Deep Rest.

See what i did there? – type two words and you hear one – check out the literary alchemist. Seriously though, it’s not surprising that most people will have “heard” the word depressed when reading the title – depression seems to be everywhere right now.

Note – I may be a literary alchemist but i should apologise for the slightly disjointed style of this, i’ve tried re-writing it a few times only to find i couldn’t really do much more right now. It says what it needs to say.

Right, back to the matter at hand.

Depression is the mindbody system doing what it has to in order to return to it’s optimal state. In the presence of almost constant stress and negative/harmful stimulation, it is simply being completely honest about how it feels and then taking action to remedy that.

For example – Someone with “chronic anxiety” will become “depressed” (have moments of deep “depression”) but the two cannot exist at the same moment as one is a “defence mechanism” against the other.

Too many things to think about. Too much to “worry” about. Too much to “care” about. Too much choice. Too much to do today – every day. In a society that is “designed” to make us unwell, the mindbody decides it has to “not care” about any of this nonsense. It “realises” how unimportant these things that we are “worrying”/”stressing” about really are now that it’s (your) health that is at risk. Instead of “doing the right thing” and appearing (at face value) to appreciate everyone’s point of view and lifestyle, it becomes contemptuous of (much of) the society it sees and seeks to distance itself from it – Because to continue to go along with all of this and make like everything is OK is really hard work – highly “stressful” – becoming so harmful that a “deep rest” is the only answer.

I like to think of it as “de-pressed” or, as suggested above, “deep rest”. It has (rightly in my opinion) been argued by some that depression is actually a pretty natural state for the mindbody to “adopt”/adapt to in our modern world as the information being piped into your “mind” via the various media channels is pretty awful – From worldwide water and food shortages to constant wars and massive inequality – the world possibly being “run” by a group of individuals/families/groups who, if you believe that “evil” does exist, could certainly qualify for that label. The oceans being poisoned, species becoming extinct at a rapid rate, peak oil, knife attacks – Not to mention the conditioning that takes place from a young age and the pressures of being a child in today’s society! It would be easy to feel less than optimistic the way the world seems/is right now. This is why we see younger and younger children affected by this “condition”.

It’s easy to see how – with all of the above – day after day, week after week, month after month, that the mindbody says “enough, i can’t take this shit any more – i don’t care – i just don’t care” – And it’s response is to make you feel that way through changing the message you are sending to your nervous system and beyond.

It’s first line of defence is to adopt a “stoic” expression. An expression of “i don’t care” – “i’m not bothered” – and this, as we know, causes you to feel that way through the relationship between what your face says/does and how you feel – your mindbody is making your face adopt that expression to change your chemistry – to affect how you perceive the world. It is protecting you, helping you. Obviously this is a feedback loop and thoughts affect chemistry too – but changing your chemistry through physical/body language is more powerful as it changes your perception and therefore your thinking every minute of every day.

As we’ve seen above, this change causes you to feel differently – to become “closed off” – almost emotionless. Not wanting to socialise for example – why would you when it’s hard work communicating with those who only talk about bullshit things that you don’t find interesting in the slightest? Time to be honest – either find new friends or become a recluse. Family that can’t talk about your situation? Who find it impossible to be vulnerable? – Your defence mechanism will tell you to communicate as little as possible and when you do, keep that face on and you’ll seem fine to them – no point trying to talk to them about it, they won’t be able to, they are too closed off to their own feelings, let alone yours.

This is why so many people are surprised when they hear that a family member of friend has committed suicide. The person concerned seemed relaxed; un-phased, if a little distant at times – but nothing that “stood out”. It wouldn’t would it, especially to those who often can’t even communicate with themselves openly.

I read recently that suicide is the number 1 killer of men between 20-49 in the UK and i think the statistics are pretty close in Ireland too. More men between 20-49 are killing themselves than dying of anything else?! – Seriously, it’s time to wake up to the fact that our “lifestyles” are killing us. We have probably all heard the expression “your health is your wealth” but so few of us actually live that way – thinking that a hour of physical exercise and a half decent diet are the keys to staying well – they are not.

So, the defence mechanism is in place, trying to help you return to an optimal state of body and mind. Problem is, the world carries on hassling you – In oh so many ways – have to keep going to work to pay the bills, dealing with all that the job entails, days often filled with bullshit and stress. TV doesn’t get turned off, more messages of negativity, doom and gloom etc – people relying on you for things, more stress when your mindbody just wants you to stop and look after yourself. Time to go to stage 2, Physical pain.

Physical pain is a complicated thing. It is known that pain can be “created” by the mindbody complex as a “distraction” from processing that which is hard to process. It’s pretty hard to process everything that is “wrong” in the world right now so this would be an ideal time for pain to do it’s thing. Pain can be “created” by the mindbody to get you to do what it has told you to do already but you haven’t listened. Obviously pain can also be from actual tissue damage as well as from other sources but for the purpose of this subject, we are looking at it as a creation to make you change your behaviour. And that’s what is happening here – there is no structural damage, you’ve done nothing to cause any – That pain is the mind body trying to get you to do what it wants. Stop and rest, change your lifestyle.

So to finish i suppose that what i’m saying is this – Depression is natural – even helpful – If that person listens to the signals and acts accordingly. If they are able to do what needs to be done – Which is basically listen to the bodies signals and not ignore them and carry on. If they are able to truly accept that their health is their wealth and everything else at this point is moot.

