What is depression: Depression is a condition that results in feelings of sadness, lethargy, feeling of impending doom, sleeplessness or more sleeping, loss or increase in appetite, and emotional pain.
How we become depressed: Depression can take two forms. One is physically based, the other is emotionally based.
The physical type is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. The brain nerves secrete a substance known as endorphins. These endorphins regulate our mood. The more endorphins, the happier we feel. The fewer, results in feelings of sadness and emotional pain.
Law of Belief: This is the cause of the second type of depression. We all engage in self-talk. It is what we say to ourselves that can make us happy or depressed. When we engage in negative self-talk on a regular basis, we tend to become depressed. It is thought that this self-talk can actually change our brain chemistry. Thus, negative self-talk can actually send us into the first type of depression.
It has been believed since ancient times, we are what we think. This is even addressed in the Holy Bible.
In recent years, we are beginning to understand the mind-body connection. Our thinking directly affects our bodies and body chemistry. We have known for some time that stress can cause high blood pressure, heart problems, ulcers, and other bodily problems.
In the medical field there is a phenomenon known as the “placebo effect.” When patients are given a placebo, but told that it is a miracle cure, and we will actually get better, even though the placebo had no effect on the condition.
Another example is that of hypnosis. When we are hypnotized, we can experience paralysis, pain, anesthesia, and other physical phenomenon with just the suggestion of the hypnotist. Hypnosis can be used to control pain in dental procedures, childbirth, and even create bloodless and pain free surgery!
Thus we have a Law of Belief.
Religion can also result in depression because it often instills powerlessness and unworthiness conditions. Most religions teach people that something “out there” has the power to choose punishments for subjective sin. (Escaping the Matrix of Depression: The Truth Shall Set You Free. By Nanine Ellis, New Dawn, Special Issue, Vol. 9, Number 5, pp. 23-2).
The Truth Will Set You Free
We have been imprisoning or keeping ourselves hostage by untruths that we have bought through the words and actions of others. We have placed our locus of control outside ourselves.
When the locus of control is outside us, we feel helpless, powerless, controlled, and imprisoned by the world outside us. We have bought into what others think of us, or have repeatedly told us.
Again, religion is a perfect example of this. We are taught that God had predetermined our destiny, and that we are sinners. As sinners, we feel we deserve punishment because we are taught that we are born sinners, and the only way out of this sinful condition is to surrender ourselves to the will of God. We must confess our sins and repent if we wish to feel better. Then we received “the grace of God.”
Taking Back Your Power: We need to reclaim our power by rejecting these teachings. The following sections discuss how to take back our power and relocate our locus of control within ourselves. In doing so, we change our view of the world at the same time.
Turning Off Victimhood: Each of us, from birth, are programed to play the victim role. We are told by the church how awful we are. That we are sinners. That we are born into sin. This results in our seeing ourselves as victims of the original sin. We begin to think that we cannot control our own destiny because God has predestined our fate. We need to realize that we have free will, and are only victims if we allow others to make us victims. We give them power over our lives.
Turning Off Unworthiness: Being a victim, we then learn that we are unworthy. The church tells us that we are unworthy of salvation unless we accept their plan for salvation. Each church has a different opinion of how to do this, but basically it boils down to accepting their teachings about Jesus and being baptized in their manner. This is all well and good, because it does give us a sense of comfort, given their teachings. However, at the same time, many of those churches continue to tell us that we are still unworthy unless we follow their particular teachings.
It becomes necessary to believe that we are truly worthy individuals. As you continue to read this, you will be introduced to ways to begin to believe in your self-worthiness. But in a nut shell, you are better off changing your self-talk.
Turning Off Powerlessness: Again, we are given the impression from birth that we are powerless. This goes hand in hand with being taught to be a victim, and that we are unworthy. We control our own destiny by the choices we make. Reprograming yourself is a necessary step toward defeating depression. To do this, you begin to take control of your life. True, there are things that are beyond our control, but it is how we view these things that makes the difference. Practice looking at those situations as learning experiences. What can you learn from that occurrence? Is it not to engage in some activity? Avoid certain people? What to do in that situation to make the best of it?
Those bits of insight will help you turn off powerlessness by showing you what to do different.
