First, understand what depression actually is.
Depression is not an emotion like sadness. It is an empty, numbed-out sensation which comes up when Headmind despairs and gives up on experience. It then starts suppressing emotions on the grounds that they are too painful to deal with. The result is that inner feeling of emptiness that makes life seem pointless.
To avoid getting into that state, here are some things to watch out for:
1. Recognise the symptoms
- Loss of concentration
- Loss of interest in people and activities
- Deterioration in sleep patterns
- Changes in eating and appetite
N.B. You need to have at least FOUR of these
2. Understand that de-pressing is something you do rather than something that happens to you. You de-press your emotions when you:
- Bury your head in the sand when difficult situations come up
- Run away instead of speaking up about your emotions
- Stay too long in dead-end jobs and relationships
- Give away your personal power to other people
- Talk like a victim
- Bury your anger or your frustration for too long instead of doing something about it
- Live a tedious, monotonous, stuck-in-a-rut lifestyle to the point where your personal Bodymind goes crazy with boredom
- Fail to forgive and move on from people who have hurt you in the past
Start reversing these patterns now.
2. Eliminate Anxiety from your life. Anxiety is the number one most common precursor of clinical depression. When the panic gets too much your Bodymind will try and numb it out by triggering chemical releases that slow the system down. Use Reverse Thinking to eliminate those Head fucks now.
3. Don’t give any air time to depressive thoughts. That includes ideas like: ‘I might as well die’, ‘Nobody cares’, ‘There’s no point trying to…’. Don’t fight these thoughts – just ignore them. Turn your attention to full-on activities that completely absorb your attention. It takes practice, but doing this every time you notice a depressing thought eventually drives them away for good.
4. Do activities that foster endorphin release.
Because it is physically impossible for someone to feel depressed while their body is full of endorphins…
5. Invest as much time as you can in your community.
Clinical depression tends to be more severe and longer-lasting in people who live alone or who are in someway isolated from the community. People who keep their friendships alive are also at lee risk.
6. Practice the art of love.
Again, research shows that many depressed people are in unhappy relationships. If you can’t show more loving, or if it is not reciprocated, then it may be time to move on.
7. Keep talking
In my work as a therapist I am constantly amazed by how very few people have learnt the art of speaking up about their emotions, needs and dissatisfactions. The more you bottle things up, the more overloaded with frustration, anger, and fear you are going to get. Until there comes the point when Headmind will try and de-press them.
8. Avoid procrastinating
I see this problem very clearly in people who get depressed over work. The work-load, the problems and the deadlines build up until they get overwhelmed. Or they put off talking to the boss, the ass-hole colleague, or the lazy employee until their behavior is out of control. Eventually, they give up and start de-pressing their fears. They even give up on finding a new job.
This essentially means making the most of your personal genius. If you are constantly elated by new directions in your life you are going to maximise your joy and excitement, not your anxieties. As well as that, you won’t have time to get depressed, and, if you do get down, you will have plenty of alternatives to turn to.
10. Don’t exaggerate your depressed moods.
It’s a little known fact that depressed people are only in fact ‘depressed’ for – on average – one hour a day. The rest of the time they are sleeping, having a crap, eating, dreaming, getting annoyed at someone, reading low-rent blog sites….
The fact that you are blue for half an hour doesn’t mean you have stay that way. Get working on one of the previous 9 tips right away.
‘A lot of what passes for depression these days is nothing more than a body saying it needs work.’