How Tony Robbins Outsmarts Depression

How Tony Robbins Outsmarts Depression

Articles Blog


Tony Robbins is probably the most gifted communicator I have ever seen and one of his most amazing feats is that in his live seminars, he is able to take people from feeling depressed to empowered in just one conversation and he’s able to give them the tool so that they can stay there long after the event ends. So in this video, we are going to talk about just one of the techniques that Tony uses to accomplish this — it’s called a state break — and that is anything that you can do to shift someone from one emotion to another. It sounds simple but if you can master this skill, your ability to help other people, to persuade, and to live a more fulfilled life goes through the roof so let’s begin. Who’s really depressed? Raise your hand. Give him my phone, please. Give him a hand. He’s really impressive, for god’s sakes. Tony starts with a surprised-based state break and it works because normally, when people say that they’re dealing with depression, the immediate response they get is advice or sensitivity but never applause. And unfortunately, those well-intentioned pieces of advice often can serve to reinforce that depressed state because it’s the millionth time that person has heard it So if you want to help people break out of a negative emotion whether it’s depression, fear, or anger, one of the best things that you can do initially is give them the opposite response of what they expect. For instance, one time I was upset and I was complaining to a buddy and right while he was acting sympathetic saying, “Mmm, interesting,” he started throwing grapes right at my head. I got pelted right in the forehead and immediately started laughing and throwing them back at him which put me in a much better mood and eventually helped me to move past my upset feeling. In this clip though, surprise didn’t totally break Bob’s negative state which is possible so Tony continues. Bob. Bob? Where are you from? Seattle. That’s why you’re dressed. I know. It’s all the rain. You see here some simple-canned humor. Now, humor is one of the best ways to break someone’s negative state because when something is funny, it is so hard not to laugh. Tony has a number of prepared lines that he knows work extremely well in these very heavy situations. Often, he’ll joke that people are depressed because of where they’re from and other times will tease them for their fashion sense which is what you see at the beginning of the Netflix documentary, I Am Not Your Guru. …I don’t find a way out. What makes you hate yourself? Is it the red shoes? What? Is it the red shoes? No. Are you sure? Because they’re fucking red. Don’t you be smiling like that — you’ll fuck everything up. You see reverse psychology at the end of that clip and it’s another one of Tony Robbins’ state brakes. By the way, I highly recommend checking out that documentary — it’s fantastic. Now, the reverse psychology state brake works particularly well with people that are primed to fight you as is often the case with depressed people who feel that they’ve already heard everything. They’ve become so tired of people trying to crack them that sometimes they purposely resist every piece of advice even if it’s really good. So when Tony tells them to go back into depression because they’re ruining it, they find their own resistance working to help them. Rain. All that rain, darkness — you’re running this depression thing by laughing. That’s why I don’t. Please go back to that depression state. And then another state break is just the light-hearted refrain and that’s joking that this obviously difficult separation might actually have something to celebrate. Are you really depressed right now? Yeah, I just, um… My wife just filed for divorce yesterday. Mmm, that is sad. Um, are you sure there’s not a part of you that’s ready to go, “Yay!” There might be. To be clear, the light-hearted refrain works because Tony doesn’t simply say, “Hey, look on the bright side of things,” and then proceeded to give rational advice. He makes it into a joke, does a little cheer, and exaggerate how excited Bob might feel at the prospect of divorce. Now, Tony continues to bounce back and forth between these types of state breaks and gets Bob in and out of a lightly depressed state at least five times. He establishes a pattern of snapping Bob out of depression as soon as he goes into it so it’s becoming harder and harder for Bob to maintain that state just out of habit. But Tony knows that there won’t always be an audience to laugh with Bob — he is going to be alone at some point without support so Tony needs to teach Bob to snap out of even the most depressed states and he needs to teach him to do it on his own. So once Tony feels that Bob is ready after several state breaks, he’ll quiet the audience and direct Bob to focus intensely on his depression. I need you to get, like, at that level-9 depression, okay? Because I’m not good at this, I need you as a role model to teach me. You nod when you’re at 9. Go to 9 and a half. Tony’s objective here is for Bob to make the depression as bad as it can get so that he can break him out of it and you can see here by Bob’s body language that in this moment, he’s deeper in depression than he has been for the entire interaction — his face has turned downward and he lets out this big sigh. But Tony’s going to continue to push this feeling even further by asking Bob what he is focusing on and even having him beat himself up like he does in his own head. And what do you say to yourself while you’re in this state to be at a depression at 9 and a half? It’s my fault. What else do you say to yourself? Say it the way you say it when you’re most depressed. Say it in that same tone of voice. I really f****d up. Now remember, Tony is doing this because he wants