I know, first hand, that depression is crippling, it can take hold of you, control you, own you and drag you down. If you are suffering from depression, you are not alone. Out of a global population of 7 billion people, currently 340million people are affected. One in four women, in their life time will suffer from depression, with one in ten men also being affected by the condition (although these stats are not accurate as women are more likely to visit the Dr and discuss depression than men). If you are suffering from depression, you are absolutely not alone. I also know, first hand, that you can make dramatic changes in your life and you can break free from your depression (without drugs) and dramatically change your life and fast. Right now I am going to tell you how as I share with you 5 steps, from personal experience, that will destroy depression fast.
It is absolutely vital that I point out that I am not a Doctor. There are people who suffer from clinical depression and, if you are concerned that you are, you should go to your Doctor for further assessment. I am addressing the majority of people suffering from ‘depression’ who struggle with what can only be described as a dark, overwhelming cloud. It is this overwhelming feeling of depression that can be permanently shifted from your life.
I will never forget hitting rock bottom. I was 26 years old, my marriage was over and it was categorically the most painful time in my life. Whilst at rock bottom I had a big bang moment as I realised that I had existed on planet earth for 26 years but I had never truly lived. Life is the most amazing, incredible gift that we have ever been given. I know it’s cliché, I know you have heard it said many times before and I know that I will never stop saying it, but has it actually really sunk in? For me, at the time my marriage ended, I had this moment of realisation, but my present pain was greater than this moment of enlightenment and I became the ‘me’ I never wanted to be.
I became seriously depressed. I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t sleep properly. My mind was in, what I could only describe as being in torment. I never felt hungry enough to eat and whenever anyone ever tried to engage in conversation with me I simply ‘was not there’. My mind was fixated on my problems and like many in the depths of depression, I had such a lack of self-worth that I began to stop taking care of myself.
I started to regularly drink 4-6 cans of beer every single night, drinking alcohol became my way of dulling the thoughts, feeling and emotions as it meant that I did not have to look my fear and pain in the eyes. The night became my best friend, I longed for it, the darkness enabled me to hide from the pain of the day and I would literally hate the sun coming up in the morning. One day I woke up, I took a look at myself in the mirror and I saw a small but growing beer belly and a look of utter emptiness in my eyes and I made a decision. I decided there and then to create a PLAN and take immediate ACTION in order to make the most important life change I have ever made.
Let me share with you the 5 step plan that I created, that, if you take action on NOW, will result in destroying your depression and propelling your life forward in ways that you could only dream.
1) Get leverage
The key to making any significant life change is to get the leverage required to propel you in the direction of your future.
You are painfully aware of your depression right now. You know what it feels like, what is looks, like, what is sounds like. You, more than anybody know just how much your depression cripples you. Now imagine yourself in a weeks time. Imagine yourself in a months time. How much greater is the weight of depression? Now imagine yourself in five years time, in ten years time. How do you look? How do you feel? How has your depression affected those around you? What have you lost as a result of years of this cloud of depression covering your entire life?
It’s painful isn’t it? If you allow your depression to continue (yes, I said if YOU ALLOW your depression to CONTINUE) do you fully appreciate just how much you will be robbed of a life that is yours, of a life that you deserve?
It is only when you absolutely know, in the deepest parts of you that the pain of remaining in the situation that you are in is greater than the pain it takes to change. This knowledge opens a door within you that unlocks all the resources required to propel yourself out of your depression and into your future.
2) Get over your story
As harsh as that may sound, it is an important first step. When depression kicks in it is easy to make your illness or life situation a part of your story, a part of your identity. It is easy to start to think of yourself as ‘depressed’ and you start hearing yourself saying such stupid things as ‘Oh don’t mind me I am just depressed’ or ‘Sorry, I can’t do that today as I am feeling depressed’. Your depression becomes a part of your story and as our minds seek to search out and attach itself to an identity then suddenly you label yourself as ‘depressed’.
As soon as you make this fatal error it is much harder to divorce yourself from your story, depression becomes your identity and you start to wallow in the attention that it brings. It is vital that you make a mental distinction to separate your depression from your identity.
Here is a guaranteed way to get over your story of depression:
Find a room and space to relax. As you sit down, or lie down allow every single muscle, every organ, every fibre and every tissue to relax. Now picture your depression, visualise it. What does your depression look like? What shape is it? How heavy is it? What colour is your depression? Get a vivid image of exactly what your depression looks like in your mind.
Now picture a rocket and, in your mind, attach your depression to the rocket and shoot it into the sky. How does that feel? See your depression fly into the sky, higher and higher. See the rocket go straight towards the sun and straight into space.
How much, now, lighter to do you feel?
3) Get a grip and change your state
Some call it a dark cloud over their mind, others start to see the world without colour and in total black and white. Whatever depression feels like for you, you know exactly how it feels and exactly when it is about to start to rear it’s ugly head. This is the state of depression.
The very moment that the state of depression starts to take hold of you, DO NOT ACCEPT IT, DO NOT DWELL ON IT. The moment that your mind has succumbed to depression, it takes control. When you start to feel the onset of depression don’t focus on it but change your state. Think of something that makes you laugh, think of something that makes you smile, do 10 star jumps, call a friend (without telling them about your ‘story’), run out into the garden half-naked! Do whatever it takes to stamp out the onset of depression and to change your state into one that is happy, positive and joyous. Do this each and every time you feel depression taking hold, until you get to the point where you no longer feel depression.
4) Get active
As soon as I saw my growing beer belly in the mirror that was enough leverage for me to take action. I signed up at my local gym and I worked out, both cardio and weights, 3-4 times a week, every single week. The immediate impact this had on my depression was uplifting, was positive and immediately activated a transformation of my mind.
You don’t need to subscribe to the a gym. Activity that will immediately result your life change includes running, going for 25-30 minute walk or going for a swim. Each of these activities you can do once or twice a week, or whenever you start to feel depressed. I can’t express how this was the biggest key to my own transformation, activity means that the endorphins kick in and gets your mind in an active, resourceful state.
5) Get a purpose
We get depressed and ‘down’ when we don’t have a life purpose. You have a greater purpose than being a Mum, a Dad, a husband, a wife or a grandparent. Each of these are fantastic life positions but they are not a substitute for your purpose.
Grab a journal and a pen, just like I did and start to write, start to dream. Be like a child at Christmas who has no limits to the dreams of toys that he would like to wake up to on Christmas Day. Be without barriers and restrictions and write and a list of all the things you would like to do in your life if money was no object, if their were no constraints.
It is important that you write this ‘dream’ list as you seek to discover your life purpose. When you start to write this list you start tuning in to the passions of your heart, your body and your mind and it is there that you will tap into your life’s purpose.
Once you have written this list focus on two or three things that are more achievable this year – it could be to change your job, it could be find a partner, it could be to learn to speak French or to play a musical instrument. Select three achievable purposes and do a little bit every single day to work towards your purpose. As soon as you have decided on your ‘three’ take immediate action – call your nearest French teacher or music teacher, research events for singles in your area. Do something.
If you work towards achieving these three goals every single day your depression will be replaced with excitement and anticipation, As you start to better yourself and discover your life purpose your confidence, energy and passion will grow.
I absolutely guarantee you that if you do not simply passively read this blog but you take immediate action then your depression will fade and your life will be changed, forever, in exactly the same way that my life was changed when I took ‘now’ action and completed the above.
Please feel free to leave a post below if you have any questions of if you would like to share your story.
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