Gamification, a Tool to Beat Depression

A kid playing Donkey Kong Arcade
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Some weeks ago I stumbled upon a certain word that grabbed my interest (and is still keeping it) that I didn’t know about but in a certain way already had used throughout my life.

I’m talking about “Gamification” which on a simple definition is just the “action to game” something.

Nowadays is very well used among online marketers in ads for us to engage in playing some sort of game so they can redirect us to the webpage and download what they are promoting there (which ironically tends to be an app for a game).

A clear and easy way to use a form of gamification is when we create a scoring system around the completion of certain activities to ensure we achieve some sort of bigger goal.

Let’s see it from another perspective.

By using educational gamification a teacher can use elements of a game to teach students while maintaining an improved sense of enjoyment and hence the engagement and learning/teaching experience will be more smooth and effective.

How to Beat Depression by Using Gamification

Beating depression is not something we can do “accidentally”, we cannot just go with our lives “BAU” expecting that in one day depression will just disappear (that’s pretty obvious, right?)

What is not so obvious is how to battle that depression if we cannot fully trust our minds.

I mean, where would we start? What can we do?

Being honest, I’m not an expert in using this tool of gamification but at least I know where you could start using it to stack the table in your favor against depression.

The one thing I would recomend is to use a list of the things you need to do in a day (and/or week) and assign some fair points to the tasks.

I’ve written about how to use lists before, you can go and check it out here:

Once you start rolling the days completing at least the bare minimum you could add some more difficult tasks to the list that can have (though little) a meaningful and positive impact in your life over time.

Doing it like this will like beating the game… the game or recovering back your life from the claws of depression.

Conclusion

There are more things to know about gamification and this technique (or way of thinking) is very deep. And I know this can sound too simple to use and be considered something effective to fight depression, but in fact, the way to apply gamification is very simple and I truly believe in making things simpler to understand.

Depression is not something that you can defeat overnight, it is well known that time will be necessary to heal this condition and improve your life, that’s why I think using gamification as a way to see this fight like a game you can win, could create a new perspective on how to deal with depression and lastly to succeed in the game.

The Fear Factor in Difficult Times

What Causes Fear in Us?

Two fingers in a hug seeking comfort against fear and depression.
Image by ElisaRiva from Pixabay

The heart starts to pump blood at a faster pace, our hands and body get humid by sweating, the hearing and seeing senses get more alerts to our surroundings as the brain sends the signal to gather more info from it.

We know very well that stitch in the spine and that shivering in our nerves when we confront something that is well… scary.

Fear can be triggered by a lot of things but we usually know fear when we get stunned in front of something that we don’t know what to expect and can create some kind of harm to us.

Saying it in simple ways, our primitive fight or flight response gets activated because we are perceiving something dangerous nearby and we need to respond accordingly.

It would be a way too long of a shot to define what causes us to feel fear in a 100% accurate way in all situations but we know when we feel it and we know that we want to avoid the situation so we can “survive” another day.

Healthy Fears & Unhealthy Fears

Knowing that fear works as some sort of mechanism to keep our survival, we can conclude with a simple look that fear is something healthy to have. Right?

Well… yes and no.

Let me clarify this better.

In the sense previously described then yes!

But fear is unhealthy to have when A) there’s no real threat or harmful situation to our being and B) we hold to the feeling longer than we should.

For instance, I would say that a lot of phobias enter in the category of “no real threat” as examples I can cite:

Carcinophobia (fear of developing cancer when we don’t have any signs to it), Coulrophobia (fear of clowns), Trypophobia (fear of small holes conglomerated in clusters), or the #1 phobia in America according to Washingtonpost since 2014 Glossophobia (fear of public speaking).

It is unhealthy to have fear of something that cannot represent real harm to us because our safety is not being compromised (at least not in a physical way), hence it doesn’t support our “drive to thrive in life”.

The Side Effects Created by Fear

Now, things could get even worse when we hold to some kind of fear longer than we should.

But why?

Very simple, when the threat (or the belief of the threat) has already passed we still think that danger is nearby and we don’t go back to our relaxed normal way of being.

The sense of alertness provoked by fear to respond to danger is good. However, when we are overly cautious and alert most of the time it can create anxiety, irritability, concentration problems, insomnia (troubles with your sleep), and depression.

