A Practical Approach to Recovering From Depression
‘The Emotional Guidance Scale’
Depression can be a powerful and disabling disease. Not unlike a virus it can seek to destroy its host through slowly disassembling every belief and experience you have ever had that supported you. In previous articles I have likened depression to a corps of engineers who are dedicated to destroying your bridges to happiness. Depression can lead to the loss of work, friends, family, and ultimately lead to death if not treated.
For those who have experienced the unbelievable crushing weight of depression, you understand how important it would be to access any means possible to stop this slide into darkness. Some sort of practical approach to recovering from depression.
As a therapist I am constantly learning and doing research into new and different modalities to help my clients. One of the greatest sources of wisdom I have found is in the stories of those who have survived depression. I have often said that the key to success is to surround yourself with people who have what you want, and seek the wisdom and learnings of those who have achieved what you wish to achieve. Happiness and mental health are two goals that many of my clients wish to achieve.
In the last few years numerous sources and clients have directed me to a practical tool that they have found to be very helpful in their life. This tool is the “Emotional Guidance Scale,” (EGS) which is found in Esther and Jerry Hicks book, ‘Ask And It is Given.’ EGS is just one of many practical tools/skills that can be learned to concur depression.
This is a scale of 22 emotions that range from ‘joy/knowledge/empowerment/freedom/love/appreciation,’ to ‘fear/grief/depression/despair/powerlessness.’ Between these two extremes are 20 other emotional states.
This tool is used to strategically guide your thoughts, helping you to become aware of the emotional state that you are experiencing on the scale in any particular moment, and showing you the next heightened emotional state. None of these emotional states are considered bad, however it is quite obvious that you may prefer to choose the experiences found at the upper end of the scale, as opposed to the lower end of the scale. All of us, including those who suffer from depression, are constantly stepping up or down, or sliding up or down, this scale.
By utilizing thought management techniques that you can learn through both coaching and or therapy, this scale becomes a tool that gently helps you become aware of your thoughts and your feelings, and guides you in your upward movement on the scale. The scale becomes a self awareness tool that provides you with a framework for managing your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Since it is a generally agreed-upon principle in both science and philosophy, and somewhat in theology, that everything is composed of energy, Esther and Jerry Hicks talk about this scale as an energy scale. Your highest and most pleasant energetic experience is found at the top of the scale, and your slowest or least pleasant energetic experience is found at the bottom of the scale. Consequently it is not only thought management techniques learned through a good coach or therapists who help you work with this scale, it is important to learn and apply techniques that help you shift your energy. We all know what it feels like to feel good, or to feel bad, – both of those feelings are energy, and there are skills and techniques that help you shift your energy towards either of these polarities. A talented therapist or coach can teach you many of these energy-shifting techniques.
Take a look at the emotional guidance scale that is reprinted below from page 114 of “Ask And It Is Given.” Where would you like to be on the scale? What skills do you have presently that can help you shift upwards on the scale?
If you suffer from depression, or are tired of the cycle of emotions which has included depression in your life, consider talking with a coach or therapist who can help you use this tool and others to live a life much closer to this highest level of energy being joy, appreciation, empowerment, freedom, and of course, love.
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