How to stop feeling depressed right now
Hello, my name is Noah Elkrief, and this blog post, I’m going to talk to you about how to stop feeling depressed, instantly. More specifically in this video, I’m going to take you through what you could call a process in order to help you to stop feeling depressed right now. It’s not something that you have to practice or have faith in what I’m saying or believe what I’m saying or any of that. This is about experiencing a huge impact right now. But in order for you to have any impact, you have to approach this with a real open mind because what I’m going to say in this video is probably drastically different from anything you’ve heard before about depression or life in general.
Who is Noah Elkrief?
To help you to open up a little bit, I’m just going to tell you a little bit about who I am. So my name is Noah Elkrief and I make videos on Youtube that get around 300,000 views per month. I also have a video blog at liveinthemoment.org which gets over 30,000 unique visitors each month. I wrote a book called “A Guide to The Present Moment” that hit number 1 on Amazon and has been a top 5 best-selling counseling book since it came out in November of 2012. And it has been downloaded by over 70,000 people. I also run a counseling practice in Manhattan and on Skype where I’ve dealt with hundreds of people who have said they’re so depressed – clinically depressed, suicidal, and you name it – and I’ve helped them, often times very quickly, to discover the difference between what is real and what is not. And that in-turn has immediately brought them back to peace, happiness, relief, rest – whatever you want to call it.
Don’t trust me – Just be open-minded that this might work for you
I don’t say all of that so that you’ll trust me about how to stop feeling depressed. I don’t say all those things about who I am so that you’ll believe what I say. It’s not about that. The reason why I say that is just so you’ll approach this video and my words with the openness of maybe, just maybe, this can help. Maybe this guy might have an idea of what he’s talking about.
This video is a process of direct discovery, not learning
For the rest of this video, what we’re going to do is a little different than what you’re used to. Normally when someone is speaking, you try to evaluate whether it’s true or not and whether I should remember or not, relevant or not, helpful or not, right or wrong. But in this video, what we’re going to do is just directly discover for ourselves what is real or true, okay? It’s not about learning from me, it’s about looking for yourself. You’re exploring, discovering – Christopher Columbus, exploring new territory. Okay? Now, let’s go ahead to discovering how to stop feeling depressed.
Do you know what thoughts are going to enter your mind?
In this moment right now, I want you to just be curious. What thoughts are going on in your mind right now? What thoughts are popping up? Just look, are they saying, “What is he talking about? I don’t understand”. Look at what they’re saying. Where did those thoughts come from? Who puts them there? Do you pick the thoughts that enter your mind? Take a moment and look. What’s the next thought to pop up in your mind? What’s the next thought to take your attention? Do you know whether it will be a comment or a question? A judgment or a positive thought? A story about the future or a story about the past? Take a moment and look.
If you don’t pick your thoughts, then you don’t control your thoughts
Do you actually know what the next thought to enter your mind will be? Of course not. You have no idea. You don’t know what the next thought will be. If you controlled your thoughts, if you picked what thoughts enter your mind, you would know what the next thought is. So look, what thoughts are going on right now? Just look at them. Notice them. If you picked what thoughts entered your mind, you would never pick negative thoughts. You would never pick all these stories about the past or stories about the future. They just create anxiety and shame. Look. You don’t pick what thoughts enter your mind. Just look right now, don’t believe me. Look for yourself. What stories are coming now?
Thoughts are automatically followed
In this moment, you’ll notice every time a thought pops up in your mind, you automatically follow it. You automatically give it attention. It’s not like you decide to give it attention. Every time a thought enters your mind, you automatically follow it. You automatically give it attention until another thought pop up and then another tangent, another tangent, and you just keep following thought all day long. Pretty much all day every day, you may have noticed. But there’s an alternative.
