Monday, August 26, 2013

The Number 40 and How it Can Help with Depression

(What I have written below may not be for everyone and that is completely cool. With respect, I ask you not to judge, but realize that like you, I have feelings, my own purpose, and my own challenges. Even if you don’t particularly like what I say, please see I speak from love with the hopes of helping others. Thank you.)


I never really thought much about that number except for that most people don’t like turning 40. That and the story of Noah’s ark in which it rained for 40 days and 40 nights to kill the “evil” human race- a story I've never been fond of since it scared me as a kid. Thus, 40 never seemed like a good number.

It is a great number though!

Here are some positive thoughts/ facts on the number 40:

1)     Turning 40 is a gift not everyone gets. Plus, you’re a lot wiser than you were at 20. (I don’t know about you but there’s no way I’d take the wisdom I’ve gained for a younger age)

2)    Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights in the desert. Then it was 40 days between the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. (I know religion can rub people the wrong way but I just put this in to show the number throughout history)

3)    Your conscious mind can process 40 environmental stimuli per second.

4)    Forty is the only number, when spelled out, has its letters in alphabetical order.

5)    The planet Venus forms a pentagram in the night sky every eight years with it returning to its original point every 40 years with a 40 day regression. Some scholars believe that this ancient information was the basis for the number 40 becoming sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

6)    Buddha is said to have reached enlightenment after mediating and fasting for 40 days.

And my current favorite…..

7)    Research shows that you can have long lasting change in the neural pathways of your brain after repeating a new pattern for 40 days.  
(Heres one video on it: )

How can that help improve depression or make anyone’s life better with or without depression?

            If you can commit to do something positive for 40 days you can actually change your brain! All you need is yourself.

            In my personal journey I’m trying out a few things for 40 days, although just doing one thing would be a great start.

-First, I’m meditating for forty days. I’ll do a whole other blog about this but to help you out I want to make sure you know you don’t have to just sit cross legged trying not to think, though that may be perfect for some people.  I’m currently using guided meditations I found online but you can even meditate to a positive song you like. For example, if you’re a woman needing a little confidence you can get your meditation on to Girl on Fire by Alicia keys. If you want to feel thankful you can meditate to Kind & Generous to Natalie Merchant.)

-At the end of my meditation I often find it helpful to take a moment to picture how I want to feel. Even if you don’t want to full on meditate, I would highly suggest doing this and you can do it anywhere.

- I’m also trying to do yoga for 40 days, even if I just have time for one pose. My reason for doing yoga is that it reminds me to breathe, focus, and balance for my mind and my body.
Mind and body workout! 

-The simplest thing I’m doing, which I am finding to be very effective, is having a mantra to deal with my negative thoughts. This can change daily, but a mantra I always come back to is “I forgive myself for my negative thought. I now choose to see love instead of fear.”

-Lastly, I’m reading May Cause Miracles: A 40 day guidebook of subtle shifts for radical change and unlimited happiness by Gabrielle Bernstein. The book is awesome and a perfect addition to my search on healing depression naturally. However, I’m finding that different authors relate to different people, so if you check it out and don’t like it, that’s cool, but maybe try another book aimed at positive thinking.

            So that’s my 40 day plan. Please don’t think you have to do all of that! You can even come up with something else. Just pick one thing and you’ll be off to a great start. Also, according to spiritual teachers, it’s okay to miss a day. Forgive yourself and then start at day 1. I realize that starting over at day 1 might seem a little grueling, but you want to start something that you can continue and build on for the rest of your life anyway. Even after the 40 days is up you shouldn’t stop, but maybe try something a little different.

WARNING: If you do decide to try this and you start feeling a little better after a week or so, do not stop! I can almost guarantee that once you start feeling better, a silly little voice is going to tell you that it's okay to stop and you'll still feel okay (which won't be the case). This comes from your ego, the same place where negative thoughts come from, and you must not listen to it. I've started on a better path so many time only to stop doing what was working because I listened to this silly voice. Listen to the loving voice that wants what is best for you.

            If anyone has any other suggestion on a positive pattern that can be done for 40 days please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear ideas. Also, if you found this helpful, please share it. I really wish I would have known some of this earlier as I feel strongly that this information will help me heal my own mind.

Thank you for reading!

Run Wild, Run Happy,


"To heal is to make happy" -A Course in Miracles


  1. I regularly read your blog and I want to share this with you :

    Why 40 days? it's an illusion, why not 30 ou 60?

    You don't need those beliefs to be strong, you don't need "jesus" and all those creations of the human mind, this is for the "weak" (Marx said "Religion is the opium of the people"), those who need to believe in something they can't explain or understand. It solve nothing, worse it can induce fear, fear to do bad, of not being at the height...

    I don't judge, I struggle too in my own life, I'm from France I live near Paris (sry for my bad english), in one month I quit my home and my friend to go live in the Alps near Chamonix, I know I'll be happier there because of the mountains, I don't know if it's the answer for total hapiness but I have to try...
    Anyway if you think it's good for you, if you feel better, then it's good, but you have to be honest with yourself, which is very difficul in the end, to think on the long haul.

    From an exterior view you seem to have a great life, a great companion with Sage, I thing you guys are awesome, you're top runners, you live in an awesome place and you inspire a lot of people!

    But I know that even if everything seem perfect for people like us this is not necessarily the case, we're never satisfied, we never feel "complete", you need to believe in you, in your body and if you need to have goals like doing yoga, meditation, eat better, do it on your own will, on your own term, do not shut yourself in shackles, like you said : all you need is yourself!


    1. Hey Nicolas, it's 40 days because there has been research showing that's how long it takes to make permanent change in your brain, but the longer the better of course as it's best to turn these things into a lifestyle. It wouldn't be right to call that an illusion.The facts I added, religious or not, were just fun "facts/ ideas" I added about the number 40 to show how the number through history.

      Thanks for the comment!

    2. When I was studying a lot while teaching aerobics, swim lessons and coaching I had heard it takes 3 weeks to form a new habit ... 40 days makes sense too, as it's longer than 3 weeks, hehe ...

    3. Little changes in thoughts and actions produce big results if you allow it.
      52 is my number ...Loving life as it comes!

    4. Exactly what I'm hoping for... little changes in thoughts for big results. Thanks!

    5. You don't need those beliefs to be strong, you don't need "jesus" and all those creations of the human mind, this is for the "weak" (Marx said "Religion is the opium of the people"), those who need to believe in something they can't explain or understand. It solve nothing, worse it can induce fear, fear to do bad, of not being at the height...

      Nicolas... Marxism has been the bain of society since it's inception. It spawned Russia.... and other places like that.

      While you should be happy, the mountains don't 'make' you happy. Happiness is understanding and being 'happy' wherever you are, no matter what situation your in. Whether rich or poor, sickness or health, til death, really isn't just for marriage.

      It's for life.

  2. I love 40. A lot of good things began changing and happening when I turned 40. And those religious/historical examples are good too, there is got to be a reason they were mentioned for same number! Keep on tracking, Sandi!


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