How to nurture yourself to heal depression

Written by Amie on August 15, 2011 – 1:12 am -

The way to heal from depression is to honor your true voice

So many people are searching for ways to nurture themselves. So very sad that most people do not know how to do this. Most people are taught to think about everyone but themselves. Most people are taught to be concerned with what others think of them before being concerned about how they feel about themselves! People are conditioned to follow along with what “the authority” figures deem important. We have been conditioned to hide who we really are. The way to heal from depression is to honor your true voice. Let yourself be honest. Express how you really feel. Will this be easy after years of repressing and hiding your voice, your beliefs, your thoughts, your opinions, your truth? No, it just takes a lot of practice. Can you heal yourself from depression? Absolutely! But you have to be willing to show yourself. You have to practice facing your fear of being your true self. It won’t happen overnight, but if you keep practicing and you also practice compassion for yourself, you will transform your depression into self-love. You will soon be nurturing yourself because you listen to what your inner truth is telling you. Once you start listening to and acting on your truth, nurturing yourself is the result.

All of these things condition us to go against ourselves

Breaking free of the conditioning most people learn is the key to healing depression. Our world tells us we need to be perfect, be successful, be thin, be rich, be beautiful, be the same as everyone else, act happy, don’t feel emotion, hurry up, be nice, be who your parents want you to be, be who society wants you to be, don’t be angry, hide yourself, don’t trust yourself, listen to other people’s opinions of you, don’t listen to your inner voice, be afraid, listen to your fear, trust the authority even if it feels wrong to you….I could go on and on. None of these things are nurturing! All of these things condition us to go against ourselves. All of these things teach us to distrust our inner voice. These things are the reason why so many people are depressed! We have been conditioned to be afraid of showing the world our true inner beauty. Depression exists because our truth is locked in a box deep within. The harder we try to contain our truth, the angrier we feel. The more angry we feel, the harder we fight to try to contain our truth. The more we try to contain our truth, the more depressed we become. Depression gets deeper and deeper the longer the truth is hidden.

protect yourself by being “good”

It is not easy to say what you really want to say. This is especially true if you have been conditioned to believe you are somehow bad for stating your opinions or your needs. If, as a child, you were punished for needing anything, you learned to lock up your truth, and to hold in your thoughts and feelings. You learned that being “good” got you farther than expressing your truth did. It is fortunate that children have the built in ability to shut down parts of themselves in order to protect themselves. Emotions can be turned off, shut down. This happens for a reason. Humans are built to survive. This is a good thing. I learned to be thankful for my protective instincts. However, if you are an adult, you now have the ability to take care of yourself. You get to decide what is best for you, and who you will trust to be a part of your life. You no longer need these coping mechanisms that served you as a child. You are in charge of your life! This is great!

how to nurture yourself

So, I am back to the question of how to nurture yourself. I learned to nurture myself by listening to my inner voice, and then trying to follow it. I am still learning, but it is getting easier with practice. It takes so much practice! It is like learning a completely new skill. I am learning to have compassion for myself. I try to treat myself as I would treat a newborn baby or a very young child. I give myself a break when I revert back to my old habits. I allow myself time to sit and have a good cry. I honor the little girl in me who just wants to curl up and read a book. I listen to my body when it is telling me it needs to move. I get a massage to nurture my body. I feed my body foods that make it feel good. But, if I eat something that I know will make me feel bad afterward, I refrain from telling myself how bad I am. Instead, I say oops, maybe I won’t eat that next time. The key is to have compassion for yourself! Your inner judge has been abusive enough all of these years. Give yourself a break. Listen to what you tell yourself on a minute to minute basis. Write down what you say to yourself, and then apologize to your inner self. Become aware. The messages you are saying to yourself that are mean and judgmental are never true. It is all conditioning. Not of it is the truth. Remember that every single situation is neutral. It is the judgments and stories we tell ourselves that make them stressful.

