I’ve heard countless stories and have known people personally to go seek professional help from a Therapist or Psychologist due to depression and anxiety. They spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars to be cured, healed or to at least receive some sort of remedy to cope with their troubles. More times than not, after countless sessions, they’re still facing the same problems and still dealing with depression, stress and/or anxiety. Most times, these doctors just throw prescription medication at their patients which only adds more mental and physiological turmoil to the patient due to its side effects.
These doctors are getting paid top dollar and still not getting to the root cause of depression, anxiety and even stress for that matter. Here is the root cause:
The inability to govern and direct your own thoughts and emotions.
Yes, it really is that simple. All cause for any suffering is based off one’s perception. Your perception is created by how you think and feel about a certain situation, person or thing. The sessions spent in a therapist office should be dedicated to teaching the patient how to shift their perception by taking control of their thoughts and emotions. Better yet, many of us could skip the therapist office all together had we been taught this as children. But, we can learn from our past and begin to teach our children this sacred art of the power of controlling your mind instead of letting your mind control you.
Many of our ancestors knew and practiced this power which is why they were able to do such amazing and miraculous things; however, we are eons away from that, so we have to start where we are. We can start now by teaching our children, but first we must re-learn this art and practice it for ourselves.
If this sounds too simple, ponder on this. If you find yourself in a stressful situation, invoking even the simplest of thought such as “This is only temporary” will bring you peace. So, imagine doing this on a more consistent basis. The problem is we let our minds take off and create all sort of scenarios that then makes us feel anxious. The depression kicks in because we constantly replay these scenarios and thoughts in our head. Then we become so entrenched in it that we don’t know how to get out of that thought pattern and feel stuck in a negative loop. You must learn to catch your thoughts before they even take off. Stop them as soon as possible. You are the controller of your mind, but it will take practice and you must be willing to dedicate yourself to learning how to do it.
Here are a few tips that you can employ today to begin to master your mind and rid yourself of depression and anxiety. These tips have saved me many a times from heading towards a downward spiral and taught me how to master my inner peace.
This is the first big step to any transformation. Many times, we struggle through life because we don’t want to accept where we are. But to the contrary, acceptance is the beginning step of positive change. Mental turmoil ensues because we are wishing things were different than they are. By accepting things as they are it will bring a great sense of peace because you give up the fight, which releases a lot of resistant energy. Not only that, if you can expand the thought to also accept that life itself is full of ups and downs, positives and negatives you won’t feel so hard on yourself. You’ll see it as the natural flow of life.
Sit with yourself and monitor your thoughts. How do they make you feel? Are they uplifting or discouraging? Do they bring hope or fear? Being aware of your thoughts will give you the ability to stop any negative thought before it gains momentum and overtakes your mind.
· Create a new thought pattern
Becoming aware of your thoughts will allow you to see which ones are working for you and which ones are not. We have the ability to think any thought we wish, so it is our duty and a form of self-love to choose thoughts that align with what we’re seeking to change in our lives. When you’re first starting out, the more general the thought the better. So, for instance, thoughts such as “things are getting better for me”, “God is working this out for me (depending on your spiritual/religious beliefs) “I’m glad I’m moving forward from this” will work wonders. Creating a new thought pattern will inevitably change the way you feel.
· Change your perception
As I stated with acceptance, life is full of ups and down. But we have the ability to perceive everything that crosses our path however we want it to be. You can observe your situation and perceive it as the worst thing to ever happen to you or an opportunity to grow. You can view the friend that betrayed you as the ultimate backstabber; or you can view it as the Universe revealing to you someone you needed to let go of. In addition to that you can view it as an AND instead of an OR if that’ll make you feel better. So, you can perceive your situation as the worst thing to ever happen to you AND it is also causing you to grow internally.
· Bring your attention to the NOW
Think about it. What happened, happened. What is, is. Most of your mental anguish is because you keep re-living the past and constantly thinking and talking about it right NOW. The experience itself is over but you’re keep it alive in your mind moment after moment. You have to get stern with yourself and bring all your attention and focus to this very moment because this where your power is. Ask yourself, what can I do differently now? What can I think about this now that will better serve me? What can I do now that will make me feel better?
· Change your speech
Often, I hear people say, “I suffer from anxiety or depression” or “I’m so stressed out.” Did you know everytime you make such statements you are self-affirming this into your life? Why would you self-affirm the very thing that you’re trying to rid yourself of? So instead, you want to speak more empowering statements such as “I’m figuring this out,” or “I am stress free” or “I am overcoming my depression.” Speak it as you desire it to be.
Utilizing these techniques is a double-edged sword with a gift on each end. On one end, you’re learning how to transcend depression, anxiety and stress. On the other end you’re learning how to be a powerful co-creator of your life be directing your thoughts and emotions towards your desired reality or results. This is the beginning process of self-mastery.
My infamous phrase is repetition is key. To truly transform yourself and begin to diminish depression or anxiety, try this practice everyday for at least 30 days. You can’t say something doesn’t work if you only tried it for a day or two or only here and there for 30 days.
Since this will be a new thought pattern, it is natural that you will experience some kick-back from your mind. What this means is, your mind is already wired to think more depressing thoughts because of your old repetitious cycle of thinking such thoughts. Your mind is not privy to your new thoughts and way of thinking. This emphasizes the importance of repetition being key. I like to make people aware of this because when learning anything new, when the old habits resurface, our first thought is “this isn’t working” but that’s not true, many just don’t understand how the mind works. The mind is a repetitious entity and anything new that is introduced to the mind must be done so repetitively to create a new neural pathway.
Life happens. We all deal with stress, depression or anxiety at some point in our lives, but the key is having the tools to know how to cope with it immediately before it turns into a chronic case. And the more you practice these tools you’ll find yourself one day saying, “I don’t know the last time I felt stressed over something.” Your new internal programming would be to shift into mind master mode and take any necessary steps to overcome whatever perceived obstacle you may have encountered.