7 action steps to pull yourself out of depression - The Self-Worth Experiment

7 action steps to pull yourself out of depression

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

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Jun 23
8 action steps to pull yourself out of depression


Eleven o’clock in the morning.

And you are sitting in front of the TV. Have been for hours.

Listlessly staring at the screen. You don’t even care what’s going on there. You just watch because you can’t motivate yourself to do anything else.

So many things compete for your attention. Errands that should be run, tasks that ought to be completed. That self-help book you started full of enthusiasm and hope but now can’t be bothered to pick up again.

You have no interest in doing anything. What’s the point?

Your hobbies, other people’s stories, problems, gossip, their concern, are arduous. Even eating is a chore. It’s impossible to engage in any activity or conversation when all you can think is: “So what?”

You can’t remember when you last felt so low. Have you ever?

You hate the hopelessness, the emotional numbness, yet torment. You loathe yourself for not being able to “snap out of it”. For being trapped in the toxic sludge of pessimism, self-condemnation and pain. Incapable of neither positivity nor happiness.

And you blame yourself for your depression. When it’s not your fault at all.

The energetic nature of depression

Just to be clear. When I say “depression” I refer to it from an energy healer’s perspective. You see, like all emotional pain, feeling low results from weaknesses in the energy flows that make up our human energy field. 

These weaknesses (or depressions) are caused by suppressed emotions, negativity, limiting beliefs and defensive actions we, subconsciously, took to protect ourselves from trauma and harm. They act like boulders or dams in a river. Diverting, impeding and jamming natural flow.

And every pathological change in energy flow disturbs our emotional, mental and, eventually, physical health.

So, if certain vital energies are obstructed or blocked, we start to feel lethargic, hopeless, apathetic. Emotional balance self-destructs and we are out of control. Of our feelings, our driving force. Our life. 

We start to beat ourselves up, feel frustrated and let down by our own failing. Thus, further damaging life-giving energy currents. Which causes more depression.

And soon we get stuck in a self-perpetuating downward spiral. The unrelenting gravity of negativity dragging us further and further into the black chasm of despair. Until our existence seems pointless, life becomes too burdensome to bear.

And we don’t even know why.

The 7 most common causes of depression

Our energy system can become disrupted by a myriad of causes, from past trauma to limiting beliefs, all the way to our lifestyle choices. Even scars can shift the way our energies flow.

And depending on what causes the dysfunction, where it is and how it affects us, different disturbances in our life force impact us in distinctive ways.

Depressions (weaknesses or blockages of energy flow) are most commonly caused by 7 problems:

  • 1
  • 2
    Excessive Emotional Baggage
  • 3
    A Deep Feeling of Worthlessness
  • 4
    A Closed-Off Heart Centre
  • 5
    Exhaustion, Stress and Physical Burnout
  • 6
    Resistance to Change
  • 7
    A Narrow Focus on Inner Turmoil

Some people, who feel low often, may find that all of these apply to them. For others, only 2 or 3 may be the real issue.

But in order to overcome your low mood and depression, you have to address all the root causes. Eliminate them one-by-one, step-by-step, and life will improve. Your mood will lighten, your hope and motivation to live return.

So, today, I want to introduce you to 7 most common causes of depression and low mood. For every root cause I provide:

  • A discussion of what causes the energetic problem and where it comes from.
  • short self-assessment quiz so you can test which root causes actually affect you.
  • A quick and easy technique to help you remove the energetic causes of your depression.

Most ailments, problems or pain start with dysfunctions in our energy system. And that’s where you need to end them. So you can heal.

Let’s get started.

How to eliminate the energetic causes of your depression

1. Coping with Overwhelm

Let’s face it. Overwhelm is the bane of our time.

At work, we are assaulted by torrents of information, noisy environments, relentless gossip and chattering.

When out and about, we face an onslaught of hectic crowds, blinking advertisements, blaring music. And that’s on top of the anxiety we battle if we need to meet new people or venture to new places.