to show Bob that he’s capable of snapping out of even his most depressive spells which is why he took Bob to the lowest that he’s been. To get him out he has to bring out some seriously big state breaks — he’s going to have to have Bob focus on one the most opposite experiences of depression that is possibly imaginable. So watch. Let me ask you a different question. Have you ever had a great orgasm? Sure. It was that good, huh? This is a classic and very intense surprise state break and many people would be so shocked at that line of questioning that they’d immediately lose their depressed state but Bob is a little tougher so Tony has to follow up with a joke-based state break. This is a technique that you can use with people in your own life when they are at their lowest and you may have to use a number of these repeated state breaks so keep in mind that you have joking, reverse psychology, and surprise all at your disposal. Chain a few of these together with a playful attitude and you will eventually break their state then you can do what Tony does and get them to focus on something amazing in their life or in their past to help them experience just how quickly their emotions can shift. Now I want you to close your eyes and remember that moment just for a second in depth. And I want you to breathe the way you were breathing then. Now at that point, what were you focused on? Were you spiritual like, “Oh, god — oh, god,” or like… What did you say? What did you do? You’re not feeling depressed right now are ya? Not right now. Are you feeling depressed right now? No. Ladies and gentlemen, he’s not depressed right now. Here, Tony focus on the body language and the breathing patterns and those are particularly important because they, more than almost anything, feed our emotional state if not more than the thoughts in our head. So if you are struggling to get someone or maybe even yourself to feel better, take a walk or better yet, take a run, go shoot hoops — do anything that forces the depressed person, even if it’s you, to move their body because that will lay the groundwork for them to overcome what they are dealing with. Tony does this with Bob by directly telling him to assume the body language, the breeding patterns, and the focus of the best sex of his life. At this point, Tony has taken Bob from awful depression to feeling great in just a few moments and this is where many of us, well-meaning as we may be, would stop with our friends. But Tony knows that it’s not over because this feeling still hasn’t been internalized by Bob — it’s all done at Tony’s prompting. So Tony needs to see if Bob can maintain this feeling on his own. To begin this process, he helps Bob disassociate from his bad feeling by labeling it as a separate person and this technique very simply can be called labeling. Who was that little pussy boy I was talking to earlier? Give him a name for me so I know who he was. Little Bobby. Lttle Bobby. Little Ball-less Bobby. Yes. Not Big Balls Bob. Let’s give a hand for Big Balls Bob, ladies and gentlemen. So when Bob offers a more empowered name for himself, Tony and the audience give him a ton of positive reinforcement which encourages him to keep it up but the real test is going to be whether Bob can do this on his own so Tony has to do one last test to see if Bob can resist the nothing-has-changed mentality — he’s going to play Devil’s Advocate and assume the role of the skepticism that has lived within Bob’s own head — the skepticism that tells him, “This will never get better.” You’re going to sit down in a few moments and your life won’t have changed. Will it? If I change the meaning, I can change the feeling and the emotion. So yeah, my life has changed right now. Give him a hand, ladies and gentleman. I’ve realized that on the outside, state brakes might not look that special but they are incredibly powerful because you’re not just telling someone, “Hey, things are going to get better,” you’re showing them via their own experience over and over again that things do get better and that is so powerful. Now this isn’t to say that Bob will never again feel sad about his divorce. Grief over the loss of a loved one is normal and it’s healthy but with repeated practice in shifting his own state, Bob can make the grieving process go much more rapidly and he can avoid sinking into a deep depression because of it. He can experience the sadness and move through it with the tools that Tony had showed him. I know that you’re probably not standing on a stage coaching people in front of a live audience but the rules for helping people shift their emotions remain the same even in a one-on-one friend context. So if you want to help a friend get out of a bad place, it’s often not enough to simply explain why they’re being silly or overdramatic or to reason with them about how everything’s going to be okay — their emotional state will not allow them to accept that. First, you must break their negative state through reverse psychology, humor, reframing — whatever it takes — and then you can work on practical solutions. Otherwise, even the best advice will fall on deaf ears. I hope you found this video helpful in adding to your state-breaking tool box or even just learning what a state break is and if you like this video and you want more like it, make sure to click the subscribe button now. Go ahead and click the notification bell as well if you want your phone to actually tell you when we upload so you don’t ever miss a video. If you have suggestions on topics to cover, let me know beneath in the comments. We’ve also set up a quick video that if you’re interested in learning more about making a killer first impression, you can click that button now, drop your email, and watch it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this video and I’ll see you in the next one.

