We have all heard that what we focus on expands.
When I was a child my mother used to sing a song to me that went something like this: “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative”….

I’m sure you too were told as a child to not get your new clothes dirty and not to fall into a puddle and you too maybe were so busy trying to avoid the puddles that you actually fell into them..

“Dont think of a blue tree”. Well of course we had to think of one in order not to.

It’s always surprised me that in the medical world we focus so much on dis-ease as opposed to focusing on what it is that we do want.

As a doctor, in my quest to help people with depression I learnt everything I could about the subject. After years of working with people in the traditional model I started looking at depression differently. Surely it makes more sense if I want to help someone who is depressed instead of helping them to not be so depressed instead to help them be more content and calm ?

It’s no surprise to me that the field of positive psychology has taken off in the way that it has.

Martin Seligmann’s book “ Authentic Happiness “ was refreshing for me to read after years as a medical student and then as a doctor studying pathology and disease.

Of course it’s useful for someone to know that what they have been experiencing has a name . For many people once they have a diagnosis it gives them not only a greater understanding but also they no longer have to soldier on alone for they now can get help.

It’s rather like going to the pharmacy in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language and trying to get the pharmacist to understand you. Then someone comes up and translates for you and tells the pharmacist what it is you want.They give it a name. Everything changes and the pharmacist nods, smiles and wraps up your pills in a brown paper package and you leave , maybe somewhat exhausted and exasperated but relieved. Now you have a name for what it is you need.

However so often people can get stuck in their diagnosis.

One woman I worked with told me that she realized she’d become stuck in her diagnosis of depression and she hadn’t realize that it belonged to another time. By the time she saw me she was infact no longer depressed but she thought she must be because she had that diagnosis.She said it was rather like a friend of hers who had diabetes and had eventually after 5 years of struggle lost the excess weight and then no longer had diabetes anymore but he couldn’t quite believe it and he continued to take his medication despite medical advice until he eventually ended up in hospital collapsing from low blood sugar caused by the tablets !

So how to heal from the black dog and move towards happiness ?

Unfortunately the answer isn’t something I can write in one or two blog posts. For this new approach is not a quick fix . It’s not a magic pill that I can bottle and give to you. Of course it’s different for everyone. That’s why I am creating a full program called The Calm Kit to help you to turn around and face in this new direction. Instead of running away from what you don’t want changing your approach and moving towards what you do want. Moving towards contentment and calm. Like any skill contentment and calm is also a skill that improves with practice.

In this Calm Kit I guide you in your journey to retrain your mind.

For some people they shift so dramatically after doing these exercises and these daily proactices that they no longer need to take their antidepressant medication. However for others it’s important to continue with their prescribed medication. I urge people who are taking medication to continue to work with their doctor and as to see this as a journey not a quick fix.
Hence this kit is designed to be used by you to help you in this journey of yours to health and contentment.

That’s the first important step……