1.1 How to Deal With Depression Successfully
Depression – a complex problem, a complex subject matter, even more so for those who suffer from it. I was one of those people and I haven’t forgotten that a helping hand can save someone’s life.
The purpose of writing these tools is to help us (the ones still struggling) how to deal with depression. Not how to cure it, but how to deal with depression effectively. I can now wholeheartedly say, from experience, that there is relief from depression – natural tools I’ve used for the last ten years – in fact, you are using them as we speak, unconscious of their power and effectiveness. Yet, these tools when used consciously and regularly can relieve depression among many other mental illnesses.
Our time is running out! Yours, mine and everybody else’s. Appreciating every moment in our lives is crucial to our well-being and peace of mind. And living means blossoming, prospering, not surviving. Remember, though, the quality of living a good life depends on the quality of your discipline and responsibility towards your health – more precisely, towards your mental and spiritual fitness. For life consists of a succession of moments, and moments only.
A moment spent in fear creates misery and breeds anxiety, debilitating effect on many people’s lives. Whereas a moment spent in joy enriches your life and leaves inspiring memories by nurturing the mind, creating a more positive future. You can have these joyful moments right now. This has worked for me and it can work for you! You’ll see the value of the tools that I have created that will help you claim your joy, your stamina, your well-being and your life. The good news is our body and our mind are extremely adjustable and open to transformation and change.
1.2. I Suffered a Great Deal Dealing With Depression
I suffered from depression so bad that before going to sleep, I was afraid of what the next day would bring. The anxiety was overwhelming as I thought: “Will I go through this same misery tomorrow?” Luckily, I was so exhausted from work (running a restaurant and a start-up company), that falling asleep wasn’t a problem. The real problem was right after waking up where I still felt exhausted as if I hadn’t slept at all and an angry voice in my head screamed out: “Damn, is the night through already?” The truth is I was tired right after waking up, every single day, for couple of years.
Working long hours every day, normally one comes home to relax, have some quality family time, enjoy eating a meal, have a good conversation. Hence, one is rejuvenated and prepared for the next working day. But not in my case. Despite being only thirty – young and always in great physical and mental shape, I had no energy at all. I was completely lost, mentally and physically. Without any focus, I had no ideas, no goals, no vision. Nothing! Somehow, I was just surviving – meaninglessly going through life, day after day. Not living life as it should be lived – at its fullest, filled with love and vitality.
1.3. Gratefulness Saved me From my Misery
Somehow, I knew that I had a strong intention deep inside, to grow and be a better man. A better man for myself, for my family, for my children, for the world as an individual, for the life that was gifted to me. I’d always been grateful for my life – my health, the relative capabilities I had, the abundance of food and water, and the roof over my head, but I just couldn’t enjoy any of it. I realized that to transform my life and with my depression, I had to change my attitude and my approach to life.
This turn of events was a (complicated) divorce and a focus on what I loved to do. I quit both, my restaurant and my company, and embarked on a spiritual exploration. For many, this seemed like a nightmare, but for me was a ticket to freedom, growth and prosperity. The first day of my new life and a morning fresh air inspired me to breathe with courage and never look back – that took all burden away. Love prevailed in my life – new relationships and new opportunities start to unfold. Did I make new mistakes? Sure I did and I learned that mistakes are tools for better decision making.
My fight against my depression was lethargic and ineffective, but my intentions were always benevolent. I was deeply interested in philosophy and spirituality and had many years of yogic practice behind me, but didn’t know how to manage the tools from my yogic wisdom, Luckily, realizing the fact that we humans have infinite capabilities to create what we want in life was part of my solution and an important element of my healing process.
1.4. Depression Comes Only From One Place
Although depression has different elements, the source comes from one place only. You’ll find it out in the exercise below. However, psychologists, psychiatrists, neuroscientists and other experts on the subject explain depression in a way so complicated that the average person cannot easily comprehend it. According to these ‘experts’, treatments for depression are mostly effective when a therapy is combined with medication.
