It might surprise you to read this, but I personally experienced depression 7 years ago.
I was studying at the time at a brand new college that, I’ll be honest, did not have the best reputation. It almost got closed down at one point until a last-minute decision to wrap a large prison-like fence around the parameters, give all the kids school uniforms and have them call their teachers by their second name, allowed it to have another shot at providing education. Anywho. I was in a college surrounded by people who didn’t like each other and who didn’t want to be there. At the same time, I was experiencing a work load that was 10x more difficult than anything I had ever experienced before.
Once the novelty of being in college had worn off, I started asking the question of ‘why?’ Why was I spending so much time and energy on this work and in this college? What was the point of it all? This sense of purposelessness I felt began to spiral and before I knew it, I was walking around the campus with what felt like a veil over my eyes. Feeling internally sad, yet also emotionless to everything going on around me. I closed up and lost interest in everything I’d previously enjoyed.
After days of guiltily searching my symptoms on Google, I realised that was I was experiencing was depression. Now, I was pretty deep down in this thing, for quite a while, but with just a few simple changes to my routine and my mindset, I managed to stop the spiral and curve my way back up to purposeful, energetic, enthusiastic and motivated.
If this story resonates with you at all, then please keep reading.
I truly hope that the things that helped me escape my pit of depression and panic attacks, will be of some value to you too.
Dealing with depression can be an overwhelming challenge, and seeking professional help from a therapist is a common approach. However, there are times when immediate assistance might not be accessible or suitable. If you’re looking for ways to alleviate depression like I did, without relying on a therapist, then read on!
These 4 Steps Will Change Any Unresourceful Behaviour
Lack of purpose is the biggest contributing factor when it comes to depression (excluding medication & neurological-related factors). Why? Because when we don’t have a sense of purpose, we have no understanding of ‘why’ and therefore little excitement, motivation or zest for life. To counter this (or any unresourceful behaviour for that matter), this 4-Step Method is an immensely powerful yet simple process to help you strategicially rewire your mind on a neurological level. The approach involves identifying negative and unresourceful thought patterns, challenging their validity, reframing them in a positive light, and practicing self-compassion. By following these steps, you will gradually shift your mindset and reduce the impact of negative and purposeless thinking on your emotional wellbeing.
You can watch a FREE training that dives deep into this 4-step method, as well as explaining in detail why we find it so easy to sink into negative thinking and how we can retain a sense of purpose and optimism here!
Say Goodbye to a Purposeless Routine
Creating elements of structure in your day-to-day is a highly effective strategy to combat depression. Whilst the feeling of ‘what’s the point’ can be so strong to the point that this suggestion seems counter-productive, it’s actually going to enable you to give yourself a subtle sense of purpose and accomplishment. When you persist with activities of this nature (i.e. reading a page of a book each day, going for a 10 minute walk or taking a shower), over time they will subconsciously add up, and naturally will boost your mood and help break the cycle of negativity. Within a 72-hour timeframe, you can design a simple daily routine that includes a small amount of exercise, some kind of creative pursuit, social interaction, and moments of relaxation. Consistency is key, and even small achievements can contribute to significant improvements in your mental state.
Get yourself on a plane!
One of the most powerful options to consider – and this is relevant to behavioural change of any kind – is to consider engaging in a retreat. There are a whole host of options, from ones specialising in using plant medicine to overcome specific blocks and challenges, to ones with daily workshops teaching you valuable insights into the way your brain works and how you can alter your habits which in turn will alter your state of being. These retreats provide a focused environment where you can disconnect from the stressors of daily life and focus on your wellbeing, alongside expert teachers and others experiencing the same challenges as you. Through guided activities, transformative workshops, and self-reflection, you can gain a deeper understanding of your thoughts and emotions. One such retreat that we’re super excited about, is the Zakynthos (Greece) Self-Empowerment Retreat by Izzie Miller, which offers a 7-day transformative experience to help you regain control over your life.
Find A Light – Any Light, Anywhere
I have saved the best for last. If you can find a light – regardless of what or why you’ve chosen that specific light, then the depression WILL start to lift. When you find yourself not wanting to do something, remind yourself of your ‘light’ and it will give you a reason to do it.
For me, my ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ was getting into University. I didn’t know which University I wanted to go to, nor what I wanted to study or why I even wanted to go, but making the decision to have that as my goal, helped me to make sense of everything else.
I no longer needed to care about making friends, because in less than 18 months I would never see them again anyway. The purpose for doing well in my exams was simply that I needed certain grades to get into University, and that was enough. It was all I needed to make sense of the chapter of my life I was living at that time. I no longer felt like I was floating, but I had two feet on the floor, grounded and with a route to walk down.
So, right now decide WHAT your light at the end of the tunnel is. Remember that it doesn’t matter what it is or why you’ve chosen it, just make a decision of something that will give you a route to walk towards. Because once you get moving, the momentum builds and everything gets easier!
Once you’ve decided, go back through the steps above with that goal in mind – what changes do you need to make in your mindset? How can you make changes to your routine or implement certain habits or commitments that will help you reach that ultimate goal? And would something like a retreat be a fast-track way of getting there, or having a bit of a reset?
There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.John Green
In conclusion, while overcoming depression within a 72-hour timeframe is a challenging endeavor, these methods can serve as effective starting points. Consider engaging in a self-empowerment retreat, adopting a structured routine, and focusing on a decided goal. The 4-Step Method for overcoming negativity can serve as a powerful additional tool to reshape your thought patterns. Remember that everyone’s journey is unique, and these strategies might yield varying results.
If depression persists or worsens, it’s important to seek professional help when available.
Remember, you ALREADY have the strength within you to make positive changes and work towards a life filled with more joy, excitement and passion than you’re currently experiencing!
I appreciate you,