The Belief Distillery Melanie Parker Hypnotherapy anxiety,Healthy lifestyle The final secret to beating depression – FOREVER – final part of The Depression series

The final secret to beating depression – FOREVER – final part of The Depression series

I am going to tell you an amazing secret to living your best life, everyday and all it takes is just 20 minutes.

This amazing therapy reduces feelings of depression and anxiety and increases feelings of confidence and connection. It provides a sense of wellbeing while simultaneously reducing blood pressure, helping control weight and improve your general brain function and physical health. I am going to share this secret completely free with you:


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Although there is debate in the science community around ‘why’ exercise works, it is widely agreed that it is a wonder-drug. From helping to maintain a healthy body, regulating blood pressure and other physical benefits, too numerous to mention, exercise is great for our brain health and our mood. For our purpose here, I’m going to focus on the benefits most commonly associated with depression and anxiety (after all this is a depression series) but it is worth knowing that exercise is good for your body as well as your mind.

With the stigma attached to mental health problems and long waiting lists for traditional therapies or high costs associated with private medicine, exercise is an amazing treatment that is free and available to everyone. It’s benefits are comparable to prescribed medications  and when used in conjunction with medication can significantly improve the perminant and lasting improvements to mental health conditions.

By affecting the neurotransmitters of the brain, exercise acts as an anti depressant, releasing chemicals in the brain to instantly boost our mood. Working out with a friend or group makes us feel even better as it also increases our feelings of connection.

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We feel better about ourselves because we have achieved something, we feel connected to the world and people around us and it increases our resilience to anxiety attacks.

So why won’t we do it? We might tell ourselves we don’t like it, we might put it off until we feel better, or that we aren’t good at it; but would you put off taking paracetamol for a headache until you felt better? That is exactly what you are doing when you are saying you feel too bad to exercise.

The mind tries to stay with what is familiar and ‘safe’, and shuns the unfamiliar which is why you may find it hard to stick with exercise routines. You may have days when you don’t feel like it but the more you do it, the more it becomes familiar. You do it until it is no longer something you do but ingrained in who you are.

Another important thing to think about is when we exercise. Our resolve is strongest in the morning, before the stressors of the day have taken their toll and you just want to curl up with your friends Ben and Jerry and watch Netflix.

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One of the secrets of successful people is they do what they hate or the hardest thing they need to do first. So get up and do some stretches, go for a run or a walk, or whatever work out is best for you and reap the rewards. Feel instantly better, have more energy and more confidence going into your day.

And FYI, Ben and Jerry are not your friends, they are the same as crack dealers. If someone was stood outside your front door saying, “Oh, you look like you have had a hard day, you deserve to zombie out for 4 hours with some crack” you would tell them where to go right? So why are you allowing the media to do the same? For more information about how what you eat is affecting your mind, check out the previous post in this series.

I’m not advising everyone should follow Joe Wicks and work out until you feel you are going to pass out everyday, not only is that unrealistic, but if you don’t like it, and it doesn’t make you happy then you are less likely to keep up with it. After all the brain actively keeps us away from things that it thinks cause us pain. So if we hate a form of exercise, ditch it for something you love. There are so many activities out there, even cleaning your home with a bit of gusto is exercise and the location barriers of what is available have disappeared with Lockdown. Meaning you can do anything from yoga to HITT training and everything in between.

For another couple of weeks, here in Norfolk, we are only allowed to meet up with one person outside of our household for exercise. So now, rather than meeting a friend in costa’s and having a latte the size of my head while we put the world to rights, I’m now asking friends to join me on walks – after all walking is free and available to most people (still with a coffee in a travel mug on occasion). I wasn’t regularly walking to socialise before lockdown but it is definitely a habit I will be choosing to keep familiar.

The key to making this work for you is to walk at a pace where it is just a little difficult to maintain a conversation for about half of the walk (you can break this into stages). This increases your heart rate and gets the blood flowing round your body – now it’s exercise, not just a stroll. Also as this study shows it is important to be mindful of where you walk – ugly spaces reduce the feel good effects of walking, whereas beautiful places increase the benefits.

So there you have it, three posts on how what we think, eat and do can powerfully affect our mental health and the steps needed to improve feelings of depression and anxiety. Although, these are the hardest changes to make when you are in the depths of these feelings, so I urge you, if you are well enough, do things for those around you to help them acheive this. Make them a healthy meal, take them for a walk, encourage them to use better language to describe themselves and others and make these changes for yourself to safeguard yourself from feeling depressed or anxious.

I am not a doctor, this is in no way a prescription or replaces medical information you have received. If you are thinking of making any major lifestyle changes, please consult your doctor.


Related Post

The Guilt PandemicThe Guilt Pandemic

We all know that feeling of guilt, when you start to feel guilty for being happy. I have found myself thinking “I shouldn’t be this happy” or “Why am I so lucky?” It’s a syndrome many people are familiar with. But what if there was a cure? What if it wasn’t your fault?

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Studies show that millennials are more prone to the Guilt Pandemic than other generations. It is because we grow up in an environment filled with messages about how much better everything else could be and how wrong it feels to enjoy ourselves while others suffer. We’re constantly reminded of our privilege, told not to take anything for granted, and made aware of every single thing that should make us feel bad instead of focusing on what we have.

Some guilt is good, it keeps us functioning as active members of society, it acts as a driving force to help us make better choices. You feel guilty for letting your friends down so you don’t. A charity advert with a starving child could make you feel guilty if you haven’t donated to charity in a while. This level of guilt is a normal and healthy response.

Increasingly however, we are experiencing disproportionate amounts of guilt for things we have no control over. We can find ourselves feeling guilty for the books and music we loved growing up, the disgraced stars we looked up to – even though we had no way of knowing what they were doing behind closed doors. Feelings of guilt have been found in people because they were born into a white, middle class family. Guilt because they are men. Guilt because someone else treated them differently. Guilt over the environment.