In a physical way, an unhealthy fear can lead to problems with our digestion, fertility, weakens our immune system and even can accelerate our aging and lead us to premature death.

Fear can be humanity’s most deadly poison (or virus) in all history and a lot of us are still learning how to deal with it. Even worse, there’s no vaccine or cure to fear and the stress it creates.

The Present Situation with COVID-19

A don't panic message with a Cloth Face Covering to avoid the faste spread of the Coronavirus.
Photo by Tonik on Unsplash

If you look up the news, the statistics and the information that is being spread about COVID-19 without being in constant “panic” or being terrified by them, you should be aware that to this bug you are summing a weakened immune system and all the problems fear brings.

Better it would be to turn off the news for the sake of your health and whole being. (I know it sounds counterintuitive but you can see my point).

Listen, I’m not saying you should not be afraid of anything and be courageous to everything, but I’m saying that we should not make things worse by amplifying problems by holding a feeling of fear.

We must learn how to let go of fear! That’s the key.

Learn to be cautious by feeling fear of something but don’t hold to that feeling longer than must be done after it has accomplished its purpose.

What I think is the antagonist feeling of fear is not courage or bravery, I think we can defeat the fear of any kind by having gratitude of everything in our lives (even the perceived negative situations).

I hope and wish the best for you and your beloved ones in this difficult time we are living due to this Virus and also that can find the way to be grateful for everything in your life.

See you soon!

COVID-19 x CONFINEMENT x DEPRESSION

COVID-19 is Dangerous

Washing hands to battle against COVID-19
From Vova Krasilnikov – Pexels

Lot of people, (almost everybody) is submerged at the expectations of what will happen in the world with the recent menace that COVID-19 has created.

This virus has created such big troubles not only in our lives in a sense of health but also in the economy, our lifestyle and our social interactions.

We are the generation that is fighting and is going to survive one of the biggest epidemics in the entire world and to this date, in the entire history.

Can you imagine how big this is of a game-changer?

But the thing is that with everything we are going through now, with all the lives lost so far and the ones that are going to be lost in the near future, with the economy being “stopped” as it is today… When everything finishes it won’t feel like it has truly finished.

We (humanity) were not prepared to handle this situation effectively as we would like to think we were.

Corona Viruses are dangerous and we need to take the necessary precautions to ensure we don’t get affected by this new one.

Being at Confinement… For Our Own Good

One of these precautions is to be confined (reclused, restricted, etc,) in our home to avoid and delay the fast propagation of the virus. Probably the best way to fight COVID-19 at this moment is social isolation.

The reason I wanted to talk about the importance of confinement and the present danger of this virus is because I’ve seen some people taking this situation not seriously enough as people who should understand COVID-19 is no joke.

Don’t believe what I’m saying?

Well, just do a quick search on Social Media, Google and/or Youtube about the new challenges, ways to pass the day, finding things to do in this new leisure time (for us that are not working), to grasp a sense of how boring people (in general) is feeling with the whole situation.

I mean, I get that we are not used to be in home all day long without the usual freedom to even go out the corner and crossing the street.

You probably have seen numerous movies you wanted to see, cathed up with some series, anime (if you like them too like me), finished books and played a lot of board games with your family. And that’s great! But is this the most important thing to be doing and thinking about?

Is entertainment the most important thing we should be focusing right now?

Depression and Fear Are the Sidekicks of COVID-19

While some people are feeling bored with this, lot of other people are getting sick and dying, lot of them feel hopeless because they don’t know how to confront this bug.

There are reasons to be afraid and even feel depressed, but let us remember the reasons why we must not feel this way and as difficult as it may be, find the gratitude in everything that comes in life and not to make it worse by spreading fear and feeling frightened.

Fear is the most fast-spreading and deadly virus in all history of humanity by the way…

Better to feel bored than afraid and in despair against this Pandemic. That’s true! But it is also true that being healthy doesn’t mean we should ignore the feelings of pain and uncertainty that the entire world is living by the COVID-19.

Another point I want to add is that this holy week is almost finishing and look up how we have spent these days. Right!! Instead of going out to the beach, traveling and taking the weekend off for pleasurable activities, must of us have spent it been confined at home…

The Catholic Church must be feeling proud that this Holy week the world stayed at home praying and in introspection 😅

Conclusion

My point with all of this is to create some conscience about the necessity of knowing ourselves better and use our leisure time for more productive things.

