What is the key ingredient to overcoming mood disorders such as depression and anxiety?
This is a question many of you may be wondering.
I’m going to let you in on a secret and I want you to tell everyone that needs to hear it.
Without this key ingredient, it doesn’t matter how many self-help books you read or blogs you visit.
You will never find that perfect article, podcast, or supplement.
It doesn’t exist on this blog or in any book in any store.
The key ingredient is inside of you.
The key ingredient is your effort.
The Key Ingredient Is Your Effort
They say time is the great healer. I see only problem with this: Time is out of your hands.
While I agree time does heal most wounds, you cannot control the speed at which it does so.
With this in mind, would you not wish to take control of what you can to speed up the process so you can feel well again?
One year of consistent action and effort will provide more results than 10 years on idle ever will.
What Does Effort Look Like?
Effort is the one thing that will change your life but effort cannot be described as a single action.
Effort is your will to win, your will to overcome by any means necessary.
In order to maximize our efforts, we need to approach our issues from all angles.
1. Speaking With A Doctor
Maybe you need to be on medication.
Seeking a medical professional and trying to get to the root of your problem is still taking action!
Rather than mulling through life feeling terrible, you are taking action to fix it by any means necessary.
Many people will find medication to be a good and potentially necessary starting point. This does not mean you can pop a pill and ignore all further efforts for the rest of you life.
2. Speaking With A Therapist Or Close Friend
Sometimes all the effort that is required of you is to simply put your ego aside and accept the fact that you need help.
For many, this comes with a sense of shame.
There is nothing shameful about wanting to get better and be the happiest version of yourself.
If you need to, pick up that phone and make an appointment ASAP. The shame will be non-existent when you are feeling well again.
If you can’t afford to speak to a professional, swallow any pride and speak with somebody you trust.
3. Eliminating Vices
Do you suffer from anxiety and yet still drink excessive amounts of coffee? Do you suffer from depression and try to mask it with alcohol?
These are the kind of vices, among many others, that need to be given up in order to fully recover.
The key ingredient to overcoming these vices is once again effort.
Some may even need professional help to overcome their vices. That may be the effort that is required for you to get a sense of peace and happiness back in your life.
As minor as it may seem to some, eliminating coffee use dramatically lowered my anxiety.
I knew the effects coffee was having on me for a long time but I still slipped up too many times to count. As a result, I never could kick the last lingering feelings of anxiety I had.
By giving it 100% of my effort, I was able to stop completely and as a result, my anxiety levels improved greatly.
There are 101 vices to choose from. Honestly evaluate if they are worth the problems they cause you and, if they are not, take the necessary steps to eliminate them.
4. Adopting A Healthy Lifestyle
This may mean replacing fast food with a wholesome and nutritious diet. It may mean sleeping better.
A healthy lifestyle may simply be you cutting down your stress load.
I am sure you know the chinks in your armor and since this stuff is repetitive, I will let you fill in the gaps.
5. Reading Self Help Books
Self-help books can be a phenomenal way to spend your time.
They have been an immense catalyst in my own life and they can change your life too.
When you compare the cost of the average dinner out to a book that can change your life it should seem like a no-brainer as to which is the better investment.
I challenge you to go spend $20 or less on a self-help book and read it within a week, all the while implementing the techniques throughout the week.
You may be shocked.
Some great books to get you started include:
- How to Stop Worrying and Start Living – Dale Carnegie
- The Power (The Secret) – Rhonda Byrne
- Gorilla Mindset – Mike Cernovich
The Importance Of An Open Mind
As I said before, you will never find a book or blog article that changes your life if you don’t approach it with an open mind.
With an open mind, you will be willing to exert effort to try the methods being preached about.
An author can have astounding writing capabilities and dozens of scientific studies to backup his/her claims. At the end of the day, if you don’t act on any suggestions, they simply cannot possibly help you.
For example: I regularly preach about how the book How To Stop Worrying And Start Living changed my life. If I had read it and brushed it off, I would not have benefited from it.
Instead, I read it with an open mind and did my best to apply the principles laid out throughout the book even if a few did seem outlandish initially.
I followed through every day and gave it 110% of my effort. Before I knew it, things began to change and I experienced a positive snowball I couldn’t even imagine just one month prior.
As I recommend this book to more and more people, I receive two kinds of feedback
- People agree with me that it can change your life
- People say it was ‘ok’
Can you make an educated guess as to which group actually exhibited effort and which group just picked it up for something to do?
A terrible book with your full effort is heaps more valuable than the greatest book of all time with no follow through.
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Eric Thomas, perhaps my favorite motivational speaker puts effort into context perfectly in this video:
(Start at 4:15 for the key take away)*
In summary, he drills the idea that you owe it to yourself to give it your all.
If you tried a product with a 30 day money back guarantee and it did not provide results, you return with an attitude requesting your money back.
How often do you look in the mirror and ask for your money back from yourself?
Have you given 110% effort to your recovery or did your effort fall short and let yourself down continuing the cycle?
Nobody but yourself can be the change you wish to see. Medication, therapists, books, and blogs can help but you are the key ingredient. You must follow through.
You are either a victor or a victim but you can’t be both.
I’ve spent years of my life feeling like a victim. I come from a place of compassion, not condescending nature.
Your time is money, if you are not investing it to your recovery you won’t get it back via 30 day money back guarantee.
Happily Ever After
All of the success stories you will read about people overcoming their depression or anxiety have one thing in common: they took action.
Whether they took the time to speak with a professional, put in effort to change their lifestyle, or even adapted new thinking patterns…everyone had to apply themselves.
The people who tell you that mental health problems are for life may need to reevaluate their effort output before telling you what you cannot achieve when you have this key ingredient in your life.
At the end of the day, if you are doing everything you can possibly do to take back your life, you will succeed.