For most of my life, I dealt with major depression. I tried medication, therapy, and other means to relieve the soul-crushing misery I felt day in and day out.
Over the years, I’ve come to several realizations that help me through the tough times, and the major depression is now a manageable depression I cope with from time to time.
Expectation often leads to disappointment. In Buddhism, the idea of suffering stems from this need for having expectations. We expect the day to go well. We expect our loved ones to always be there to be supportive. We expect our jobs to fulfill us with more than just a paycheck.
We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world. Buddha
But thing happen to me! Does it? Are you acted upon or do you take action? A good example is when you face failure. Do you accept it as defining your success or do you pick yourself and start again, accepted each failure as another lesson learned?
Dan Gilbert, a social psychologist and professor of psychology, wrote several books on the topic of happiness, and found that even synthesized happiness provides the same benefits as ‘real’ happiness.
I recommend the book. I found it very helpful on learning on what makes us happy, as people, but also how we can help make ourselves happy.
Susan Jeffers, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway . She points out that fear is normal, a part of life, and you should work through the fear (and I think this extends to anger, depression, and other ugly emotions we avoid), to reach the other side.
And don’t underestimate the importance of diet. You might roll your eyes on this idea, but I found that within two weeks of cutting out sugar, processed foods, coffee, and junk food, I felt the major depression that nearly killed me dissipated. I never felt that sort of depth of despair again.
Glucose is food for the brain, and therefore touches upon the chemicals that help make us happy, affect our sleep, and has an impact on our overall health. Glucose intolerance and sugar sensitivity often lead to depression. I know is a direct correlation for me.
Surround yourself with positive people. Consider them essential to your mental health, because they do. People who are negative, tease, put you down, or otherwise hinder you from being the best you can be should be kept to a minimum. You’ll feel better.
Meditation also helps relieve depression. Meditation also helps lower blood pressure, relieve insomnia, and decreases stress. Check out this Meditation Info center for more information, techniques, and information on various methods.
Whatever you do; don’t wallow. You’re feeding the negative energy that prevents you from moving forward. Instead, focus on the positive. Cliché’ I know, but it works. I used to rank and bitch in my journals, until I got sick of it and change my entries to find something- anything- that was positive for that day. It really helped me see the brighter side of things.
Peace and Blessings…