While we may feel like there is no hope, we should remember the feelings of fear and depression don’t make things easier (but worse) to bear the situation and we should feel grateful for our life.

Doing some introspection, exercising ourselves at home and using our leisure time to learn and master new skills, will help big time to overcome all feelings of fear, depression and boredom.

Easy to say but not easy to do and the difficulty level gets to the extreme when we are in a situation like this COVID-19.

I want to end this post with some thought of reflection when difficult times knock at the door.

Hope You’re Doing Well. Stay Strong!!

“It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.” 

– Doe Zantamata

Why Neurotransmitters Can Help to Fight Depression

Let me start by defining what is a neurotransmitter.

They are the molecules that are in charge of sending and receiving the messages between neurons or neurons to muscles.

In simple words, we can say they are the little messengers of our brain and body chemical data.

Now, let me continue with why those little guys have an important role to fight depression.

When a neurotransmitter delivers a message to a neuron some chemical reactions are produced in our body and/or brain. Those reactions are what lastly can change our mood toward something.

The Neurotransmitters of Happiness

There are four that are identified with the feelings of happiness, joy, satisfaction and contentment these are known as endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin (EDSO).

I learned this from Simon Sinek who explains it in an excellent way how this works.

It’s 45:50 mins long (maybe too long for some of you) but every minute of the video is worth it!

Did you watch the video?

I understand if you don’t, but as I said, it has a lot of value!

Basically he talks about the importance of taking certain actions and what kind of results we can get if we get this well-balanced.

Living with depression can be something very draining and tiring of our energy but understanding better this kind of concepts and putting it into practice can have a huge positive impact in the fight against depression.

You may ask, how we can put this into practice? And I may ask you back (and again 😅) did you saw the video I just shared with you?

Something Curious…

After watching something interesting that we like, we cannot help but feel excited about what we’ve learned, even our retention is improved.

We also cannot help but start to theorize and connect things when there is seemingly no connection between those things. (That’s how creativity is born btw).

Something that stuck with me is what was said about the oxytocin neurotransmitter.

For now, I’m going to talk about this one and not others.

We can get oxytocin when we feel the satisfaction of receiving a good deed from others, when we do something good to others and even as a third-party by witnessing that good act done into someone else.

If you have been following me for a time, you already know about an experiment with rice by the late Masaru Emoto that can clearly demonstrate how things are affected by our thoughts. In this case, rice.

Please, check it out if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

By the way, it has been a year (and one month) since I started my own rice experiment and I’m still doing it.

Look up the results so far here…

The words from left to right are in Spanish “hate” and “love”

Now, I have connected both ideas and created my own theory (I haven’t seen and don’t know if someone else has said what I’m about to say).

I think there’s some chance that by giving good or bad thoughts about something in a subconscious way we are using a neurotransmitter that the receiving party (the object which we set our intentions) is picking and reacting accordingly.

Don’t know exactly where I can begin to test and prove the validity of this theory and I don’t want to sound too “esoteric” neither. So don’t take me too seriously on this one as I’m not sure if this is the case (more knowledge and studies into this matter is needed).

Some Final Thoughts…

A neurotransmitter can incentivize, inhibit and or modulate certain actions and behaviors by liberating some chemicals in our brain and body when we engage in some activities.

Addictions and depression can be destroyed if we learn how to balance our chemical reactions.

By doing the right things that liberate oxytocin and the correct neurotransmitters we can improve a lot our condition of being depressed.

Having sincerity in our actions, doing the best we can do in our lives to better our body, mind, and spirit are some of the things we should do and be persistent with.

Magical Words to Win Over Depression

Is it possible we can win over depression with a few words?

Being able to do this, means those words would be worthy of being known as “Magical Words”.

Recently I’ve written another post about how words and our expressed intentions in some way or another, can affect water. As a big percentage of our body composition is water, this implies that we can use words to our advantage or disservice in the fight against depression.

If you are familiar with that post and its content, then you probably would guess what the Magical Words to Win Over Depression are.

But if you haven’t seen it and want to read it…

I want to widen the idea that our intention and beliefs can make wonders to help us beat depression because it would be amazing that with only a few words we can increase dramatically the chances to overcome this mental illness.

What Do We understand for Magic?

