I know what you are thinking. Is it even possible to overcome depression for good? Well, in my opinion it is. Especially because I have struggled with depression on and off for 20 years and have now been depression free for a few years. If I could overcome depression for good, why couldn’t you?
Today is your lucky day. I am feeling generous and so I am going to tell you exactly how to overcome depression! But first let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time…
…there was a little girl. She was born in a lovely loving family. Both parents had a very healthy mindset and they knew how to handle difficult events in life. They knew how to acknowledge and manage their emotions and get back to a state of balance. She grew up learning from these parents and when life got tough, she was hit a little emotionally, but she bounced back quickly using the tools her parents taught her. Our little girl grew into a strong woman with a healthy mindset able to handle whatever life threw at her. She lived a long and happy life.
Our little girl was also born simultaneously in a parallel universe (I know we are moving in sci-fi but bear with me) in an equally loving family. However, in this universe, both parents had mental health issues and they struggled with difficult events in life. Every little bump in the road would throw them into self-doubt and stress and the big bumps in the road would take them into depression and anxiety. Our little girl grew up thinking all of this was normal of course. Why wouldn’t she? And so she grew into a beautiful but fragile woman saddled with insecurities. When life got tough, she experienced depression. She lived a long and hard life, battling with depression every few years, trying to keep her head above water but not knowing how.
Unfortunately I was the second little girl in this story. But fortunately, I am now the strong woman of the first part of the story. How did I manage this magic trick you ask? I will get to it shortly. But before I do let me summarise what I have learned over the last 5 years.
You CAN turn things around
You may not have started out in life with the best chances, but it is never too late to turn things around. Depression is not a genetic disease, and it is not a curse. You do not inherit it from your parents, although you will have been heavily influenced by their behaviours and their limiting beliefs.
I strongly believe that no matter how bad your depression is, you have the power within yourself to overcome it and to learn how to look after yourself so that you do not ever go back into depression. You just need to want it badly enough to make the necessary changes required.
The key to overcoming depression
My view is that the key to overcoming depression on a permanent basis is two folds: healing the trauma and learning how to manage your state.
I did not make this up. This is how I have personally overcome depression and stayed healthy over the last few years. It has been quite a journey but I was determined to make it happen.
I suffered from depression for over 20 years from the age of 12 to 35. 5 years ago I went through one of the most difficult episodes of depression of my life. I was in so much pain that all I wanted was to end my life, but I knew that this would cause terrible pain to my family and friends so I clung onto life, one day at a time. After a little while I found a little bit of strength again. I was tired though I had been fighting this invisible illness for months! I saw a psychiatrist who told me that I would always have depression and that I needed to learn to manage it.
This prognostic made me so angry! I just kept thinking “this is not a life. There has to be another way!”. I knew this within myself because in my 20 years of depression I have an oasis of happiness for 7 years. For a few years life was kinder to me, or so I thought, and I had been happy. Why was that? What was different back then?
This is when I decided to start my own research. I started to study my depression-free years and I regularly hung out in the self-help section of Waterstones. I read some books and every article I could find on the internet, and attended seminars. This is when I discover the world of personal development, my very own Ali Baba’s cave! I suddenly discovered that they were many different ways to heal past traumas, and that there was a lot of common sense simple actions that one cold took to improve to improve one’s mental health.
And so I went on a mission to try different things to find out what worked for me. After a while I had so much research that I felt I needed to share it with others. This is why I originally created this blog 3 years ago; to share my research.
I tried and tested different tools and techniques and came up with a structure that is keeping me healthy. I had to re-learn many things along the way. All these things that healthy parents would teach their children. And it worked. I am now happy to report that I love life and live a very full life. I no longer live in fear of the next depression episode or of the winter because I know how to bring myself back to centre when things get difficult. You will find that it is all about balance.
Heal the trauma
The first step is to heal the trauma. This is where therapy comes in.
Now I use therapy in a wide sense. I am not just referring to talking therapy.
