard to be positive because you tend to be fearful then take ‘Mimulus’.

Getting Motivated to Achieve

Whatever the project we have in mind, it clearly has value for us to do it well. Whether it be improving techniques for a favoured sport, learning a language or learning how to cook, similar challenges lie ahead.

 

When we set about wanting to succeed in a project, we may feel on the one hand really excited but on the other, rather daunted. We may find ourselves lacking the commitment to make it a reality for ourselves. It is important to remember that every one of us has a range of inherent unique talents waiting to be developed into something quite special. So getting into a positive state of mind first, is the key to taking that initial step.

 

Begin, by focusing on your existing knowledge and experience. Reflect back on previous hobbies and achievements with the progress you made. What was your learning style? What motivated you initially? Do you perform better in groups or your own? Create the right environment for yourself to start achieving. Do you work better in the mornings or evenings? If music helps ensure it is playing in the background.

 

Fill your mind with images of you achieving your goal. How will you feel when you have achieved it? Who will be applauding your success with you?  Will you be holding a winner’s trophy or gaining a well earned certificate of achievement or perhaps a professional qualification? Will this award be presented and celebrated in a public place? Who will be celebrating with you? How will your celebration look?

Where will that goal take you? Will it be an opening for another career or become an exciting leisure activity once you have mastered it?. Will it make you lots of new friends and expand your social life? Will it improve your financial status providing you with more choices in your life? Will you become an authority on a specialist subject? How many people will benefit from your expertise? This form of positive imagery will help drive you to start your adventure with passion and commitment to remain motivated throughout the process.

 

Now recognize there are many steps or stages in the process of learning a new skill. Be patient and chunk it down. Pace yourself. It’s all about you learning a new skill and knowledge and less about comparing your progress with someone else. Acknowledge your progress as you go, recognizing how far you have come at each stage along the process. Celebrate this1

 

Now choose your role model. Watch what they do, study them, read about them, find out what drives them and as you learn and refine the techniques for your sport or activity you will begin to achieve your own level of excellence.

 

The more progress you make the more successful you will feel. The more successful you feel, the more excited you will get, the more excited you get, the more you will persevere when perseverance is ultimately needed to take you to the next level. Success breeds success, your confidence increases, your self image expands. You learn to develop your own inner radar in your chosen activity or field so that your own creativity blossoms and your ability to develop and create new elements to your chosen activity start coming into play,

The more time you commit the more accomplished you become and the greater you develop your intuition, your knowledge, your skills, your expertise. All these combine to create something quite spectacular.

We see in our top Footballers, our top Chefs and top Architects, a craft that is so amazingly beautiful it sometimes defies human belief, leaving us onlookers totally enraptured in the very creations we thought were beyond possibility.

 

 

There is an amazing joy in achieving but only if we dare to commit. By developing our own expertise we bring joyful enrichment to others who wish to replicate it and magnify this joy. Can you imagine how fantastic our planet would be if we all got motivated to make those small changes with phenomenal results.

 

If you need focus to stay on track and achieve, then take the Bach Flower Remedy ‘Vine’

To ensure you choose your correct career path, take ‘Wild Oat’ To correct a tendency to changing your mind several times a day, take ‘Scleranthus’. To be mindful and concentrate on the task, rather than day dream take ‘Clematis’. Take ‘Hornbeam’ to counter the feeling of being in a rut’.

For Sheer Relaxation, Simplicity is the Key

Most of us are aware that the top sport professionals are well supported in their game, with a team of specialists. Mind Gurus or Mind Coaches count amongst them. Most of us are also aware of the profound impact our minds have on our ability to succeed in any task or venture. Understandably such support from Mind coaches can be prohibitive in terms of cost and possibly time, so how can we obtain the similar benefits for our sporting game that are both affordable yet effective?

 

The simplest way to achieve total mental control is through the process of regularly practicing relaxation techniques by focusing on your breathing. This alone, may pose a challenge for many as ‘inner mind’ chatter can so easily disrupt the process. To avoid your ‘jumping thoughts’ taking over the relaxation session, it may help to consciously take yourself through a form of guided imagery whilst you relax into your breathing. (Sitting in an upright position)

 

An example of this is to imagine a globe of golden light above your head. This ball of light is surrounded by a soft mist. Breathe in, slowly and deeply into your abdomen, and then very slowly exhale. On your third intake of breath, envisage the golden mist of calming light entering your nostrils, swirling around your head and into your neck. In doing so your jaw is loose and relaxed.