Don’t try to change or stop thoughts, just watch them
In this moment, just this moment right now, just be curious. Just be curious. What will thought say next? Just like looking outside the window, “I wonder what car will pass by next. Will it be a black car or a red car? A jeep or a convertible?”. You don’t know what it will be but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if a positive thought pops up next or a negative thought, a question or an answer. In this moment, you’re just curious. “I don’t control what’s going on in my mind. I wonder what it will say next. I don’t know”. And then when the thought pops up and you see, “Oh, now it’s thinking about this. Oh, it brought up a question. Oh, it brought up a story. Oh, it brought up a complaint of I don’t understand this or this will never help me.”. Look. You are the one looking at that thought. That thought came out of nowhere. You didn’t pick it. You didn’t control it. You didn’t do something to create it. You put no effort to pick the thought, grab the thought, give attention to the thought. You’re a step back from that. You’re noticing, “Oh, there’s another thought”.
Bring your attention back to the words on this page
Each time you recognize, “Oh, there’s a thought. Oh, I’m giving attention to a thought”. Stop. Bring your attention back to my eyes (words on this page), not because it’s bad to give attention to thoughts, not because it’s good to give attention to my eyes, but just out of curiosity, simply because you’ve been living a life constantly giving attention to thoughts. And what has that created? Sadness, depression, general unhappiness.
Stop, bring your attention back to reality
In this moment, stop, come back. And then notice, “Oh, thoughts are going on again”. Stop. Come back to my eyes and just keep looking. What’s the next thought that will show up? Stop. Come back to my eyes. Stay here, stay with my eyes. Every time you leave my eyes, you go into a fantasy world. There’s only two options: here, reality – this room, what you actually see and touch; or fantasies – thoughts which don’t have anything to do with this moment and aren’t real. Stop. Come back to my eyes. Just for this moment.
Notice the difference between the real world and imagination
Now let me ask you a question, where is your nose right now? Well, that’s very obvious, right here. Touch your nose. Where is your nose? Right here. Very simple question, right, easy enough. Now, show me in this moment where is a problem? Don’t go into fantasy land. Here in reality, where is a problem. When I asked where is your nose, you stayed here with what you can see and touch, with what you know to be true, what is a fact. But when I asked where is a problem, eyes go someplace else and we look in a different world.
But in this moment, now, in reality, can you find a problem? Stop. Come back to my eyes. Come back to this moment. I’m not saying, “Can you invent a problem in a fantasy land, in your imagination?”. Fantasy land is filled with problems. You can create infinite imaginary problems, and then you spend all day long solving problems that don’t exist. Stop just for this second. Come back to my eyes. Just notice the difference between reality and fantasy, reality and concept.
Notice that “bad” isn’t a part of reality
In this moment, take a moment to make any movement with one of your hands. Once you’ve done that, make a different movement with your hand. Now, tell me, which movement is better and which is the worse? They’re just unique. It’s not like one is factually better and one is worse. You can’t see “better” on either movement because better isn’t part of reality. Take a long at my nose (or your nose or your finger or anything). Is my nose ugly or pretty? It’s just a nose? Ugly and pretty don’t exist in reality. They’re concepts. You can’t see ugly or pretty on this nose. You see nose. You see shapes. And then we superimpose concepts of “pretty” or “ugly” onto this nose and claim that it’s part of the facts. But we have to separate the facts from our thoughts about the facts. Stop. Come back to my eyes.
There is nothing “bad” here in this moment
So look, where is “bad” in this moment? Where is something wrong with you in this moment? Not in fantasy land, in reality. Stop. Where is wrong? What would wrong even look like? What is wrong? Where is bad? What is the size of bad? The shape of bad? The smell of bad? The weight of bad? Show me something bad about you in reality – not in the fantasy world – here, now. There’s nothing bad about you. There’s nothing wrong with you. That was just a thought. It’s not who you are – it’s a thought. You see, the facts are that you’re just here sitting, being. You see, that’s it. Stop. Come back to my eyes.
Keep bringing your attention back to what you see on the screen
You’ll notice, mind keeps trying to take your attention. That’s normal. That’s natural. That’s fine. It’s not your fault that you keep giving attention to thoughts. You’ve been trained to give attention to thoughts pretty much every second of your life. It’s okay. But while you’re watching this video, each time that you catch yourself, “I’m giving attention to thoughts instead of his eyes. I’m giving attention to thoughts instead of his words”. You just stop and come back just for this second. You don’t need to worry about whether you’ll keep your attention on my eyes or on my hand movements. All there is to do is this moment now. Okay, come back. That’s it. You see?