Magic is something we define and know as a force that can create, move or destroy something.

Is magic real? I would say is not as real as portrayed in movies and series, (or maybe it is… I don’t know) but the emotions created in us after hearing a beautiful song is something “magical”. And that’s the definition I’m taking of magic in this post.

Maybe you don’t like music, haven’t felt and can’t understand what I’m referring to. In that case, how about an adorable evening with your loved ones? A long time expected kiss with your secret crush? The memorable smile of a stranger that made your day?

Can you see now what I mean by magic?

Supposing that magic exists and it is the emotions created within people that can alter something either for good or for bad.

A Magical Word then would be the word that when expressed will move feelings to make a change in someone.

Simple as that! Right?

And the Magical Words Are…

Magical words that can help us fight and win over depression and mental illnesses are those that help us to change the depressive state depression wants to create within us.

We already know those words! We know they have magical properties but sometimes it is a game changer that someone makes us remember them…

I Love You

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr

It Can Be Done!

“It is impossible to win the race unless you venture to run, impossible to win the victory unless you dare to battle.” 
― Richard M. DeVos

That’s Great.

“Perfection is impossible; just strive to do your best.” 
― Angela Watson

Good Job.

“In this world, you do your job, a good job, and that’s what counts.” 
― Francois Nars

Thank You!

“’Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding. ” 
― Alice Walker

Just use them everyday with the intention they are conveyed with and although it could take a while to notice the big chance, remember that a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step!

How to Escape the Prison of Depression?

Photo by Ye Jinghan on Unsplash

What role does depression plays when we are in prison?

I’m not talking about in the literal way of being in jail, as a matter of fact, there are at least three kinds of prisons that I know. There is the prison of the body, the prison of the mind and the prison of your soul.

Can you guess what is the Prison of Depression? Or better yet, how to escape from it?

Let’s first define and talk about the three of them separately to understand better my point of view.

The Prison of the Body

Staying beside 4 walls lying in a bed all day without being able to go outside, is (in a way) what we know to be in jail. We are deprived of our freedom to go out as a punishment.

Depression can make us feel like we are in this kind of prison by playing it’s part when we feel so bad, hopeless, unworthy and sad that we cannot feel enjoyment or any motivation to go outside of our bedrooms or getting up from bed which is even more common than we think.

We are creating our own little prison of the body when we let depression grow stronger everyday. And as depression gets stronger, this prison feels more and more real in our life.

Also, the other way around is true too. By staying there without the capability of going outside, (like being in jail) can affect us negatively and enhance or start to create feelings of being depressed.

Hence, the best way to not feel being in this kind of prison is by going outside even if we don’t feel any motivation to do so.

It would only apply if you’re not in jail of course…

The Prison of the Mind

Understanding and explaining this concept is a little more complicated than the previous one. Hence, I’d like to take the metaphor of a computer and the programs it has to better understand the relationship with depression.

If you think and act in a certain way regarding the situation; like being shy when approaching girls, certainly, you will approach them with a set of beliefs that will make you think and act in that certain way.

Your mind, having the program of “shyness” installed, will run this program when social interactions are happening or are about to happen, you’ll behave accordingly with that program.

Can you see now how Depression plays its part in the prison of your mind?

Depression installs the program of sadness, hopelessness, unworthiness, sorrow, emotional pain, sometimes even self-harm, and suicide ideation.

Mental illnesses and depression can be really harsh to beat. There’s always a glimpse of light but with the darkness and hollowness, it makes us feel, we tend to believe there’s none.

Under depression’s influence, we are being programmed to not see and feel the light.

Feeling incapable of beating depression and getting out of your mind’s prison created by it, is due to not knowing how to fight it because you don’t know yet how to use your available tools to fight efficiently.

The way to get out of this prison starts with knowing what needs to be done!

The Prison of the Soul

Ok, those programs are there and there are times it is good and healthy for them to run. Problems start when they run inappropriately and at all times.

It seems like the only program we can run is the one called “Depression” and there’s no time to run a different one.

Let me ask you this, if there’s a program, who is the programmer?

Programmers are the ones who create and decide what, how and when a program needs to run in the mind for the body to follow accordingly.

With time the programmer doesn’t need to actively start running the program because it can run by itself automatically.

Did you noticed how Depression plays its part in the Prison of the Soul?