At home, our partner wants to discuss everything that happened to them during the day. The kids scream. The pets demand attention. And, if we happen to find a minute for ourselves, we stare at flashing social media feeds, games, TV programmes.

Our brain is constantly facing data overkill. Overpowered by relentless sensory information, overstimulated by technology and a fast-moving, hyperactive world.

But, like every other vital organ, the brain needs to rest on a regular basis. Without times of low stimulation and stillness, it cannot make repairs, reset or heal. It becomes overwhelmed.

This applies to all of us. But it’s even more important for introverts whose brains require more silence and peace than those of extroverts to function well.

If our brain never gets enough rest during the day, the overwhelm will first manifest as emotional imbalance. Irritability, sudden, inexplicable outbursts of anger, upset and sadness are signs that the brain is exhausted. Struggling to cope with the unrelenting data overload.

And if the overwhelm continues long enough, the brain will have no other option than to switch off. To detach from the overbearing outside world, withdraw into itself. So, it can finally rest.

Or otherwise it will face serious damage or malfunction.

So, what you experience as feeling low, unmotivated, listless, may be your brain forcing you to give it a break.

TAKE THE TEST: Is your depression caused by overwhelm?

How to eliminate overwhelm as a cause of your depression

The solution to this cause of low mood and depression is simple. Your brain needs to rest. So, let it rest.

A few times a day, stop scrolling through your Facebook feed, desist from playing Candy Crush Saga, switch off the TV or even put that book away. All these activities may seem relaxing, but they still keep your brain engaged.

Instead, close your eyes and sit in silence for 5 breathing cycles.

Take deep breaths and try your best to stop thinking. Listen to the silence.

Don’t worry if thoughts or emotions keep popping up. It will happen, especially at the beginning. Just ignore them. They are not part of you. They will pass.

Just return your focus to the silence. Let it carry you deeper and deeper into stillness. Feel the peace that emanates from a brain that is allowed to rest.

Make this part of a daily routine, or alternatively try meditation. And your brain will no longer have to hit you with low mood and depression to get the rest it needs.

2. Eliminating Excessive Emotional Baggage

The minds of most living beings have the capacity to remember past pain and trauma. So they can recognise situations that are similar to ones where they experienced danger or injury before, and avoid further harm in the future.

Holding on to traumatic memories is therefore a vital survival mechanism.

But humans have taken this “clinging on” to an extreme. Somewhere in our history, our minds started to hoard memories of every physical, mental and emotional wounds. Note of every grievance, upset and disappointment. Stockpile recollections of every humiliation, injustice and mishap.

No longer only recording dangers to our health. But also including threats to our status in society, our finances, worth and purpose.

And all of these painful memories are stored in our energy system. 

This bulk of energetic cutter is clogging up our natural energy pathways, blocking and choking energy flow and causing emotional pain through their mere existence. This problem is amplified by thousands of suppressed emotions we stuff into our energy body every year.

All the anger, resentment and excitement that we can’t show because it’s not socially acceptable. The anxiety, upset and sadness that will make us look weak. The shame, guilt and grief we shouldn’t be feeling anyway.

They all end up in our energy body. 

And the more trauma we remember, the more emotions we suppress, the more we impede healthy energy flow.

If you throw one pebble into a river you won’t notice much effect on its flow. But toss in a million and you have yourself a dam.

All of your life, you cluttered your energy body with emotional baggage. Building that dam. And now your energy flow has stalled.

Leaving you without life force, motivation or drive.

And you didn’t even know you were doing it.

TAKE THE TEST: Is your depression caused by excessive emotional baggage?

How to let go of emotional baggage

The only way to eradicate the emotional baggage that blocks your energy flow and triggers your low mood, lethargy and depression is to let go of the traumatic memories and suppressed emotions it consists of.

It’s not your fault that this mass of emotional junk clutters your energy system. It’s your mind’s automatic and habitual response. Without you realising.

And you shouldn’t have to suffer for it.

But fact remains that the clutter is there. It won’t just leave. And it will continue to depress your life energy. Unless you remove it.

