HEALING EXERCISES TOWARDS TRANSFORMATION


I want to share with you my experience when I began my healing and transformation beyond depression.  Step-by-Step, this is how I began.


  •  Find a quiet, preferably serene, place where you are likely not to be disturbed.  Be sure you feel physically comfortable.  Do your best to relax.  Fold your hands comfortably in front of you or lightly place your hands palms up.  Next, you are going to take five deep breaths.  Take your time with this.  There's no rush.  I prefer Max Strom's oceanic breathing technique described in his book, A Life Worth Breathing, but also deep, long inhalation through your nose deep into your lungs, hold for a few comfortable seconds, then exhale out slowly through the throat until all air is fully released from your lungs.  As you exhale out, visualize and imagine that the breath out carries some of your pain.

Healing Beyond Traditional Methods

The Workbook


  • Let yourself relax for a few moments before the next step.  When you feel ready,  begin to become aware of where in your body you hold depression.  For me, the sorrow and deep sadness usually lodged in my chest area around my heart.  When you find the primary location, though you may feel it in other areas of your body, allow yourself time to notice and feel it fully. while taking comfortable breaths.
  • Be gentle with yourself.   Feeling this will not kill you, but if it becomes too painful or overwhelming, stop.  If you continue,  you can let the sorrow and sadness flow from that primary physical place with each gentle breath.  If you can, visualize the hurt as energy over which you have control.  Energy that you can breathe out and release. With each breath in, you go to that place, and with each breath out, you release that energy.  If you have attuned yourself, you may feel the depression move through you and out.  With practice, as I did, there comes a point when you are conscious of the depression as if it's a thing, an entity of sorts, which you can allow into your body or choose to dismiss or reject.  I know.  It sounds too good to be true, but that was my experience.
  • As you do this, if your intention is clear, the energy of your depression even for moments will move through you and out of you.  
  • Next -- and this step is critical -- think of one thing for which you feel thankful whether it's a person, an event, a sensation.  When I began this process, my life was such a mess and my thinking so convoluted, all I could find for which to be thankful was the softness of the comforter under my chin or the taste of my freshly roasted coffee.  That was enough to begin until I was able to move onto other things for which I was genuinely thankful.  I believe recovering and transforming beyond depression cannot be achieved without an attitude of thankfulness.  Even if you don't mean it at all, just speaking words in your head or out loud such as "I am thankful for my depression" begins a change in how the neurons in your brain fire then wire, then ultimately utilize new neural pathways rather than the ones your brain has maintained for depression.  Saying these words will begin a thought process that will build upon itself one emotional brick at a time.
  • At first, it may seem ridiculous to be thankful for your pain, but it worked for me sending neurons firing in new patterns leading to a rewiring of my brain.
  • If you can, think of one person for whom you have deep gratitude.  It can even be a child who brings you joy.  If you can't think of anyone close to you for whom you feel thankfulness, it can be gratitude for something as simple as the store cashier who was kind to you or the driver who waved you across instead of cutting you off.
  • The next thing I did was say out loud first to my therapist and then to friends,  “I am not going to get depressed ever again” which put me in a position of following through on this commitment even when the first tingling of depression tried to rear its ugly head.
  • Over time, with practice, I began to be able to consciously make a choice whether to allow depression into my body while I worked on my thoughts and beliefs which fueled it.  Clearly, this ability, a demarcation, was not apart from a revolution in my thoughts, beliefs, and values which is essential to one's healing from depression and without which, I do not believe, one cannot be healed from depression.
  • Loving yourself.  If you are anything like I was, I was full of self-loathing and hatred.  I couldn't have even begun to love myself in the early stages of my healing.  So if you can't quite love yourself yet, find one person (even if it's an imagined person) looking at you compassionately with love, wishing you only well.  Then send your appreciation for that compassion and love to that person, silently telling them how much you appreciate them.  As you grow, that compassionate and loving person towards yourself will be you.


PRACTICE  THESE TECHNIQUES AND SEE IF YOU BEGIN TO FEEL BETTER OR WHETHER THEY CAN HELP YOU SEE THE POSSIBILITY OF FEELING BETTER. THEY AREN'T MEANT AS A SOLUTION TO YOUR DEPRESSION BUT, MORE SO,
A COMFORTING BEGINNING, AN OPENING OF YOUR HEART AND MIND TO HEALING ... A PORTAL OF SORTS.  
IF WHAT YOU'VE DONE SO FAR HASN'T WORKED FULLY OR DIDN'T WORK AT ALL,  WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO LOSE?