2016 has been my year and I am ready to share everything that I’ve learned! This was a challenging time but more accurately it was my year of enlightenment. I found the light at the end of the tunnel and am ready to shine it on anyone willing to learn and listen!
What I discovered is that depression is indeed all in our head and is caused by our own self-deprecating thoughts and emotions. The good news is that since it is our own thoughts and emotions that put us into that state, we can also use our own thoughts and emotions to help pull ourselves out of that state.
Let me give you a little of my back story. I am a 49 year old professional woman and leader in corporate America. I am also a wife, mother and step-mother of 4 amazing kids all between the ages of 16 and 23. I have experienced anxiety and depression for about 13 years and have learned a thing or two about how to feel better when destructive emotions creep up. In 2002 I went through a painful and lengthy divorce. It was during this time that my struggles with depression and anxiety began. It was me who initiated this divorce, my husband at the time wanted nothing to do with it… add two small children in the mix and I had a pretty difficult ordeal. Lots of guilt, lots of pressure, stress.. you name it I had it.
Through the mid 2000’s and 2010’s I struggled with a vast array of emotions, ups, downs and everything in between. It was just life and I was having a tough time with it. At times depression left me curled up in a ball, unable to move sometimes thinking about taking my own life. These thoughts followed me for days, weeks even. Thanks to love for my children, I didn’t follow through on this, I sought medical help instead. My doctor prescribed antidepressants which helped for a while, and alleviated my immediate pain. However, the struggles and tough times continued. I had good days and bad days. Some of the bad days were really bad.
I love reading. However with raising two kids, having two step-kids, being remarried and holding down a full-time job I hadn’t been doing very much of it. Then, in April 2016 while on a cruise with my son, I had the chance to start reading again.
I would say that this is where my healing and enlightenment began. I continued reading. I read books on leadership, being centered, energy, meditation and habit. It was eye opening. I got onto Amazon and started buying whatever they recommended.
Thanks to the fine folks at Amazon, I stumbled upon a cool little book by Hal Elrod called, “Miracle Morning”. The rest is history. Mind you, this book is no great feat of literary genius (neither is this blog!) but it did promise to transform my life in 30 days or less. What did I have to lose?? I did exactly what the book’s blueprint outlined. I didn’t set any expectations. I just followed the 6 steps. That one small daily change turned my life around!!
Interested in hearing more?
The “Miracle Morning”
The premise of the book is that we each spend the first hour of the day focused on ourselves. Miracle Morning suggests that we wake up a full hour before normal to work on ourselves. Use the first hour of every day on a routine of self-improvement. The routine has a clever acronym called “S.A.V.E.R.S”.
Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Scripting
Silence – Spending several minutes in silent payer or meditation. This activity creates needed space in your brain to make room for positive thoughts and feelings and sets the stage for creativity and critical thought. It is this type of thinking that will propel your career and life forward.
Affirmations – Create self-affirming statements to be repeated aloud over and over. They should be repeated for 2 to 5 minutes every morning and again before bed. This activity alone will set your brain on the right track to positive thinking.
Visualization – To the human brain pictures and symbols are far more powerful than words. Spend time picturing and visualizing what you want from life. This trains the brain to focus on those things that are truly important to us.
Exercise – Exercise is a wonderful tool for overcoming depression or for achieving a general sense of well-being. It gets the blood flowing through the body and causes the brain to releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Try it, you’ll see what I mean. Take a jog, brisk walk, or run. Just get that positive energy flowing!
Reading – Read every day.
Commit to reading 10 pages every day of something that you are interested in. I don’t mean romance novels, I mean books that will teach you something. Anything! Just read. I would recommend something in the self-help category since the motivation you can glean from those types of books have the potential to propel you to new levels. Just think, if you committed to making the time to read just 10 pages each day, that’s 3650 pages in a year or 18 200-page books! What could you learn in a year of reading 18 books?
Scripting – Scripting is a fancy word for writing. Keep a journal. Write something in your journal every day. Nothing fancy just something… anything. I have journals for my children, and a personal journal. It’s so cool to go back through my journals at the end of every year to see what’s changed, or how I’ve grown. This habit alone can be life-changing.
Now I know what you’re thinking. How in the world do I find time to do all of this?! I’d have to spend hours and I just don’t have that kind of time. We all have the same time in our day. I don’t have more hours in my day than you do, but I do make this routine a top priority.
Here is my routine:
Exercise – 20 minutes of cardio
Silence – 5 minutes of meditation
Affirmations – 2 minutes of affirmations
Visualization – 1 minute of visualization
Reading – 20 minutes
Writing – 12 minutes
You’d be amazed at the time you can find when you make “YOU” a priority. Here is one suggestion on how to pull this off. Create a habit of setting your alarm one hour early every day. Then, actually get out of bed when the alarm goes off. No ifs, ands or buts, just do it. If you normally get up at 6:00 get up at 5:00. If your are normally up at 5:00 then get up at (dare I say it) 4:00.
Do this routine each and every single day for 30 days. After 30 days, you will be excited to get out of bed and your life will be pointed in the right direction.
Since doing the “Miracle Morning” daily exercise I have been invited to speak at a woman’s conference, I am working on a book and have started this blog! I have energy and purpose and can’t wait for what day holds.
Props to Hal Elrod and his book, I am no longer suffering!!
How about you? Are you ready?