Before you spend mental energy fixing things, first be sure something is “wrong”
Right here, right now, where is your nose? Here. Where is something wrong with you? Not in fantasy land, here. There is nothing wrong with you. There never was. There never was. Stop. Mind has one purpose, and that is to maintain its survival. And what do I mean by that? It needs to keep thinking in order to survive. Mind doesn’t survive if we don’t give it attention, if we don’t give it energy. So the only reason we have to give attention to thoughts, to mind, is to try to fix something. If there’s nothing wrong with this moment, what would you give attention to mind for? If there is nothing wrong, why would you give attention to thoughts? All day long, all you do is think about what is wrong, what is bad, and how to fix it, how to make it better. But stop. Prove to me that something is broken. Prove to me that something is wrong that needs to be fixed.
If nothing is broken, nothing needs to be fixed
If someone knocks on your door and says, “I’m here to fix your windows”, what’s the first thing you’re going to do? Well, the first thing you’re going to do is check to make sure the windows are broken. If the windows aren’t broken, then you’re not going to hire someone to fix them.
Mind keeps saying that something is wrong with you, and you need to fix/improve this and that. All of the ideas of fixing and improving things about yourself are based on the idea that you’re insufficient right now. But, before we get into all this fixing. Let’s look for evidence. What’s wrong with you? What’s broken? What’s insufficient? Look in reality. Can you find anything lacking right now? What would lacking look like? Stop. Where’s your nose? Where is lacking? Where is something missing? I don’t see anything missing.
Your feelings aren’t “bad”
When we get a feeling/emotion, we immediately decide whether that feeling is bad or good. But where does it say bad or good on the feeling? Where does it say wrong on the feeling? It’s just a feeling. Feelings don’t mean anything until you believe a thought that says they do.
You are in peace in peace in the midst of all feelings
You see, you can be in peace in the midst of a cut or a bruise or a headache simply because the feelings in your body don’t determine whether you’re in peace or not. If you have a stomach ache and you don’t have any thoughts about it, you’re fine when you’re distracted from thoughts. But if you have a stomach ache and tell yourself, “Oh no, maybe it’s a kidney stone”, then boom! All of a sudden, there’s a lot of suffering. Same is true with all the feelings.
Your feelings don’t prove that something is wrong with you
If you have a feeling in your chest/stomach and then you tell yourself, “It means I’m depressed. It means I’m not worthy. It means something is wrong with me”. No, it doesn’t. That’s not part of reality. That’s an assumption, an interpretation, a concept that we superimpose onto reality and claim it’s part of the facts. It is not factual. It is not real that a feeling in your body signifies that something is wrong with you. It’s just a feeling.
As soon as you tell yourself this story “This feelings means I’m depressed and unworthy”, the feeling becomes huge and unbearable. But, the sensations itself are actually quite subtle and weak. It is not like the feeling of breaking a leg, which is strong. Come back to the feeling itself. What is the feeling like? So there’s a feeling here, what is it? Where is it? How do I know it’s bad? Have a look for the sensation. Where is it? What is the sensation? Pressure, tension, nausea, pins and needles, pinching, twisting, pushing, twirling? We are tempted to answer that question with, “It feels like there are 1,000 pounds on my chest.” But, come back to reality, what would it actually feel like to have 1,000 pounds on your chest? You would be crushed. The truth is that it’s hard to even pinpoint where the sensation is, or to describe the sensation because it is so subtle and hard to find.
You aren’t to blame for the feelings you experience, they signify nothing about you
When these feelings enter your body, a thought pops up and says “I don’t like it”. But, who doesn’t like it? That’s a thought. The reason why there’s dislike is largely because we believe that the feelings means something bad about us. But it doesn’t.
You don’t pick what thoughts enter your mind. You don’t pick whether you believe these thoughts. You don’t pick whether you give attention to these thoughts. If you did, you would never pick negative thoughts, you would never believe negative thoughts, and you would never give attention to negative thoughts. And those are factors that create these feelings in your body. When negative thoughts arise and we believe them and give attention to them, they create feelings. But you don’t control the factors that create these feelings. So if you don’t control the factors that create these feelings, then you are not to blame for these feelings. They don’t mean anything about you. So stop, come back here. You’re okay.
