Depression occurs when a person has not been able to express their emotions and has bottled them up inside. Their bodies are full of sadness, grief, anger and emotional pain – shame, guilt and more. Through life’s many challenges the person has faced the difficulty, but come out of it wounded, disappointed and dismayed – wondering if that is all there is to life.
In their dismay and disappointment they shut down from life and the possibility of joy, love and peace. They come to expect further hurt, loss and pain, so [they] hide away from life and interacting with others who they fear will judge and ridicule them for feeling the way they do.
What they don’t realise is that everyone goes through challenges, disappointments, and disturbances to life as they knew it. Things happen. People die, jobs end, heart attacks occur. These challenges come unexpectedly and can knock a person from peace and balance into a negative spin. Every one goes through it. There is no shame in struggling to cope with life’s pressures. You just need to learn how to process and release the emotions, the pent up energy and pain, so that you return to a state of balance and peace.
Mental work is required to adjust thinking patterns and come to allow hope, positive expectations of the future – to know ‘Good things can and will happen for me’; ‘I am a good person and I deserve good things’.
Often once a person feels blue they start to beat themselves up – to feel less than others, not okay, incompetent. This just worsens the situation as they then get stuck at home not wanting to go out and face the world. They don’t want to reach out for help or tell anyone as they are so embarrassed and ashamed, but really reaching out is what is needed.
Trying something new, making friends, having fun, speaking your truth, feeling your emotions and breathing through them, learning to witness them and not be overwhelmed by them – creating distance between them and you – the emotions and your true self – all help. They are just skills that need to be learned, as is being nice and supportive to yourself – eating well, exercising, moving through emotions with kindness to self, nurturing and nourishing self.
Many people when depressed feel like trash, worthless and that is how they treat themselves. They need to move from that to seeing themselves as someone who has temporarily lost focus and just needs love and support to get back on track.
They need to become the kind, loving parent to themselves – giving themselves permission to rest when needed and to play and enjoy life. It sounds easy to do, but it is very challenging as when you are depressed your energy is so dense, low in vibration, that it is hard to hear your intuition or higher self. It is hard to get guidance from within or from spirit. You don’t feel the spiritual support all around you as your vibration is such that their messages can’t get through.
- You can shift your vibration higher by movement – exercise or dance.
- You can walk in nature or at the beach and let Mother Nature cleanse you.
- You can listen to music that uplifts you or even chakra balancing CDs which help shift the blockages, making it easier to access them and release the emotion.
- You can have a relaxing bath with salt in it to cleanse your energy body and release toxins. It helps to relax your muscles as well.
- Body work – massage, reiki, etc, all helps as it aids the body to move out of its lethargic state and to let light and energy back in.
- Breathing in gold light and seeing it flood your whole body – purifying it and cleansing it, also helps.
- There are many activities that can help. Writing a diary, drawing or painting how you feel – it all helps shift the current low vibration of your body to a higher state.
The key is accessing and releasing the buried emotions as this is what keeps a person stuck in depression. They feel they can’t go on, they can’t face anything more as they feel they wouldn’t cope and it’s not worth the effort or risk to try. This type of thinking leads to fear and paralysis.
When your body is full of fear and you feel stuck, paralysed, unable to move forward, you are stuck in a freeze reaction. Your nervous system is overwhelmed and in a sense has shut down, it’s frozen and moved into collapse.
This is a normal process that occurs when a person has experienced or is in the process of experiencing trauma. You move through fight or flight into freeze and then into collapse.
In the frozen state, the body is still hoping the predator threatening you won’t see you and you’ll get to stay alive. You’re frozen, but still on hyperalert ready to flee if you get the chance. This is exhausting for the body as it uses up a lot of energy. It’s like you’ve got your foot on the brake and the gas pedal at the same time primed ready to act but staying still.
If escape seems impossible and death seems imminent you move into dissociation and collapse. Here your body is pumped full of natural endorphins, opioids, to numb you so you don’t feel the predator’s attack and what occurs to your body. This is why when you’re depressed you can feel detached, numb, not really present to what is occurring around you.
All of these bodily reactions are an innate mechanism that occurs at the subconscious level. You don’t choose to be numb and shutdown. Your body does it automatically to protect itself.
To come out of this state you need to calm your body so it feels safe again and can relax. One way to do that is by using Trauma and Tension Release Exercises (TRE). It is the body’s natural tremoring mechanism to release stress, tension and trauma. It can help calm your body down out of hyperarousal back through fight and flight, and down to calm relating, which is our natural baseline when we feel safe and supported.
Learning to witness your thoughts and watch them pass through your mind is another key. You don’t have to respond to the thoughts, be hooked by them, to go into the drama they try to create. Thank the thought and let it go.
Tell yourself positive messages –
- ‘I choose to be kind and loving to myself now’.
- ‘Even though I have done things I am not proud of in the past, I am now choosing to behave differently’. ‘
- Even though others I cared for didn’t seem to love me, I am choosing to love me now’.
- ‘I am okay, I am worthy of love and life’.
- You can simply repeat the positive belief over and over until it becomes your new habit – like writing and displaying affirmations to help anchor it into your consciousness.
- You can see a practitioner of the Lifeline Technique, Pysch-K or other modalities that reprogram the subconscious mind – literally replacing the old belief with the new one.
- You can use EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) also called Tapping to tap the new belief into your system
There are lots of ways to do it, but the key is to realise that it is these old, outdated negative thought patterns that keep a person feeling so flat and depressed. If their thoughts are really negative it is hard to motivate yourself into action. So it is here with the negative thoughts that change has to occur.
There are many tools you can use to help shift depression. It is just a matter of trying different things and finding what works best for you.
Know that simply staying stuck won’t work. You need to take action to change your situation. Depression is so common in today’s world that no one will laugh or ridicule you for it. There is lots of help out there.
If your emotional pain is so deep that you become suicidal then it can be useful to go on anti-depressants temporarily to give your body a chance to relax and restrengthen, before you delve into processing the emotions. You will still need to go through them and release them, but building your stamina first can help.
Anti-depressants are not a cure, just a temporary dulling of the intensity of the emotions, so you don’t feel them so much. They numb you slightly to the pain and this can be beneficial for a short while. It is not beneficial long time as it will not help you to find peace, joy or excitement in life. With your doctor’s help you can reduce the anti-depressant while you learn new skills to support yourself to function more effectively.
Depression results from emotional pain and disappointments in life, so people who suffer it need love, support and encouragement from those around them. Be kind to all people you interact with, as everyone is going through their own challenges and all need kindness and love to help them through.
Peace is found once the old thinking and negative emotions are released. These are replaced with joy, passion, fun and happiness. It is possible. It is your natural state of being, just life’s experiences took you away from it. We can all regain balance and peace if we do the work needed to shift that which no longer serves us and to fill the space with that which does. Blessed BE. Amen.
By Jodi-Anne (10 July 2015).