Welcome to Part 4 of NeuroGenesis Vs Depression
The idea is that a depressed brain is physically shrinking while a happy brain is growing.
I want to know where your brain starts and stops. First thought the brain inside your skull, but then the parts of that brain leading all the way out to your peripheral nervous system. This happy neuro genesis state is not a state of highs and lows it is a growth state and if your brain continues to grow it will start to merge with what we call the outside world. Things start to become extensions of you the thoughts in your mind are no longer separate from the things that we hold in our hands. We see this in dancers or people who have mastered as sport or instrument. We say they are one with the thing and in a very real way they are. This also happens with ideas and everything in our external environment. It is why it is so important to clean your house. Your environment is an extension of your nervous system and a tell about who you really are. If you have ever thought someone really has their shit together and then seem that there practical surroundings are a total mess you can trust the actions and not words. I work in health so remember never to take health advice from a person you don't want to look like. Choose your teachers wisely.
Anyway, where does the brain stop?
The fence between their brain and the thing has turned into a zipper instead of a fence. We feel this sometimes with other people. It is often described as love but not a conditional love as much a self love that over flows into the world around us. This sense can not be experienced by one in shrinking brain depressed state and is amplified by the other mitochondrial dense part of the body that is electromagnetic and puts a pulse into our environment that is and electromagnetic amplification of our nervous system condition of expansion.....the heart.
I know this sounds so fucking hippy of me and since I have been in a depressed state most of my life it is still a new path for my brain but understanding fractal intelligence helps me to follow things through and an expanding brain merges with the "outside world"
You see from one perspective a zipper is fence that keeps the two sides of my jacket from mixing together but on the other hand it holds them together. Like everything else it is a both/neither and you and the outside world can be held together by the very things you think are keeping you apart. This can easily extend out once you get past the difficult neuro pathway of separation being skin keeping your guts from the outside instead of holding your guts to the outside world.
But to bring it all back to neuro genesis the brain must expand and open up in order to be happy. A depressed shrinking brain will close in on ideas that will keep us apart they will keep us isolated feeling like we are in a cave. We are, the cave is the skull the brain is encased in. Break free, venture out into the periphery so that you do not become institutionalized. I say all this to myself. I want so badly to be right and yet I know that when I am merged with everyone around me there is no way for my ego to win as I am playing against myself or it is playing a game with me...both/neither.
I will say, we as humans, we need to pay close attention to the words we use to describe our emotional states as they are often the best descriptions of our physical neurological states. Our ideas are now able to become extensions of ourselves. This blog, this site, is an extension of my brain if you are reading this you are merging with you.
Neuro genesis leads to happy, choose your path and realize it is real physical pathway in your brain right now. Nothing that stops neuro genesis will lead to long term happy so sugar, alcohol, nicotine, negative or ego thoughts blue light and so many other temptations we are hooked on will lead us there. There is no escape from this truth. There are no cheats and there is no third way your brain is always either walking old pathways or creating new ones.
This is the science of happy.
A final thought. Guard your mind. If it leads to growth let it in if it leads to depression get rid of it. Wisdom is knowing the difference between happiness and pleasure. The best way to tell is to ask if it will still be there in the morning what or whoever it is. I say this less about sex and more about a hangover but you get the point and you know the answer. If you don't want to ask then the answer is nope sorry that is pleasure.
Grow your brain and you will find that the bars that you are trapped in are a zipper that holds you to the outside world.
The outside is reaching into you as much as you are reaching out to it. What is sight if not light reaching into your brain. It is up to you if you put sun glasses on to block it or not. If you do you will be left blind as light is sight. In the dark the world can be a scary and lonely place. You can't see that you are held. Life needs you as much as you need it. This rover that your consciousness is riding around in is remote controlled. If the remote controlled car breaks down it doesn't mean that the controller of that car is dead. The physical is biochemically established as a light based remote receiver for a signals. So have fun. Of coarse if you break your rover you can't play with it anymore so own your life and decide if you'd like it to burn out or fade away. No regrets no victims unless it's fun for you in which case you can't take it too seriously. All this was made for you.
In the first two parts of this series I have pointed out that depression is often described as a feeling of being hollow, compressed or becoming less. At least this was my experience with it. Depression involved a certain type of slow death that is a heavy weight that life seems to become. The idea that depression (along with many things in life) are described in what sounds like figurative language but in reality is a literal explanation of what is happening inside the body of the individual even if they do not know the biochemical or neurological level. In the same way that many of my blog posts have attempted to make a very literal connection light fueling the mitochondria and the language we use about our selves when we contain larger amounts of light aka have higher electro magnetic charge.
So the first phase is the lowest material level or going to the sub atomic and working your way up. The brain is packed with mitochondria compared to other parts of the body rivaled only by the heart (I'm sure I will get there eventually but for now the brain) So the brain first has to be addressed on the level of light by optimizing mitochondria and then in the brain itself.
