An increasing body of evidence supports the view that depression and black moods are caused by an imbalance in brain chemistry.
Toxicity, such as heavy metal toxicity (mercury in particular), affects brain chemistry and has been identified as a key cause.
Depression can take several different forms:
Emotional – constant disease, sadness or anxiety, worthlessness, guilt, dark or suicidal thoughts, loss of interest in favourite activities
Physical – disease, insomnia, or hypersomnia, aches and pains, changes in energy or weight
Behavioural – changes in appetite, restlessness
Cognitive – difficulty in making decisions or focusing
The traditional view has been “it’s all in the mind, ” but that view is changing as we become more knowledgeable about the workings of the brain and the effects of toxicity.
There are two aspects of toxicity and depression – immediate and longer term. First of all, let’s review a technique that can help you deal with toxicity now, and then continue with a technique that can help release accumulated toxicity.
Dealing with toxicity and depressed moods, now
The onset of these moods can be a seemingly endless downward spiral, but you can begin to reverse that today with simple techniques.
Are you aware how much your posture and breathing patterns affect your moods? Try this now: breathe slowly and more deeply, ensuring that your clothes permit you to do this easily and comfortably.
It’s likely you will begin to feel more awake, alive, alert, and energetic. This, in turn, helps you feel better, on all levels. And it can help to lift those your moods too.
Breathing deeper is also good for pain management and sleeping problems, both of which are closely tied to depression. If you are suffering from depression, you may be looking for a method to self-manage your symptoms and techniques as an answer to help deal with your feelings. A solution may very well be in the art of effective breathing, a technique that has been in use for thousands of years.
Why does breathing have a profound effect on depressed moods?
Many people have no idea how stressed their body is internally as a result of all the different toxins they have accumulated. Long-term illness, inactivity, or restricted mobility, all cause toxins to accumulate much faster than they can be released.
So here we have a two-phase problem:
1. A toxic overload begins to develop because the body is not disposing of toxins the natural way on a regular basis, i.e. through deep breathing or sweating;
2. As time goes on without natural detoxifying, the toxic burden accumulates further, to the point where the body’s natural techniques are unable to eliminate it.
Phase 1: Preventing the toxic burden from developing
Besides sweating, breathing is a natural way for the lungs to keep the blood clear of toxic gases and to prevent toxicity from accumulating. When we breathe shallowly, toxins accumulate in our cells and cause various health issues and conditions that can lead to feelings of depression. Shallow breathing is definitely a bad habit!
Lack of regular exercise or stress can trigger shallow breathing, muscle stiffness, and slouching. The body and brain receive less oxygen than they need, resulting in depressed moods. Shallow breathing also causes toxins to accumulate in your blood and cells because the lymphatic system is not able to eliminate toxins through breathing or perspiration.
Deep breathing helps you feel more in control. It helps to relieve depressed moods, fear, and anxiety. These black moods can be caused by shallow breathing and is often the result of tension and suppressed emotions and a feeling of despair, vulnerability, and being out of control.
Belly breathing, a common yoga technique, helps to oxygenate the body, loosening and relaxing tight neck, shoulder, and respiratory muscles; it improves and strengthens good posture, increases stamina, and tones abdominal muscles. Deep belly breathing increases your concentration powers, your memory, and stamina. It helps to relieve anxiety, fear, anger, and other strong feelings associated with stress.
♦ Exhale deeply first; really push the air out, flattening your belly completely.
♦ Inhale fully, extending your belly out as far as you can, let your shoulders rise.
♦ Do this several times. Make sure that your clothes are not restricting you.
♦ Start slowly; do this for short periods of time, at first. Get comfortable and then try longer breaths. Breath in and out of your nose for the best results; this helps you to experience slower and more conscious inhalation and exhalation. It has a more profound effect on your nervous system and brain.
♦ Do this often during the day. Use it to pause your outer and inner activity. Fully experience how you feel as you begin to relax and unwind.
After a few days of doing this, carry out a system check: do you feel more mellow, relaxed, and calm? As you continue with this, the feelings of stress and tension will ease, as well as lifting your mood. Breathing deeper can have a profound effect of helping you feel more connected again, not so alone and lonely. Why not give it a try?
Many people who feel depressed usually suffer unknowingly from toxic overload. As we mentioned earlier, deep breathing can help your lungs, a key detoxification organ, to release toxic gases which will make you feel better, naturally! Deep breathing assists your lymph system to move toxins away from your cells.
It is hard to be depressed when your body feels calm and relaxed.
Physical exercise helps your brain to release certain feel good hormones. Many people use exercise to give themselves a lift. Deep breathing is often used in all sorts of exercise. Deep breathing in nature, while walking or hiking, will make you feel so much better. Check in with your mood afterwards.
Staying hydrated has an immediate impact on your brain chemistry. Dehydration is the #1 common factor in all illnesses, so drinking lots of water, i.e. liquid oxygen, can help you feel good.
Phase 2: Eliminating the accumulated toxicity burden
If the techniques in Phase 1 are not enough to restore your balance fully, you need to address the toxicity that has accumulated.
Bodies need to be clean internally in order to function properly and feel good. Clean bodies feel better, clean cells work better.
There should be no surprises there!