7 Unusual Steps for Healing Depression

I struggled with depression and anxiety for most my my adult life. The way depression manifested for me was a dark, vague, judgemental, exhausted, and pessimistic state of being. Sleeping was my favorite part of the day. My head was full of jell-o. The thoughts I could muster were dark. 

 I did not enjoy life, to put it mildly. Those who seemed to be enjoying life were a mystery to me. By the criteria of the DSM-V, I was clinically depressed on and off for over a decade. Talk about a party, right? Haha.

I no longer struggle with depression and haven’t in many years. I believe that God and my soul worked in concert to help me heal the problems my body-mind were creating. Depression is often treated as a “chemical imbalance” that you’re cursed with. And to be sure, there is a chemical imbalance happening. But the chemical imbalance is a downstream effect of multiple factors. While I  was spending all my time trying to figure out how to “heal my broken brain”, God was trying to push my focus in a different direction. Eventually, I received the message. I’ll be sharing them with you now in this post.

The following parts are organized in a sequence of steps. Fully understanding each step was part of my own healing process. Don’t worry. The healing process for depression is simple. 

 



Step 1 – Know that Depression is an Illusion


The energy of depression is a very convincing illusion. Part of the nature of depression is that you don’t realize you’re being taken over until you’ve been “taken over”. At which point, this dark way of thinking and feeling seems to become real. Good news! It is not real. 

When in a depressed state, it is crucial for you to know that none of the thoughts you think are true. Nor are they real. They are 100% false and undeserving of your attention. The energy of depression is like a chinese fingertrap, pulling you in with “important” things to ruminate on. None of it is important. None of it is real. 

This is the first step of the liberation and healing process. 

I’m not saying to control your thinking. Don’t even try. What I’m saying is to stop believing what depression is telling you. Part of the reason energy persists is the vicious loop of buying what it’s selling. Stop letting it convince you. Stop letting it drag you around. Stop believing what it tells you.

Depression is sneaky. It’s not typically screaming dark thoughts. It’s quietly spilling them into your mind like dark ink. Sometimes the dark thoughts are imperceptible. And yet, they seep in and start to cast a dye on your mind and body. 

Depression is a clever, stealthy beast. Most of your dark thoughts aren’t loud enough for you to notice them. They’ve just become beliefs that you take as truth.

For instance, “I’m not good enough.” Is a common record loop that plays over and over for many depressed people.  This is just one of many seeds planted by depression. We didn’t notice the seed was planted. We don’t even notice that it’s growing. Yet we find ourselves eating the rotten fruit from the tree. We find ourselves trying to solve the “problems” that depression has quietly convinced us is real. 

Can you see how insane this is? Taking every thought your mind says at face value isn’t much different from living in a prison cell.  

 

Here it is in simple terms.

If you have a thought that isn’t loving, it is not from truth. Any thought that causes you misery is NOT a true thought, and must not be believed.

That is the first boundary you’re building against depression.

 

 

 

This creates a boundary of light where there wasn’t one before. You’ve established a boundary within yourself where depression cannot enter. Even if the boundary is tiny at first, it’s there. 

To put this into practice, write out one page in the morning of what’s on your mind. Let your hand move and just notice what comes. Awareness of your mind is freedom from it.



Step 2 – The Ego is the Root Cause of All Depression

You have something called an ego. The ego is your “little I” that wants to stay a little I. This part of humans is insane, and is the root of all suffering.

Your ego wants you miserable. 

Why does it want you miserable? Because if you’re joyful, peaceful, and in touch with your wholeness, the ego gets relegated to bathroom attendant instead of CEO. It’s no longer got you on puppet strings. 

Depression is a very clever tactic of the ego to keep you chasing your own tail. It’s a giant diversion from the truth of who and what you are. 

The ego says “This prison cell is musty and dark. Let’s analyze this musty, dark prison cell. Let’s think about how terrible this prison cell is. Don’t you just hate it here? Maybe we’ll get out of here one day. Maybe not. Maybe death is our only option…who knows.”