I describe the opposite of depression happiness. Happy is different than high and I understand it and hope you will open yourself up to the idea that when you are learning and specifically learning about something you are authentically interested you are in flow. Imagine all behaviors to be learning so many actions that one may not think of as brain activities very much are. I'm imagining surfing, something I have never done but I think of as a flow state that involves learning the breath of the ocean with its inhales and exhales being the waves coming and going. When we are learning in this way we are establishing neuro genesis in the brain. In other words the brain is expanding and in turn we are happy. We often forget about time. Most people have experienced this but don't necessarily know the foods and behaviors necessary to make those happy flow state learning sessions.
The use of addictive behaviors will prop us up when our brain is shrinking and will give a short term benefit followed by more depression or shrinking of the brain.
You are never not learning but you learning to shirk the brain is just using the the same negative pathways over and over again. The brain requires new path ways to improve which is why closed minded and defensive thinking is a very obvious tell about whether a person is happy or not. This means a flexible brain is not threatened by new ideas.
Creating new paths in the brain is not easy.
It makes me think of the hiking blog I did recently and as I was hiking a I thought these paths are not necessarily the best (meaning the ones that would get you up the mountain the fastest) but they are worn.
It is hard to even think about making that winding path in the picture a straight path but that brain effort is literally what is required in the brain.
If you approach this process as a game it will be much more fun.
Visualizing making new paths in your brain will make new paths in the brain. Practice this in ways that are not so difficult and it will get easier when the difficult challenges come.
Consciously think - oh, I have to intentionally resist the temptation to let my thoughts walk on the same path.
Exercises- think of that you would use to identify yourself. I'm a (fill in the blank) now say the words I might be wrong. Then think it. How might you be wrong.
Ask yourself, have my ideas about this thing changed in the past? The answer is yes. Can they change in the future.....the answer is yes.
How could they change. When the idea pops up that makes you think, nope not that never that. There is your path. Now you can decide to keep walking it or not.
Are you describing yourself as a happy person? I never did. I do now even when I am not in a state of pleasure I am happy that my brain is growing because I am happy to be forging new paths in my mind and in my life which leads me to part 4 ( since I didn't plan on writing any of this)
If you didn't read Neurogenesis Vs Depression Part 1
Theres the link. So heres the thing to know about recovering from depression or at least how I did.
-This takes time - 3 weeks to start and maybe years to really rebuild. All depends on how much damage there is. For me I knew my brain was torn down so I made a conscious effort to rebuild it optimally.
-The things you are doing to survive are probably adding to the problem. No way to grow and shrink the brain at the same time....no way.... no third way, no cheats. Hard truth deal with it.
-No one can do it for you
The good news is that some of these things you can do while you are still in it. The more you do right the more you will recover. Many people are what i call institutionalized or victim people. They don't want to change they want to complain about why they can't. This is not for them.
Also, it will effect you socially either way-
If you start down the road to recovering from depression (a sunken or hollow brain) by growing your brain and being happy people will not know what to make of it.
People are used to you being depressed and if you are in their life then it is probably because you are the person they think of to feel better about themselves. Not always but sometimes. This applies to spouses, friends everyone. How will you know? People will leave. They will cheat. They will find a way to keep you the same. They will consciously or subconsciously try to keep you less than. They will caution you about being too smart, too fit, too happy......and so on. Pay no attention to these people. Let them go. They never loved you or cared about you they just loved feeling better than you. Very few... ( meaning 1 person) in my life made it through my transition and this person doesn't live near me. I'm sure there are lots of people who would love to think that I'm the same old depressed mess I was in my past life.
Ok now on to the to do list. This is in no particular order and is not everything for more ideas go to The Archive page. These are just things specific to neurogenesis and depression.
(see disclaimer in the footer)
Just try these things for 3 weeks - do them - just do them if you are an addict do them while your drunk or high just do them - it doesn't matter if you think they are ridiculous there is deep brain science behind all this
-Eat fish and sea food - lots as much as you want (not fried)
-Eat healthy fats (as much as you want)
-Go keto (eggs, bacon, beef, butter ect)
-Stop sugar all forms the less the better
-Move - any type of movement, exercise or other wise
-Get nature and natural light - as much as possible
-Get your bare feet on the earth
-Take cold showers or get cold
-Stop looking at screens without blue blocking glasses
-Intermittent fasting - eat in a small window start where you can and go from there try to get to a 6 hour window
-Take lions mane mushoom (I recommend mushroom wisdom)
-Take lithium oritate (advanced research)
-Sleep ....but wake up in the morning and look at the sun (not through a window) before you look at your phone
-Meditate - (even iof its only for 5 min)
-Deep breathing (even if its only for five minutes
-Try to stop or reduce addictive substances
-Eat lots of dark chocolate but nothing below 70% better if you tough it out and eat 100% or 90% I make my own savory chocolate
Anything that boosts neurogenesis will off set depression. The more you learn anything the better your brain will be. So if you have any interest start there. if not get interested in finding interests. Try things see what sticks. I now have such along list of things to learn about that I don't have any time to be depressed or to have those old addictions I used to struggle with.
