As someone who was diagnosed with postnatal depression, I know how debilitating the feeling can be. So, today, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you some of the self-help strategies I used to cope with it before, during and after.
Before anything else, let me just say that I’m not a clinician so anything written after this sentence isn’t meant to replace a proper diagnosis.
Depression is a recognised illness. It’s not just you thinking negative thoughts or being too negative. You can’t just switch your thinking and start thinking positive and that’s you well. That’s not how it works.
So, if you do have depression or you suspect that you might have it, please go see a licenced physician, get a diagnosis and then work on a treatment plan.
Simply put, this post is a list of free and effective Qigong videos that I used as a complement to conventional medication or even counselling.
If you’ve been a regular reader, then you know that I love Qigong and recommend it whole-heartedly for general health and well-being.
Maybe you don’t believe in energy clearing. Maybe it’s too woo-woo for you.
That may be the case but I do know that it’s worked for me.
That’s certainly possible but if it works, it works. What have you got to lose?
Part 1: Preparation
This video simply gives you a background on the sequence of actions that you’ll be doing. Called Old Man Searching For The Reflection Of The Moon In A Tide Pool, you basically remove any trapped or unwanted energy in your body “via The Five Element Theory in Chinese Medicine, movement, understanding of anatomy and healing sounds”.
In other words, it’s an amalgam of different elements, which I’m totally up for. I love pulling together different things and see if they can work together for the greater good.
Part 2: Release grief
Trapped grief, according to traditional Chinese medicine, is located in the lungs and releasing this trapped grief is an important step in reducing depression.
To do this, you first need to open your lungs up (remember that the more expansive your energy is, the easier it is to clear any blocks) with a good stretch and then release down through your arm as you bend down.
Imagine any grief you have just sliding off and into the water (the tide pool) below you.
Part 3: Open the heart
As the name says, you clear the heart in this video.
Why is this important?
Because, if you’re like most people, you don’t like to experience pain and you don’t like it to the extent that you will erect as many barriers as you need to repel any pain that you sense might be coming your way.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nQ22rLgxGY
But such barriers don’t just block the pain, do they? They also block everything else – even positive emotions such as happiness and joy.
Imagine erecting a dam in the middle of a river. Everything backs up and the only way to get the water flowing again is to remove the block.
I won’t attempt to describe how to do the sequence here as it’s a bit complicated written down but very easy to follow on video.
Part 4: Release anger and worry
The most difficult of all movements, this one clears the most area so definitely don’t miss it.
It starts from where you left off on part 3 and ends with you releasing all of the energy that you’ve cleared back into the earth.
Feel all the vibration and gently release every tension through your breath until you get to a gradual but inevitable stop.
Sudden (as opposed to gradual) stops are discouraged in Qigong if your overall goal is to purge energy.
Part 5: Putting it all together
Simply put, you just go through the sequence as follows:
Sequence 1: Lungs
Sequence 2: Heart
Sequence 3: Middle
Sequence 4: Heart
Sequence 5: Middle
Sequence 6: Heart
Sequence 7: Middle
And then start over for as long as you’d like to do it.
I used to do a minimum of 5 minutes a day about 3 times a day. But now that I’m off my meds, I don’t do it as often – just whenever I felt that I needed it.
It’s completely up to you.
And there you have it. A very simple self-help strategy for depression that you can use together with any treatment plan you have in place.
Because you’re not ingesting anything, you don’t need to worry about it interacting with any prescription you might have.
That said, there are some side-effects.
As with any energy clearing, you might start feeling emotional and that’s totally okay. Let the tears come if you feel them knocking. Crying can clear a lot of your blocks and instantly help you feel better afterwards.
It’s sad that we live in a society where expressing such emotion is frowned upon and where crying is seen as a weakness. Instead, we’re supposed to swallow the feeling and pretend everything is okay.
I’m telling you and science backs me up here, that this kind of strategy doesn’t work.
Pretending to be immune to pain only makes you feel worse and solidifies any negative emotions you may have. In other words, instead of you experiencing the feeling and then letting it go (like a secure young child usually does), it festers like an open wound inside you.
And you know what happens to wounds that are festering, right?
Yep, they get infected. And they contaminate every single experience you have moving forward.
It’s a good idea to keep in mind that just because you can’t see any emotional wounds, that doesn’t mean that they’re any less real than any physical wounds you may experience.
So, if you’re diagnosed with depression, then follow your treatment plan and incorporate this into your day.
If you’re not diagnosed with depression but you feel that you might have it, don’t waste time. Go to your doctor and ask to be tested to see if you can get a diagnosis. I waited 18 months before I went to the doctor because I kept thinking that just “switching to positive thoughts” would do the trick.
If you don’t have depression at all but you’re going through a tough time and you’re experiencing grief, anger, worry and other negative emotions, I believe that this can help you too.
What about you? What self-help strategies for depression are you doing? Do let us know in the comments below.