You are love….you have the answers you need right inside you…..dig through the old lies and stories to re-discover the truth you were born with…..you are a beautiful soul…..you deserve to be here…..you deserve to feel joy every day……let go of the old stuff you have carried around for years…..question every single thing you tell yourself…..only keep it if you know it to be 100% true….that means you have to prove that it is true! Do something for yourself that feels good…right now….love…

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Posted in Awareness, Depression, healing from depression, Nurture yourself, Self-love | No Comments »

Unexpressed emotions,rage, and depression

Written by Amie on November 15, 2010 – 4:17 pm -

Admitting anger

I remember years ago when a therapist told me that depression happens when you turn your anger in on yourself. Instead of expressing your anger, you beat yourself up with your anger. You get angry at yourself for having anger! Okay, and? It sounded like a good theory, but then she never really showed me how to get to my anger, how to express what was really going on. More importantly, she didn’t help me learn to get past the GUILT of even thinking of admitting my anger. I would have outbursts of anger here and there, but then I would feel horribly guilty for expressing my anger. When I expressed my “anger” it was never really about what was happening at the time of my outburst. It was the accumulated rage and fury that I had repressed most of my life that would cause me to get to the point of “exploding”. I just didn’t know that at the time. Imagine how much rage someone has that was never allowed to express their truth, their opinions, their beliefs, who they really are. When the anger can no longer be contained, we take to beating ourselves up with self-hate, which in turn becomes depression. When something happens to us and we become depressed, it is almost always because we have not expressed our truth. I am speaking about “clinical” depression mainly, not necessarily “situational” depression. We hold back because we are afraid of not being loved, we are afraid to “be different” than those around us, or we have taken on the belief that what we have to say doesn’t really matter. We were not heard, therefore, why bother expressing ourselves? ¬†When this happens, we feel defeated, as though it is worthless to even try to find a way to get our needs met.

The end of your rope

Anger that is not expressed, or emotions in general that are not expressed, start eating away at your insides. The anger becomes difficult to contain. If one doesn’t find a healthy way to express these emotions, physical illness happens, or one becomes so depressed that the only way out that they can see, is through suicide. I totally understand what it feels like to be at the end of your rope. I get it, I really do. It feels like there is absolutely not one thing that can change how you feel. After years of thinking that my depression would never let up, I can say from experience that it can, and it will let up, IF and WHEN you decide to allow yourself to be heard, and you allow yourself to feel. We all have the right to be seen and heard, and to be honored for who we are.

My anger repressed

One problem for me was that I had no idea how angry I really was (and I’m still working on it). I had no idea that my depression had to do with unexpressed feelings, which in turn created intense anger. I learned to ignore my REAL feelings, thoughts, beliefs, likes, dislikes, EVERYTHING that made me ME. Depression is the result of hiding who you really are. I don’t want to sound like I am over simplifying this at all. I know from experience, there is nothing simple about depression. Once I had one tiny inkling of the rage I felt underneath the depression, I began to see a tiny ray of light-like maybe there was really a light at the end of the tunnel, or at least a big enough space for me to get one toe in to begin the journey toward becoming whole-remembering who I really am.


Being afraid of your rage is normal

I want to tell you that being afraid to feel and being afraid of your rage is understandable. It is normal. I was scared to death to feel how angry I was. I am still working on releasing it. But I will also tell you that feeling the power of my rage empowered me! It reminded me of who I really am. When a person has been repressing emotions for years on end, it is a huge event when they take responsibility for their own well being, and begin to process emotions. It is difficult to give yourself the freedom and the permission to say, “this is who I am”, “this is what I want”, “this is the way it is FOR ME”, “this is what I choose”, “this is my favorite thing to do”. I want to let you know that you do have the power within yourself to take back your life. You have the power to throw away all of the BS that you have been fed all of these years! It is okay to start trusting yourself, and trusting the little voice inside you. It is ok to be angry and to feel the rage boiling beneath the surface. It is extremely important to find healthy ways to release the anger.

Shake your body without judgment!

I have talked about how important moving my body is when I feel strong emotions. It remains one of the best things I can do for myself when I am feeling stuck or overwhelmed with anger or strong emotions in general. I know what its like to not feel like even moving a toe when I was really deeply depressed. However, I want to encourage you to just stand up and shake every part of your body. Dancing is wonderful too, but if you don’t have the energy for that, just stand in one spot and shake. If you are in a place where you feel comfortable enough to make noise, it is also really helpful to make loud yelling, grunting,groaning noises-anything that comes up, just let it out! I know it sounds weird, but I think you will be so pleasantly surprised at how good it feels to do this! Also, I would recommend having someone to help you such as a therapist if you are stuck in the anger, or are afraid to release it. Namaste.

Love this video! Just one example of moving your body. Remember, there is no right or wrong, just move, even if you are just standing there shaking one foot and nothing else. The Power Wave Dance by Gabrielle Roth.

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Posted in Depression, Kids/teenagers and depression, Self-love | 7 Comments »
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