I write because it is my inner calling to share, whatever I had learned through experience on my journey inward, to heal myself and become the best version of myself. Even though each individual journey is unique, I hope my experiences would help in some way, at least a few who are going through depression, to recover and find their way back to happiness.
I give below the path I followed, the moment I became aware of the depression.
You must have a genuine desire to heal yourself. Instead of wallowing in misery and plunging into deeper depression, make a positive affirmation to yourself. “ I want to heal myself as quickly as possible” and send your intention to the Universe; and don’t forget to thank in advance. Say “ Thank you for healing me ! “ Do this several times a day until it is deeply rooted in your subconsciousness.
2) Take Responsibility
It is natural for the human mind to blame others or the circumstances for driving one to depression. However, it is important to realize that NO ONE IS RESPONSIBLE for the state you are in. YOU ALONE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALLOWING YOURSELF TO FALL INTO DEPRESSION AND YOU ALONE CAN COME OUT OF IT. So take the responsibility and start working your way out of the misery that you yourself had created.
3) Embrace the Pain
I agree, it is the most painful thing but you cannot run away from it. You may postpone it, deny that you have been hurt and try to act strong but eventually, the repressed wounds are going to take the toll by way of manifesting as depression gradually, without you being even aware of it. So be brave and embrace the pain and let yourself feel the pain to the maximum. LET THE HEART BREAK ! I promise your heart can take much more pain than you had ever imagined! Let the heart break, and let the light in, to heal you and make you stronger. Cry as much as you can. Tears are the best healers. You will be amazed how calm and relaxed you would feel after letting out the blocked energies.
Having cried your heart out now you are in a perfect position to meditate. No, I am not talking about sitting cross-legged with closed eyes. It is a graceful moving meditation developed by OSHO, the Indian Mystic Guru. It’s Kundalini Meditation. The one, that still works best for me. It helped me to release all the bottled up emotions and made me feel calm and relaxed. For the more energetic ones, the Dynamic Meditation can help. Both Kundalini and Dynamic meditations are usually done in a group but being an introvert, I prefer to practice alone. Make sure that you have one full hour for yourself, undisturbed, and make sure the phone is switched off.
For those who are not familiar with Kundalini meditation here is the link.
05) Practice Self Love
You need to love yourself because no one else is going to love you the way you want to be loved. We have been conditioned to believe that loving one’s self is “selfish”. Having grown up with this mentality, we put others before us and totally forget to love ourselves, which invariably leads one to despair at some point in life. When that happens, there is no other way to come out of it, other than to reverse the whole sequence. “How can you expect others to love you when even you cannot love yourself?” I had to ask myself this question innumerable time to convince myself that self-love is “healthy”. Here are few ways to practice loving yourself.
1. Accept yourself totally. Look at yourself in the mirror from head to toe and accept yourself as you are, with all your imperfections. Know that you are beautiful in your own unique way! Look into your eyes and take note of the expression. Are they sad, angry or fearful? Your eyes are the mirrors of your soul. Promise yourself to bring love and compassion to your eyes by working on your soul. Start working on inner beauty and the outer body will respond accordingly.
2. Look at yourself in the mirror as many times as possible. Smile and say “I love you my beautiful soul”. As you continue this practice, you will gradually develop a desire to be beautiful inside out!
3. Set healthy boundaries. Learn to say “No” when necessary. It is not your duty to please everyone. If it doesn’t agree with your conscience, by all means say “No”.
4. Love your body. It is the temple of your soul. Your body has served you unconditionally for so many years. Take time to feel thankful to your body. Feel each part of your body lovingly and say “Thank you, I love you”. Your body responds to your touch and will regenerate itself to serve you even better.
5. Take up Yoga / Sport/ Exercise. Anything to keep you moving and active. I love yoga because it helps me to keep the body and mind together, maintains my flexibility and keeps me in good shape and health. Besides, it is a kind of a physical meditation for me.
6. Spend time in Nature. Take a walk in the park. Walk barefoot on grass and feel the freshness of the grass moving through your soles and revitalizing the body. Let the Earth absorb your negative energies and replenish you with positive vitality. Lie down on grass or on a bench and gaze at the sky. Talk to the clouds and send your gratitude to the Universe. We are fortunate to be alive on this wonderful planet, aren’t we?
7. Get yourself immersed in a hobby. Be it reading, writing, painting, music, dancing or anything that brings you joy and keeps your mind focused.
06) Laugh. Laugh for no reason.
When we laugh, the brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of happiness. Healthy production of dopamine will keep you cheerful throughout the day. For those who find it difficult to laugh, the Laughing Meditation technique of OSHO will definitely help. You may find it very artificial at the beginning, but do not lose heart. After forcing myself to laugh for four days, I cried on the fifth day because it was so difficult to bring myself to laugh. On the sixth day as I was about to give up, I had a ‘glimpse’ of laughter which lasted only for a few seconds. Nevertheless I was encouraged. On the tenth day, laughter came out as naturally and I was laughing for no reason and feeling like a child again ! Try this. I promise it will be worth trying !
OSHO LAUGHING MEDITATION
EVERY morning upon waking, before opening your eyes, stretch like a cat. Stretch every fibre of your body. After three or four minutes, with eyes still closed, begin to laugh. For five minutes just laugh. At first you will be doing it, but soon the sound of your attempt will cause genuine laughter. Lose yourself in laughter. It may take several days before it really happens, for we are so unaccustomed to the phenomenon. But before long it will be spontaneous and will change the whole nature of your day.
For those who have difficulty laughing totally or who feel their laughter is false, Osho has suggested this simple technique. In the morning, early, before you have eaten anything, drink almost a bucketful of water – lukewarm with salt in it. Go on drinking it and do it fast, otherwise you will not be able to drink much. Then just bend down and gargle so the water will flow back. It will be a vomiting of the water – and it will clean your passage. Nothing else is needed. There is a block in the passage so that whenever you want to laugh, that stops it.
In Yoga, this is a necessary procedure to be followed. They call it a ‘necessary purification’. It purifies tremendously, and it gives a very clean passage – all the blocks dissolve. You will enjoy it and you will feel the cleanness all day. The laughter and the tears, and even your speaking, will come from the very deep centre.
Do it for ten days and you will have the best laugh around!
Source - OSHO The Orange Book
07) Practice Gratitude
Feel grateful for everything you have in your life. There are millions out there who are wishing for what you have been given in life. It is gratitude that brings us happiness. Not the other way.
These are my first hand experiences. If you know of other ways to help someone come out of depression, please share and help to grow the list. Thank you for reading.
Published in view of the Mental Health Awareness Month of May 2017.