Restoring light to the mind’s dark places
Studies reveal that 1 in 10 adults experience mental depression. Mental illness, stress and anxiety cost the industry billions of dollars each year in lost productivity and absenteeism. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is the leading cause for absenteeism in the United States.
The Encyclopedia Britannica, which is all I had growing up when it came to fact-finding, describes depression in psychology as a mood or emotional state that is marked by low self worth or guilt and a reduced ability to enjoy life.
Robin Williams was not alone when it comes to experiencing the dark prison of the mind that plagues thousands of people every day. Whether it is prescription-induced, situational trauma or hormonal imbalance, our mental and biological systems often walk hand and hand into health and wellness or mental and physical breakdown. There are many factors involved that produce the perfect storm called depression.
As an optimistic person by nature, I was out of my realm when the dark giant of depression stepped in on the scene; I tried everything from medication to natural remedies for relief. Because I didn’t like the emotional flat feeling I got from anti-depression medication I explored alternative solutions. The greatest gift I gave myself was the ability to feel any and every emotion without judging or concluding that something was seriously wrong with me; that I was beyond repair and healing.
Some of the common symptoms associated with depression can include: low self worth; fatigue; lack of focus; loss of ability to produce; lack of motivation and memory; disrupted sleep patterns; lack of appetite; negative rumination. When it comes to restoring light to the dark places within the mind, the following tips have proven helpful within my own life and in the lives of many of my coaching clients in the midst of the depression dilemma:
- Boost vitamin D by getting out in the sunshine for 20 minutes every day.
- Stay awake at the gate of your thoughts. Explore the NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) The More The More technique of pairing a negative thought with a positive thought: “The more I think about _______________________________(insert your negative thought) the more I am able to remember that ________________________(insert a positive thought).”
- Thymus thump: using your finger tips lightly tap on your thymus area located approximately two inches below the U-shaped dip at the base of your neck. Many people naturally gravitate toward tapping on this area when flustered in life with the palm of the hand because of the sense of calm and comfort that is commonly felt with this gesture. As you tap on the thymus area with your fingertips simply add a positive statement of comfort: I am willing to explore the possibility of having faith and confidence in my future. I am willing to take back the power I have given to this circumstance to define what I am capable of handling successfully. I am willing to believe that my future is secure and I am willing to believe that I am secure.
- Get up and move daily. Exercise is an overwhelming word for many people. Keep it simple and consistent. Move your body every 90 minutes, even if your movement consists of moving from one couch to another, do that 10 times or 10 squats each time you use the restroom.
- 70 percent of toxins are thrown out by the exhale breath; Oxygen comprises 62-71 percent of the body; 90 percent of our biological energy comes from oxygen. Disease causing microorganisms; bacteria and pathogens can’t survive in oxygen rich environments. Implement Pranayama breathing techniques. Prana means the breath; Ayama means to extend or draw out. It is more comfortable to practice the techniques on an empty stomach and in a posture that feels good for you with your backbone straight:
Alternate Nostril Breathing: Using your fingertips, close the right nostril. Breathe in deeply through the left nostril. Switch and close your left nostril as you breathe out through the right nostril, breathe in through the right nostril. Switch and close your right nostril; breathe out through the left nostril, breathe in through the left nostril. Switch and close the left nostril and breathe in deeply through the right nostril, breathe out through the right nostril. Switch and close the right nostril and breathe in through the left nostril, breathe out through the left nostril. Repeat several times. We only breathe predominantly out of one nostril. When we are out of balance we are heavy breathers from one nostril. This technique supports biological balance.
Bumble Bee: This breathing technique creates an internal vibration distracting us from any negative mind muck. Place your middle and ring finger of both hands to cover your eyes (right hand, right eye/left hand, left eye) allow your pointer fingers to rest just above your eyebrows and your pinky fingers on your cheekbones. Breathe in deeply, and on the exhale, use your thumbs to plug your ears as you hum along with the exhale. Breathe in deeply and repeat 3-5 times. Support Videos: Pranayama Breathing Part 1; Pranayama Breathing Part 2.
- Our bodies naturally synchronize with the frequency we are exposed to. Imagine the high-energy frequency at Times Square in New York on New Years. Now imagine sitting down next to the ocean on a beautiful sandy beach. Your body synchronized with the lower frequency of the ocean waves. Using light frequency LEVITY light/sound system gently guides you into the relaxed meditative state of Theta. Your body naturally synchronizes with the lower frequency, relaxes and releases excess adrenaline and cortisol, the stress hormones. Additionally, serotonin and endorphins are increased by about 25 percent and our blood pressure is also naturally reduced. Because adrenaline is reduced, we also naturally feel energized.