For a quick and simple (but effective) breathing exercise to let go of emotional baggage, check out my video post:

“A powerful tactic to release emotional pain”.

If you have the time, watch it all as it contains important information on the effect of excess emotional baggage on our mental and emotional health. But if you only want to see the demonstration of the breathing exercise, forward to 11 minutes 49 seconds.

3. Object to Your Worthlessness

Our society believes that human beings are inherently without worth. But we can earn worth if we manage to display a thriving career, a perfect body and an outgoing, bubbly personality. If we gain success, wealth and professional qualifications. 

Without worth, we are nothing.

Useless lumps of flesh without purpose, direction. Undeserving of happiness and other people’s approval, respect and love.

So, we forgo our lives to the relentless pursuit of worth. Every day, we battle to meet expectations. To prove to society and ourselves that we have worth. That we are not irrelevant.

And we fail.

Because we aren’t good enough. Not smart, strong, pretty enough. Everything we do, everything we are, somehow seems inconsequential.

And from the darkest crevices of our mind dawns the devastating realisation that we are incapable of complying with the standards. We can never compete with all the high-flyers out there.

We are doomed to a worthless existence. An irredeemable being in a world of superiors. Desperate to conceal our mortifying shortcomings. Our miserable bit of personal worth slipping through our fingers with every mistake.

So, depression arises from hopelessness. The knowledge that, no matter what we do, how hard we try, how much we sacrifice to gain worth, we will never succeed.

And if there is no hope, why should we even try? Why should we get out of bed if we will never be good enough anyway? 

And what’s the point in living, if our life is worthless?

TAKE THE TEST: Is your depression caused by a deep sense of worthlessness?

How to reclaim your true worth

Depression that stems from a profound belief in your worthlessness is self-perpetuating. The more worthless you feel, the less you are motivated to achieve, accomplish and accumulate worth. And the more worthless you will feel. But you know what?

It’s all based on a lie.

You were never worthless. Nor will you ever be. It’s impossible. Because infinite, unconditional worth is inherent to who you are. It’s an intrinsic part of your Being.

You can’t earn or amass worth. Because worth is nothing you HAVE. It’s what you ARE. You ARE worth, personified.

The hopelessness isn’t rooted in your incurable worthlessness. It’s an artefact of society’s misguided convictions, its shallow focus on ridiculous criteria for what constitutes acceptable levels of accomplishments, income, beauty and other externalities.

You don’t need to increase your worth. Your worth as an individual is as high as it can ever be. You ARE 100% worth. Right here and now.

But you must overcome decades of societal indoctrination and transcend global limiting beliefs. So you can become aware of your true, inner worth. And recognise your perceived worthlessness as what it truly is: 

A myth.

To help you to obliterate the society-induced limiting belief of your worthlessness and realise that you ARE worth personified, I have put together a “Healthy Self-Worth Starter Kit" which contains a 7-day email course, Instant Self-Worth workbook and a guided meditation. 

It’s free for you. Because you ARE worth and your happiness, peace of mind and emotional balance depends on you knowing it.

4. Healing a Closed-Off Heart Centre

Throughout our lives, we are rejected, abandoned, humiliated, abused, neglected, ignored, hurt. As a consequence, our heart breaks. We experience unspeakable pain.

And our mind learns that opening your heart to other people and the world is dangerous. That it ends in disaster.

So, we close down.

Constrict our heart centre (or heart chakra) as much as we can. To avoid further damage, prevent future suffering.

It’s a natural reaction, an automatic response. Intended to protect us.

The problem is though, that closing off your heart centre does not only shut out agony and sorrow. It also locks out joy, hope and love.

Imagine your heart centre as your soul’s home. And to exclude the world, to protect yourself form harm, you board up all the windows. Pull all curtains and blinds. Nail the door shut.

And now live in darkness.

Without sunlight, circulation or fresh air, the atmosphere around you turns stuffy, stale, toxic. 

You stew in the noxious sludge of painful memories, worries and fear. While your positivity, happiness and will to live suffocate.

