Stress and depression are usually connected, but the link can be broken using several different methods. Using any of these methods individually will help with management of depression; however, using all four of these methods together can significantly reduce the need for medication, if not eliminate that need all together.
As with all alternative health solutions, it is important to take responsibility for your own well-being and working with a trained, licensed and open-minded health practitioner (either an MD or an ND) is always recommended.
EFT: The first method is the self-tapping technique known as EFT or Emotional Freedom Techniques. Think of this like non-invasive acupuncture that you can do in the privacy of your own home. There are plenty of sources on the Internet for information about EFT as well as many different tapping scripts developed by hundreds, if not thousands, of EFT practitioners, but the best I have ever found is Brad Yates' YouTube Channel call Tapping with Brad. EFT is easy to learn and use. You just check out Brad's playlists and find a video that resonates with your current emotion and then you just follow along with him, repeating both his words and his actions.
Enneagram: The second method for eliminating the links between stress and depression is to learn about your personality type. For this, I use a tool called the Enneagram. This tool identifies 9 personality types and 9 levels of health for each of those types as well as several variations on each combination. Understanding how parts of our personalities are genetic and how other parts are influenced by environment goes a long way to showing us that we are not our personalities. When we understand this, we can see that we have incredible potential no matter what has happened in life so far and we can learn how to release the more destructive aspects of our behavior and strengthen the very positive and constructive parts of our lives.
The third is by learning about your stress index and the relationship between the stress hormone known as Cortisol and the neurosteroid known as D.H.E.A. The third method is to gain a clear understanding of the four main 'happiness' brain chemicals and to take action to increase their availablitlity in the body on a daily basis.
Sadness or downswings in mood are normal reactions to life’s struggles, setbacks, and disappointments. Many people use the word “depression” to explain these kinds of feelings, but depression is much more than just sadness.
Some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. However, some depressed people don't feel sad at all—they may feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic, or men in particular may even feel angry, aggressive, and restless.
Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief.
The connection between stress and depression is complex and circular. People who are stressed often neglect healthy lifestyle practices. They may smoke, drink more than normal, and neglect regular exercise. "Stress, or being stressed out, leads to behaviors and patterns that in turn can lead to a chronic stress burden and increase the risk of major depression," says Bruce McEwen, PhD, author of The End of Stress as We Know It.
Losing a job is not only a blow to self-esteem, but it results in the loss of social contacts that can buffer against depression.
Interestingly, many of the changes in the brain during an episode of depression resemble the effects of severe, prolonged, stress.
Source: WebMD - Stress and Depression
Now that you know about depression and how stress and depression can be linked, it is time to discuss the solution. From my perspective, there are only two real and lasting solutions for depression -- self-confidence and self esteem -- but how can you get these two life-giving forces, which oftentimes seem so illusive. Thankfully, both can be achieved, in spades, by blending the incredible effectiveness of EFT with the power of the Enneagram.
Based on acupuncture and acupressure, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a really amazing stress management tool that can help you manage your stress and even help you eliminate stress from your life forever.
The Enneagram is a vast and profound system for learning about yourself and the people in your life. Like any profound system, it takes a certain amount of work and time to master its subtleties and complexities, but doing this work can start paying off with valuable insights as soon as you start looking into it.
When you put the two together, and use them consistently, problems like stress and depression, along with destructive thinking, anxiety, panic attacks, low self-esteem and poor self-confidence can quickly become a thing of the past. And it's not just the surface stuff that applies here... I am speaking of the core self-esteem and self-confidence that you were born with.
In the development of this website, I have spent considerable time studying several medical professionals who specialize in the study of stress and chronic disease. Two of my favorites have this to say about this troublesome subject.
Pain specialist, Dr. Norm Shealy says, "The intersection of the four main fields of stress - physical, chemical, emotional and electro-magnetic - is the cause of all illness, not some...ALL!
Medical doctor and addictions specialist, Dr. Gabor Maté, reports that unchecked repressed emotion, overtime, becomes stored deep in the central nervous system of the body and is a significant factor in the majority of chronic diseases that plague humanity today.
If these statements are true and I believe they are, then a major key to breaking the links between stress and depression, which often lead to crushing outcomes such as addictions and suicide, lies in eliminating repressed emotion and the stress that is caused by it.
In other words, you must learn who you are and what makes you tick (the Enneagram) and you must peel off the layers of repressed emotion that have probably tormented you for your entire life (EFT), just like Shrek.
The Enneagram teaches that we all have a complex personality type and we all have healthy and unhealthy levels within our personality type. For example, one of the most negative aspects of my personality is that I have a deep and relentless need for intensity that comes from resisting or challenging others and the environment at the expense of recognizing my own vulnerability and need for nurturing.
Left unchecked, I can fall into some very unhealthy and destructive life patterns, even dangerous ones, but I use the Enneagram to understand this tendency in my self and I use EFT to release the repressed emotion that is related to this tendency. I also use EFT and the Enneagram to celebrate my strengths.
It is a very personal process and I have to do it at least weekly and sometimes even daily. Every person has a complex personality type and they float each and every day between healthy and unhealthy levels within that type. It takes constant work to stay at the healthy levels, especially in the face of all the stress in today's world.
So don't put up with stress and depression anymore. Get back in the driver's seat of your life right now! Take back control of your health and your life today with EFT and the Enneagram. GOOD LUCK!