I've been quiet, I know, but that's because I've been in a serious battle against depression and anxiety, which hasn't been pretty. I've moved into a stress free environment luckily so I can really focus on ME for a change. Not continue to focus on others and distract myself from what I'm not dealing with. Plus side this has been the most rewarding experience of my life because its helped me to learn so much about how the human brain, the body, and our energy systems work when its absorbing lots of negative energy.
I've also learnt that it takes a long time break bad habits and I've finally found the strength and motivation to get this blog up so I can share some very effective kicking techniques to hit depression and anxiety where the sun don't shine...hehehe sorry got a little ahead of myself with the analogy.
Anywho! Some of your may have seen my Instagram story where I mentioned some tips on how to fight depression, which I got from my psychologist, who is amazing by the way! These tips are the very basics to getting your depression and anxiety under control. What a lot of people don't realise is that there is a balance between your physical body, the way that you think and your energy. Your energy serves as an early warning system for your body when its absorbing too much negative energy. Here's a cool example, if you were to stand up, close your eyes and focus on something negative you tend to sway backward. When you focus on something positive then you tend to sway forward. This is your energy showing what is good and bad for your body. When there is something positive our body naturally moves toward it and if its bad our body moves away from it. So now that you know that your energy is there to help you moving towards a positive life let's get to the basic battle techniques to fighting depression and anxiety.
1. THOUGHT OBSERVANCE
As we know thoughts come and go very quickly and in succession. I always knew that your thoughts and emotions are energy but I never knew that just because a negative thought comes to mind does not mean that it originated from us. We can pick up thoughts from the energy we’re surrounded by or the things we watch and listen to. Don’t watch depressing shows/movies if you’re depressed, it’ll only make you think more depressing thoughts. There have been so many times something has come to mind and I’ve thought “Where did that come from?” and then I realised “Oh its because I watched that movie last night that made me anxious or sad”. These thoughts can worry us more especially when we’re already depressed or anxious. The trick is to quickly throw it away instead of dwelling on it. The same goes for dreams to. Sometime I have really weird dreams and I try to work out what they mean because I want to know what my mind is telling me. Well, you can stop right there. If you're highly anxious or depressed your mind is so overwhelmed it grabs thoughts, images that amplify your already frazzled mind. It's telling you that you have too much on your plate. Keeping yourself up to analyse that dream is only going to make things worse.
2. CLASSIFY YOUR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
If a thought is really troubling you and you can’t get it out of your mind then sometimes classifying it can help. Is the thought UNTRUE or UNHELPFUL. For instance one of the thoughts I struggle with is “I’m always going to be unhealthy” because there is always something new going wrong with me at the moment. Now of course the thought is UNTRUE. I won’t always be unhealthy because I’m making changes to my life to be healthier. My health problems will pass. Now if the thought is NOT UNTRUE then it is UNHELPFUL. Is that thought going to move me forward? This could be a thought like "I'm fat" well that might be true but is thinking your fat really going to help move you forward in a positive direction? No! So chuck the thought away and focus on something more positive.
3. LIVE IN THE MOMENT
Sometimes the best thing to fight depression is to find tasks to do right then and there. Not just things to distract yourself but things that have meaning or help you work toward your goals. This is because if you spend your time focusing on the past then you are just feeding your depression. If you focus your thoughts too far ahead to the future then you are feeding your anxiety and are halted by fear.
I was watching a Tony Robbins video on Facebook and he said something interesting. He said that fear halts us from ever moving forward and doing what we want to do. The reason why it halts us is that it makes us uncomfortable. The trick is to do it anyway regardless of whether its uncomfortable or not. It is better to force yourself through that discomforted and truly lived to pursue your dreams and passions. He does this by thinking of himself as an old man in a rocking chair wishing that when he was younger he had done that one thing like getting a helicopter license.
4. DRINK LOTS OF WATER
Our energy is at its healthiest when we are well hydrated. When the brain is dehydrated it actually shrinks and the stresses of life can overwhelm the energy in the brain. Keeping well hydrated improves your energy and allows the brain to cleanse itself from negative energy. The level of water you need to drink will depend on your weight but generally 2 Litres of water is enough which is four tall glasses of water. I have use the 600mL water bottles to keep track of everything which works really well. A well hydrated brain means you are better able to deal with the thoughts of life. I kind of like to think of it like a car that needs fuel to work optimally. As it runs out of fuel you know you're not going to get very far.
5. VITAMIN D
My psychologist always said D stands for Depression. If you want to fight depression then you need to make sure that your body is absorbing enough vitamin D. You can do this with Vitamin D tablets but the best source is thirty minutes of direct sunlight to one third of your body DAILY. This is your face, neck, upper chest and arms. The more skin exposure the better for you in the long run. A nice sun bathe can do wonders in building up your bodies store of vitamin D. You may want to get a blood test to check your vitamin D intake because some of us absorb vitamin D better than others.
This is my least favourite activity. I’ve never really found the right exercise for me. Running hurts my knees generally, which is common for those with thyroid conditions. Yoga isn’t the best for my wrists even though I put all my weight on my fingers to balance it out. So right now walking is the best option for me and they say that you only need 30mins a day.
FUN FACT from my ever helpful psychologist!
Walking is essential for the brain. Our bodies were never designed to remain stationary for too long. We were made to move because it promotes endorphins in the body. It also helps to rid us of negative energy and therefore negative thoughts. My mother says that if you can't manage 30 minutes to your schedule or its too much exercise for you body at the moment then you can do high intensity exercise for 6mins. A lot of people who are fighting depression generally don't like to go out but exercise can be done in the backyard or in the house. There are some amazing instagrammers who show some indoor exercises to keep healthy (*hint hint* hello dancing to music in your PJ's...I've tried it and its oh so good!!!). However, sometimes its best to get out of the home environment and into nature to recharge. Go hiking, the Japanese call it "Forest Bathing", which is totally a thing now...Google it!
So there you have it, the fundamentals for battling and conquering depression and anxiety. I hope you’ll all join me in working on this list. Don’t put pressure on yourself to do everything all at once, just pick a few to focus on. They say it takes fourteen days to build a habit so perhaps challenge yourself to do it everyday for two weeks.