The theory & the practise…

I’ve had a lot of questions recently asking whether I can talk about how I deal with the day to day, in terms of mood variation, and so I thought I’d try and cover off a route through the negative…

There are occasions when I generally just feel so very depressed… It sometimes comes from a level of anxiety that envelopes me, given a certain situation or occurrence in my day, that said, there are those days when you just wake up and feel like it may be better to hide.

In most instances for me, I would say that the ‘wrong side of the bed’ scenario is less often. I generally tend to find that if I’m in a difficult situation, or I’m stressed or frustrated about something, then I will start to feel a surge of adrenaline.

This is the most important bit! The adrenaline control/anxiety level (as some people might contextualise it) is paramount in dealing with the situation, in terms of the eventual calm.

I think the worst feelings come from someone hurting you inwardly, through a flippant comment, sometimes made in haste, or sometimes not even meant with a negative context.

Regardless of cause, there are a few ways to tackle the issue:

  • The Jaunt – For me the adrenaline is the key, and a body standing numb or crumpled behind their computer screen at work is not a good place to be when adrenaline kicks in… With social media so active and email communications, or messenger options to colleagues I’d recommend you get the hell out of dodge and do a power walking session around the block. As adrenaline is something we develop when active, it make the most sense to get your body moving and a trudge is a good way to release that tension, reducing the adrenaline rate and enabling you to get back to your original, more lucid state. I once saw a film where a man defined trudging: “Trudging, to trudge. A slow weary depressing, yet determined walk, of a man who has little left in his life, except the impulse to simply, soldier on!” And that’s what it means to me. When the world hits rock bottom I will take some time out, find my feet and just think, I don’t wrap myself up in the sh*t, I just try and find a solution, or clarity of vision and while walking, you generally find that’s a possibility. And don’t take your phone with you when you go!!
  • The Journey – An advancement of the jaunt, the journey is useful in the context that an evolution of the level of anxiety has occurred. This could be an argument with a partner, a friend, a boss, a colleague, but generally a journey comes in useful if you’re really feeling cut up by the situation. The way I contextualise a journey, is that it requires a destination, where as the jaunt may be you doing a few laps of the block, the journey should be taking your own lead to a place of solace. For myself I live by the ideal that we should have green in our lives, it’s a well known fact that if you see green regularly this will increase your rate of happiness. This could be with a plant in your office or in this instance of the journey, for me it means going to a park, a garden, a place of considered calm where I can just be with and in nature. To sit or wonder and just to breathe in these environments (again without any phone, stop taking your phone everywhere!!) is a natural release for your body and to be honest it’s a great way to reduce anxiety and try and bring yourself back to a state of normality. This is another good one to consider if you do have one of those ‘wrong side of the bed’ moments, I often walk to the office a different way and the route suits my mood, sometimes changing up the mundane or repetitive elements of our day to day can make a huge difference. (If you want to know more about colour in the context of mood then do take a look here: LiveScience – Colours from Happiness to Depression
  • Buffing it Up! – This requires a certain degree of patience, because we can’t all just run off to the gym when we have issues, we have to learn to control our state and release at the optimum moment. This could be whether you fancy a treadmill as a solution, or if you prefer to take on a martial arts class. And in either context, as you’ll see from the ever expanding yoga craze, just try to find classes that aren’t awash with instructors that got the certification off their back room printer after reading up on the definition of yoga online last Tuesday! That said, I have a huge range of friends and colleague who suffer from all sorts of issues and yoga is a very sound way learning to control your body and it’s state. And if you’re a real man thinking yoga’s too girly for me, then consider two things… 1) Whether you want a 6 pack as opposed to the whole keg and 2) girls much prefer a man with an open mind…
  • Music of Life – This for me is a core part of getting by… Music is a medium I’ve found can completely change my mood in the course of 3 and a half minutes or so… Over the last 10 years, not willing to take medication for my ‘disorder’ I have relied on all of the above solutions, as well as on music. There are a number of songs that will send me into a really positive state and played in context with the situation, music is a really great stimulant against anxiety or depression. Music has a rhythm that can be used to channel your bodies energy based on the beat and the context of the tune. We must as individuals look at how we change our bodies state, as we perceive it to be, because our perception is a mentally controlled entity and by using music, we can shift the dynamic to a state where our mind is not in control, it just has to let itself be swept away by the music and in doing so we clear our minds, left only to feel the energy we’re feeding ourselves.

A few tunes I love:

Joe Esposito – You’re the Best (also know as the song from the original Karate Kid) – best used in the context that you have a big meeting.

Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now – best used in the context that you’re running late or you’ve just had some amazing news!

The Five Stairsteps – O-o-oh Child – (also heard in Guardians of the Galaxy) – best used in the context that you’re feeling depressed or low… This is a good one to bring you through a bad time, it builds you back up gently to the point where you can feel much more positive.

Anyway, apparently my staff are suggesting that I need to head into a meeting now about running a business… The audacity!! So I must away, but I want to leave you with one note when considering the context of the above…

The Dalai Lama, if you read his books, says a lot of things that you may think seem relatively obvious… (as with my overview above) But it’s not until you really consider them that you benefit… in life we rarely take the most obvious route, but it’s usually the one that defines a result, our body is a mechanism to harness the mind and the relationship between the two is such a valuable thing to explore…

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