 

On your next intake of breath the golden light sends waves of relaxation down to your arms and finger-tips, returns back up your arms to flow across your chest and down towards your hips. You now feel heavy but wonderfully relaxed as you feel your pelvis sink into the sofa. As the golden light continues along your thighs and swirls around your knees, you feel every cell of your body is refreshingly embraced with peace, calm and health. This wonderful golden flow of relaxation now gently works it way down to your calves, your ankles and then your toes. Your whole body is now surrounded by the golden mist and continues to be bathed by this wonderfully energizing yet calming source. You feel good, you feel energized yet you are totally calm and in control of your emotions. Now open your eyes, wriggles your fingers and return to your fully wakeful state.

 

By practicing this technique regularly you will be better able to tap into the state of a calm with a focused mind at will, to engage a positive outlook.

Now visualize yourself playing each hole of your game of golf, or each shot of tennis or lifting weights in the gym. This technique is also effective for practising other skills such as giving a talk or presentations. Know, hat when you visualize and play through a video in your mind your body cells are stimulated and fired up as though you were physically doing it. In this way your brain cells and muscle cells are primed and prepared to produce the same results when called upon during an actual game of sport or presentation to an audience.

 

If you find yourself very tense consider taking the Bach Flower Remedy ‘ Vervain’. If you find yourself snatching at your game or hurrying others along, take ‘Impatiens’, whilst ‘Scleranthus’ helps you balance scattered thinking and jumping thoughts.

You Should: It’s Time to Stop

We learn all our values and opinions on a range of topics, such as religion, gender, money, work, sex, leisure etc by the age of 5. That’s because as children we absorb all the opinions and thoughts of those around us, as we are growing up. We buy into the culture we are born into, believing it to be perfectly normal and grow up with the ideals of that culture. It is only when we are older that we begin to question some of these values but more often than not we just accept them. We very often accept them because we don’t want to rock the boat as it were. We feel it important to comply and be grateful to those who have nurtured us with these values until…. these same values that created a code of safety and predictability when we were young can begin to cause strife as we discover who we are becoming in early adulthood..

 

If we were brought up believing heterosexuality is the absolute norm, then we might find the thought of homosexuality very uncomfortable, so if we have feelings for the same gender we may begin to feel incredibly guilty, because we should only maintain heterosexual relationships. We comply with the rules our society or culture imposes, by denying ourselves of same gender love, enchaining ourselves to a life of absolute misery and emotional deprivation whilst suppressing our feelings of intense guilt.

 

Our family might tell us we should be academic when we know so deeply that we want to become an Athlete. We might be told by others that we should loose weight, when we are quite happy being our current size. We might be told we should be tidier, for no will tolerate our relaxed living style. And so the examples go on, so we risk ‘shoulding’ on ourselves.

 

So lets start removing the word ‘should’ from our English language as it makes us out to be wrong. This approach of ‘shoulding’ on ourselves can so easily leave us with a demoralizing sense of failure, and feeling inadequate. As a result we may become hard on ourselves. This in turn can create resistance and inner tension, so rather than giving ourselves a hard time and becoming despondent about ourselves, lets begin to recognize that instead, we have in our hands a wonderfully golden opportunity. The opportunity to identify and change that which makes us feel so unhappy and begin to shed someone else’s values for our very own. It is important we become true to ourselves..

Lets start using the word ‘could’ instead. So,’ I could be academic, but I don’t want to as I have little interest in pouring over books as a career choice and I absolutely love athletics’..’ I could loose weight but I prefer not to as I enjoy maintaining my energy levels at this weight to keep up with all the activities that I enjoy’, ‘I could be tidier but actually much rather enjoy doing other things that excite me and my charity work’.

 

By using the word ‘could’ to replace the word ‘should’ we begin to liberate ourselves, leaving us free to express ourselves as our nature intended. Everyone of us has a range of unique talents to nurture, explore and develop and so enriching this wonderful planet with a greater diversity of talent, skills and expertise- if only we allow ourselves!

If you find yourself becoming very disciplined and principled, following a strict programme because you feel you should, whilst also forfeiting opportunities to enjoy yourself then take the Bach Flower Remedy ‘Rock Water’ which will help you relax, balancing discipline with times for fun to have a more fulfilling lifestyle.

Forgive Those Who Hurt You… and Heal Your Immune System

It would seem the easiest thing to do: forgiving someone when they hurt us, Yet it poses an immense challenge for most people. Old hurts slowly fester deep down in our psyche causing continuing resentment as well as sudden outbursts of distress, surreptitiously impacting on our health.

So, how do we deal with this situation? Well the first step is to forgive the offending person. This does not mean we condone what they have done. We just acknowledge the hurt and let go of it therefore releasing the lumps of anger within us. The offender doesn’t even know how intensely distressed we are with all this hurt and pain.

Over time this form of stress creates an altered bio chemistry in our bodies resulting in the breakdown of our cells causing ill-health and compromising our immune system.