A depression caused by a closed-off heart centre convinces you that the world is dark. That you are isolated, locked in solitary confinement, remote from life. Imprisoned in a black cell of despair and hopelessness.

And all because you tried to protect yourself.

TAKE THE TEST: Is your depression caused by a closed-off heart centre?

How to open your heart to joy

A closed-off heart centre contributes to almost every depression.

The heart chakra governs our ability to experience joy, to live to the fullest. And to love ourselves and others. If it’s constricted, we suffer from low mood, negativity and hopelessness. As such, when you start to heal your depression, your closed-off heart centre is the most important aspect to address.

Luckily, it is also the easiest to fix.

Open your heart visualisation

Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. In and out.

Focus on your heart centre in the middle of your chest. How does it feel? Tight, choked, tense? Do you experience any pressure?

Now imagine your heart centre as a house, with all shutters, curtains and blackout blinds closed. Maybe the windows are boarded up. Maybe it’s too dark to see.

Affirm: “I am safe. All is well.”

You don’t need to protect yourself from the world. You are strong, capable, deserving of love. Closing your heart only hurts you. 

Before today, you didn’t know you were doing it. But you can now choose to open up.

Visualise that you open the blinds and shutters, take a hammer to the wooden boards, drill through metal plates. Do whatever you must to let the light in. 

Enjoy the warmth of the sun streaming through the glass, energising, revitalising you.

Next, open all the windows. Let fresh air in. Let the clean breeze wash away all negativity and despondency.

Take deep breaths. Inhaling life, hope and love for as long as you want.

Repeat this visualisation as often as you can. Closing our heart centre is a natural reflex and, especially at the beginning, you will revert back to constricting it over and over again.

Don’t beat yourself up for it. It is normal.

Just keep visualising, keep opening those shutters and windows. Let light and fresh air into your heart several times a day. You are safe.

And you will soon feel the lightness, hope and elation that result from a healthy, open heart.

5. Eliminating Exhaustion, Stress and Physical Burnout

Like your mind, your body must rest regularly to remain healthy.

But we live in a society that wears stress like a badge of honour. You think you are busy? Let me tell you how busy am! 

We grow up believing that relaxation and idleness are indulgences. We feel guilty if we take time out for ourselves, lazy if we rest. As if inactivity devalues us.

So, we rush around. 

Stressed by a relentless onslaught of deadlines and pressured to outperform and prove our worth. We hurry through work, multi-tasking, always out of time. We dash through household chores, childcare and dinner preparations.

Expecting our body to take the unrelenting exertion without complaint.

In our spare time, we pump iron, train for half-marathons, scurry through shopping centres. And when we should sleep, we burn the midnight oil, party, watch TV until late. Or keep ourselves awake with endless worries and anxious rumination.

Denying our body respite even at night. Flogging it back into action the next morning with an injection of caffeine and sugar.

And, at some point, the body reaches breaking point. Exhausted and burned out, it only has two options: timeout or risk serious health problems.

And the only way to force you to rest, other than physical illness, is to hit you with low mood and depression. To obliterate your motivation to even get out of bed, let alone haste through a jam-packed day of jobs and recreation.

So, your listlessness and depressed mood may just be your body prescribing you a break. Before it faces breakdown.

TAKE THE TEST: Is your depression caused by a physical exhaustion?

How to avoid exhaustion and physical burnout

As with overwhelm, the solution is simple: Give yourself a break.

Rest is not something you may fit in one weekend in October when “things have settled down a bit”. It’s not what you may get round to when the kids have grown or you retire.

Rest is not optional. It isn’t lazy, selfish, self-indulgent. It’s imperative.

Your body cannot live without it. Cannot function without an occasional timeout, a breather here and there. And 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night.

So, skip that “Body Attack” class and lounge on the sofa for half an hour. Lie in the grass and read a book on a sunny evening. Bribe the kids to wash the dishes.

Whatever it takes, me-time must become a priority. YOU have to become your priority.

Because, if you don’t, your body will force you. Through low mood and depression.

