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Depression can be crippling to the sufferer, often times they have no idea why they are depressed. Others looking on who have never experienced depression, have no understanding of how we feel. But depression can and will suppress the joy to be found in daily life. Unfortunately, depression will not heal itself. by itself, it needs attention, care, nurturing and empathy.

The longer left unattended, the shadow consumes life itself, opening doorways to escapism and in turn, addiction and the cycle of depression begin in ever-decreasing circles. 

Let us look at some ways to lift the shadow of depression and train the brain to be more positive. This is easier than it appears, but it’s worth the effort. 

Ways to Lift Depression

Daily Exercise:

Go for a walk in nature, in a park, by the sea or along a river. The effort to go for a walk will break a cycle and the air and nature will help to clear your head. 

Gratitude and be Grateful:

Each night before closing your eyes to sleep. Recall three things from your day that you are grateful for. Everyone has many things we are grateful for, but sometimes we focus on the negative and that then becomes our reality.

So focus on the positive things that have happened. You woke up, that’s positive, you were able to breathe, that’s positive, simple things that happened. Then feeling grateful for those will change the way the brain processes and will increase happiness. All changes in behaviour require 21 days of repetitive engagement for that new behaviour to become anchored.  

depressionJournaling:

The power of writing. Each day, write down how you feel. Positive, Negative, Happy, Sad, Emotional, no matter how you feel, write it down. Then write down ONE good or positive thing that happened to you today. FEEL Grateful for that one thing. 

After a few weeks of journaling, you will be able to reflect back over your entries and see your moods and your gratitude. This exercise will build up the brain scanning technique.

Meditation and Mindfulness:

Meditation is NOT what many people think it is. It is the process to preoccupy the conscious mind so that it stops censoring and allows the subconscious mind to engage. Mindfulnes, according to Jon Kabot Zinn is “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally” So take time out of your day to go inward. Slow down and simply breathe paying attention to your breath. Or spend time in Nature paying attention to the leaves, their colour, shape, texture, complexity. look at the trees, sky, the birds or the ocean and pay attention. Observe.

Do this every day, beginning with 10 minutes a day and try to increase the time. 

Random acts of kindness:  

When we do Random Acts of Kindness without any expectation of anything in return, we boost our serotonin and dopamine levels, which are neurotransmitters in the brain that give us the feelings of satisfaction and well-being, and cause the pleasure/reward centers in our brain to light up.Kindness

Simple acts of kindness such as Opening the door for someone. Sending a thoughtful text message or email. Helping an elderly person across the road. Smiling at strangers.

Affirmations:

Many of my clients have said to me over the years, if I don’t “feel” the affirmation, then whats the point in saying the words.  It is simple. When we say an affirmation, example, I AM HAPPY, even though we are feeling sad at the time, the more we say I AM HAPPY, and the more we engage feeling, the conscious mind begins to accept what is being repeatedly said, and slowly sends this information to the subconscious where instructions are delivered to release seratonin into the bodies endorphin system.I AM

Looking into the mirror and looking into your eyes and saying daily positive affirmations, will change how you feel. Always begin with I AM.

I AM HAPPY –  I AM HEALTHY –  I AM FIT –  I AM STRONG –  I AM CONTENT.  You can add any amount of affirmations. Say these affirmations with feelings and total commitment.

 

Smile:

When we smile, we release serotonin into our conscious mind, the happy hormone, the more we smile, the more serotonin we release, the more released the happier we become.

The other great thing about smiling is, when we smile at others, they too begin to smile and they too feel better in themselves. So when we smile we help others in the act of smiling.

My suggestions here to reverse being depressed are easy. But when you are depressed any suggestion I make here is so so hard, it might be impossible. So take one step at a time. Do one item from the list and see how you feel, if you manage to do one thing and it feels good, then on another day try something and grow the activities as much as you can and soon you will be following the steps to a happier and enriched life.

Be Open to the Possibilities. 

Stay Positive and Strong and Smile – David Ellis