The decisions you make on how to feel against any situation, the belief system you’ve installed and the lens you’re using to understand and process something, is like a programmer trying to deal with a program.

You need to be conscious and self-aware about yourself.

However, in spite of all of this, I’m not proclaiming the easiness of putting this into practice, on the contrary, I know how difficult it is to be self-aware of your own state and how to improve it.

Anxiety, depression and mental illnesses, in general, will make you believe there’s no hope because you cannot control them. Which is not true.

What about if we realize we are the programmers of our mind and body?

Once you realize that you are the programmer you will also notice that there is much more power within you to change the reality in which you are living.

Soul’s Prison is feeling like not having the ability to choose but once you understand and internalize that you create and run the programs you want in your life, you have plenty of options.

Next step from there is learning to choose the best option!

How Coming Back to Home Can Help Fighting Depression?

Back Home and Fighting Depression
Imagen de Crystal Procknow en Pixabay

I’m not talking about the physical act of coming back home, but that feeling we have when we get into that place we call home.

How is it that it can help us to fight depression?

You know, there is certain knowledge that we as normal human beings hold and it’s very difficult to transfer to another human being, in other words, is very difficult to communicate.

Feelings and emotions share that property too.

Feelings and emotions play a big part in how we live and walk in the world. For instance, a lot of us can relate with how certain things make us feel like; chocolate, a charismatic personage, a sexy body or even with Marvel Avengers Endgame and Game of Thrones.

Must of us can also relate to music because of what is being communicated and the way it makes us feel.

But how is it that coming back home can help us to fight depression?

Home Sweet Home!

What comming back home evokes in us, is the feeling of being safe. That we don’t need to keep the guard up and we finally can rest because we trust there’s no harm while being at home.

Let’s see it in real (and fictional) representation…

Getting back from work or college usually feels like a great relief. Soldiers are happy to go back to their country once war has finished. Batman has the Batcave to rest when he’s not fighting for justice in the city. In videogames, there’s always a place in which our character can recharge its energy and health.

Hopefully, you’ve got my point.

In the way I see it and the main reason I wanted to share this post with you it’s because I think “Home” is not just a place, but can be also an activity we like to do, a person or a group of people we like to spend time with.

That explains why we like certain hobbies, we feel we can relate to that activity in a special way; like we are in “our ground“. We love someone or are charmed by some people because we feel like we can trust them, we can let our guard down, we are safe.

Getting deeper into the way I see it, this also explains why we don’t like cheaters, liars, drama queens (or kings), attention seekers, narcissistic people, and evildoers in general. With them being around we don’t have rest and comfort, we cannot relax and feel at home but be alert all the time.

Conclusion

Being alert all the time is tiring, is really not sustainable in the long run. Creating a lifestyle that makes us feel at home as much as we can is what I believe would be how it can help fighting depression.

I know that I haven’t taken the exact same meaning of home, but it serves me well as a metaphor.

In a nutshell, we want to be at home as much as we can, and if we can create the feeling of being at home for ourselves and for others, then we are claiming back a lot of ground from depression.

The Captain of My Soul

With what I’m about to share with you many people feel inspired, motivated to fight against the darkness, their demons, and beat their depression.

Many people also have said that they get goosebumps for reading and/or hearing the poem called “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley.

Probably you’ve heard/read or somehow know about this one as it is one of the most famous poems in the world.

But anyways I thought I might share it with you here.

It reads as follows…

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me, 
      Black as the pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be 
      For my unconquerable soul. 

In the fell clutch of circumstance 
      I have not winced nor cried aloud. 
Under the bludgeonings of chance 
      My head is bloody, but unbowed. 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears 
      Looms but the Horror of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years 
      Finds and shall find me unafraid. 

It matters not how strait the gate, 
      How charged with punishments the scroll, 
I am the master of my fate, 
      I am the captain of my soul. 

BY WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY


It sounds inspiring right?

I mean, the idea of being our masters and controlling our fate something worthy of thought and admiration. I won’t deny that, but…

Now, to explain how I feel about this poem and give you my insight it would be better to describe it with a feeling of something we all can easily recognize.

Do you know that feeling when you are hearing a politician on TV that you cannot simple trust?

About how he will bring change for the better, and that he’d handle this or that matter differently?