Meanwhile, the prison door is wide open. The ego lured you in, has kept you in, and is very happy to distract you from the wide-open prison door.



Step 3 – Know that depression is partly caused by suppression

When I was finally ready to step out of the illusion of depression, I stumbled upon the work of Dr. David Hawkins. His books Letting Go, and Healing & Recovery helped me to break through the energy of depression. 

His work put me on a path to spiritual healing and liberation that, for me, was the answer to all my inner turmoil. 

In short, depression is partly caused by the suppression of emotions. It’s like an energetic sewer lid on top of a lifetime of pent-up emotions, resistance, and denial of truly feeling things.



Step 4 – Feel Feel Feel. Allow Allow Allow.

Sit in a quiet place every day, turn everything off, and just let yourself feel whatever comes up. 

Don’t worry about what your mind is doing. Ignore thoughts. Thoughts may come and go. Feel free to write down any persisting thoughts so you can let them go, and return to feeling. 

Then, when you’re ready, ask yourself “Can I let this feeling be here?” And just let yourself feel whatever is present. Don’t resist it. Don’t wish it wasn’t there. Don’t try to change it. Don’t try to solve it. Don’t try to get to the root of it. Don’t analyze it. Just feel what’s there. 

Then, at some point when you have honestly felt it through, ask “could I let this go?” And whatever you’re able to let go of at that moment is what’s ready to be let go of. Sometimes it’s all of it, sometimes it’s a little of it. It doesn’t matter, so long as you’re willing to let any amount go. 

The Process

  1. Sit down
  2. Notice how you feel
  3. Ask “Can I let this feeling be here?”
  4. Let go of resisting the feeling
  5. Allow the feeling to be felt fully
  6. Ask “Could I let this feeling go?”
  7. Let go of whatever you’re able to and accept what you’re not
  8. Repeat throughout the day for as long as is necessary
  9. Eventually, with time, the energy will “spend itself”
  10. Enjoy a newfound sense of lightness and peace

You could call this process “Emotional Releasing”. I first came upon this technique through the work of Dr. David Hawkins. His books Letting Go and Healing & Recovery put me on the path of emotional releasing and it has changed my life.

I have since studied multiple ways to release emotions, and have found them all to be fruitful.

Some of the certifications I pursued to go deeper into emotional releasing:

  • Yoga Nidra and Vinyasa Yoga
  • Somatic Releasing
  • Somatic-Based Mindfulness Practice

These are physical methods for releasing emotions that work incredibly well. If you have a hard time releasing with just your mind, it can help to incorporate the body by practicing yoga.

Emotional releasing is the most transformative and instantaneous method I have found for healing inner pain.


Step 5 – Go Beyond the Chemical Imbalance Paradigm

For many people, depression is not a disease caused by a chemical imbalance. It is a symptom.

Depression is a psychological, emotional, societal, cultural,  biological, intestinal, and immunological issue. By the time we experience depression, multiple links in our physical chain have broken long before the depression. 

Depression is a downstream effect.

We misunderstand the mechanisms of depression by assuming that depression is a random occurrence. In reality, it is a physical symptom of lifestyle, spiritual, and psychological imbalances. 

The use of anti-depressants is a personal choice and one that only your soul knows best. But ultimately, anti-depressants are not a “cure” for anything. They may be an important stepping stone for some, but shouldn’t be seen as THE fix for all. To place anti-depressants as THE fix points to the erroneous assumption that depression is completely without cause. This is the paradigm that pharmaceutical companies have spent billions of dollars trying to convince us of. 

The narrative of mental health has been hijacked by the capital interests of drug companies. It’s become taboo to suggest that maybe a pill isn’t the answer for most people. “Pills might help for the short term, but aren’t the answer in the long run”…cue the axes and pitchforks. 

Is there a chemical imbalance in depression? Absolutely. Is focusing on the effect going to “cure” the many causes? Absolutely not. 