I plan on doing a Part 3 to this series so stay tuned. Please share with anyone you know struggling form depression or getting a benefit from SSRI's as they will benefit even more if they had these behaviors and routines in.
The real key -
Constantly say What If (even if its a what if things get worse you can spin it because they haven't gotten worse yet) and say Then What? keep following it and before you know it things will cycle back. Everything in the universe in cycles. (nothing lasts forever just sometimes its a very long time which lets us learn the only lesson that can remove power from death....patience)
Just remember that the more time you spend forcing your brain to challenge and battle closed negative thinking the more your brain will grow and every battle matters. Look for the excuses.
I go excuse hunting in my mind I search myself for the thoughts I am afraid of and challenge them. I don't always win but I am now standing in my mind like a bloody samurai with dignity instead of a weak little bitch like I was just bowing down to any difficult thought that I couldn't handle.
Maybe your heros aren't really brave at all maybe they are just acting like their heros. Act like yours.
Make this a good story. The only reason depression exists is to give us something to conquer. I'm not grateful I had it.
Absolutely everything I think seems to be both obvious and profound to me.
When I was younger I was a fat, heavy, cigarette smoking, alcoholic. I strategically induced dopamine releases dosed out over time to stay in a perpetual state of spike with no crash......over time I proved this doesn't work. I now know there are no cheats. The lows always balance out the highs. This is a universal law you cannot get around. Guess what is on the other side of the mountain? A valley...consistently. Now that you know, you can enjoy the hike and realize that change is the only constant, and thank god or else we would be faced with the one problem that nature or god or whatever you'd like to call it has, which is boredom.
I could talk about this forever but a part of me doesn't want the secret to get out because if too many people figure out that everything that exists will swing back the other way, then there will be no fear, no villain, and no fun for the universe to play the hero.
So regarding neurogenesis: I have spent a great deal of time and energy learning about fractals. I often think of the brain an our nervous system as a tree in our body. When I was an alcoholic I was unknowingly chasing dopamine and destroying my neurogenesis and ultimately my brain. Alcohol stops the dopamine blocker in the brain (that normally shuts off when it's supposed to) so that you feel good along with a slew of other symptoms: vision issues, inhibited motor function, slurred speech, black outs, etc. This is really neurotoxicity or short term brain damage. I did not know this. I just knew that I didn't feel good sober and that certain behavior made me feel better. It was a self-medicating strategy. I didn't have enough neurological margin to make it through the day to invest in long term happiness, so I had to settle for short term highs. I was depressed. Think about the word depression. Here is the definition:
Take note of the 2nd definition listed above: a sunken place. This is a depressed brain. The point is, a shirking brain feels depressed and a growing brain feels happy. A depressed brain relies on short-term dopamine highs and a long-term happy brain has sustainable serotonin. Dopamine and serotonin are neurotransmitters. They are always changing and I'm not trying to absolutize one over the other, but I will say that SSRI anti-depressants stand for Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors; meaning that the re-uptake of serotonin is stopped so there is more of it.
So why is it so hard to break free of depression? Lots of reasons, but the one I want to point out is that neurogenesis refers to a growing brain. This is common in kids because they are learning so much so fast. It's also common in people who are engaged in multiple engagements and activities. Happiness is reserved for people that can handle change. The reward of being open to learning is a brain that grows, which equates to a happy person. Here is the hard part: when the new pathways in the brain are emerging, it is like the birth of a new version of you. Giving birth (I've heard) is very challenging and painful, yet rewarding. Giving birth to new ideas and in turn a new brain is no different. If you are a visual learner, watch the 2 videos below: one is neurogenesis and the other is a seed growing over a 21 day period.
21 days is significant because that is about how long it takes for new neuro pathways to form. When I was drinking, I was just trying to make it through the day. I could never seem to get far enough ahead to make it the 3 weeks to learn and in turn be happy, so I just kept living pay check to pay check in my depressed brain.
It's important to understand that you are both the roots growing and the grounds surrounding the roots so to speak, and that is why it is so painful to learn and change. Wether conscious or subconscious, a part of me worried that if I became a happy person I wouldn't be me anymore. I was a drinker, I was a punk and city boy, a smoker. At the time I didn't want to lose myself and turn into some hippy, nature buff, typing on a health blog while intermittent fasting. I didn't know any better. When you see the plant grow, at no point do you think it's no longer the same plant even though it changes as it grows. If you have similar thoughts, trust that it is safe to change. The change will take time (at least 3 weeks), and you won't hardly notice it.
So growing brains are happy. In part 2 I'll tell you the things I did to get the margin to make it through my days and the weeks required for me to grow my brain along with what you can do to break out of any rut you find yourself in. Just be willing to give birth to those new ideas about becoming a happier version of yourself. Alcohol and other chemicals stunt and kill the idea babies the same way they do real babies. Part 2 is on the way. Until then, think about growing your brain and being happy. What would that look like?
Rob Alexander is on a journey to learn not just about health but everything else.
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