Before I get into the 5 minute depression busting technique, I need to just roll things back and smash through some very common myths which are currently blocking your ability to become mentally fit and healthy.
Living with a mental health difficulty really doesn’t have to be as hard as many people make out.
I can’t believe I just said this out loud (technically…), on the internet, for EVERYBODY to see – FOREVER!
I’m so shocked at myself I even just shout-blogged…
Don’t worry, that will absolutely the last time you see/read anything in capitals – everything else will be super friendly and fluffy 🙂
So, back to the opening shocker of a statement – living with mental ill health isn’t hard.
OK, so it can be.
Some day’s it’s so unbelievably overwhelming that getting out of bed is as difficult as rifling through the shed, building a rocket from all the left over plant pots and broken garden equipment and jetting off to the moon.
I hear you.
I’ve been there.
Oh, my gosh – did I just admit that?
Yeah, and it’s not the first time – although I’m not going to talk about that in this post & just to let you know I’m hunky dory right now but I’m grateful you were concerned for my welfare.
Anyhow, because I’ve lived it and come through it (and I mean 100% come through out the other side with no intention to ever go back) I truly know how you’re feeling right now (and how annoyed you probably were by the first line of this post…)
The thing is, I spent years and years dusting up on all things psychology and mental health only to find out that a lot of what I was told was complete baloney.
Take this myth for example: ‘depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain’.
If I were Adam Hills (Last Leg) you would see me avidly pressing the big red button on his desk right now (& if you don’t watch the Last Leg then just pretend I have a big flashing sign announcing ‘fake news’ & you’ll get the idea).
In fact less than 10% of all depression has anything to do with chemical imbalances and “low serotonin levels are simply another symptom of depression, not a cause” (Tyrell, M., & Elliot, R) & this is why anti-depressants tend not to be hugely successful at ‘fixing’ depression.
Or how about this stone-age myth: ‘If you’re depressed you’re depressed for life’
This simple statement is like saying that if you break your leg then you’re a broken legged person for life.
Yes, you may have a slight weakness or a little bit of scarring but usually your body fixes and knits your bones back together again.
Now, this is where it gets cool – the power of your brain to heal is far superior to that of your bones – meaning this has to be complete poppycock.
Thankfully, neuroscience has finally caught up with common sense and can now prove that we can 100% rewire our brains without needing any invasive surgery. You just need to decide that you want to do something differently, do that thing differently and in a manner of weeks (yes, really), you will be in a completely different space to where you are right now.
You see, your brain is plastic.
I don’t mean the stuff that everything seems to be made out of nowadays, I mean as in able to re-organise and modify the way in which it behaves (Kolb, B., Gibb, R., & Robinson, T., In Press) like modelling clay (aka plasticine…).
Back when I was learning about neuropsychology (and it was about 10 years ago now…) there is this case about a man ‘Phineas Gage’ who suffered a pretty horrific accident and ended up with a tamping-iron wedged through his head. For years (up to 160 years to be exact), research peddled that while he recovered his behaviour and personality was forever changed but more recently the truth emerged that this was simply not the case he instead recovered and the ‘news’ of his radical behaviour changes were spread to further theories of the time (Macmillan, M., 2008).
But, when I was back in university – I was led to believe that the behaviour change was the real story.
I was utterly hoodwinked by the science which was presented to me.
A more recent example of just how phenomenal our brains are can be seen in a fantastic documentary – The Boy With No Brain (Chanel 5, 2016) which showcased the story of a young boy born with just 2% brain mass. After some serious hard work by his family years later his brain mass increased dramatically and let’s just say that you’ll need to see it to believe it…
So, now you know just how amazing your brain is I think it’s time to leave the science behind and get on with the fun stuff 🙂
We’re going to actively start re-wiring your brain and drag you out of your depressive state.
But first you have to do just one thing for me…
Say this next statement out loud.
“I [insert name] choose from this day forth to dedicate the first 5 minutes of my day to shedding depression”
The wording is super important so please don’t alter it.
