One of the biggest reasons why depression often seems so hard to beat is because there’s a lack of understanding that it’s not just a ‘mental’ or ‘emotional’ issue, but rather a holistic health issue.
People don’t get depressed because they happen to feel sad, lonely or down; like all mental health issues, depression can also be caused and exacerbated by things going on in the body, and also, things that are happening at the spiritual level.
By following a three-pronged, God-based holistic health approach to tackling depression, you’ll maximize your chances of beating the blues naturally, and permanently – and you should also start to feel a whole lot more happy, healthy and energized, to boot.
So what might be causing depression across the three levels of body, mind and soul, and what can you do to start turning things around?
Let's start with the physical factors first, and then work our way up.
The following things can help to beat the blues:
- Regular exercise – Scientific studies proved that at least 30 minutes of exercise, three times a week is more effective at permanently beating depression than anti-depressants. People feel better faster, and the effects last over the long-term.
- Enough sleep – Most people need between 6-8 hours a night to function properly. If you don’t get enough sleep, that causes your body to start to produce cortisol and other stress hormones.
- Proper nutrition - if you aren't getting enough or the right vitamins and minerals you need in your diet (especially Vitamin B), your body and brain won't function properly. When people don’t get enough Vitamin B, they are much more likely to feel agitated, fatigued and depressed.
- Check you're not in the homolateral energy state, which reduces the body’s energetic capacity and ability to heal by 50% or more (and which plays a key role in that zombie-fied ‘can’t get out of bed’ feeling that’s a hallmark of clinical depression. If you are, there are very easy, simple exercises you can learn to help you get out of it.
- Strengthen your Spleen energy meridian - according to Chinese Medicine, Spleen Meridian is the home of the body's 'happy energy' and for a whole bunch of reasons connected to stress, trauma and environmental pollution, it’s chronically weak in most people today.
- Minimize your time on line - studies have been done showing that too much time online, particularly on social media sites like Facebook, can increase depression.
Mind and Emotions-wise:
Depressions don't just happen, they are triggered - usually be spending too much time around negative people who make us feel worthless, hopeless and invisible.
Recently, new research was published by the Journal of Affective Disorders that underscores this point. A key finding from the research (that was overseen by Dr. Maria Rita Infurna of the University of Heidelberg) was that some forms of so-called ‘silent’ child abuse had a strong association with the victim subsequently developing depression.
In particular, psychological abuse which the researchers defined as: ‘verbal and nonverbal acts by a close other in a position of power’, and childhood neglect, which was defined as the caretaker: ‘failing to provide for the child’s basic emotional and material needs’, were strongly related to depression.
In terms of how this information can help you to beat your own blues, it's crucially important for a depressed person to:
- Accept, acknowledge and validate the experiences you inevitably had as a child that lead to you feeling depressed
Of course, this is often much easier said than done, as the problem is rooted in an 'omission' of love, caring and emotional validation, as opposed to more obvious 'problems' like being beaten up, etc. Another timely point to make here is that often, children aren’t neglected on purpose. When both parents are holding down demanding jobs, or when there are other stresses and traumas to contend with in the household like serious illness, divorce or poverty, emotional needs and nurturing are often the first casualties.
2) Take steps to identify the people who are still triggering your depressions.
Once you’ve developed a ‘depressed reaction’ to being ignored, or feeling helpless or worthless, even new acquaintances and new situations and circumstances can trigger it off.
3) Put strong boundaries in place to prevent people from treating you in a way that could spark-off your depressions again in the future.
Although this isn’t rocket science, it can still often be hard to do. Just bear in mind that not everyone is nice, that you’re allowed to say ‘no’ to other people’s requests, and that regularly making other people happy at the expense of your own peace of mind is generally not a good idea.
4) Practice a lot of self-compassion, and work on your gratitude.
Chemically, you can't be depressed and grateful at the same time - they bind to the same receptors in the body. So if you've already 'parked' a big, fat gratitude molecule there, there is nowhere for the depression molecule to go.
Another big reason why people get depressed is because they feel their life is meaningless and pointless, and they don't have a robust spiritual framework in place that helps them to understand:
- Why they're alive in the first place
- What's the point of 'life'
- Why sometimes we have to suffer (even when it seems unfair)
- How suffering can actually help us to become much better, happier and stronger people.
All this stuff is rooted in the realm of the spirit, or soul. If you can easily answer these questions, you’ll usually find it much easier to deal with the challenges God inevitably sends to everyone at some stage of their life, and to avoid depression.
Pulling it all together
So now, let’s just try to sum up what we’ve just learned together: If you’re feeling depressed, your best chances of beating the blues naturally and permanently is to adopt a three-pronged God-based holistic approach that tackles the problem across all three levels of body, mind and soul. Eat right, sleep enough, exercise regularly, work out who and what is triggering your depressions, and know why you’re down here on the planet in the first place.
If you do that, don’t give up when you hit your rough patches and keep talking to God about everything that’s going on in your life, you have a fantastic chance of beating depression for good.
- You can find out more about the God-based holistic approach to depression in my latest pocket guide, ‘Causes and Cures of Depression’.