“Get some rest” seems simple advice. But many obstacles tower in the way of your me-time.

If you struggle to prioritise yourself because you don’t want to disappoint others and feel guilty if you do, check out my article: How I stopped trying to please everyone and started prioritizing myself.

If you don’t get enough sleep at night because you worry too much, take a look at my post: A powerful way to stop worrying.

And if your relationship with your body overall is troubled, read: 4 eye-opening realizations that helped me love my body.

6. Overcoming Resistance to Change

Our mind loves the status quo. Doing what you’ve always done, believing what you’ve always believed puts the mind at ease.

Makes it feel safe. 

Any deviation from a familiar routine could expose us to unidentified risks and dangers. Venturing in the unknown may result in misery, injury, or death. 

So, to protect us, the mind will discourage change at all cost. Even change for the better. Because you never know, right? 

Whenever we embark on something new, our mind will therefore resist. It will do everything in its power to stop us.

This is especially true if we try to leave our comfort zone or challenge existing limiting beliefs.

So, if you introduce a new paradigm, such as “I AM worth” or “The Universe loves me”, when before you believed the opposite, the mind will rebel. If you try to change your diet, add unfamiliar workouts or start any new (business or personal) project, the mind will pull the reins. 

Because it cannot predict the outcome. And it wants to protect us from potential harm, failure and humiliation.

As such, the mind’s resistance usually starts with self-doubt and fear of change. They are both obstacles the mind tosses in our way so we reconsider and stick with what we know.

If we crush these hurdles, the mind will then try to distract us. Suddenly, a myriad of other things seem ever so important or fascinating. Siphoning our attention away from the intended change.

But if we are determined, if we still persist towards change, the mind’s ultimate weapon is depression. And it will use it. Without hesitation.

TAKE THE TEST: Is your depression caused by resistance to change?

How to neutralise resistance to change

Depression caused by resistance to change is characterised by the soul-crushing question: “What’s the point?”

One moment you hustle enthusiastically towards your new goals. And the next, out of the blue, everything you do feels senseless.

You won’t make a difference to yourself or the world. You will never succeed. You are just kidding yourself thinking you could improve your, or other people’s, life.

So, you quit.

Because, why should you even try, if everything you do is pointless anyway.

Depression is your mind’s nuclear change-destruction bomb. Only used as a last resort and 100% lethal. It kills all motivation to change, scorches your goals and ambitions. Leaving you devastated, hopeless.

And the only escape from a resistance-to-change depression is through awareness.

You must realise that the depressed mood, the feelings of futility are just your mind’s final attempt to protect you from potential harm and imaginary threats.

You powered through most of its resistance. You are well on your way to change and reaching your goals.

This is the finishing hurdle.

There’s nothing wrong with you. The defeatist thoughts are lies the mind uses in a well-meaning, but misguided, attempt to keep you in your (safe) place.

But, you know what? The mind is not in charge. You are.

You can choose to let go of the resistance. You can push through, persist on your path. And, in time, your mind will get used to the new way of life, the novel beliefs. It will adjust its comfort zone.

And the resistance will cease.

So, if resistance to change contributes to your depression, take charge. Start a conversation with your mind. Talk to it as if it was a child.

Name it if you want to put additional distance between you and your despondent thoughts.

“Dear mind (or Gertrude, Jim, Daenerys … whatever you fancy),

Thank you for protecting me. I know you mean well. 

But I now choose to believe that I am safe. I am capable of achieving my goals. And worthy of them. 

This change is good. And we can pursue it without fear and resistance. All is well.”

Sounds crazy? Like you’re talking to yourself?


But you can overcome resistance to change by simply convincing your mind that it is safe. It will take some time. But keep going. Persuade, assure, comfort.

Because the best way to eliminate depression caused by resistance to change is through dialogue. With your mind.

7. Breaching your narrow focus on inner turmoil

Any living being’s main focus revolves around their personal wellbeing, needs and wants. Because it’s imperative for survival to have food, water, shelter.

