Depression. It’s affecting a lot of us.
And I get this question a lot. “Dr. Paul, how do you beat depression naturally?”
I’ve got 5 strategies for you. Quick disclaimer right up front. I am NOT anti
medication. I’m a psychologist. I’m not licensed to prescribe medications and so
my interventions with people when it comes to depression are more geared
toward psychology and what we can do naturally to beat depression. Let’s start
with the number 1 thing that you can do to get on top of depression naturally.
Move your body. Get this thing moving. Exercise in all of the clinical trials.
Exercise beats antidepressant medication. Oftentimes we’ll use those together. But
here’s what I learned from that research. If we get our body moving, our body
naturally starts to do the things that will help us to overcome some of the
mental health challenges that we’re having. Now, there’s some obvious benefits to exercise, physically. Emotionally? It’s just as important. Get that body
moving. There’s different studies that suggest different frequencies. What I’m
finding in what I’ve reviewed is that roughly 3 to 5 times a week for
about a half hour. Good aerobic exercise. Something that gets your heart moving a
little bit. Maybe you work up a sweat. You want to get that body moving so that you
can get the natural chemistry of your body to work for you and not so much
against you. That’s the first tip. Here’s tip number 2. And this probably won’t
surprise you if you’ve been paying attention. Get involved in service to
other people. Depression tends to be so self focused
that it’s not always very helpful. And there’s a lot of chatter that goes on in
our mind usually about ourselves. When you turn your focus to other people, it
gives you an opportunity get off of your own concerns for a
little while. But there’s some other reasons that service is such a powerful
way to counteract some of the negative psychological processes that cause
depression in the first place. Now for the next 3 tips, look up, look out
look in. Let’s take each one of those separately. First of all, look up. I’m
picturing depression as it was depicted by Charles Schulz in one of the peanuts
cartoons. This particular cartoon depicted Charlie Brown standing like
this. And he said, “When you’re depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you
stand.” The worst thing you can do is straighten up your shoulders and hold
your head high. Because then you’re gonna start to feel better. If you’re going to get
any joy out of being depressed, you’ve got to stand like this. Now, that’s funny
but it’s also really true. And sometimes we hang on to a posture that’s not
supporting our positive mental health. So, by look up, I mean straighten up and look
up. Get your eyes higher. Sometimes when we’re depressed, we’re always down here.
Look up but not only physically with your eyes. I’m talking about positivity
as well. Negativity fuels depression. If you’re not sure what
I mean by positivity, go to the very first introductory video on this channel,
Live On Purpose TV. It’s right there when you open up the channel page. The
positivity model that I teach in that video is what I’m talking about when I
say look up. Choose a positive perspective. It’s going to make a huge
difference. And really this is the first thing that I teach all of my clients
when I’m doing personal coaching. Look up. Tip number 4 is look out. We already
talked about service as being an important part of handling depression.
Looking out means that you get your focus out there. And there’s a couple of
different ways that this works. Service is the most obvious one and
that’s why we included it as its own tip. Getting the focus from me on to other
people. But also notice that sometimes when you get stuck in that depression,
you’re ruminating, you’re really inside of here. Thinking about and repeating all
of the things that are contributing to your depression. What’s not working for
me, what I don’t like, how things are not going well for me. When I say look out,
notice that there’s this beautiful bright world around you. And that doesn’t
change based on the circumstances that are affecting you right now. Years ago, if
you’ve read my book, you know that I start with a chapter called Lightning
Strikes. This was about a time in my life that was very difficult personally. I was
at the lowest point economically that I had ever been. And I actually found
myself in the middle of a bankruptcy. When I walked out of that room where
that whole thing was finalized, I noticed something. And it surprised me actually.
Everything was in color. What? Everything’s in color. Trees are green.
There’s a playground over there with red sides on it. Children are wearing
clothing that’s actually bright and colorful. I don’t know what I was
expecting. Maybe one of those old twenties movies where everything’s black
and white and people are walking around like Charlie Brown. Color!
Breezes blowing, birds are singing. Huh! You know what? It surprised me and it
surprised me that I was surprised. And I got to look out and notice this big
bright beautiful world around me that hadn’t changed because I was in a fix.
Look out. There’s neat things to see out there.
You’re going to think that I’m switching positions on you because tip number 5
is Look In. These last three are Look Up, Look Out, Look In. I just talked about how
you’re supposed to look out and get outside of yourself. Now, I’m saying look
in. But I want you to do it in a specific way.
There’s a concept called metacognition. Metacognition is simply thinking about
thinking. Until we do this, we just roll with whatever we’re programmed to do. And
there’s a common error that happens in our thinking. We think that what we
believe is true. Okay, track that a little bit.
whatever beliefs are going on for you, you just assume that whatever it is that
you’re thinking is true. So notice that. When I say look in, I want you to examine
your thinking. And you’re never wrong about how you feel. How you feel is 100% consistent with the way your mind is doing 2 processes that I
described in that earlier video I referred to. Notice that whatever it is
you’re feeling is driven by those thought patterns. And until you look in
and really engage in metacognition, you don’t see it. And until you see this as a
choice, it’s not. I say that to people all the time –happiness is a choice. You’ve
heard it. It’s kind of irritating. It’s kind of annoying. I get fired for saying
that sometimes until people pause to do just this thing: Look inside. Test and
examine and scrutinize your own thinking. Just because you think it doesn’t mean
that it’s true. Don’t be too quick to believe everything you think. You know,
before you tweet that as Dr. Paul having said it, I got that from a 93 year old
woman who lives three houses down here from my house. “Lived’ she has passed away.
Before she passed away, I asked her, “What have you learned from
this rich, abundant life that you’ve lived?” She said that to me. “Don’t be too
quick to believe everything you think.” Brilliant!
Hey, thanks for being here and thanks for sticking with me through all 5 tips.
Something I didn’t mention in these tips is that it helps to get out of your own
way and get a coach. Coaching is available to you to help you do
exactly what we talked about in this video. Would you please visit liveonpurpose.coach. Not dot-com. Liveon purpose.coach where we have a team
of coaches who are trained in the live on purpose strategies and philosophies
that are ready to help you. We’re on your team.