100 thoughts on “How Tony Robbins Outsmarts Depression”

  1. My kids dad text me at 7 am saying he was going to be late then stole our kids from me, boarded a plane across the Country to please his enmeshing mother and their Emotionally incestuous relationship. I can’t forgive him and want him to feel the same pain I have.

  2. Tony Robbins outsmarts his depression with his followers and fame cause he's a sociopath lol. Depressions tough man, takes a lot, start with therapy. But there's SOOOO many more factors to it. If you're genuinely depressed, good luck. You've got a long road ahead to getting better.

  3. I had no idea who Tony Robbins was. Thank You for this video. I am one step closer to controlling my depression. Everyone please share your favorite anti-depression video in the replay section, and I hope that every one who reads this has a happy and fulfilling life

  4. This is such disrespectful bs. The guy doesn’t suffer from clinical depression. He’s sad because his wife filed for divorce. Big difference.

  5. I’ve tried these tips on Reddit and if you don’t give rational advice but joke instead you’ll get downvoted into oblivion.

  6. To out smart depression go n set off the adrenalin in your body,,, do something that scares you,,, your welcome now give me your 5 thousand pounds,,, come on ppl wake the fuck up

  7. Yeah like but there is still a big bioligical component. Clinical Depression is a different kind of story than sadness or grief.
    You can try this if you have enough empathy and social intelligence to break someone's sadness momentairly.
    Depressed people can become comical geniouses out of necessity for those mechanisms that bring them these little moments of laughter but even if they become masters at their craft they can still be depressed. Like I can entertain a group of people for an evening and come home and think about suicide. It's the way it is. I'll carry on but not by putting myself down as the 'loser depressed self' my endurance and strength is the highest when I can't enjoy myself but I still go about my day and that deserves some respect.
    Not a Fan of this man. He has some simple tricks and could be really helpful if He didn't present them as some Kind of cure.

  8. So true.. throughout my teens I going about with people who just “lived in the problem” and told me what I want to hear. Now thank god I have people in my life that lighten me up, silliness, action love is the cure for depression

  9. I agree, for the most part, but I tend to favor Jordan Peterson because he's a psychologist and researcher and most of his knowledge is based on clinical research , and statistical facts as a psychologist. on top of which I have a new rule, when it comes to following a type of guru weather in my real life or someone on YouTube on social media like these types of people I tend to want them to be in debates with someone who's opposing them to see how they do. You will see the person how they really are when they have opposing Force who's playing devil's advocate. This guy Tony I've never seen him in a debate before with someone who opposes him or with a better point of view. Jordan Peterson has done verbal sparring with countless of people opposing him and has come out on top almost every single time if not EVERY single time completely. not just what he says in process be, there are many like him, is he that is Tony, Russell oh, and so many other self-proclaimed gurus, many of them seems to make sense when it comes to betterment of self in relation to life, but very few enter are very good debate with an opposing point of view. Jordan Peterson does this. I'm actually seen Russell Brand on a debate, and he didn't do very well. In fact every single debate what's someone that opposes is point of view or has a better point of view that he does or someone tends to not do very well. Guys like Russell Brand and Tony seem to only do well when they're on the stage with nobody opposing their point of view. I tend to avoid guys like this.

