Armed for the Fight Against Depression
“It’s your birth right to live a joyful life. How you’re going to get there is your own personal challenge and life’s journey.”
We’ve all felt feelings of sadness or unhappiness but when these feelings move to intense feelings of worthlessness that last for days or weeks it’s important to rule out depression, because depression is a serious condition that is caused by changes in brain chemistry and left untreated can cause long term damage.
Depression is more common than one would think, the World Health Organization characterizes depression as one of the most disabling disorders in the world, affecting roughly one in five women and one in ten men at some point in their lifetime. Considering these numbers it is important to know what to look out for as well as what can be done to set you on the road to recovery and freedom from depression.
Symptoms to look out for include:
- Feeling hopeless or helpless
- Loss of interest in friends or activities that you used to enjoy
- Feeling tired all the time
- Changes in sleep and appetite patterns
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Inability to control negative thoughts
- Irritability, short-temperedness or aggression
- Consuming more alcohol or other stimulants and engaging in reckless behaviour.
Should you identify with two or more of the symptoms above, it’s important to seek help.
For more info/ help contact: Psychological Association of Namibia or Lifeline/ Childline on +26461232221
Karen notes that “It’s your birth right to live a joyful life. How you’re going to get there is your own personal challenge and life’s journey.” She goes on “Here are some simple yet powerful tools that can help place you on a healing path, and lead you to a joyful, peaceful, authentic life. Commit to these daily for 90 days and you’ll be amazed at the transformation and inner shifts they create.”
A Path to Emotional Healing by Karen Powell :
- Clarify and declare your vision for yourself and your life.
If your goal is something like “I just want some relief from this pain,” then the path ahead is going to be a closed loop of struggle/relief/struggle/relief…
“Relief” requires a build-up of tension first, so if “relief” is the goal, then it will have to be repeated over and over again.
“I live a joyful and peaceful life” is a vision that can carry you through to authentic healing. When you start with a powerful, even “impossible”-feeling vision, then everything that is NOT the vision gets activated to move out of your body and life.
Declare your vision by writing it out 20 times every single day.
2. Drain your brain.
Each morning after writing out your vision, do 20 minutes of stream-of-consciousness writing. Then burn the papers, or rip them up and throw them away. Don’t stop to think while you’re writing, just keep your pen moving constantly with whatever words want to come out. Don’t censor yourself, don’t judge what’s coming out. Just allow it all to spill out onto the page. Then destroy it! (You can do a quick scribble at the end of your day too, to let go of stress that might have built up throughout the day. Make sure you destroy it afterwards.)
3. Use your breath as the profoundly powerful tool that it is.
Taking moments throughout your day to breathe even slightly deeper than you normally do brings you into your power. 100% of your power can be found in the present moment. Attention to your breath brings you there instantly. There’s nothing simpler than using the life force that is already with you all the time anyway!
4. Keep a gratitude journal.
Every day write down something you’re thankful to have in your life. Your lists can grow each day, or simply write one, two or three things every day.
Gratitude is one of the most powerful forces out there. Acknowledging it and feeling it actually creates more to be grateful for.
Bonus Tip! People who suffer from depression often also suffer from bouts of insomnia. Here’s the cure for insomnia:
While you’re lying there awake in bed, your mind spinning, begin to breathe a little deeper than normal. Relax your clenched jaw and your tight shoulders. Gently pull your attention from your head and into your heart. Let the thoughts run through, until they begin repeating themselves. Then begin a silent list of thank-you’s. For example: “Thank you for my comfortable bed. Thank you for my soft pillow. Thank you for my nice duvet. Thank you for the quiet night. Thank you for the breath that moves in and out of my body. Thank you for my home. Thank you for my clothes. Thank you for my healthy body….”
You can literally thank for every single body part. For every person you love in your life. For every material thing in your home. For every fun experience you’ve ever had, listing them one by one preceded by ‘Thank you for …”
If you find yourself going back into your head and the worrisome thoughts, gently move your attention back into your heart, and continue your long list of thank-you’s. If you don’t give up, and continue saying ‘Thank you for..’ one after the other, you will soon drift off to sleep.
5. Acknowledge, honour and respect all of your feelings.
Express all of your feelings in safe ways. Never ‘should’ your feelings away by thinking ‘I shouldn’t be feeling this.’ Feelings are there to give you information, and then move out of your body. Hoarding them, blocking them, or suppressing them can cause the toxic build-up that can result in depression.
6. Look out for quiet, gentle guidance in the form of feelings of curiosity, interest and intuitive hunches.
Move towards that which seems interesting, and move away from that which feels stressful.
7. Be gentle and kind to yourself and draw boundaries of respect and honour around you.
Say no to that which no longer serves you. If something feels heavy or stressful, ask yourself why you’re considering doing it or remaining in the situation. Can you take a brave step and opt out of something you’d rather not do? Use your posture to help support your intentions of self-respect. Draw your shoulders back and down, open your chest and imagine as though there’s a string at the top of your head, pulling upwards and elongating your spine. Life reflects back to us that which we give out. Give it something positive and powerful to reflect back to you!