What is depression?
Most explanations of depression simply rephrase the symptoms of depression without ever getting to the root of the problem. One thing is for sure though, depression is a mental phenomenon.
Sure, there are some physical maladies that share some of the same symptoms as depression, but depression cannot be cured with drugs. Since depression is in the mind, we need to look at exactly what is happening in the mind.
The mind is not just our brains. Mind is a vast collection of thoughts, memories, emotions and desires. You just know they are there. That’s the mind.
Depression arises from the unknown; not knowing how a situation is going to turn out; not understanding why things are happening the way they are; feeling like you aren’t in control of your life. It is an out-of-control thought process that usually consists of regurgitating happenings from the past.
We can’t change the past–it’s gone! We can learn from the experiences of the past, but we’ve got to learn to let go and live in the present moment. There’s a saying that goes something like “If you’re stressed you’re living in the future, if you’re depressed, you are living in the past.” So true isn’t it?
The signs, symptoms, and effects we experience with stress and depression are very similar, and many of them are in the body, but the root cause of both stress and depression is always in the mind. That’s good news! That means that you are the one in control of treating it.
Some of the symptoms of depression manifest themselves in the body…. Check out these signs, symptoms, and effects to see if what you are experiencing is truly depression.
You need not have all the symptoms. A combination of two or three of these symptoms experienced regularly is an indication of depression that needs attention.
Loss of Interest
Lack of Energy
Lack of Appetite
Loss of Sexual Desire
How to go beyond depression?
Let’s look at 10 quick and effective ways of going beyond depression:
1) Visit with a friend, talk about everything positive. Avoid getting into a “pity party”.
2) Get creative. Make something pretty, do something fun, something you’ve never done before. This will get your mind off the same-old-nagging thought processes.
3) Pay close attention to the language of the conversation in your mind during a depressing situation. Make a conscious effort to avoid negative conversation. When you start feeling this way, you can think of a color: let’s say “red”. Repeat the word “red, red, red, red” in your mind, picture the color red, and do this until your mind is saturated with the color red, and the depressing thoughts are crowded out. Sounds weird, but it works!
4) If there are irritating things in your life like a table that you constantly stump your toe on, a door that squeaks, a broken lid, or something similar, FIX IT! All these little things just add to your nagging thoughts. Straighten up your house or your room. A clean, tidy environment works wonders for a depressed mood.
5) Have pets and connect with nature around you. Nature has the power to heal your depression. Fresh air does wonders for helping create pleasant thoughts.
6) Listen to pleasant and uplifting instrumental music. Listen to birds and sounds of nature. Drink a cup of tea while you’re listening. Drink from a nice cup–you deserve it!
7) Don’t worry about things you can’t control! This just adds to the negative roller-coaster ride in your mind.
8) Practice love, compassion and forgiveness. Don’t harbor negative feelings of anger, resentment or jealousy.
9) Your emotional state affects your thought process, and this in turn affects your stress and depression levels. Learn to identify and control your different emotional states.
10) Learn to be mindful of your actions throughout the day. Be in the moment. Don’t dwell on the past–you CAN’T change it! Everything happens like it’s supposed to happen and we can only change things that are in this moment–remember that. If there’s something you can do in this moment to make life better, NOW is the time to do it. Not tomorrow. Not yesterday.
Short term relief / long term cure
Dealing with immediate symptoms of depression will only provide short-term relief. To be able to reduce your depression levels on a longer run and to eventually go beyond depression, you have to take a more scientific and systematic long-term approach. The long term approach takes a little more commitment from you, but it is a thoroughly rewarding experience.
To help you go beyond depression on a longer run, we have designed a comprehensive online meditation program with all the necessary resources, tools and guidance. “Inside-Out” is a program specifically designed to help you deal with stress, anxiety & depression.
*Disclaimer: This page offers suggestions for handling depression. We do not guarantee specific results and the results can vary.