  10. Tony's phenomenal, absolutely. However, if he were that effective, psychiatrists would be unemployed. Tony interacts with emotional state instead of the structure of character, the latter requires more than one session in a TV show and it also might include medication.

  11. Thank you, Charlie for breaking down step by step of this video for us. It's all about mind & "heart" emotion feeling programming technology. Cheers!

  12. Robbins presentation was about situational depression. Clinical depression is not easy to resolve and certainly not by making light about it and thinking it can be resolved in a 30 second sound bite.

  13. the opposite reaction backfires a lot. you cant just give an opposite reaction to someones emotion then theyll think that you dont care enough, you have to ease them in.

  14. Its amazing to me how Tony and other Life Coach type people are able to talk to someone run threw there feelings, spot the issues and then change things around to help them find solutions its like Magic or watching Magic..Im hoping 1 day I could be as good as Tony at helping people.

  15. I am an avid #MentalHealthAwareness advocate and performer, and I love this so much. I travel the country trying to bring that awareness on stages, in classrooms, hospitals, and on my YouTube channel, so I get excited when I see other advocates. 💙❤

  16. You are wrong. Tony Robbins worked hard at being incredible communicator. He didn't have a talent and was not gifted. People are not great at something because they were gifted. They worked at their craft for decades to be the greatest.

  17. great video but a couple of things i'd like to add at the end:
    1. be cognizant of what your friend needs. it could be that they really just want to be heard or need someone by their side who isn't going to give them shit about how they are feeling in the moment. my best friend came to me and just sat next to me, which was incredibly helpful because she didnt make me feel like i had to muster a happy face or go outside when i was crippling with depression and anxiety. that wasn't always the case when i was knee-deep in depression and there were times when a part of me wanted to go outside or do something to take my mind off but other times going outside and having a breakdown in public made me even more anxious and depressed. sometimes having a friend play a video game next to you or read a book might be powerful enough

    2. tony's method to change the emotion when a person is feeling depressed by snapping into a different mindset (wearing red shoes/thinking how good an orgasm felt etc) and while that is great, sometimes people with chronic depression need to come back to underlying issues. you have wonderful videos on your channel that do that, such as confronting the inner child, understanding patterns in relationships, etc. i think getting to the point of tackling underlying depression is achieved through tony's techniques but they will just scratch the surface without addressing the larger issues or breaking patterns that bring you back to a depressed state.

    love your videos and just thought i'd add a bit more to what you have already stated. thanks for all your videos, charlie <3

  18. Depression is wallowing in sadness habitually. You noobs in the comments are missing the point. It’s breaking the habit. You have to start somewhere. This isn’t a one time fix magic trick. It’s an NLP reframe shift. And he’s going to have to keep doing it to break the cycle.

  19. You should have just pointed out that Robbins is a fraud and manipulator. Those effects are temporary. Those people need a real treatment. This is a useful video but do not advertise him

  20. This is superficial and may help Tony entertain his audience and possibly sell more tickets to his seminars or books. But. It doesn't get to the root of depression. If anything Tony comes off egotistical and sarcastic. He's doing more hard than good. Tony Robins is full of crap.

  21. I'm not Bob. But my experience of depression is something very different, in as much as you can't pinpoint it to a single event like a divorce. It's an absolute hollowness and inability to feel anything, not even sadness. Just a hollow inability to connect to yourself or anything around you. Humour does work, brilliantly in fact, to pull you out of this most of the time. It creates a change in your state and when you've pulled yourself up, you can focus on your problems… but it doesn't fix anything in the long run. It's just a CBT technique, basically. A good one. But to to get out of my depression I've had to learn how to reconstruct my entire personality. It requires a massive skillset, of which state change is a tiny one that is effective for specific reasons in specific circumstances. And there have been times where state changes simply didn't work for me. I couldn't laugh, I couldn't even begin to connect with emotions like humour. I couldn't connect with anything at all. It was almost as if the English language didn't work any more.