But nowadays, for most of us, these primary needs are met. We don’t struggle for physical survival every day. We have a roof over our heads, we eat regularly. We are safe.

And so, our emotional needs have taken centre stage.

We worry about our happiness, fulfilment, worth. Are concerned about our emotional balance. And zoom in on every feeling that may indicate a threat to our emotional health. 

Nothing wrong with that.

But, at some point during our evolution, we started to identify with our emotions. So, we cling onto them, hoard them in our energy body. Because we believe they are part of us.

The problem is now that e-motions are ‘energies in motion’. They must flow. If we trap them in our energy body, they don’t just stop.

They won’t go inert. 

They still move whichever way they can within their crowded containment. They swirl in endless circles, whirl unproductively, bump into each other.  

Causing constant turmoil, emotional chaos. And pain.

And our life becomes dictated by the inner mayhem. We concentrate on every excruciating bang, knock and crash of sadness, resentment, anger within. And the more we focus on the pain, the worse it becomes.

Until it is unbearable, jeopardises our mental health. And to save our sanity, we have to numb our emotions. 

But their manic turbulence is unstoppable. As long as they remain confined, they will move. All we can do is detach from them.

TAKE THE TEST: Is your depression caused by a narrow focus on internal turmoil?

How to expand your consciousness beyond pain

At some point, we must disconnect from the swarm of trapped emotions, and the chaos and pain they cause, to save our sanity.

But we cannot abate the negative emotions and leave the positive. When we lock out grief, we also suppress joy. When we numb anger, we also diminish love. 

We become impassive, cold, dead inside. Nothing seems to matter.

And depression is born from the attempt to defend our mental health against the emotional overwhelm.

Now, isn’t that ironic?

The only real solution to this problem is to release the excess emotions that are stuck within our energy body (see chapter 2: Eliminating Excessive Emotional Baggage).

But you have suppressed and clung on to emotions for decades and removing them will take time.

In the meantime, it’s imperative to take your focus off the inner turmoil. To widen your attention and awareness beyond the emotional pain inside. So you can co-exist with the inner turbulence without having to resort to depression.

And the best way I know to transform your perspective from pain towards life is through expanding your consciousness. So, try the guided meditation below.

It eases emotional pain, relieves depression and anxiety and boosts your self-worth. All in one go.

I challenge you to practice it daily for one month (in combination with the breathing exercise from chapter 2). And you’ll be amazed how much your emotional state will improve.

Simply because you broke through your narrow focus on the incessant internal turmoil.

How to banish depression from your life

I know what you’re thinking.

Did you not just hear me say I have no motivation for anything? I can hardly force myself to brush my teeth. What makes you think I could get myself to do all these exercises?

But the truth is that you have no real choice.

You either get up now and start to focus on healing. Or you remain in the darkness, wallow in your hopelessness. Scarcely exist, rather than live.

Until you crave to end all your suffering.

Motivation has nothing to do with it. Fixing the issues that cause your depression is as essential as eating. Without it, you will perish.

(And if “So what?” even crossed your mind just now, it’s about time you get started.)

You are not unfit for life. You are not damage beyond redemption. The Universe loves you, cares for you. It put you in this life to be happy.

And you deserve happiness.

But you will never be able to thrive if you are bogged down by emotional clutter, limiting beliefs and exhaustion. Let’s face it. Right now, you barely function.

And you are ashamed for it. 

But depression is no weakness, fault or character flaw. It doesn’t make you inferior to others. It’s not a testimony of your worthlessness.

It is simply the result of issues originating in your energy body and mind. You know 7 of them now. You know which ones apply to you and how to eradicate and heal them.

Please don’t give up on yourself. Try the exercises for a while. Give yourself a chance.

Because you are a wonderful, unique expression of life. It’s impossible for you to be irrelevant, useless, redundant. 

You matter. You ARE worth.

And if you put the work in, sooner or later, you will know it.

Read the other posts in this series:
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  • Ada says:

    Hi Berni, thank you for taking the time to write this very clear, insightful article. You do great work!

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