Or what about that feeling when you’re hearing a sales pitch of how great this product is for you and something about it just bugs you?

Can you recognize that feeling?

Best way to describe what I felt when I read this poem is with those examples.

I feel like something is quite off, something inside bugs me that tells me not trust what have been said here.

At first, I thought that maybe I was being to hard but the thing is that I could not ignore my gut feeling about this poem.

Truth to be told, is because somehow I always knew the captain of my soul is Jesus Christ!

After doing a little research I have found that I’m not the only person that talked about this poem in this way.

I think that the message in the following link clearly depicts what I’m trying to tell you and probably in the words by another person you can understand better what I’m talking about.

After reading the notes on this webpage, I clearly understand how in this poem (line by line) the rejection of God is shown and even embraced.

By learning and reading the notes below I realize I wasn’t being that harsh against “Invictus”.

NOTES:

In the Poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. Written in 1885, You’ll note that it is a rejection of God.

He recognizes that the world is DARK (Needs illumination).

The Darkness is world-wide (from Pole to Pole).

Rejects the ONE God. (whatever gods).

Recognizes he’s created with a soul.

He accepts circumstance (chance, destiny).

Doesn’t recognize / rejecting that God is in control.

He thinks this life is all there is,

just darkness (shade) on the other side of life.

Yet, that feeling finds him “unafraid”.

“It matters not how straight the gate”

He knows about the narrow path and the narrow gate,

but he doesn’t care (It matters not).

He knows that God’s Keeping a Record of His life.

“How charged with punishments the scroll”

And that God promises His wrath, anger and punishments

for breaking His commandments.

He’s rejecting the LORD as his final destiny.

“I am the master of my fate”

He’s rejecting the LORDSHIP of Christ.

“I am the Captain of my soul”.

One Last Thing to Mention

I don’t want to hard on people that love this poem and get inspired (or the goosebumps) to fight their depression or anxiety by getting this poem sealed in their hearts.

If it’s that you, then my best guess is that you haven’t met Jesus Christ as we Christians know him…

No hard feelings, but I hope that one day you give him (Jesus Christ) the chance to enter your life, so you can know him.

He already knows what’s best for all of us and sacrificed himself, so we can be saved… That’s why I’ve decided to made Jesus Christ the master of my fate and the captain of my soul.

Why Motivation Can’t Beat Depression

Motivation can beat depression any time and any day. Period!

I haven’t misspelled it. I know what it’s written in the tittle, and surely you will find this to be contradictory. Please, bear with me while I expose my case!

Let’s understand first what motivation is:

Motive + Action = Motivation

By definition from the most renown world-wide-web dictionary (google) 😉
is a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.

Motivation is (with my own words) the “why” we take action toward certain things. Plain and simple.

Divided by its nature. There are two kinds of motivation; one is intrinsic and the other is extrinsic.

Extrinsic motivation is the one that comes from the outside. An external factor that can create undesirable or desirable conditions for us to do something, or avoid doing something.

“If you don’t eat your vegetables I’ll be mad with you”

“Go to that party and you’ll be grounded younglady!”

“Not going to my job today and I might get fired, better to get dressed”

Intrinsic motivation is the one coming from the inside. An internal incentive that propel us to do something.

Take this quote from Steve Jobs as way to understand it better.

Photo by Tobias Bjørkli from Pexels

Quick fact! When we generally speak about motivation we are talking about intrinsic motivation.

Quick fact #2! When I wrote about how to cure depression with motivation I didn’t know that I was actually talking about intrinsic motivation.

But the question still hasn’t been addressed, can motivation beat depression?

Well… Yes & No.

I know, I know, let me explain…

Extrinsic motivation which we will identify better if we call it fame, peer approval, money, etc. CAN’T beat depression.

The reason for this might be related with all of this serving a purpose outside of the realm of ourselves. We cannot manage what others may think of us, identify ourselves with that approval and then expect we are going to be at our best.

Same principle apply to money, if we don’t have “enough” or if we lose a lot of money, we then perceive ourselves to be a failure.

Living with extrinsic motivation not only can’t help us to fight depression, it also creates the perfect recipe for having a life full of misery, anxiety, gloom and desolation.

On the other hand Intrinsic motivation which we recognize better as fulfillment, accomplishment, purpose, mastery, etc. CAN beat depression.