On the flip side, know that using anti-depressants does NOT make you less than. Some individuals truly need anti-depressants for various reasons. If you’re one of those people, I am grateful you have medication that has helped you. Please know that your taking medication is not judged by me. 

What I’m expressing here is the fact that while some may require anti-depressants, many overlook the critical aspects of body-mind healing in favor of pills. These critical aspects of healing can do things for our well-being that anti-depressants can’t.

At the end of the day, you must trust yourself and honor your intuition. You know what’s best for you. 


Step 6 – Cultivate the witness

There is a part of you that is untouched by depression. That part of you is “The Witness”. It is the TRUE you. 

The witness is the part of you that allows you to know that “I Am Aware that I Am Aware.” It’s the part of you that allows you to know that you know. To know that you are listening. To know that you are thinking. 

When you think, and you watch your thoughts, you are in the witness. 

Abiding in the witness is the opposite of being in the Ego-Prison I mentioned earlier. It’s your ticket to freedom. 

To rest in the witness is simple. As you go about your day, watch your thoughts and actions. This is also known as mindfulness. 

Spend lots of time paying attention to what is happening in your mind, body, and all around you. Just pay attention and be present. This is not complicated. The mind want it to be complicated but it’s very simple. Just be. 



Step 6 –  Fix Your Diet (No Gluten, No Dairy, No Junk)

Depression is a downstream effect of many factors. It’s imporant to consider getting a total checkup with a good integrative medical practitioner who can see if there’s something physical happening that is contributing to your symptoms. 

Thyroid status, autoimmune panels, hormones, nutritional status, gut health, vitamin B levels, and iron levels are a good place to start. Any one of these can cause symptoms of depression.

The AIP diet was instrumental in my healing depression. It  eliminates gut irritants and allergens, and reduces inflammation. Something most people don’t realize is that depression can be a symptom of inflammation. Elminating inflammatory foods is very healing for the brain.

Within a few weeks of starting the AIP diet, I noticed a significant reduction in brain fog and fatigue. Within a few months, most of the depressive symptoms that plagued me for a decade were gone. 

This diet helped me to understand which foods were irritating to my system, and as a result, harming my brain chemistry. Things I was eating every day, for years, were actually making me sick. For example, almonds & sunflower seeds leave me feeling terrible. I would’ve had no way of knowing that without the AIP elimination and reintroduction process.

I’m so passionate about the AIP diet that I created an entire course outlining exactly how to do it, as well as all the recipes that make it easy and delicious to follow. The course, Healing With Food, has the power to help you start feeling SO MUCH BETTER.

If you’re not ready to fully jump into the AIP way of eating, start by cutting out all gluten, dairy, and eggs is a great place to start. 



Step 7 – Structure

Having some daily structure can help to reduce depression. Structure creates a boundary between your True self and the energy of depression. 

The energy of depression doesn’t want to have structure. It enjoys vague, structureless days. Such days give it plenty of space to spread out in your life. Having even just a little structure can keep your mind in a clearer state. 

Some structures that you might find helpful:

  • Sleep schedules
  • Cleaning schedule
  • A daily step count
  • A set time to create, write, or paint
  • A set time to call loved ones
  • Anything else you deem meaningful or important

When in a state of depression, energy can be low. So don’t overwhelm yourself with a huge to-do list every day that you don’t have the energy for.

Simply pick a few of the easiest things you can commit to. If you miss some days, don’t judge yourself. Just move on and keep going. 



This Valley Won’t Last

All valleys are temporary. Don’t let your mind convince you otherwise. You will live to see a day when you look back at this valley. You will be grateful that you didn’t give up and stay in the valley. 

The day is coming when you will feel how good life is, and how good you are. And on that day, you will be able to shine a light for those in the darkness. You are needed now, and are needed eternally. 

Your journey through the valley is not in vain.

Love,
Brenda

P.S. Every Sunday I teach techniques for healing emotional pain in my community, The School of Transformation. If you’d like to start feeling peace, joy, and freedom, this is the perfect community for you.


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