  22. 0:50 Anthony Robbins gives the opposite of what they expect

    3:20 Tony Robbins resorts to humor like in I Am Not Your Guru

    7:35 Calls for body motion for self help and personal development

  23. Another title for this is "how to listen to your friend"
    "How to make your friend listen to your advice" just to name a few.

  24. The part about breathing makes a lot of sense. After a paticular breakup, I literally wasn't breathing right for days. There was just a painful weight on my chest constantly. After giving it time and doing some personal healing, I've gotten a lot better and I no longer have the pain in my chest. She's in my heart but the pain isn't 🙂

  25. You're implying depression is a state as short lived as a few seconds that you can quickly snap in and out of. That's so far out of touch with actual medical evidence and any depressed person could tell you that

  26. yea, that is not depression,.. this is being a little down.. still not a bad break down and i can see how it may help others

  27. Honestly, if someone behaves like that with me, I would probably be like "Am I a joke to you?". I think some people, like me, need that seriousness, need to feel like they are taken seriously. Besides, I think it's only surface help.

  28. "Feeling depressed" is not the same as having a depression. Laughing about jokes will not cure the person with a depression from depression. Creating a moment of happiness would not cure someone from an episode of depression. Those jokes can backfire badly.

  29. This looks like it can definitely be helpful to people to snap themselves out of a certain state of mind. On the other hand, getting over a depression isn't that simple for most people. The techniques Tony uses will distract the subject for a while, and that can provide some much needed temporary relief. However, if one seeks to distract the mind from the unresolved issues deep within the psyche, one will never truly get over their depression.

  30. It's not like depressed people can't be happy or laugh. It just means that their overall attitude towards life is bleak and they don't really see the point and somedays those feelings will be strong enough that they won't even get out of bed.

  31. Sadly, this is a form of deflection and does not help someone who actually is depressed. It seems from this clip this guy is just stuck in his thoughts and yes of course Tony can "deflect" him away from those thoughts in that moment. But this doesn't teach and support this guy when he is no longer standing in that crowd with Tony.

    Cracking jokes when someone is in depress actually is not helpful and can cause more harm them good … especially if you do not know that person!

  32. Sometimes when Im depressed and someone tries to cheer my up or make jokes I laugh and smile and act like it helped but really its just because it would be awkward if you didn’t do that and it just feels like a chore. I’d rather be by myself and focus inwards. The laughing hurts and feels fake.

  33. I feel like state breaking is a very risky tool to use. I mean, you start cracking jokes at people and they laugh, fine, but go ahead and let loose that incredibly dull sigh summoning dad joke you rehearsed with your nine year old nephew and I think it could evoke some very bad responses, particularly in the "You think this is a joke?" department followed by either a full breakdown or outrage.

    Being a showman and having an audience helps this method a lot, and I have serious doubts this working on your friends if you fail to make them laugh.

  34. Charisma on Command- how to look at techniques and try to explain them, without knowing wtf you're talking about. Basically everything said in this video just shows the lack of understanding of what Tony is actually doing…

  35. Does anyone know if the guy with the red shoes ended up being helped? He looked destroyed and hopeless. The way he was looking at Tony was like he was begging for help through his gaze alone. When asked what makes him hate himself you could hear him breaking down, like he was too embarrassed to even admit it in front of everybody. I hope the guy with the red shoes got help :/

  36. This is inaccurate imo, you can't outsmart a chemical imbalance on your brain. Depression is a pathology, sadness is one of the main simptons but not the only one, often depressed people display euforya or happiness moments before they commit suicide.

  37. Go do sports, especially the ones that would make your brain train new patterns like martial arts, yoga, running, etc. And also read or watch such videos that discuss human emotions.

  38. i started watching your videos couple of months ago, thank you so much for making this channal and helping the rest of your human familly out!

  39. 5:08 people with depression, can you confirm if this is true with you? I can't access a level 9 depression on command. I can't control it. It's like having diabetes, too much glucose in your blood won't go away unless you take your medication. Anyways, this video is about 3 years old now, I hope the people now have more understanding on how it really is

  40. Whoever reads this, you WILL get over whatever you're going through! Keep going, I promise there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Love you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *