— Jane Mackenzie
Hypnotherapy for Depression
What is depression?
It is said that whilst worry and anxiety is concern about the future, depression is thinking that you don’t have one. In essence, we have already been through a lot of different emotions before this point and we imagine unwanted scenarios continuing as we feel powerless to affect change. In fact, the power that we seek is lying latent, as we think we will get into trouble for expressing ourselves and seeking to affect that change. Slowly creeping up on us to erode our inner peace: worry, anxiety, doubt, and confusion, unresolved guilt and anger culminate in depression. Both its causes and its healing are so often misunderstood by others and by our consciousness that we need a little help to orchestrate communication between the part of the mind that wishes the change and the one that freezes us into inaction.
How are you feeling?
A giving up, a giving in, a feeling that whatever one does has no impact and that events we are unhappy with will continue without remedy, that we are powerless, is depression. You might remember what used to make you happy, but doing it no longer helps at all. You may have mood swings, or teeter between heavy sadness and total numbness, and lack the motivation for self-care, work, or personal projects. Is this how you feel? Let’s solve that now.
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❛❛When I brought my son for hypnotherapy I was not sure it was going to do any good. I was at my wit’s end and would try anything, to be honest. To my surprise, within half an hour he had stopped looking down and actually started to smile broadly, which I had not seen for months, it made me cry with relief that finally I had found someone who could help.❜❜
- Maggie, Jersey
How does hypnotherapy help?
Profound change happens when using hypnosis. You may not consciously recall it all afterwards, though change happens radically. One of the wonderful things about this release of depression is that it clarifies so much about the amorphous nature of emotions. I uncover which emotions preceded the depression and suggest tonics for every one of them, designing antidotes we can use the minute we start having trouble with them. Again, however, the solution can occur without divulgence of confidentialities as often we can get so far into depression that we forget how we got in.
Quick Tips for You
1. Know your Enemy
Inertia, projection, identification, boredom, depression, jealousy, revenge, and self-pity are aspects of mind that rob you of your ability to alter reality. Separate these thoughts from yourself. We're going to turn these concepts into something more tangible.
Think right now - what colour would you give to this 'enemy', and what shape and sound and smell, and what does it remind you of? Create a visualisation of these thoughts that drag you down. Write or draw your answers, however strange this seems!
2. Create the Opposite.
Central to tackling this 'enemy' and restoring your free will is your imaginative power. You can drain the energy of the old image and recognise that a new image is to be created instead, replacing that visualisation with all the opposite features.
Yes, we work with images because the mind thinks in images. So now write the OPPOSITE of the colour, the different shape, the new sound and let your mind create. For example, if your sad feelings were blue, start imagining a vivid red.
3. Use this technique whenever you need it.
The power of this new image can free you. With writing exercises and drawing exercises, like this, we give ourselves control over something, however small. Accompanied with tools such as meditation or hypnosis, we remember that we do have the power to change the present and to re-write the future. This simple exercise can kickstart the process of changing the life we have.
4. Find your Antidote
This is the antidote for dealing with your enemy visualisation — from the laughter and joy that offers a break to depression, to the generosity of love that lifts boredom, explore what you find funny, what makes you feel worthwhile, putting aside what the world might expect of you. Explore what lifts you, explore what deeply interests you that you can really get involved with, even imaginatively, and begin to give energy to that instead. Explore what generous things you can do for someone else, or a pet, or a charity, or a neighbour, that focuses you on what you can achieve and what you want to achieve.
5. Rejuvenate your Creativity
It is highly important to nurture creativity when we have reached a low state. When the enemy appears, combat it with a creative outlet. This can be poetry, drawing, writing, dance, video games - anything at all that can be used to channel your feelings into something physical. With this, ironically, you can turn the enemy itself into the cure - it can no longer tell you that you're incapable when it's those very words that drive your creative outlet.
Take back control.
It only takes an hour to make tomorrow better. Choose relaxation over frustration.
Following this advice, you will end up with a box of tricks of your own. This is what every sports coach knows. This is what every actor about to go on stage knows. No matter how you feel, this is a temporary state. So, when an athlete is about to compete, when an actor is about to go on stage, when a politician is about to be interviewed, when they do not feel in the right mood or they are having a bad day, they use their box of tricks.
It is called a box of tricks for a reason. You will acknowledge you don’t feel in the mood and the last thing you want to do is to use a trick, but it is the thing you must do to recover your good mood. A mind trick is powerful. A piece of music, a lucky shirt, a body posture or breathing technique, a favourite joke, a chat with a friend who will cheer you up, a hug, a comedy.... Like I say, this is your toolbox. What is in yours?