The big difference here (you might have guessed already) is that it operates within the realm of ourselves. We have control of what we can try to achieve and after trying our best to achieve something (no matter how small or big) we identify ourselves to be more successful.

A new question has arisen!

How can we use intrinsic motivation to win the battle against depression?

Discipline is key!

Doing our best and keep committed to fight every single day for what we want to accomplish.

Basically, that novel won’t get finished if you don’t sit down to write at least a few paragraphs everyday.

Six-pack abs are the result of sooo much exercise. Not by being content without the workout and sacrifice.

Fulfillment and wealthiness (not same as money) won’t come to you if you don’t put the necessary work to earn it.

Happiness is also something that we need to strive for, and even defend sometimes.

If we want to achieve something in life, we need to understand that in spite of not having the feeling to motivate ourselves of doing something, the best thing to do is start doing it anyways, without waiting for the motivation to come to us.

Keep doing it every day and eventually (with intrinsic values in mind and heart) the motivation will incubate and hatch inside you.

Last thing I’d love to say is:

Go and live your life with the values of intrinsic motivation, and I bet one day you will beat your depression!

Isandy D. Sanchez

The Messages from Water to Fight Against Depression

Major discoveries and inventions from the last millennium (and we could say especially in the last century) have shaped the way we live in this new millennium.

Probably among all the discoveries one of the most important one is the one who did the late Dr. Masaru Emoto. And spoiler alert, it has to do with our minds and water.

What I’m about to tell you encourages love, gratitude, compassion, empathy, beauty and harmony, hence it helps a lot in fighting depression, anxiety and negative feelings in general.

As a way to honor his memory, let’s see first who was the guy behind the discovery in “The Messages from Water”.

Who Was Dr. Masaru Emoto? What Messages Did He Found in Water?

From the pages Notes Displayed and Wikipedia I’ve got this:

Dr. Masaru Emoto (July 22nd, 1943 – October 17th, 2014) was a Japanese author known for his claim that if human speech or thoughts are directed at water droplets before they are frozen, images of the resulting water crystals will be beautiful or ugly depending upon whether the words or thoughts were positive or negative. Emoto claimed this can be achieved through prayer, music or by attaching written words to a container of water.

Basically, Dr. Masaro exposed intent by the means of music, words spoken, words typed, pictures and videos to Water. After taken photographs of the crystallized water, found out that the result was impressive.

Emoto held that different water sources would produce different crystalline structures when frozen.


Since 1999 Dr. Masaru published several volumes of a work titled Messages from Water, which contains micro-photographs of water crystals next to essays and “words of intent”.

“By holding the intention of peace towards water by thinking, speaking and acting with the intention of peace towards water, water can and will bring peace, to our bodies and to the world”

Masaru Emoto

The Emoto’s Famous Rice Experiment!

For one month Emoto placed three glass with rice and covered them with water. Everyday for a month he said “Thank you” to the first one, “You are an idiot” to the second glass and just ignored the third one.

After this month, the one that was thanked started to ferment and was giving a pleasant aroma. The second one (the idiot) turns completely black and lastly the rice in the 3rd glass began to rot.

“What you really know is Possible in your Heart is Possible. What we Imagine in our Minds becomes our World. That’s just one of the many things I’ve learned about Water”

Masaru Emoto

Why Is This Effective in The Fight Against Depression?

Very simple to give an answer to this one. We are composed by +55% of water. Now, take in consideration that if this is what we can do just by thinking and impregnating our intent into water, could you imagine what we are doing to ourselves with our everyday thinking?

Our thoughts are powerful sparks for creation. We can use them often and consciously to awaken a whole new level of power and possibilities in or life.

“While there is no one who hasn’t an evil bone in their body, there is also no one who is totally evil to the core, the fact that someone harbors opposing emotions simple makes them human”

Masaru Emoto

For all of you who fight against depression is not that easy to just start thinking positively about yourself, but this is proof that at least you can start to try to plant that seed in your mind.

In another note, Dr. Masaru believed that serious crimes were committed in places where people cursed more often. But not only cursing creates this type of results, saying things like; “you’re an idiot”, “you disappoint me”, “you can’t do this”, “I don’t trust you”, etc can clearly show crystallized water to be oblivious to harmony and become “ugly” instead.

