Get Past the Depression

January 10, 2021 by  
Filed under blog

The news this week, and through much of this past year, has been terribly sad and is sometimes almost too hard to process. There is been a lot of news about depression and how much more of it there is right now. It’s understandable. So, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the subject with thoughts from past posts. Because although depression may be hard to avoid in times like these, it can be minimized and only fleeting if you are vigilant.

First of all, we need to deal with our disappointment and the restrictions this pandemic has put on our lives. Our advanced technologies have led us to habitually expect that we can access our wishes immediately. Super-fast internet, instant downloads, and multi-functional cell phones give us the ability to have some level of access to whatever or whomever we want whenever we want. But life, in general, doesn’t work that way. As a result, we are experiencing tremendous frustration and impatience with a world that is not changing quickly and fulfilling our needs and wishes immediately. This can ultimately lead to depression or anger.

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 also think Eckhart Tolle, in his book, The Power of Now, has hit upon the true source and the 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:

  • Learn to recognize how your mind labels thoughts and sits in judgment so you know what ideas lie at the source of your pain.
  • Accept whatever the present moment contains as if you had chosen it.
  • 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 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.

So, if you are depressed, don’t just live with it. Find its source, accept that it exists, and then aim to let it go. Give yourself goals and make plans you can look forward to. Eat healthy and whole foods as refined and sugary foods have been shown to feed depression. Get out and move and boost that serotonin and dopamine in your brain.

You may also want to turn off the TV, stop reading those dramatic headlines, and unsubscribe from all those pessimistic reports. Instead, read up on all the great success stories you can find on-line and in responsible and inspiring periodicals. You can, literally, change your mood by changing your view of the world as well as your mindset.


Battling Depression: It is not WHO you are

March 25, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

When asked who we are, we often reply with listing our common activities such as our job, hobbies, or position in the family, or we may list our physical characteristics such as hair color, stature, or ethnicity. However, this is not who we are just parts of what we are.

In the same and more detrimental manner, we tend to identify ourselves to ourselves by things we see as deficiencies such as being overweight, not smart enough, being a procrastinator or being pessimistic. The issue with this type of thinking is that it perpetuates the problem that lead us to identify ourselves as our struggles rather than seeing our issues as being separate from who we are.

Eckhart Tolle explains how these lead to perpetual cycles of disorder especially when it comes to psychological pain. He notes in his book, “The Power of Now”, that identifying the pain as you, your actual being, allows the pain to not only live as you but feed on this thought of it being your identity. If you think of yourself as a depressed person, you are giving the depression the authority to take over so that no matter what you try to do you do it as a depressed person, not the true self that exists separate from the mood disorder. In other words, you can’t get rid of your depression if you insist on carrying it with you everywhere you go.

The only way to start to heal is to detach your issues from who you are. You do this inside, in the mind. Closely and carefully observe your thoughts and the attachment that you have to “my depression” or “my pain”. Observe the compulsion to talk or think about it and consciously halt those thoughts. Remind yourself that this pain is but an item on your to-do list–probably on the top of the list in big, red letters–but it is something to be worked on, not be.

When you start to dis-identify with your pain and when you become a good “watcher of your thinking”, the depression, anger, etc. can and will eventually cease. It cannot exist without you tending to it and allowing it to take over who you are. A good or great life really is an “inside job” and you are the inside person for it!