You have a wide range of therapies at your disposal, from traditional talking therapy or hypnotherapy to the more alternative therapies that I explore for you on my YouTube Channel. Therapy will help you heal the past, understand the root of your depression and what triggers your low mood.
These are the therapies I have explored. Where I have interviewed a specialist, I am giving the link to the interview so that you can find out more and make a decision as to whether this is something you wish to try for yourself.
- Hypnotherapy – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQvJ8pkvq30
- Energy Healing (ThetaHealing and Access Bars and Access Consciousness) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oO7hJW8Ztw
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) also known as tapping
- Reiki – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcjncKh660A – interview with my Reiki therapist
- Craniosacral therapy – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzrWzVZFe74
- Creative Visualisation – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvJRq4bK884 – interview with my very own hypnotherapist Hawai Kaa, the person who enabled me to heal my past traumas over a period of 3 months of hypnotherapy
- Art therapy
- Sounds therapy
My go to therapies to handle difficult life moments
- EFT: I use this to manage emotions, particularly anxiety, for immediate relief
- Reiki: I have a session every 2 weeks for the purpose of maintenance
- Hypnotherapy: if something really difficult comes up for me and I feel like I need someone to guide me through the process of healing
Learn to manage your state
The second step is to learn how to manage your emotional state on a daily basis. This is about learning what is good for your mental health and what isn’t. It is also about making adjustments to your lifestyle and your mindset to ensure that you have the best chances at a healthy life going forward. Granted, this is a slow process but it has worked for me so why wouldn’t it work for you?
What your parents should have taught you
If you want to become truly healthy mentally, you need to look at your lifestyle. The areas listed below hold the keys to your mental health.
- Positive habits
- Setting goals and making decisions
- Social interactions
To know more about what changes to make to these areas to improve your mental health, grab your free copy of my ebook “A Guide To Healthy Mind” or read my article the “8 actions that will reverse the cycle of depression“.
Routine is your best friend
Once you know what is good for you and what helps you to live a happier life you need to keep doing those things. I have found that the best way to sustain strong mental health is by creating a routine that encompass these “happiness ingredients”.
This is what my daily routine looks like – every aspect of it has been tried and tested and has a purpose (the purpose of keeping me happy):
- 5:30am – wake up and get up
- 5:45am – gratitude practice, set the priorities for the day, get excited about the day ahead
- 6:00am – meditation
- 6:20am – get ready to exercise, set everything up
- 6:30am – workout
- 7:30am– shower
- 8:15am – prepare and drink protein shake
- 9am – start work
- 12noon – cook lunch and eat – break from computer
- 1pm – 5pm work
- The next couple of hours is a little more open. This is a space for calls, grocery shopping, a short walk, sitting in the sun with a book, play the piano, basically whatever I need or want to do.
- 7/8pm – cook and eat a light dinner, then it’s either Netflix or reading time
- 10pm – turn off the lights
Some people find this very rigid but it has massively helped me as it holds all of my key happiness ingredients: gratitude, exercise, healthy food, meditation, down time, a sense of achievement and social interactions either through work or through calls with family and friends in the evening.
The two work together
If you want to overcome depression for good you need to tackle both angles.
If you just heal your past traumas but don’t change your mindset and lifestyle you could experience depression again. That’s because you will have treated the symptoms but not the root cause.
Equally if you only change your mindset and lifestyle but don’t heal your past traumas, you will not be truly healthy mentally because you will still carry these traumas inside your mind and your body and they will come out again to bite you when you least expect it.
I can guide you through it
It has personally taken me 4 years to create these changes for myself as I was working this out on my own through reading books and attending personal development seminars. The good news is I have done all the hard work so I can accelerate this process for you.
It is worth reminding you that I am not a medical doctor. I am not qualified to advise you on your medication. I am not a therapist of any kind. But I am a certified life coach and I have 20 years of personal experience with depression. And so what I can do is help you to make changes to your life so that you can overcome depression too.
Therapy and coaching work very well alongside each other and I strongly recommend working on both angles in parallel.
If you would like to have a chat to find out whether I am the right person to help you, send me a message with your contact details and we can set up a time for a call.