Allow yourself to be exactly as you are, you can’t “improve”
How do you know something’s broken? How do you know something needs to be fixed? Stop. Allow yourself to be exactly as you are, just for this moment. Stop. Allow yourself to be exactly as you are because how do you know something’s wrong? How do you know you’re missing something, just because the thought says it? It doesn’t mean it’s real. A thought can say anything. Stop. Come back. Allow yourself to just be.
Forget about becoming something. You can’t become anything other than as you are. Take a moment to do a typing hand movement. Now, take a moment to do a hand movement of flipping hamburgers. Whether you’re in a job that you’re doing the first hand movement or you’re in a job that’s doing the other hand movement all day, your hand movements don’t determine anything about you. You are here in the midst of every hand movement, and every experience in your body, right? Whether there’s happiness or sadness, you are you. Whether there’s positive thoughts or negative thoughts, you are you. It doesn’t mean anything about you. You are here in the midst of everything.
You are here, but where are your “qualities”?
I’m not talking to the one who is depressed. That is a thought. That is a story. It’s not you. Stop. Come back to my eyes. Look. Who are you right now? Right now, where’s success? Where’s failure in reality, now? Can you find it? Can you show it to me? Where’s funny? Where’s boring right now? What does it look like? Can you show it to me? Where is ugly or pretty? I see nose, but ugly or pretty aren’t part of reality. Stop. Come back. Where is likeable or unlikeable, worthy or unworthy? It’s only a fantasy, a thought, a concept. It’s not who you are. You’re looking at those thoughts.
When I say, “Where is your nose?”, boom, very simple, answered in reality. But when I say, “Where is unworthiness? Where is it? Where is unlikeability? Where is incomplete?”, you can’t find it. The closest thing that you could come to it is a feeling, but a feeling doesn’t mean incomplete, it’s just a feeling. It’s pressure in my chest, it doesn’t mean you’re incomplete, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong. Stop.
Failure is not here, I don’t see it. Unworthiness isn’t here, I don’t see it. Ugly isn’t here, I don’t see it. I see nose. I see eyes. I see face. That can’t be ugly. That’s impossible. That’s a concept, you see. Some people think that something is pretty, the other person thinks it’s ugly. But neither of them are part of the facts. Neither of them are part of reality. We all get so confused between what is real and what is concept/imaginary, you see.
You are here, but can you find depression?
You are here. Now, where is depression? “I am depressed. That’s who I am. I am depressed”. But stop, where is depression? Were you “you” before you had depression? Something was still there before you were depressed, right? Something is still there after you were depressed. That’s you. There’s a feeling that comes and goes. Are you depressed in every single second? No. I’m sure in some moments, whether you want to admit it or not, there is no depression. In some moments when your favorite food arrives at the dinner table, when somebody greets you, when you favorite show comes on – there are seconds where you forget “I am depressed”. And when you forget about it, when those stories don’t show up of how bad you are, how bad your life is, how wrong everything is. In those moments, you still exist, right? You are here. In every moment, you are here. Are you not? Something is here right now. That must be you.
Anything that comes and goes can’t be you because you are always here. You are here right now so anything that is not here right now can’t be you.
Don’t try to change anything right now, allow everything to be as it is
Stop in this moment. Allow this moment to be exactly as it is. Whatever you feel, just let it be there. Whether your mind is busy or quiet, just allow it to be as it is. Whether you understand or you don’t understand, fine. Allow that you completely don’t understand. Allow that you’re frustrated. Allow that I’m saying the wrong thing and it’s not helpful. Allow yourself to be exactly as you are in this moment and that includes everything. Allow yourself to be just for a second. You don’t need to fix anything about you.
I’m not speaking to the one who is trying to figure it out
Notice as I’m speaking, there’s two listening right now. Notice that. There’s something just listening without making any effort to listen. Listening is just happening. And then there’s also another type of listening occurring and that is mind trying to understand, trying to make sure it figures everything out, trying to determine whether it’s helpful or not, right or wrong, all that stuff. But that’s not who I’m talking to.