Before we move on – just check in with yourself and notice how you felt when you said this.
What resistance came up for you?
Did your brain push the aforementioned big red button?
Did your gut tighten and you start to feel a little sick?
Don’t worry – this is 100% normal and I promise it will go away.
We’re not waving a magic wand we’re rewiring your brain & so it will take time – but it is possible.
Now, it’s time to practice what you’re going to do every day for the rest of your life.
Oh, erm… did I not mention you’ll have to do this forever?
Don’t be put off & I guarantee once you see how easy and amazing it is you’ll never want to stop!
I want you to think of just one thing that in the past has been awesome.
Just one thing which made grin so hard even the Cheshire Cat from Alice and Wonderland would have been dazzled by your pearly whites.
You may be finding this a little tricky and if you are here’s what you can do – jump onto Facebook & flick through your past pictures, dust off the photo albums and see if you can find any pictures, speak to friends and family about things which light them up or close your eyes and really root around in your memories until you find something.
Remember – you’re just after one thing in your whole entire life that has made you happy.
Next, I want you to try really hard to conjure up that happy feeling.
You can do this by really delving into the memory, what were you wearing, who was with you, what could you hear, what could you see…
By focusing on this memory your body should respond emotionally without you having to do anything.
If you’re already using essential oils this is when you want to whip out your bottle of; lavender, bergamot, ylang ylang, lemon, organge, frankincense or clary sage (the ones with the anti–depressant and happy properties).
By sniffing these oils you’re going to be putting your cells in happy mode in the background and this is going to supercharge the speed at which you go from feeling rubbish to moderately perky.
Much like when someone is struggling with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and they have ‘flashbacks’ the physiological and emotional response is automatic – doing this is exactly the same.
The stronger the physiological and emotional response, the stronger the memory and vice versa.
If you are struggling to recall the emotions take five and jump onto YouTube.
Search for ‘cats and cucumbers’…
Watch the video’s while you grab your favourite bottle of happy oil & just try again.
You need to sit with that memory those ‘happy emotions’ and your bottle of oil for just 17 seconds to start the rewiring process.
But I want you to aim for 5 minutes.
Set an alarm and just keep bringing yourself back to the memory and the positive emotions.
Now, it’s important after today’s practice period that this is the very first thing you do every morning.
As soon as you wake up.
This memory has to be the first thought in your mind.
Before you get out of bed.
I need you to know that the first few weeks are going to be hard.
Don’t beat yourself up about it.
Just try again the next day.
Good luck & I’ll catch you again soon – Katie.
P.S. Have you been trapped by your mental health for so long that you no longer know who you are, or whether you even want to be here anymore?
My FREE Improve Your Mental Health In 5 Days Challenge will lead you through simple exercises designed for maximum impact so you can shed the confines of negativity and start to experience joy, laughter and happiness again.
I’m also going to show you how to cheat and supercharge these exercises using essential oils – because 1) when you add real live smells into the mix things get really cool, 2) essential oils do a lot of the hard work for you and 3) why wait a second longer than you have to?
Click the link below to join the challenge –
Chanel 5 (2016) Extraordinary People: The Boy with No Brain. Retrieved on 02/06/2017 from: http://www.channel5.com/show/the-boy-with-no-brain-extraordinary-people/
Kolb, B., Gibb, R., & Robinson, T. (In Press) Brain Plasticity and Behavior.
Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience. Retrieved on 02/06/2017 from: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/journals/cd/12_1/kolb.cfm
Macmillan, M. (2008) Phineas Gage – Unravelling the myth. The Psychologist Vol 29. Issue 9. The British Psychological Society: Leicester UK.
Tyrell. M., & Elliot, R. (n.d.) Depression Information: Medical Causes of Depression clinical-depression.co.uk Retrieved on: 02/06/2017 from http://www.clinical-depression.co.uk/dlp/depression-information/medical-causes-of-depression/
- It’s important to seek the advice of a professional before embarking on a new health regime.
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