Reclaim Your Trust in Your Self: When we experience victimhood, powerlessness, and unworthiness, we lose trust in ourselves. To reclaim your trust in yourself, you change your view. So you made a mistake. Pick yourself up and go on. Learn from that instance. You are basically a trustworthy person, unless you are born a psychopath. Otherwise, you can start to believe in yourself in a healthy manner.
Stop seeking proof from others: When we seek proof from others, we again place the locus of control outside our lives, just as we did in the above unhealthy views of yourself. It doesn’t matter what others think of you. Nowhere is it written in stone that everyone must like you. That is what Albert Ellis called musterbation! It is impossible to make everyone like you. Stop trying. When you come across someone who doesn’t like you, realize that it is their choice. In most situations, they don’t like you because they see in you some trait or other they hate about themselves, not you! So stop giving that power away. You are the only proof you need. Simply learning from the situations and events in your life is the only proof you need.
New Thinking We need to think about changing our thinking. The old way of thinking has gotten the person depressed. They are mired in negative thinking. They have absorbed all the negative statements about them from others, real or imagined.
I am statements I statements are statements that include the pronoun I. They pertain to you directly. For instance, “I am happy” is an I statement. Other I statements the are helpful include:
I am worthwhile.
I am moving toward my goals every day.
I no longer believe others negative statements.
I have energy to spare.
I am active and happy in my life course.
Stop Judging We judge ourselves daily. We are better to stop that behavior. We have learned this from others. They judge us for who we are, what we are, what we belive, how we dress, etc. Stop judging yourself right now. As Fritz Perls, a famous psychologist once said, “I am not in this world to live up to your expectations….”. What he was saying was that since birth we have been taught to live up to others expectations, such as how to dress, what we are supposed to think, how we are to worship. All these carry judgmental conditions. We need to accept exactly where we are now. That does not mean that we need to like it, but we must accept it if we expect to grow beyond it. As we begin to stop judging ourselves and start living our lives. Set goals that are reasonable. Take steps toward that goal all the time. We can often break a big goal down into smaller goals. When we do that, we can monitor our progress toward that goal. Celebrate each accomplishment. Do not worry what others say. It’s your goal, not theirs.
Body-Wise It is important to take care of our physical body. Eat properly. Follow the government’s new food pyramid. Eating many foods from the vegetable group fives many vital nutrients. Eating less red meat is important. Fish, Chicken and Pork should be eaten more frequently, with red meat no more often than once a week. Fruits give us vitamins and essential minerals. There are many books out that can guide your new eating pattern.
But food in not the only way that we can care for our body. Exercise is essential for muscle tone, cardiac fitness, and strength. Surprisingly, exercise also reduces depression! So get moving.
Emote We all have emotions. They are neither good nor bad. They just are. It is what we make of them that counts. If we think its bad to feel mad, and stuff that feeling, it just lies in our mind and festers like a splinter in your finger left in. We are far better expressions our feelings. The key is to own your feelings as your own and express them BUT without explosiveness. If you are angry, you might say, “I’m angry. I feel anger when you ….”, or “I feel sad when you….”. Notice that these are I statements. We go back up to the use of I statements. “I” statements indicate ownership of your feelings. Also notice that we used “when you”. That indicates that we are not saying the person caused your feeling, you caused them, but it is indicating that their behavior or words gave rise to your feelings in the way you reacted to them. Again, the important part is to own your emotions.
Imagination Imagination is a wonderful thing. It is the key to making all dreams come true. You can imagine that you are that person you want to be. But you also MUST feel what it’s like to ge that person. Imagine what you will feel, look like, think, look, ets.
The Moment is Now There is no time like now. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow will never come. Get off your duff and begin taking charge of your life in this very moment.
Conclusion You do not have to be depressed. It’s your life. Take charge of it. I have laid out a plan for your success. Follow it. Depression only exists if you allow it to exist. Deny it’s power over you. Live in the now. It’s the only thing that is real. This very moment is all that exists. Realize that. As the famous psychologist Albert Ellis said, “Stop musterbating.” No one said you HAD to do anything. Nowhere is it written in stone that you MUST do anything! If you feel that, you are not owing yourself. You are giving the control of your life to others. Depression is often a result of doing so. So take this very moment to decide to control your own life. You will be happier if you do!