I’m not talking to the one trying to figure it out. I’m not talking to the one trying to understand. I’m not talking to the one trying to get there – the better experience, the moment when I’m happy.
Stop. I’m talking to you, the one who’s watching all that, the one who’s watching the effort because the only reason that you would make any effort is if you first believe this moment is insufficient. Notice that. The only reason you would make any effort and try so hard to make sure you understand, make sure you get value is if your first believe this moment is lacking. If there is nothing wrong with you or lacking, then there is nothing to fix or solve. If there is nothing to fix or solve, then you don’t need to make sure you understand it. Stop, I’m not talking to the one that believes something is lacking. I’m talking to you.
How to interact with what I present to you
Just notice how mind tries to understand what I just said, tries to figure it out. But mind can’t figure it out, mind can’t understand. Stop because the one who’s going to get this is just a step back.
There’s two ways to get something from these words: one is mind says, “I think I understand”; and the other is, “Yeah, I feel that. I get it”. It’s a feeling response, like you know you really recognize something. You had an insight, you discovered something. You felt what I said. That’s what this is about, not about mind thinking, “I understand it,” or mind thinking, “It’s probably helpful. Maybe I could get it”, or “It’s definitely not helpful. This isn’t right for me. What is he talking about?”. That’s not it. Stop. I’m talking to you. Let yourself be as you are.
We are always trying to improve because we operate based on the assumption I am not good enough as I am
You see, we spend every second of every day trying to become something, trying to make sure we’re productive in every moment because I’m not good enough as I am. We don’t see that part, it’s unconscious. We can’t just let ourselves be as we are, otherwise we shame ourselves, “No. I wasn’t productive. That’s so bad”. But why do you need to be so productive? What’s wrong with you that you have to fix it? Stop, but don’t answer that in fantasy land. Come back to my eyes, notice. It’s okay right now. You’re okay. There is nothing wrong with you. How do I know? Because wrong doesn’t exist in reality. It’s not part of this moment. It’s not real. You are okay as you are because what could be bad? The only one that says “bad” is a thought. Unless you can find it in reality, it’s not real. Stop. Come back to my eyes.
You are in peace in the midst of every experience
In this moment, just watch what mind does. Watch how it tries to understand. Watch how it judges. If you’re in peace right now, if you’re feeling relaxed right now, watch how mind tells a story about what about what might happen in the next moment. Stop. There’s no such thing as a good experience or a bad experience. Every experience is just unique. But you are there in the midst of all experiences. You are aware of each unique sensation in your body, then sensation isn’t you. And the sensation doesn’t mean you are not in peace.
If you have a bruise, a cut, a stomach ache, a headache, a broken leg, does that mean you are suffering? No, you can absolutely be in peace while you have these “bad” sensations. What that proves is that a “bad” sensation doesn’t make you unhappy. You are aware of these “bad” sensations. A sensation isn’t you. If you have cancer, and you don’t know that you do, you feel fine, you can be happy. If the sensations of cancer themselves created suffering, then you would suffer as soon as you got it.
The same is true with sadness, anger, depression, and every other feeling. These are sensation that you are aware of, they are not you. Put differently, sadness doesn’t mean you aren’t in peace. You are in peace in the midst of every sensation. No feeling is the opposite of peace, because peace is here while every sensation comes and goes.
You are not depressed, you feel that sensation sometimes
You are not depressed. That’s right, I said it. You are not depressed. A feeling enters your experience that you then label depression. And it may be there 95% of the time, maybe 99, maybe 60% of the time. But unless it’s there 100% of every single moment in your life, it’s not who you are. It’s a feeling that comes and goes and it is a feeling that’s simply created by believing stories – stories in our mind. And don’t get me wrong, the feeling is incredibly real. And I get it, it’s intense, it’s strong, but it’s not you and it doesn’t mean anything about you because you don’t control the factors that create it. Thoughts create it, stories do.