This means change and sometimes change can seem hard – bad habits are hard to break – but not so hard if you allow your chemistry to be changed by this defence mechanism. This change will make your behaviour change, your habits change. If you can truly allow the healing to take place, it will work it’s magic. Your mindbody wants you to be “well”. And remember, this is the big one, without your health everything else is pointless. So learn to listen to the signals – accept that they are right, do what they ask. Don’t push on through, they are you trying to help you. Even something as simple as folding your arms a lot. Don’t listen to the naysayers telling you it’s “negative” body language – it’s your body language doing what it needs to do to help you in that moment. If you just let it do what it needs to, it will get you back to where you need to be.

 

I’m not saying for one minute that the above is easy to do – but it can be done – we just need to create the space to allow it to happen.

cheers

andy

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2 thoughts on “Deep Rest.

  1. Never seen it like that before so thank you. I pushed through it because the unknown felt more scary than the known present.

    Any thoughts ?.

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    1. Hey Russ. Yeah, the unknown is typically more “scary”, especially as we have come to value certainty so much with the way we are brought up in the society we live in. Don’t rock the boat, don’t stand out, don’t be a miserable F***er etc. As many have said before me, nothing is certain except death and taxes but we still cling to it as we very rarely live in the present any more and have become scared of the ebb and flow of life. When we live in the present it is impossible for anxiety and depression to exist as they are all based on what if’s? When we “push through”, we are not “going with the flow” of what the mindbody is telling us we need.

      Pushing through the mindbody’s signals can be useful sometimes – such as pushing through the first stages of physical fatigue – using endurance “activities” to achieve that state of “flow” through physical movement (and fatigue) and repetition. “Pushing through” anxiety/depression and pretending to be happy about things that you are not happy with just makes things worse. What can (and often does) happen in this situation is that you push so far and eventually have a breakdown/heart attack/stroke/whatever. A short term “breakdown” can be a wonderful thing as you get to the bottom of the hole and there’s only one way from there and that’s up. Almost everyone who has ever written (well) on the subject has had their own “moment” – Eckhart Tolle, John C. Parkin, etc etc. If you don’t mind going to the bottom of the pit to get back out this could be an option, except that it can come with severe physical damage as mentioned in some of the other outcomes.

      You could look at hundreds of different angles on this and say this approach would be right in this situation and a different approach for this situation and so on and it all gets way too complex and involves too much thinking (executive function) which is a big part of what got us here in the first place. The reality is that we all need way more “down time” to cope with modern life and we just don’t get it. In the absence of more down time (or complete change of lifestyle), we need to change how we look at life and we can do that in how we approach work and everything else in life. Change your perception, change your behaviours. We can try to do this by thinking about it – and this can have some effect but only while you are thinking about it and that’s fleeting. You can’t address your thinking all the time, every thought. We need to “feel” it, not think it. Feeling differently changes what you think 24/7, thinking differently is only in that moment.

      To change how you feel, you have to change/alter your perception and perception is altered by altering chemistry (and energy). The most powerful place to do this is the face (eyes/ears etc) as that’s the messenger from our world to (the majority of) our chemistry. This is why pretty much everything i do is based around “achieving” a “flow like” state more of the time. It’s about down grading the activity of the front brain, more of the time. And the most powerful way i have found to achieve this is through physical relaxation – And by that i mean we have to release what has built up as well as on an ongoing basis – although when you release the build up you’ll find your behaviour will change and you will be less likely to do things that cause a build up in the first place. This build up exists all over our bodies but (IMO) there are 3 places that are key. They are the top of the trapezius, the psoas and the face/jaw/eyes (in particular the masseter). It is possible to induce neurogenic tremors in all of these places to release long held tension, no matter how deep it seems to be. My own thoughts are that being pennate muscles (slightly different types but pennate nevertheless) this is their main mechanism for releasing tension as they don’t typically go through “stretching” ranges of motion on a regular basis – they are powerful “controlling” muscles and are all abused massively on a daily basis with sitting in chairs and poor walking/running posture – and talking too much in the case of the masseter. Apologies for keeping this so un-sciency, i’m trying to bridge that gap and still learning how to make it very simple yet eloquent – and struggling 😉

      Intense physical exertion followed by constructive rest position/s is a powerful tool for this, as is my own kisssmilebreatherepeat for the face/eyes, jaw and posture. TRE is a wonderful tool for the psoas and (by default with the psoas being involved) other areas too. Most people don’t do constructive rest after “exercise” and we know that most people are doing exercise “wrong” or even worse, in a way that it is actually bad for them rather than good. I don’t want to write any more to be honest as i prefer to do theses things face to face as it allows for ongoing questions and more fun, which is a big part of all of this – “playing” more. Exercise has become so serious. If we played more when we exerted ourselves physically, we’d all be much better – Try fartlek running mixed in with skipping (not with a rope, with your arms like a child). Don’t lift a bar, lift a rock (or plate if your are at the gym). Carry it and put it down, far better than Olympic lifting (unless you are planning on becoming an olympic lifter! 😉 . Anyway, too long at this screen already. If anyone wants more, Skype me – it’s merlintheyogin. 🙂

      I know i’ve gone off on a tangent but i don’t like writing anymore so apologies for that. let’s keep this in face to face from now on guys. I’m on skype and it doesn’t cost anything so give me a call.

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