How do I get out of depression?

Written by Amie on July 2, 2011 – 8:46 pm -

How do I get out of depression

I have heard many people talk about “getting out of” depression. I have said it myself many times as well; “how do I get out of this depression?” When I was meditating this morning it came to me that we never “get out of ” depression; rather we “go back to” the truth we were born with. We learn to go back to ourselves, which makes the depression dissolve. When we come from the mindset that we are plagued or trapped or stuck in depression, it instantly puts us into the helpless, victim mode. The victim mode is when we tell ourselves we have no choice. When one feels as they have no choice about something, they feel hopeless. Hopelessness fuels depression. The story we tell ourselves then runs our life. “I am stuck feeling depressed, there is no way out of this”, “Depression runs in my family, I am stuck”…..the conditioned beliefs and thoughts go on and on. We believe them and they become true. We are stuck. But, we really are not! It is just a story we are telling ourselves, and it can be changed!

Uncover the layers of conditioning that have you trapped

This takes a shift in your perspective. We begin to come back to ourselves by learning how to uncover the layers of conditioning that have trapped us in depression. We must rediscover the truth that has been sitting right behind the depression this whole time. There is no goal to get to. Start right where you are in this moment. Begin by becoming aware of the thoughts and beliefs you tell yourself. What do you tell yourself about your depression? What thought just went through your head? What story did you just tell yourself about that thought? Do you believe it? Can you prove that it is true? Really? How does it feel in your body when you believe your thought?Just notice, don’t judge. Become aware by becoming an observer. Just watch your mind….what is it telling you? Is it labeling the thoughts for you? Is your mind saying something is good or bad, right or wrong? Do you believe that? Where did that belief come from? Does it even make any sense? A very important point to remember is that all situations are neutral until we add our own commentary or story to them. They are still neutral, but our stories have labeled them and then we believe them. This is just your mind (ego) trying to keep you in check. When you start questioning things, the mind gets nervous and works really hard to try to come back to what it knows. It helps to think of this as a separate entity. Eckhart Tolle calls this the pain body. All of the accumulated trauma, stories, beliefs, and thoughts in our bodies become a separate entity that gets triggered until we are able to look at them and see them for what they are.

Depression is layers of untruths

Depression is layers of untruths that are just covering up who you really are. Who you really are got pushed down each time into hiding time and time again. The conditioning we receive in childhood teaches us to hide how we really feel, who we really are, and what we really need. We receive the message that we are somehow not OK. We unconsciously respond to this by building layers inside ourselves in order to protect ourselves. The process of depression begins each time we hide a part of ourselves. We have all been taught to do this. The great news is that it can be undone! Healing depression means finding your real self that was buried. It is a process, yes.  In order to heal, you must peel away the untruths of who you are not. Your real self (your joyful happy self) is still inside you, it always has been and always will be. It takes diligence and courage to peel away the untrue stuff to get to your true self. It is exciting work!

Depression does not mean there is something wrong with you

Depression is a reminder to you. A reminder coming from that place of truth inside you. It is  hoping and waiting for you to start peeling away the walls that have been built up to protect your heart. Your heart has been hurt by traumatic and stressful events in your life. Many of these being beliefs put upon you when you weren’t able to take care of yourself. Even as adults we believe things about ourselves that just aren’t true. Everybody has had events happen in their lives that force them to hide who they really are. Some people have had more than others. “Fixing” your depression really means chizeling away at these things blocking your truth. The truth is you are perfect and that you have everything you need inside you. Depression happens when you get away from believing you are meant to be here and that there is a purpose for your being here. Depression means losing the connection with the source of all life-the flow of love. Depression is the wall of wounds and hurts that cut you off from the infinite flow of love inside you. Start today by becoming aware of your thoughts and beliefs. Question everything!!!!! Do not believe your thoughts. Write down your thoughts and how your body feels when you think them. Awareness is the place to begin.

 

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Learning to be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable

Written by Amie on June 10, 2011 – 3:21 pm -

Don’t believe everything you think

Just wanted to touch on this subject because it is alive in me right now. Trying to feel comfortable with the feeling of being uncomfortable is tricky. I never really looked at emotions and feelings from this perspective. I am familiar with avoiding feelings and with trying to push them away for sure. Awareness has helped me see this in a new light. Before I was aware of my thoughts and feelings, I didn’t know I was causing myself more suffering by trying to make my feelings go away. It was just the way I learned to do things. Avoid feeling at all costs. But more recently I have become aware of not wanting to feel uncomfortable. I want to allow my emotions (all of them), but I don’t like being uncomfortable! Catch 22? Yep. I guess just another way of avoiding feeling? Probably. I know that in the past, depression would sweep me away in the swirl of yuckiness. I did not want to feel uncomfortable. Not one bit. But what I didn’t see then was that by attempting to avoid the uncomfortable feelings of depression, I was prolonging the depression. Why would I, or anyone, choose to be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable? It is all about allowing *all* emotions. They are all the same thing; they are waves of feelings moving through our bodies. What changes the whole experience is *what we tell ourselves* about those waves.

Keeping yourself stuck in depression

This is tough to learn. I struggle with it without a doubt. I can sit and be with my emotions for a short time but then here comes a thought about what I am feeling. The unnecessary commentary about *why* I am feeling this or that. It is this pattern that gets us in trouble, and keeps us stuck in our feelings of misery. Remember the last post I wrote about believing the stories we tell ourselves? This is what I am talking about. The key for me has been to focus on the feelings in my body instead of the thoughts and stories I am telling myself about my situation. After all, it is the body that stores all of these emotions. The body knows how you feel, and will hold onto everything unless you allow the emotions to flow through.

Checking in with body sensations rather than thoughts

So, I go back to, “what am I feeling in my body?”; “Where do I feel a physical sensation?”; “I feel a tightness in my stomach”; “I feel an ache in my chest”. Once I have named everything I feel, I check in with my body again to see if any of the sensations have lessened. If they haven’t, I go through the process again. If there is a sensation that is very strong, I ask it what it wants to tell me. **if I hear things that sound like the usual stories, such as “I shouldn’t feel this way”, or “she is being a jerk”, I start over because these are not feelings, they are judgments. Very different. A feeling would be more along the lines of “I am sad”, “I am disappointed”, etc. I stay with this until there is nothing else that comes to mind. Then I go through the body check again to see how the sensations have lessened. I might have to do this more than once, because sometimes there are layers upon layers.

All emotions are important

So I am learning to be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. It is a new thing for us all. We have been conditioned to avoid feeling anything that isn’t happy. We have learned that the darker emotions are somehow bad. They aren’t! They are here to help us grow and learn about ourselves. Emotions are emotions. We have been conditioned to believe the stories in our heads, the negative stories that tell us depression is a terrible thing, and that something is wrong with you if you are depressed. I am not saying depression isn’t horrible, it feels worse than horrible when in the thick of it. I went through years of it. But, it took me so long to see that emotions are not bad-the stories we tell ourselves are. Learning to be comfortable in my own skin includes being uncomfortable at times. Learning to just BE…..with whatever emotions come up is the key to growth.  Most importantly, be gentle with yourself as you are learning this. Years and years of beating ourselves up takes it’s toll. It is time to love and accept yourself exactly as you are…….perfect. All emotions are important. The stories we tell ourselves only keep us stuck in depression. Become aware of your stories……and then let them go. They are not who you are, and they are not true.

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