Although the scientific community won’t validate these findings, due to a lack of scientific evidence, you can find numerous people all over the internet that have performed the rice experiment or a variation of it and getting the same or a very similar result.

I’ll share with you my own rice experiment and my opinion on how everything is working out.

Starting from day 02/01/2019 and completing the experiment in 02/28/2019, I’d say the experiment is not a complete success for me. This is because I took the rice without cooking it first. However, please bear with me, as I want to make a point and show you what I’ve learned with this.

Rice Experiment – Everything Starts With a Thought

Day 1


A thought is an opinion or an idea that appears in our mind or is produced by thinking.

Status Quo, nothing seems to change or feel any different the first day we start something. While we can entertain ourselves about having this or that thought or opinion, it feels much like the same.

With our thoughts we are planting the seed, maybe that seed has been planted in fertile ground to sprout or maybe not.

For instance, going to the Gym today and not going back for the rest of the year won’t do a significant change to your health

I think maybe you are innocent.

You got the point.

Rice Experiment – I Believe is Possible

Day 7

A belief is the acceptance of the existence of something or to think that is true, sometimes even if we cannot demonstrate it.

Believing in something is sometimes challenging the status quo and have opinions about something because we have given some thoughts and can form a better opinion. It feels there has been some changes in our mind and hence we start to question the Status Quo.

The seed is sprouting now, and you can see a plant growing little by little every day.

You are going to the Gym often because you believe that by showing up and doing the work is going to benefit your health.

I believe you can be innocent.

Rice Experiment – Because I Have The Conviction

Day 15

A conviction is a firmly held belief or opinion.

Having a conviction about something means that we deeply believe in that to be true. It’s like reaching out the next level of a belief. You see things through the lens of what you believe and it becomes easier to connect unrelated and/or distant topics with what you believe.

It is with a conviction that we feel strongly motivated to do something, to take action and change the Status Quo because we deeply believe something needs to change.

A fully grown up three is in what that little seed has become now. The roots are deep buried in the ground, the stem is strong, the branches are leafy and overall, it is a healthy tree.

You’re going to the Gym constantly because doing the workout and you believe it will do something beneficial to your body. But it is by having the conviction in your mind that you decide to do “one more” when you feel without the strength to continue.

I trust that you are innocent.

Rice Experiment – Imprint

Day 28

An Imprint (psychology) involves an organism recognizing the characteristics of certain stimuli that are subsequently “imprinted” onto the subject.

Imprinting is getting a belief deeply rooted in ourselves as a conviction, with the difference that we subconsciously follow that belief. Leaders inspire and instill a deep belief in their followers to challenge the Status Quo. We could say they are “imprinting” their opinions and ideas in the people that resonate with that belief.

Do you know about the difference between the conscious mind vs the subconscious mind?

It has been said that we use only the 10% – 20% of our mind’s capacity and that if we harness our full, potential (which is the subconscious mind) we would be unstoppable.

That little idea you have planted and seen growing into a belief and then into a conviction it’s really something, but you must see and acknowledge the forest that surround our “convictions” with it “imprint”.

Going to the Gym and doing the workout has the purpose of being healthier. The imprint in this situation is demonstrated by also eating healthy food, sleeping well, and maybe even doing meditation, all to get the same result, which is having a healthier lifestyle.

Soldiers have repeated some combat training that when they are physically attacked, they respond with a combat counter movement almost subconsciously, effortlessly, like a reflex. That’s because that combat training has been “imprinted” in them.

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

Seeing how the water get it’s beautiful or ugly forms by giving our positive or negative intent, clearly demonstrate how we can affect ourselves and other humans and living beings.

We have the power to create, and we also have the power to destroy when we think, act or speak either negative or positively. This means, we have more power than we think to fight against anything that may trouble us, like depression and/or anxiety.

My Rice Experiment didn’t show the expected result, but I can see that the container with “Amor” seems to have a rosier view and overall is in good shape. The container with “Odio” on the other hand, have some dark spots and I can perceive is dryer, but it doesn’t seem to be in a terrible shape either. That’s why I’ve decided to keep the experiment a little longer. Don’t worry I’ll keep you posted.

Last thing I want to mention about Dr. Masaru Emoto, is that in his lab numerous experiment were run and shows that the most powerful result of cleansing the water is not just a single word, but a combination of the two words “Love & Gratitude”.