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Embracing Depression

I’ve been talking recently about the value of embracing your emotions and how this allows energy to move through your body, AND allows greater health and wellbeing. When emotional energy moves, it allows your body to heal. When you resist it, it gets “stuck” and literally dis-ease follows.

It can be hard to imagine that feeling depression can actually make you more joyful. However, embracing your emotions actually creates chemicals that foster health, increase your energy, AND allow more space for joy.

Joy and wellbeing is your natural state. It’s only when there are obstacles in the way that we do not feel joy or feel well.

I know because for years I struggled with depression and anxiety. I did NOT want to feel that way! I definitely did not want to be labeled by my doctor.

When I finally learned to embrace my emotions, it helped me change all of that.

There are a lot of ideas about “Depression” that just aren’t true. Like the idea that it means you will always have this problem. Even for patients diagnosed with clinical depression, using MindBody tools they were able to change their brain and break that pattern.

I am not saying that clinical depression isn’t “real.” It absolutely is. It’s been shown on brain scans that there are mental states that propagate the depressive pattern. No matter how hard you “try” to get out of it….you cannot. It’s the way your brain is firing.

However, through activating new brain pathways, studies have shown that you absolutely CAN override and reverse the old pattern.

Now, I’m not saying it’s easy. It isn’t. When you do this exercise it will feel like the most challenging, intense, and difficult thing you’ve ever done.

It is incredibly challenging to delve into the depth of  anger, fear, pain, despair….however, when you do experience them fully and mindfully without resistance, it allows the energy to move so that you do not have to live with it every day.

You may need to repeat the exercise several times before the entirety of the energy moves through your body, so release the idea that “It didn’t work,” or “It will never end,” or “I’ll never be free from this.” None of those are true, even if the emotions feel intense. They’re just intense emotions.

Feel them, allow them, and breathe.

Before we go on, if you have been diagnosed with clinical depression, or are in any way suicidal or homicidally depressed, seek medical attention immediately! You do not want to “try to fix yourself,” or go it alone.

Also, if you have the idea that you “shouldn’t be depressed and this tool is going to “fix” you, you are misunderstanding this message. I know because that’s what made me feel stuck for so long! I kept trying to use self-healing to “fix the problem.” Your body won’t like it.

For the rest of you, simply see if you can find a bit of compassion for yourself as you feel what’s going on in your body and just allow it to be.

MindBody Prescription:

  1. Focus on the feeling of depression, despair or powerlessness that’s been haunting you.
  2. Feel it in your body as you breathe slowly, relaxing your shoulders and bringing the breath all the way down to your belly.
  3. Bring all of your attention into the area of your body where you feel the emotion.
  4. Ask yourself: Where does this emotion live in my body? If this feeling had a color, what would it be? What size is it? If it had a texture, what would that be?
  5. Allow the breath to come in as if the emotional energy is itself breathing. Let it expand with the inhales and relax with the exhales. Feed the emotion with your breath.
  6. Watch this energy in your body and stay tuned into feeling it. If it becomes more intense, use more breath! It will eventually shift and dissipate.
  7. Complete this exercise by letting your body know: “You have my unconditional love and support,” and “Thank you for expanding to embrace and shift this energy.”

Blessings,

-Dr. Kim

P.S. Do not take this as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor

P.P.S. Have you been feeling depressed? What is the most challenging part about it?  Let me know and I will support you!

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