I consider myself to be very highly sensitive…
I’ve been sensitive growing up through high school and found myself getting hurt emotionally on a fairly regular basis. Then, going through college, It developed into OCD (when you repeat certain behaviours in an attempt to feel safe and secure). Being told I was autistic (although I would later challenge this believing it was ADD and mercury poisoning later on) didn’t help matters, especially when one is told that you had a problem that you had to deal with for all of your life, and often told in a very patronising way by people who you trusted the most (yeah, juck out self-healing why don’t you…).
Being made to feel ashamed, especially when you are a highly sensitive person, does no help for your self-esteem and self-confidence, and I soon began to loose control of my emotional state to the point that, when I began work in the early 2000’s, I got slowly depressed. I suffered from depression for a good 5-7 years.
Over 350 million people suffer from depression. So what can be done about it, as depression is not only hurting your body (please watch this video for more info), but also looses your focus so you are unable to be productive at work and at home?
I recently began getting depressed, and then had a very intuitive moment. Below are 2 exercises that I did, that not only help me identify the issue, but also stopped the depression dead in it’s tracks. I hope they do the same for you!
These exercises are best done quickly, (I found) as your subconscious likes speed. So please take no more than about a minute doing them.
Find something in the past or the future imagined scenario that will cause you to become depressed, that is, something that you think will cause you to be depressed seemingly forever or for the moderate term. Something that you think that if you had it, there would be no way you can come to terms with it, and it will haunt you to the end of days. Try to really look at depression, to see it in the eye. Try to imagine holding it…what does it look like? Does it have a smell? What size is it, etc.
When you have done that quick exercise, try the next one.
Try to become present, that is, nearly mindful. For the purpose of this exercise, you won’t be completely present due to the amount of thinking being used, but try to be nearly mindful. Try to get closed to being present as much of possible, whilst still remaining close to some form of logically thinking capability.
Now, look around and in yourself, and try to spot depression in yourself or outside of you. Again, whilst trying to be close to being present, try to spot and look depression in the eye, try to find it, try to really locate the source of the depression, that you think will be with you until the end of days.
What colour is it? What size? What shape? Does it even have a smell?
What you will notice in both cases (providing your condition isn’t too chronic) is that, while you may have noticed depressing moments in the first exercise, because you were using your conscious logical left-hemisphered part of your brain, any negative moments you did stumble upon quickly had solutions thrusted upon them, or you moved onto a new image or feeling. Whilst you may have had moments that you felt depression, it was very short term, and not as long-term as you thought it would be.
That is because you had your logical, ‘guard’ up. You have a logical conscious for a reason, and one of the main reasons is for calculation and for problem solving. Depression in some cases takes place when this guard is, ‘down’. That is, you are in the subconscious, ‘receiving’ state, getting all sorts of negative imagery lobbed into your direction without any obvious protection.
Sounds too deep? Let me give you an example.
I worked in a desk job, answering some emails for customers. The problem was, due to being highly sensitive as I am, when I was consciously at work (i.e. actually typing a response to a query) my ‘guard’ would be brought down, allowing my sensitive sub-conscious to pick up energies, which it then converted into images and emotions (depending on what type of person you are, you may hear audio or may have different feelings).
I was in the passive, ‘receiving’ state, meaning that, while as was using my conscious to do work, due to not being fully involved with the task at hand, I was getting lots of conversions of energy being translated into imagery being thrown into my conscious mind almost against my will. Or, to put it in simple street language, I would unwittingly fantasise and imagine all sorts of depressing and negative scenarios which would ultimately bring my mood down.
Depression in some cases can take place when the subconscious that picks up other negative sources of energy and converts it, isn’t being logically challenged. That is, the imagery (or audio, random bad emotion etc) isn’t being processed by the logical, critical left-hemisphere of your brain. Essentially, you have become, ‘ungrounded’.
One of the greatest ways to free yourself from the grip of depression, is to notice the specifics of it and name it out loud; that is, give it the verbal treatment. This allows the two hemispheres to become more balanced, allowing you to become more mindful. Or to put it another way, challenging the depressing imagery allows your critical, ‘guard’ to go back up.
Alternately, you can try to do what they describe in NLP as pattern interrupting. Quite simply, think of the depressing moment, and then, quite randomly and spontaneously, look at something behind you on the wall and really take it all in. Could be a photo you have, could be the TV etc… this, again, allows your critical conscious, ‘guard’ to go back up, and you will find it slightly more difficult in thinking of the depressed imagery and may even become slightly mindful in the process.