Fake it till you make it... An easy trick to help you deal with depression
If the reality is so ugly that you just cannot sketch a smile in your face, there is a little and easy trick to help you out. Our mind was built with the ability to create images, and whatever it sees it believes; if the images have blanks it will fill them in. That makes it easier to trick it.
Whatever you think about is what you create. Your mind has the power to create anything, that is why it is so important to learn to think in the correct way, or else our mind will play tricks to us, and it is supposed to work in the other way around.
Depression is defined as a state of low mood… Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, worried, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, hurt, or restless. More often than not, all this is created by our own minds. This suffering is very common, and, I think, there has never been a single human being in the whole history of this planet who never felt one of the emotions we just said. I think it comes with being a human! But everybody have a different life, different experiences, and a different attitude to face it.
The triggers for this depression may be financial problems, a fight with someone you care about, a breakup, an accident, dissatisfaction about own life, separation, the loss of a loved one, you name it.
The trick… Fake it till you make it!
As brilliant as the mind could be, it does not discern between reality and fiction. I think there is a purpose for this. As I said before: “fake it till you make it”… *Note: try this exercise in an airy, quiet place, ideally when lying down on your bed or in a comfortable chair. You may feel sleepy after trying this exercise.
Here is one example on how to do it: Don’t pay attention to what you see and feel at this moment. Take as long as you need on doing this. Close your eyes; breathe in with your nose, inflating your belly (not raising your shoulders), and exhale thru your mouth; while doing this clear your mind from the reality. Think about something that brings you peace and joy –a nice immaculate personal memory works just as well! You can make your mind take you to the wilderness; picture yourself with a cup of coffee in your hands, sitting in the shore of a beautiful lake, with anybody you want by your side. The skies are clear! The sun is shining! The weather is so sweet! A kind breeze is caressing your face and hair! Nice music –of your choice– is playing on the back. You simply know you will rest like a baby tonight! And wake up full of energy in the morning! You are completely certain everything is going well! The sound of water running relaxes you more and more! The smell of the trees, plants, herbs, flowers and wet soil brings you back to happy moments! Softly you hear birds singing, and the wind blowing over the water and the forest; all the nature around you is filling up all your senses! You feel peace, joy and hope. All your muscles are losing tension; in the soles of your feet you feel warm water and you enjoy this feeling, now that feeling is spreading to your uncles, gently flowing up to your knees, hands, hips, over your spinal cord, elbows, shoulders, going to your neck, relaxing all the muscles there, going up to your skull, your chin, mouth, nose, cheeks, eyes, forehead, to the top of your head. Stay there as long as you can, enjoy the feeling. Breathe deep few more times, and then slowly open your eyes. If you did the exercise right, you will feel better now, and most likely you will have a smile in your face.
This was just an example on how to do it; you can visualize anything you want to see to feel better. Make it fit for you. Maybe you need to see yourself on a beach, maybe with a special someone, maybe dancing or doing something you love, or maybe you just need to see yourself laughing and having a great time! Paint the reality you want to see!
How do I know this really works?
Easy, the brain respond the our feelings in order to help us get thru a situation, i.e. if something scares us it will take most of our blood to our legs to get us ready to run (that is one reason of why we turn pale in those moments), if something gives us joy the brain will release endorphins (the endogenous morphine) to make us feel better and relaxed. Plus, when we exercise, laugh, share good moments with our loved ones, spent some time in the nature… we help our brain to secrete several substances that makes us feel better.
Since our mind can be easily tricked, we can manage the previous to our benefit. Here is just a little bit on how easily the mind falls into the trap. Have you ever been asleep, having a very sad dream, and when you woke up you were crying? Or, dreaming on something scary and woke up with your heart beating so fast that you felt it was going to get away from your chest? Or having a dream about something that makes you anger, and you woke up feeling angry? On the other hand, have you ever been dreaming about something very funny and woke up laughing? Or, dreaming about something so desirable, and woke up with a smile on your face and feeling so good because you tasted the flavor of the materialization of it? Well, in all these cases your mind was deceived! The reality was the same one for every example: you were lying in a bed!
But your mind saw something different from this reality, it saw its own reality, if you will, and believed it! So your brain released the needed substances to front the reality your mind was seeing at the moment, and your body simply followed. When you are awake you have more control over your mind, use it to lead your thoughts into a reality that makes you feel great.
Mr. Denis Waitley has shared the results from an experiment they ran in NASA. It consisted on athletes having sensors in their muscles, sitting in a chair, and they were requested to picture themselves performing in a competition. The results showed that the muscles activated were the same ones they use when they are performing in the reality.
If we can fake it in order to trick our minds to keep feeling good, then we will have the strength to keep going on until we succeed, until we make it through the sadness of depression, and we will achieve a much better reality ‑for real this time‑. Then you won't have to fake it anymore. That is the beauty of this.
Let me clarify something... as I said in the title, this is just a "trick to help" us in our way out from the darkness of depression, I am not saying this is the final solution, nor saying this is all the help you need, and of course, I am not encouraging you to "be" a fake, I am just saying you can fake it for a little while to trick your mind. The intention here is not to show another face to the rest of the world, that does not help anybody. Fake it for your mind, simulate you are feeling better and it will have to follow the feeling, it will release chemical substances you need in order to feel better. It is very simple, if you have sad thoughts you will be sad. If you have happy thoughts it will be more likely you get to feel better. It is only up to you to try it. Ask a specialist about this.
We are creatures who can create! We generate our own reality. I know this might be hard to believe or accept, feel free to probe it yourself. If you really want to feel better you will have to use as much help as you can get, and try different ways to achieve what you haven't been able to achieve just yet. Don’t care about how nasty the reality is! There is no reason to feel sad; you have an option to feel the way you want and deserve. Fake it till you make it!