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Vigilance as the Key to Battling Depression

March 18, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

In my book “How to Ignite Your Passion for Living”, I touch upon some of the depressive episodes I have been through and some of the ways I have dealt with them. I have a whole list of simple but effective things you can do to combat depression. And although I still believe the items on that list to be important actions, I think Eckhart Tolle, in his book “The Power of Now”, has hit upon the true source and most effective ideas to combat depression as well as other mood disorders.

The first few ideas on his list are some of the most important, at least in my experience. They deal with becoming a watcher of one’s thoughts and redirecting the mind when we start to buy into the idea of “being a depressed person”:

• Vigilance is one of the first concepts he speaks to. Learning to recognize how your mind labels thoughts and sits in judgment so you know what ideas lie at the source of your pain.
• Secondly, Tolle believes that you need to accept whatever the present moment contains as if you had chosen it.
• Thirdly, you need to realize and understand that the pain or depression wants you to unconsciously identify with it, allowing it to survive in your mind. If you are not a careful watcher of your thoughts then you may come to believe that you are a depressed person and then this becomes your identity.

Letting your mind create this depression identity will make it very difficult to get past the dark feelings and the pain because you will then believe this is who you are. But if you start with these first few ideas of Tolle’s, recognizing how your mind is working and seeing the present moment as something under your control, you can avoid the mindset that makes you think of yourself as a “depressed person”.

These ideas are true for any issues of mood. I choose to talk about them in terms of depression because that has been a recent and difficult battle of mine. However, if you are dealing with anger, guilt, low self-esteem, fear, etc. watching your thoughts and taking control can help you with all types of painful moods and attitudes.

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