What exactly are anxiety and depression?
They are bioenergetic experiences in the body. In order to overcome them, you have to feel those experiences as directly as possible.
Let me go straight to the heart of the matter: If you give your negative emotions a name and call them “anxiety,” “fear,” or “panic attack,” or something else, then you’re actually re-creating them. The word you attach to the experience actually pushes you to have the experience again. It becomes an addiction.
For example, if you begin to experience a sudden onset of stressful feelings and you label it “panic attack,” then you’ve separated yourself from the experience and have given it a life of its own. This process is called nominilization and is responsible for a lot of misery in the world, especially in the Western world.
In the spiritual tradition of China, life is seen as a process, an unfolding stream of consciousness and perception. In the west, we have nominalization and labeling. If you go to a psychiatrist, he’ll probably attach a label to you based on the symptoms you describe in your appointment. If he labels you as someone who suffers from “generalized anxiety disorder” or “depression,” and you believe him, then you have just screwed yourself! All of a sudden, as if by some magic wave of a wand, your anxiety and/or depression are not just temporary states that your body and mind are in, they are outside your control, they are entities in themselves! How ridiculous!
This is one of the great errors of Western civilization. You are not the emotions you’re experiencing in any given moment. You don’t have “generalized anxiety disorder.” What the hell is that? A viral infection? Bacteria? No. In reality, people who tell you that you have a “condition”are doing you a disservice. They are deceiving you into becoming attached to all your negative emotions, no matter what they are.
No matter how long you’ve suffered from anxiety or depression, these are not permanent states. You can get rid of them. I am proof. I’ve had a lot of anxious years in my life, believe me. That’s part of the reason I started this blog. I figured I could help a few people.
The first step to overcoming anxiety is to realize that emotions are a form of energy in the body and that negative energy dissipates, if you allow it to.
Here are some things you can do to begin to free yourself from negative emotional states such as depression and anxiety:
1. The first step is to observe.
Instead of labeling your anxiety, just observe it. Feel inside your body and don’t analyze the experience at all. One way to look at it would be this: If you have a bubble bath, do you analyze and label the sensation of the water on your skin? No. It just feels good. So to do the same thing with your emotions. Just sink into them, as though you were sinking into the warm Jacuzzi water. Just let the feelings float, like clouds in the sky. There are ways to do this in a practical manner, but more on this below.
Just relaxing into your emotions, whatever they may be and without judging them will help a lot, because it creates space between you and the negativity. You see that you are not anxiety and that you are not depression. Anxiety and depression are actually bad habits and nothing more.
2. The second step is to look at your diet and nutrient intake.
You need to eat a healthy, natural diet, consisting of fresh, whole foods. A great book to read is Eat Right 4 Your Type. I recommend it to everyone who has stress-related problems. In it you can read how stress, anxiety and depression respond to different foods. For now, I’ll just say that refined and simple carbohydrates, such as white bread, white pasta or rice, sugar, alcohol and sweet fruits are definitely to be avoided. On the other hand, lots of fresh vegetables and fresh, clean, wild-caught fish are good (more on this later). People who suffer from anxiety and depression also need extra cholesterol. Cholesterol is actually the substance that is the source of most hormones in the body, so avoiding eggs, for example, is counter-productive. Please read the book, it explains these things in a very simple manner.
3. There are excellent dietary supplements out there that can help with both anxiety and depression.
One of these is concentrated fish oil. One of the constituents of this product, DHA, is actually one of the main building blocks of the brain. In fact, DHA is actually one of the most important substances in the body. Not getting enough DHA in your diet for two weeks can actually cause a serious deficiency. Anxiety, depression, inability to concentrate, brain-fog, all of these respond well to high doses of concentrated fish oil.
There are also some excellent relaxation and mind-boosting supplements that can be useful.
Personally, I take concentrated fish oil capsules every single day, along with a high-quality, wide-spectrum multivitamin, if I feel weak or tired.
4. Using a guided relaxation technique can help tremendously.
There are plenty of guided meditation programs out there. Their function is to help you to relax buy guiding you through the relaxation process so that everything is laid out for you in advance.
A guided meditation functions as a facilitator. It makes it easier to relax. Personally, I’ve tried quite a few relaxation techniques and have found the simplest ones seem to work the best. Ideally, of course, it would be better to be able to relax alone and instantaneously. I’ve learned that I can do this more and more as time goes on, after practicing relaxation and mood-boosting techniques.
Some techniques, such as chinese neigong, are very simple to practice. It helps you to dive into yourself and to let go of the negative states of the negative states of feeling that you have gotten into. This process is something you do, not something you have to believe. It’s a good place to start for people who have no experience with relaxation techniques and need a helping hand.
As I always say, in the end, your life sucks only if you want it to. There’s always an opportunity for things to get better. It’s up to you to make a decision to take positive action.