Treatments to Help with Depression & Anxiety
Depression & Anxiety Cures
Unfortunately, if we have not already, then at some point in our lives we have to deal with the beasts of anxiety and depression. These two conditions tend to go hand in hand, and very often have similar triggers and causes. In this article, I want to identify the most problematic aspect of these difficult problems, and then provide you with several effective ways to treat that common cause.
Most Common Cause for Depression & Anxiety:
Without a doubt the problem of depression and anxiety has its roots in the mind and thinking. More specifically, they are the result of negative thinking. Those of us who have dealt with these conditions know only too well how insidiously negative thinking can keep us under constant stress and tension, and drive our mood lower and lower. Being able to break this train of negative thinking is the first and most important step in curing these conditions.
Below I want to give you three effective techniques, and one advanced technique, with which you can disrupt the negative thinking right when it starts. This way the gloom and doom thoughts do not have a chance to build momentum, grow in strength and dominate your mind. As soon as you notice, you are starting down that slippery slope of worry, fear and despair, implement one of the following methods and break out of this pattern. Once you stop feeding anxiety and depression, with the energy of negative thinking, you will find them losing their grip on you over time.
3 Techniques to Break Negative Thinking:
1. Dr. Daniel Amen’s 5 Question Technique:
Some time ago I saw a program on public television called Magnificent Mind at Any Age. As I am a big fan of the science of the brain, I really enjoyed the show. One segment was dedicated to how to beat anxiety and depression, and Dr. Amen gave the following technique, which I have found very effective. Here is that technique…
Dr. Amen calls negative thinking, ANTs, or Automatic Negative Thoughts, and recognizes the need to kill this pattern as I do, right at the onset, in order to prevent anxiety and depression from taking over. The basis of his technique is to discredit the ANT, as more often than not negative thinking is usually wildly hypothetical and based on fears and scenarios that are highly unlikely to ever become reality. In other words, thoughts are just thoughts, and you should not believe them all.
The technique requires you to ask the following 5 questions right when you notice the ANT.
- Is it True?
- Are you absolutely 100% sure, without a shadow of a doubt, that the thought is true?
- How do you feel when you believe that thought?
- How would you feel without that thought?
- Finally, ask if the opposite of this negative thought might be true?
You have started to get some automatic muscle twitching due to your Yoga practice, but of course don’t know if it’s a great big Kundalini Awkening Symptom or if now have MS. So your anxious little, nervous, fearful mind starts spinning. “There is that twitch again, it’s not going away, all my muscles are twitching more and more, I have MS, I am going to be bed ridden soon, I am going to die!”
Stop! Now apply the technique above to this ANT, “I have muscle twitches, which means I have MS.”
- Are you sure your muscle twitch means you have MS and it’s not Kundalini doing some good work within?
- Are you absolutely 100% sure?
- How do feel when you think you have MS?
- How would you feel if you did not think you had MS or these thoughts?
- And finally, is it possible that you are actually starting to have Kundalini awaken in you instead, to help you in your spiritual evolution?
So those are the nuts and bolts of this technique. Writing down the ANT can also help you frame it, in order to apply the questions.
2. Do Mantra Meditation or Prayer:
Often negative thinking plagues us and triggers anxiety and depression, when we are idle. Very often this is when going to sleep or if we wake up due to interrupted sleep, etc. A very effective way to manage these situations is by using the power of Mantra Meditation or prayer.
Both Mantra Meditation and prayer will occupy the mind with positive thoughts and you will gain the double benefit of not only preventing anxiety and depression, but also all the benefits that are bestowed by Mantra Meditation and prayer. The article on the Power of Prayer, speaks on the benefits of prayer and a good Mantra Meditation to do, to break the cycle of negative thinking is Sohum Mantra Meditation.
3. Do Yoga Pranayama To Fight Anxiety & Depression:
Another technique that is very effective for preventing worrying, fearful thoughts is practicing yoga pranayama. As soon as you notice you are starting to stress and feed fearful thoughts, start doing a yoga pranayama to disrupt the pattern.
If you are looking to sleep or rest, try Ujjayi Yoga Pranayama, it requires enough concentration to pull you mind away and it is great to help fight insomnia. Also, students like doing explosive pranayamas to consciously get rid of stress and use the outgoing breath to throw out all negativity. The first exercise (Yoga Arm Raises) in the Healthy Weight Loss Yoga Set is excellent for this, as is Kapalbhati Pranayama.
Another yoga pranayama often prescribed specifically to re-balance systems heavy with depression and lethargy is Right Nostril Breathing. It is a powerful technique and should be used cautiously.
In addition, any breath meditation like Zazen (Zen Meditation Technique) is very effective for calming you down, moving the mind away and helping you fight off worrying and depressing thoughts.
Advanced Technique for Treating Anxiety & Depression:
You will notice that all the above techniques are designed to break the pattern of negative thinking, and prevent fearful or sad thoughts from creating storms in your mind and body. For most people suffering with anxiety and depression, this approach is helpful to re-stabilize the mind and emotions. If you feel strong enough though, there is an altogether more radical approach to dealing with this situation. It is that of impersonal observation.
In this approach, you don’t interfere with the feelings and thoughts that are taking place, but instead allow them to run their course and then diminish and die. Here, you take the position of an impassionate observer and paying close attention to the feeling that is taking place, without trying to identify or escape it. You neither indulge it or suppress it, but instead just observe it. Not feeding it thus, ends it for good.
This advanced technique is where you want to get to, but may not be right for you if you are suffering heavily and are in bad shape. So use the above techniques to build yourself up, practice meditation to develop your power of observation and then use this potent method of freeing yourself from the clutches of anxiety and depression. You can do it, happiness is your birthright!