Most people will tell you depression is a brain problem. And, yes, by the time someone is really depressed, their brain chemistry is definitely altered and is playing a part.
But, thinking of depression as only in the brain, or nervous system, is an extremely limited — and inaccurate — view.
Depression is a whole-body illness. It affects — and is affected by — every single body system. Every single cell, tissue, organ, and gland is playing a role in the process, either as part of the cause, or as part of the attempted response to maintain balance.
That’s because your body is not a bunch of separate parts. It’s an intricate, unified, intelligent system where everything seamlessly blends into everything else, and all tissues work together to create YOU in your physical form.
In fact, let me take this a step further for you.
Your brain is not your mind. Your entire body, and all of the energies that permeate it, is part of your mind.
Your brain is a “data processing center”, but that’s all it is. It doesn’t make any decisions on its own. Just like every other “part” of you, it operates based on feedback from every other tissue in your body, including your HEART.
In fact, the electromagnetic field of your heart is several times larger than your brain’s and it not only overlaps the brain’s field, but also the field of every other organ in your chest, abomen, and pelvis.
Being a whole-body condition, Depression requires a whole-body response. Changes to diet, key vitamin supplements, herbal medications, mind-body meditations, physical exercise, and other therapies are extremely important and helpful.
But, it’s important to know where to START. There’s so many options, and so many things to do. It can be overwhelming.
And, this is where our magic little four-letter word comes in.
You see, depression is a result. It’s an end result of many, many things that build up and create a pattern — a habit, if you will — of sadness, grief, frustration, repressed anger, and other difficult emotions.
Once that pattern takes hold and becomes habitual, it dominates your days, and you’re depressed. It’s like the classic snowball rolling down the hill — as it gains more momentum it grows and grows until it seems unmanageable. And, maybe it is a little unmanageable.
So, where do you start? Where do you begin your escape which also may include therapy, nutritional supplements, herbal medicine, and even anti-depressant medications (among the other things I mentioned above)?
You begin in the HEART. You begin with “L-O-V-E”. LOVE. And, you ruthlessly direct that love back towards yourself.
That’s step one. A ruthless, relentless focus on loving yourself unconditionally. This starts not in the brain, but in the HEART.
And, contrary to what you may think, you already know exactly how to do it. Your heart naturally does it, when it is allowed to break free of the hyper-processing brain that is always part of depression.
Step two: Extend that love into self-care.
That means first, and foremost, NOURISH YOUR BODY. ALL OF IT.
- This is where nutritional therapy comes into play. Here’s the foundation:
- Aggressive hydration (2 – 3 liters of water daily).
- Minimal caffeine, sugar, and other stimulating foods.
- NO FAST FOOD. Period. Unless its an emergency and you don’t have access to anything else (which never happens — there’s always a grocery store with pre-packaged salads and other healthy options nearby).
- Eat regularly and try to eat at the same times. Start with breakfast, then snack, then lunch, then snack, then dinner.
- Keep dinner light and protein-dense, chicken and steamed veggies, for instance. This gives your body clean, simple nutrition and helps you sleep better and not gain weight at night.
Step three: Move your body.
Love your body by exercising, and it will love you back. This doesn’t have to be complicated. Walking is enough. But, whatever you do, it must be what I call Sustained Intentional Movement. You say “I’m going for a 20 minute walk,” or “…a 30-minute bike ride,” or “…15 minutes on the elliptical.” Whatever you decide, do it 6 days a week. Yes, 6 days a week. It’s not that hard and it is incredibly powerful medicine.
Step four: Get help.
Nobody gets out of depression alone. We all need support. Consult with someone who really knows the ins-and-outs of holistic treatment of depression, who can help you get your nutritional, herbal, and mind-body plan together. We offer this service, and others out there do, too. The main thing is go with someone you trust.
Step five: Take medication if you have to, even for a little while.
Sometimes you need medication. It’s OK. Going back to our step of loving yourself… taking medication IS NOT A SIGN OF WEAKNESS. You do not have to hate yourself for taking it. It can be a very helpful and powerful step to getting better.
I hope this all makes sense. If not, you are welcome to communicate with us via our contact form, or request your free consultation (keep in mind the free consultations are only for people who think they might want to become patients).
If you remember nothing else from this post, remember this:
You are intelligent, wise, and infinitely powerful. Love is your foundation and your true being. Go back to its source, your heart, and all will be well.