When there are no stories, there is no depression
The stories that create depression are sometimes conscious. Maybe we were aware of these specific stories that are constantly taking our attention. For example, stories of how our life isn’t enough, we didn’t do enough with our life, we don’t have a purpose, our personality isn’t good enough or not likeable, nobody loves us or whatever. Or I have a disease – it’s bad. My condition is bad. My house is bad, whatever. Maybe we’re aware of the story or maybe it’s completely underneath, unconscious and we’re not aware of it, but the depression is still created by stories. And at any moment that we’re distracted from those stories or at any moment that we take a step back and just recognize, “It’s not me.” There is nothing but peace and freedom here.
Facts can’t create suffering because sometimes you aren’t suffering while the facts remain the same
Just because a thought says my situation is bad, that doesn’t mean it is. It’s just a situation. Your job can’t create suffering because in some moments that you have your job, you don’t suffer. Your personality can’t create suffering. You appearance can’t create suffering because in some moments that you have the exact same appearance, you’re not suffering. So therefore, factually it can’t be a cause and effect relationship. If your nose – your appearance created suffering, then in every moment that you have the same appearance you have no choice but to suffer. But in any moment that you forget how you look, you’re okay. In any moment that you forget what job you have and how bad it is, you’re okay.
Stop. Allow yourself to be as you are in this moment. Forget about fixing, improving, changing. Stop. The only one that wants to change is a thought that first convinces you something is bad, something is wrong, something is insufficient. Stop. You’re okay. Okay?
How to stop feeling depressed
While reading this post about how to stop feeling depressed, I hope that you at least got to see for a second, just a glimpse, of how who you are is not depressed, that the feeling of depression doesn’t signify anything about you, and that the stories that create depression aren’t real, are just a concept and there’s really nothing wrong with you. Really, I’m not just saying that. And when you truly discover that for yourself, depression will go – boom, instantly. You may have felt that for a moment while reading this blog post. You may have or you may not have. If you haven’t, that’s okay. You weren’t meant to, that’s fine. But maybe that recognition will occur in 5 minutes or tomorrow or a week from now. I don’t know what’s best for you, but you don’t either, you see. We have no idea.
What seems “bad” at first can always end up “great”
If you get hit by a car and you break your leg, is that good or bad for your life? It seems obvious to say, “That’s bad for my life. I’m in pain. I might miss work. It’s going to be an inconvenience. It’s bad”. But if you then go to the doctor’s office, and while you’re waiting for a doctor, you meet somebody that gives you your dream job or you meet the girl/man of your dreams or you meet someone that gives you a book that changes your life – a few years later if you’re much happier because of that occurrence, are you going to say that the car accident (the broken leg) was good or bad for your life? Well, you can say, “It was good for my life overall”. In the moment when you broke your leg, you decided, “This is bad”, you didn’t realize it but you’re unknowingly saying, “I know the future. I know that this is bad for my life. I know”. But the truth is that you don’t know what all the effects are of anything. And if you can recognize that you don’t know whether an event is “good” or “bad” for your life in the moment that it happens, then you’ll never suffer again.
Depression might be the greatest gift that ever happened to you
The reason I am sharing this is because you don’t know what all the effects are of having these depressing feelings. Maybe, just maybe, this depression has occurred to enable you, to allow you to open up to something deeper than pursuing happiness through money, success, love, kids, purpose, should, all these other stuff. Maybe, just maybe, that’s why you feel depressed – to open you up to see what actually causes suffering, what actually makes you happy. Maybe, I don’t know. But you don’t know either. But, whatever you got from this blog post, perfect, that’s exactly what’s meant to happen from this post.
Thank you for reading this blog post about how to stop feeling depressed
Thank you for watching this video. Thank you for your time, and just know that when I look at you, when I see you, when I’m talking to you, I’m not talking to a depressed person. I’m talking to you. You are not depressed. Depression is a story. “I am this depressed person and all this other stuff”, that’s not who you are. Right now, you are just here, sitting, listening. I’m talking to you, the one that sees the thoughts, the stories. The stories come and go, but you will always be here. Feelings come and go, but you will always be here. Okay? I think that’s really all I’m going to say.
So if you want to know more about this type of thing, you can check out my website, book a session, read my book, whatever. Thank you for taking the time to read this post about how to stop feeling depressed. Enjoy your day. Bye.