By allowing ourselves to feel this continual anger towards someone only results in us being hurt more on a regular basis. In a sense we have allowed this person to gain power over us. Not only do we feel grossly dishonoured but we are also giving away our own personal power and allowing them to have a hold on us. So lets stop this anguish today!

We need to externalize the anger. This can be done in a number of ways. You can either rip up a whole load of newspapers whilst directing your words of anger at the offender until you have exhausted your anger. Or, you shape some plasticine representing your offender, jabbing it whilst releasing your anger. Alternatively, imagine yourself meeting with the person, telling them your exact feelings. You imagine their response back and continuing this repartee, until you feel it has been resolved. Sometimes using a mirror helps to do this. Another way is to punch a pillow whilst shouting out profanities. My favourite, is the writing down of all your thoughts in a letter addressing it to the person. Then you screw up the letter, throw it on the floor, jumping up and down on it, whilst also shouting out whatever you wish. Next, get an empty tin, place it safely outdoors and rip the letter into small bits into the tin and set the paper alight, knowing it is now the end of the matter as the letter burns safely in the tin leaving just ash. However, there is sometimes a residue of anger remaining so we may need to repeat it another day until all the anger is gone. The important thing is to find a way of releasing your anger whichever activity you decide to choose to do.

Now recognise that everyone on this planet is doing the best they can, for if they knew how to do it any better, they certainly would. The fact that they could hurt you in the way they did may means that they themselves are in a position of distress, or they have indeed lost their own personal power to someone else causing them to behave irrationally or foolishly. For long term resentment the Bach flower remedy Willow is taken. Letting go of the past is enhanced with the remedy Honeysuckle whilst the remedy Walnut helps you through the transition towards gaining greater peace of mind. Now enjoy better health!

Our Critical Selves

It is an interesting process, that we are more likely to see our very own faults in others.

Deflecting attention from our own weaknesses and focusing on others tends to give us a sense of holiness, a degree of superiority and protection from being accused of such traits. We might openly declare to friends that these familiar characteristics are unacceptable in certain people. We may also admit having a smattering of these traits, such as being selfish occasionally or lazy but of course, never to the extent as observed in others. By making such confessions, making light of our faults and weaknesses, with an air of authority we find ourselves justifying these criticisms in others..

Whenever we find ourselves criticizing others, we need to be aware of four things.

Firstly, other people act as a mirror for our own thoughts about ourselves. Very often we don’t want to accept our own failings. Rather than deal with or correct them, we instead tend to invest our time pointing them out in others. In a skewed kind of way we are addressing these faults and weaknesses but only in a way to save us the discomfort of making the necessary changes to ourselves. We all know how challenging it is to develop new habits!

Secondly we tend to act aggressively toward those who have the same character traits we dislike in ourselves. There is some form of transference here. We don’t wish to be reminded of those traits. Attacking the person seems to temporarily resolve the situation, warding them off, ridding us of the person with these ‘detestable’ characteristics and so the ‘painful reminder is removed’. This is never a permanent solution, as sure enough, our own internal radar will find new subjects to pick on or indeed they will attack us making things so much worse. The story will just repeat itself leaving us very aggravated !

Thirdly, the more critical we are of others, the more likely we are, in fact, to be very critical of ourselves. It is very likely, that in our earlier years we heard lots of negative messages about ourselves that far out-balanced good positive messages. These messages would have come from people around us, family members, teachers, authority figures etc who would have had a strong influence on us at the time. So, we would have bought into these ideas of ourselves as true, leaving us with a poor self image of ourselves.

Finally, the more negative self talk we use, whether it is towards ourselves or others the more negative energy we direct to ourselves weakening our own body cells.

Science has now proven that a transmitting thought can be seen in the brain with sophisticated scanning. A thought is a thing. All things have a frequency or vibration which can be transmitted to ourselves and innocent people around us, hence why we can pick up negative atmospheres. Kinesiology is an Eastern therapy using acupuncture/meridian points to measure and maintain good energy flow in the body which is supported with positive thinking. Muscle testing is used in kinesiology to ascertain appropriate energy flow. It shows that when we hold a negative thought in our minds our muscles weaken, but when a positive event or thought comes to mind our muscles strengthen when tested.

If you identify with the above, then start today to begin appreciating yourself, by getting friends to identify and list your qualities to you, turn negative comments into positive ones. These processes can be enhanced by taking Bach flower remedy ‘Holly’ which will help you feel more loving and accepting of yourself and others enabling you to think more positively overall. The remedy Larch can help you if you are lacking in confidence so you gain faith in yourself to start achieving, whilst Pine enables you to release self reproach and feel more deserving of the good things in life.