Sunday, May 24, 2015

Tip#855: How Movies Saved My Life, Part 1 - Depression & Mental Health - Tomorrowland

On January 28, 2015 I was diagnosed with a chronic low-grade depression called dysthymia (persistent depressive disorder). I was in a state of shock for days but later realized I finally had a name for something inside me that’s been plaguing me for years. I’m told that this type of depression is very difficult to identify, if ever, because it is easy to believe the symptoms are just part of a person’s character. Since then I’ve taken steps every day to solve this mental health challenge not only to help myself but to help others too.

Now, more than ever, I am applying what I’ve written on my movie blog and shared in my motivational talks about increasing resilience. I am using creative visualization, vision statements/affirmations and future pacing techniques to focus on the future I want instead of ruminating on current negative situations. I also started a 15 week group program on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (see tip#847) at Toronto’s CAMH, Centre for Addiction & Mental Health. The goal here is to learn how to effectively manage the debilitating thoughts and behaviours that keep feeding my depression. And then I can share what I've learned with others.

Recently, I experienced high depression symptoms such as loss of concentration, hopelessness, extreme heaviness in my arms and legs. Thoughts of death also lightly crept into my foggy mind. This happened on the opening day of Disney’s Tomorrowland film which I planned to see. Since movies have been a powerful coping tool for these symptoms (see tip#801) I made it my goal to take a rejuvenating one-hour walk in the beautiful, warm sunshine to the first afternoon screening at the nearest Cineplex theatre. Once again it felt like I was divinely guided to see this film because it instantly re-activated my indestructible optimism and imagination for my brighter future.

Synchronistically, optimism and the future were key themes of Tomorrowland and also featured this Cherokee parable that is a powerful message for anyone dealing with depression or facing challenges in the workplace or in life.

The Two Wolves Parable

An old grandfather told his grandson: “There is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, and resentment. The other is good. It is joy, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and bravery.” The boy thought about it, and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?” The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.” 

Tomorrowland (2015)

The science fiction adventure film, Tomorrowland, is about a reclusive, former boy genius Frank Walker (George Cooney) and a tech-savvy teen Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) recruited by the mysterious Athena (Raffey Cassidy) to save a futuristic world called Tomorrowland. This visually stunning movie is overflowing with highly imaginative, creative landscapes and exciting technology! It also features heartfelt performances and inspiring messages about optimism and envisioning a better future. See: awesome teaser trailer 

Tomorrowland is also rich with many other life lessons to empower people of all ages. It speaks of nurturing the happy inner child and dreamer within us all and the importance of cultivating community to build a positive future for the planet.

Inspiring Themes:
Indestructible Optimism 
Perseverance & Resilience (Don’t give up)
• Power of inspiration & imagination
Envisioning & focusing on a positive future
Power of community
Letting go

Along with the dazzling visuals the film spoke directly to my heart with its reminders of focusing on the positive, exciting future that I want for myself. Vision, focus and belief were the keys. I was reminded to keep feeding the good, optimistic wolf within me instead of the wolf that represents my dark depression and hopelessness. This magical movie took me away for a few hours, cleared the ruminating in my brain (see: tip#801) and returned me to earth feeling refreshed and enthusiastic again!

Seeing Tomorrowland during a time of despair and depression helped fill me with unlimited hope and promise that my future will be brighter as long as I focus on that belief and vision. My indestructible optimism was once again re-energized and I felt much better, physically, emotionally and mentally. Movies saved my life once more.

If you are feeling deeply stuck at work or in life or experiencing symptoms of situational or clinical depression I highly recommend seeing a film to help re-ignite your spirit and drive. Movies can help you escape your pain for awhile, get entertained and re-energized. Cinema can fill you with insights, epiphanies and AHA moments for moving forward again. Choose to feed your indestructible optimism right now!

ON MY INSTAGRAM SITE: The Film Food Friends Project

Related Tips:
Tip#855: How Movies Saved My Life, Part 1 - Depression & Mental Health - Tomorrowland 
Tip#863: How Movies Saved My Life, Part 2 - Depression & Mental Health - Inside Out 
Tip#200: How To Build Indestructible Optimism - 9 Movie Tips 
Tip#801: Resilience Is Your Hidden Super Power, Part 5 - Depression - Whiplash
Tip#811: Resilience Resources, Part 4 – Top 15 Movies for Dealing with Depression & Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Tip#812: Resilience Resources, Part 5 – Mental Health - Mumford
Tip#825: Resilience Resources, Part 10 – Mental Health & Healthcare - Big Hero 6
Tip#829: Resilience Resources, Part 11 – The Tartigrade – Mr. Deeds Goes To Town 
Tip#830: Resilience Resources, Part 12 – Depression & Graham Moore - The Imitation Game 
Tip#833: Resilience Resources, Part 13 – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tip#847: The Power of Acknowledgement, Part 3 – Mental Health in the Workplace - Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

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Remember How Movies Can Help You: 
A) Entertain & Escape 
B) Re-energize & Release 
C) Insights, Epiphanies & AHA moments

Emmanuel Lopez-Motivatorman
Motivational Speaker & Resilience Expert
Discover How Movies Inspire Resilience in Your Work & Life!
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© Emmanuel Lopez 2015


Anonymous said...

Your blog has me looking forward to seeing "Tomorrowland" soon! Thank you Motivatorman. Julie in NYC

Candice Frederick said...

I love that you are always so candid. thank you for this.

swarlock said...

I saw Tomorrowland yesterday. It definitely gave the drive to move forward with my goal.

Anonymous said...

Hey Emmanuel,

Read your article. Best wishes to you for winning the battle against chronic depression.

I was in the same situation before...

Looking forward to your final victory.

Take care,

Emmanuel Lopez - Motivatorman said...

Many thanks Candice, I always appreciate your support! Thanks also Teresa and swarlock for sharing your encouraging thoughts!

Louisa Jewell said...

Emmanuel, I am always amazed at how honest and authentic you are about your struggle with depression. Thank you for sharing your strategies. I'm sure it's helping so many. Much Love. Louisa

Anonymous said...

Terrific post. Incredibly well written.

Thanks for sharing.

Anthony Tobia, MD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Anonymous said...

Emmanuel, I could not help but go and see the movie after such a strong review. I found that the movie was very motivational and it carried so many positive reinforcements. The only thing I can say is that depending on what you are looking for in the movie, will greatly determine what you receive out of it, for me there was a spiritual message, as well as a good message for someone suffering with depression. I certainly plan to share this movie with others and how to go and see it again myself or wait until it comes out on Netflix. This is one movie that I feel should be watch more than once.

Denise Holcomb
Founder & President of Removing The Stigma
Cleveland, Ohio