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Healthy guilt, that is directly linked to our actions causes us to change our behaviour and do better next time. This unhealthy guilt mentioned above, cannot be mitigated in the same way, I can’t do anything about being a white, cis gendered female for example. This kind of guilt can manifest itself in your life. It can grow and cause anxiety and depression. It can hold you back subconsciously from getting a better job or buying something you have worked hard for and becomes a toxic force.

We are not our ancestors. I did not take part in slavery, I was not a supporter of the crusades, I did not sexually abuse someone just because I liked a book where, hundreds of years after the authors death, I found out he probably did and I don’t need to feel guilt or shame because of it.

I recycle, I donate to charity, I use a green energy provider and walk wherever possible.

I treat people equally and fairly, I abide by not only the laws of the land I reside in, but also my own and society’s code of ethics and I believe that most people who feel this unrealistic, exacerbated guilt do too (I believe this of most people to be honest, regardless of how guilty they feel). I feel shame when I think about the atrocities humanity has committed before and during my time, but it was not in my name, it was not me and I do not feel guilt and you don’t have to either.

Let’s face it, we all feel guilty from time to time. What type do you experience most often? And why? We would love your feedback on this topic!


3 things you can do to keep the winter blues at bay3 things you can do to keep the winter blues at bay

Winter is a tough time of year for many people. The long, dark evenings can make it feel like there’s no hope left in the world and that we’re all just doomed to be miserable forever. But winter doesn’t have to be a season where you hibernate at home and dread going outside. There are plenty of things you can do to keep the winter blues at bay! Here are 3 ways you can beat those winter blues this season:

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1) turn on some music

Music affects our mood in so many ways, if you don’t believe me, next time you go to watch a horror movie watch part of it with the sound off. Suddenly it isn’t scary anymore. Music can make us mournful or scared, or it can give us a boost and fill us full of those happy endorphins while dancing around the kitchen.

If when you wake up it is still dark outside and you are on your second cup to get you moving, put on your favourite happy music while you get ready and you will soon be full of energy and optimism for the day.

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2) get out into nature

There is no such things as bad weather – only inappropriate clothes

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Now is the perfect time to get to the shops and get yourself a winter coat you feel good in, that keeps you warm without feeling like the Michelin man. Put it on and go outside. Exercise is amazing for your mood, and when coupled with the joy of being in nature it has a very real physiological affect on the body and mind.

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3) Start a journal

I think this is one of the most important for me, you can use an app like I do, such as Beautiful Mood, or any notepad you can pick up.

At the end of the day, write down 3 things you are grateful for.

Underneath that, write down 3 things you acheived today.

And finally write a statement that empowers you, for example “I AM ENOUGH” or “I AM HEALTHY AND LOVE WALKING OUTSIDE”.

Now that you have the tools to create a happier winter, don’t forget to take advantage of them. You can book your FREE consultation call with me today and get started on making this winter better than ever! The only thing left for you is to put on some music, go outside and journal your way to happiness in these next few months. I’ll see you soon 🙂


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Pleasure vs PainPleasure vs Pain

For most of people, in most of situations pain is pretty far away from pleasure, in fact our minds job is to move us away from pain and towards pleasure.

Yet, most of the time, when we are dieting we work against our brain and put ourselves through pain.

Okay, I’m not saying we stick forks in our hand so we don’t eat cake – not that kind of pain. But small emotional pains that all add up.

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People focus on denying themselves certain foods. They focus on getting up at 5am to go for a run in the rain when they would really rather have a lay in and a cuppa. I used to deny myself carbs and chocolate. I would tell myself I can’t have wine, I have to exercise, I shouldn’t have cake, I must stick to my diet.

What you are saying is, I would like to have this, but my diet is forcing me to do something I don’t want to – you are focusing on the pain.

Have you ever been told to do something you were planning to do anything and then not done it, simply because you were being told to?

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As humans, we don’t like to be told what to do (funny that) so we rebel, even when it is to our own detriment. We cut our nose off to spite our face.

These pains may be small, but our mind still sees it as it’s job to move us away from pain and towards pleasure (the thing we are telling ourselves that we can’t have).

Inevitably we ‘fall off the wagon’, our minds send us every signal it can to ensure it, and then do we feel happy? No, we feel guilty and ashamed because we shouldn’t have eaten a whole bar of chocolate and a bag of Haribo! And now we are in pain, the whole cycle starts again.

But what if we could change that? What if we could link pleasure our diet? To enjoy eating foods that nourish our bodies, give us energy to excel in ourselves and wear the clothes we love?

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You can, by simply changing your focus.

Rather than dictating to yourself all the things you can’t have. Look at the things you can have and the life you creating each time you make healthy choices. Look at all the exciting delicious meals you can make on your favourite apps, look at the wonderful clothes you will be able to wear and think about all you will be able to do by CHOOSING a healthy option every time you CHOOSE a snack. Think about how much fitter and stronger your body is getting every time you CHOOSE to get up and work out.

By making this small change to how you view your diet, you begin re-wiring your brain to link pleasure to making healthy choices. You could take this a step further and remind yourself when you are reaching for an unhealthy snack or skip a workout that you are choosing to slow your progress towards your ideal weight and everything you will gain from being slim.

If you want to change your eating habits, or any other unhealthy behaviour, start by linking pleasure to the things that are good for you, and pain to the things you want to eliminate from your life. When it comes to making healthy changes, this is one of the most powerful techniques at your disposal. Make today the day you book a free call with me so we can get started on creating an action plan tailored specifically for you. Together, we can make your dreams of a healthier lifestyle a reality.