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Depression? Not Now? Earlier?

Five percent of Americans are depressed at any moment in time, and 50 percent are depressed sometimes. Newly discovered information on how your brain processes information offers an exit strategy for these depressed people. No, I don’t mean suicide, though some of those afflicted do this; I mean using the natural processing abilities of the Right Brain.

Most of us already know that our brains have two parts and are connected by a membrane called the corpus callosum. What many people do not know is that the processing by the Right Brain creates peace, bliss, joy, connectedness, expansiveness, creative thinking, and unusual problem solving. All of the brain and emotional goodies denied those in a depression.

The Left Brain processes information in sequence, one bit of data at a time. The Left Brain processes deal with the past and the future. Logic and analysis, both highly regarded in our culture, are Left Brain processes. Fear is present in Left Brain processing and the fear gives rise to hate, anger, and seeking ways to defend ourselves. The Left Brain can only consider one method at a time. That is the nature of the Left Brain.

Whereas the Right Brain works like a parallel computer and views multiple pieces of data in a large collage, but always in the present moment. No worries about the past, nor apprehensions about the future. No fear. Just peace, joy, bliss, connection, and expansiveness. The Right Brain processing ends up with the exact “medicine” the depressed person needs. The chemicals to supply this “medicine” are lying dormant in the depressed person’s Right Brain.

So how do you trigger the Right Brain processing?

The triggers for activating the Right Brain are the same as the qualities produced. It is a chicken and an egg example. However, one of these qualities or attributes or triggers is quite easy to achieve. Too easy maybe. You probably won’t believe it will work to begin the positive processing of the Right Brain. Until you try it.

By placing your attention in the NOW … the present moment, the Right Brain begins its work. Or, if you want a little different trigger, you can notice what’s going on in your big toe, and as long as your attention is in the present and in your toe, you are in your Right Brain. Your Right Brain is actively working. The moment you decide to name the sensation in your right toe, then your left brain is searching for the word. You have switched. Language is Left Brain processing.

The brain is designed to make this switching effortlessly. You do not even know you are doing it. Since our culture is so captivated by language, logic, analysis, past, and future our culture is largely Left Brained so most of us spent more time there. Thus we lose out on the bliss and joy.

My idea is that depressed people get so caught up in the Left Brain processing that they forget to use their Right Brain triggers. Or they use them too little to experience all the peace, joy and bliss that is available, simply by activating the Right Brain processing.

One of the reasons that this occurs, is the way the synapses in the brain work. In your neurology, the more you use one path, the easier it is to activate that old path again. Laying down a new pathway takes more energy than re-using a well-worn one. A new path is possible if you are willing to exert the energy and the attention. If you shift your consciousness by placing your awareness in the present moment, you may immediately feel the difference. Some people can sense the difference immediately. Some take a little time to register the difference in feeling. Right Brain processing feels different. Pay attention.

So how does one trigger the Right Brain processes and knock out the Left Brain for even a short time? Here are ten additional ways to activate the processing abilities of your Right Brain.

1. Remember your first kiss. This only works if the kiss was fun, thrilling, and felt sort of like puppy love or infatuation or was a big thrill. If it was all this, remember what you saw and what you felt during this episode.

2. Remember feeling really good about an accomplishment. See the people present. Was it hot? Was it cold? What were you wearing? Exaggerate the feeling so that you are aware of the sensations in your body. (I realize this is a memory from the past, but this works if you can pull up all the sensory components in the present.)

3. Feel the tension in your neck. If none, find where in your body there is tension. Now clench that muscle then let the tension go. You are in the present. You are feeling your body. This works to trigger the Right Brain processing.

4. Daydream in pictures. See the colors and shapes. Let your imagination go with lots of pleasurable pictures.

5. Brush your hair, feeling every stroke of the brush on your scalp.

6. Dry off after a shower or bath, with a terry cloth towel, feeling every one of the pieces of the nap as it slides across your skin.

7. Pick up a piece of fruit; study it as if you were going to paint it. Notice the color, shape, weird idiosyncrasies of this particular fruit. While you do this, you are activating your Right Brain.

8. The Whirling Dervishes do a centuries old dance that puts them into their Right Brain. You may not be willing to do this, but if you are, it’s fun. Just whirl around until dizzy in a safe place then slide down to the ground. You are using your Right Brain probably.

9. If you meditate, you probably are activating Right Brain processes. Especially if you feel peaceful and blissful, you can count on it.

10. Listen to music that you really like.

There are other ways, but most of these must be studied until you become proficient. If you know how to do self-hypnosis, this will put you right into your Right Brain. If you do Reike or Hands-on-Healing, you are using your Right Brain. If you would like to learn how, read “Hands of Light” by Barbara Brennen. It tells you quite explicitly how to accomplish a lot of Right Brain processes.

If you doubt the validity of these ideas, go to Youtube and watch Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph. D, as she talks about her stroke in her Left Brain. Dr. Taylor is a brain neuro-anatomist who remembers the details of the four hours she spent in Right Brain processing before she called for help with her brain stroke. Her detailed account of the Right Brain’s attributes is compelling. Her first hand experience validates earlier theories about your own right Brain.

By the time you have practiced all these ways of accessing your own Right Brain, you probably will not be depressed. The biggest learning is in recognizing the depression the moment it lifts its evil head, and changing your attention to your Right Brain. A good way to begin is to check out your internal brain processing every time you look at your watch. If your emotional state is not peace, bliss, joy, connection to some one else, or at least, contentment, then create a Right Brain state, here and now.

This action of first noticing, then correcting, sounds easy, but it is not easy. Learning this is like learning to play golf or the piano. Practice. Practice. Practice. Remember these are your own brain chemicals, and you do have some control over them. Takes some time to set up this new pattern of awareness-switch in your synapses. Take as much time as you need. Changing your brain patterns does beat depression and suicide by a large margin. Peace and bliss are nice rewards for your practice.

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