I have been suffering from Major Depressive Disorder since I was 18 years old and can honestly say I have tried anything and everything to help relieve the heavy pain that comes along with the “dark days.”
When depression or anxiety strikes, your mind is no longer your confidant or your friend. This is a disease when your mind turns against you and tries to take you down. The following tools will allow you to combat what is going on in your mind and get you back to a place of peace.
Tool #1: Using A Mantra:
The word mantra is said to come from a root meaning “that which protects the mind.” By replacing my negative thought with a heartfelt mantra, I can remind myself that what I am thinking is not my truth. Negative Thought: I am worthless.
Mantra: I am worthy of love. I am not my thoughts.
Negative Thought: I am a failure and there is no purpose for me.
Mantra: I am open and I am willing to see the light within me. This is my disease speaking, not me.
Negative Thought: No one will care if I am not around anymore.
Mantra: I am deeply loved by my family and friends.
Tool #2 The 90 Second Hold:
This is a process where you hold your hand over your heart, chest or stomach, wherever you are feeling pain or fear and hold it there for 90 seconds while you close your eyes and breathe into the temporary feeling you are having. Every single time you get to a place in your mind, hold this place on your body gently and after the 90 seconds you will notice it disappear.
Tool #3: Journal Writing:
Take out your journal and a red pen. Write out every single thing you are telling yourself in your head, the negative self-talk, the fears, every single thing that is taking you down emotionally. This process allows you to get your toxic thoughts out of your head onto paper so that you can relieve some of the heaviness of the feelings. Then with a blue or black pen on a separate page welcome all those feelings and accept that you did think them but have now dismissed them.
Tell yourself that growth is happening and wisdom is present. Create a gratitude list of at least 5 things you can think of, even if it’s as simple as your warm bed or cup of coffee or tea.
When we resist our negative feelings that is what creates our suffering. These tools will allow you to sit with those uncomfortable feelings and give you some relief from the pain and anxiousness you are experiencing.
Have compassion for yourself when you are in that place and make no judgments on how you are feeling. You are never alone and the light always returns.