Did you know that the use of anti-depressants has increased 400% in the last 20 years? In fact, 1 in 4 women ages 40-60 are taking anti-depressants.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, women are 2.5 times more likely to be taking anti-depressants, than men.
Some may say that’s a good thing, because in previous times, depression was ignored and under-treated.
Some of my clients tell me that their anti-depressants have been a life-saver
But for many there is a price to pay – side effects, which can cause weight gain, decreased sex drive, and ironically, more depression . .
What I seek to understand is, what is at the root of depression? Why are we so sad? Why do we feel so alone, when there are so many people all around us? Are you feeling disconnected? Unfulfilled? Stuck?
Is it the result of a difficult childhood? Ancestry? Genetics? Poor lifestyle and eating habits? Negative thought habits?
Do You Have a Happiness Attitude?
I think part of the reason for the deep sadness is we look around and we see the world around us. So many people are suffering—struggling financially, having difficulty in their relationships, poor health, or having trouble coming to terms with their own self-image and life situation.
The world is changing and you and I are changing, rapidly. What was once the unthinkable may seem to be becoming a daily reality.
Depression is sadness. Sometimes, the grief that overtakes us comes from a specific loss. Loss of a pet, a home, a lifestyle, our country, a friendship, a period in time that has ended . . . we may be grieving the loss of a loved one or even our youth.
Unfortunately, popping a pill won’t bring any of that back . . .
You may feel sad because you realize that things are not as they seem. In fact, the truth is that nothing is as it appears to be.
The Media’s Mass Hypnosis
The media and advertising and even our friends on social media give us the impression that other people’s lives are full of so much more–more friendship, more travel, a better car or home, a thinner, healthier body, happier kids, greater romance, more time for fun and happiness. But, is that image true?
Or is it in fact just an image? I’m not saying it’s a lie. But what if it’s only partially true?
Is it possible that we feel sad because we are under the illusion that other people’s lives are so much easier and better—and that we have more than our fair share of struggle?
Would we be as depressed if we knew the truth
What if we were shown that as human beings our experience is bound to include opposite experiences, and that this is the necessary catalyst for our own growth?
Can you imagine that all the love, happiness, abundance and success you’ve already experienced and achieved happened to teach you that this is a loving, generous, abundant Earth?
What if the pain, sorrow, disappointment, frustration, loss, failure and hurt were the other side of the same coin, and comes and goes to teach you gratitude, humility, compassion and the impermanent nature of your own and others lives?
Our Emotional Drivers
Imagine if our contrasting experiences were the essence of life itself, driving us to be kinder, more compassionate, generous people, more and more guided to lead a purpose-driven life of passion to improve ourselves and our world.
What if the pain in life could be used as a catalyst to be more forgiving? To forgive others because “they know not what they do” as a very wise teacher once taught all of humanity, and also so that our own mistakes may also be forgiven.
One trap I have fallen into myself that has caused me to suffer, and feel like a victim—at the effect of someone else’s behavior and transgression is the thought system, “I would never do what he/she did.”
That may be true. Holding onto that perspective, though, only perpetuates and deepens the hurt that results from that other person’s actions.
I have found that a way out of that painful thought process is the insight that even though it is true that I am very unlikely to engage in the same hurtful action that other person has chosen, what I do have in common with that “hurtful person” is that I too have made mistakes that have deeply impacted people, and most likely I wasn’t even aware of the effect of my behavior.
When we are stuck in sadness, we are often not aware of the impact our own energy is having on our self, on others and on the choices we are making that perpetuate the dark mood we are stuck in.
What is the way out?
For me, it’s going beyond the images in the mind that keep us stuck in limitation. The physical world can be a very dark place. People are self-serving and afraid. If we look within and are honest, there’s a lot there that can simply feel like too much to bear.
Human beings are caught in emotions of fear, jealously, insecurity, regret, shame and the need to compete and win. Trying to deny painful thoughts and emotions doesn’t work and can lead to depression, illness and disease.
How about transcending negativity instead? Going beyond it? Not by ignoring it, but by going through it and behind it, enveloping the dark with the light.
What thoughts are you identifying with?
Would the sadness lift if we realized that the human condition includes thoughts and feelings that are opposites? What if you and I just accepted the darkness within ourselves and others, realizing that the darkness provides a beautiful contrast for the love, light and happiness, that is innately at our core.
The pain of the darkness gives us the motivation to go within. After we try to medicate ourselves, not only with prescription pills, but with all our habitual go-tos: shopping, recreational drugs, alcohol, food, excessive socializing, over working, addictive behavior, compulsively talking or staying busy, losing weight and gaining it back, gambling . . .when there is nothing left to do – where do we go?
The only safe place
Within. That’s the only place left. And when we go within, we realize, it’s where we were meant to go all along. Traveling within doesn’t mean isolating or building a wall. Rather it’s a way to connect even more deeply with the essence of humanity and all of life.
How do you go within? Meditation, hypnosis and self-hypnosis can give you a way to take a break from the frantic pace of the outer, physical world that we live in, and connect to the stillness of your soul at your core.
Building a bridge between your worlds
Start by just closing your eyes, connecting with your heart center by placing your hand on your chest, and breathing light, peace and spaciousness, into your chest.
When you go within, you can begin to build a bridge between the thinking, fearful, compulsive mind and your true self. Practicing self-hypnosis does not mean being self-absorbed. Hypnotherapy actually improves your relationship with others, because it naturally helps you to build a bond between your own true self and the authentic self of another.
In the hypnotic state, imagine yourself happy. Imagine yourself out in nature, young, healthy, alive and free, exercising, eating healthy food, smiling and connecting to loved ones. Your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what’s “real” and imagined. You may just find yourself feeling a little happier . . . The first step in creating a better happiness attitude.
Please share your thoughts, comments and experiences, below. I would love to keep the conversation going. Thank you!
To Your Health & Happiness,
Rena Greenberg has had the privilege over the last 25+ years to work with over 100,000 people in 75 medical centers to help them lose weight without surgery.