And we know that the mind-numbing pills make us unable to think clearly, thus our mental health becomes unstable and then we seek help from someone else – instead of self-help. So, I am happy to tell you that you can treat and heal yourself from this debilitating illness. In the next exercise and with the ones that follow, you will learn how to create your own therapy. One that is perfect for you.
The human being possesses the tools, the energy, the capacity to achieve perfect physical as well as mental health. The tools I offer here can take you organically to a perfect balance of health. What stands in your way right now is your ego and the insecurity that breeds the anxiety. Your ego is creating the depression in YOU and it is stopping you from dealing with it.
1.5. Know "How to Deal With" Instead of "What is it"
It is good to know what the definition of depression is as mental disease, but that doesn’t help the patient, because the definition cannot cure the depression, thus it is of no help to us. What we need to know is: how to deal with depression. A process that will help us take control of our lives and rebuild our physical and mental health.
I have prepared the knowledge of “HOW” in three tools (discussed in the coming posts) that embrace the fundamentals of human life. I broke all the complexities into the smallest parts, so anyone who studies, applies this repetitively can benefit and achieve great success in physical, mental and spiritual health.
Before talking about the tools, we must have a fundamental understanding about certain rules of energy. And these are crucial for applying the tools. Before we start, I want to reveal something that helped me in each area of my life; social, physiological, mental and spiritual. You can apply it immediately and see the effect of it. Start by asking yourself the questions and feel the energy within yourself:
- Why am I having this bad feeling?
- What is it I am missing in my life this very moment?
1.6. Play Two Roles Within YOURSELF
Have a serious dialogue from these two questions which will get to the bottom of how to deal with depression. Make two roles within yourself:
- YOU, the principal role − the power and true essence behind the ability to observe your thoughts and emotions.
- Your mental state, the secondary role – your thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, traumas, etc.
We begin with 2. Your mental state:
It is the secondary entity because it changes all the time. One moment, YOU are happy, then in another moment, YOU are sad. A moment later YOU can be anxious, and this goes on ad infinitum. YOU can observe your thoughts and feelings right now. Write them down if it helps.
So, you have asked yourself these two questions. With the first question, you obviously don’t have the answer, yet (you’ll have it later). For the second question, we can start to inquire further: Am I missing food, clothes or shelter right now? The answer is normally: no. If you’re reading this you must be at home or in some sort of environment where you have food, clothes and shelter, so you can function physiologically.
So, what are we missing right now that might up place us in that depressed mental state? Here the answer is normally: love, appreciation, acknowledgement, closeness with friends and family, etc., feeling physically healthy and having mental clarity, or maybe a goal that could elevate your negative mental state. If you feel depressed, then your mind is engaged with feeling a lack of these things, an emptiness and a lack of fulfillment. All this is coming from the ego − our expectations and desires that we believe will never be satisfied. And with each further confirmation that these things are missing, a depressive mental state arises.
Your mental state is your ego, your persona.
1.7. THE FIRST EXERCISE
Now leave your mental state for a moment and say to YOU – your principal role, your essence::
Concentrate on a slow deep breathing, inhaling and counting slowly: 1, 2, 3, 4, and exhaling counting slowly 1, 2, 3, 4, thus receiving a fresh air into the lungs. Be aware that without this breath, YOU wouldn’t be alive, and that this breath is the source of your health and the reason that YOU and your mental state can go forward in your life. Only because of this precious act (the breathing), YOU together with your mental state have been able to organize shelter, clothes and food to survive. Every moment you ignore this truth, YOU turn back as a slave to your ego.
Hence, keep your attention on your breath and realize that as of right now, YOU – the principal role, has everything needed for life at this very moment. All the rest can be dealt with in the next present moment. Keep breathing and YOU will notice how your mental state changes, influencing the way you feel. Silence and peacefulness begin to develop. With love, YOU can now speak to your mental state: See, how quiet and still you can be. YOU instruct it further by leading it with the power of these words:
- Focus with me on the breathing.
- Follow this flow with me now.
- We, together, are reaching to a quiet and still place where there is mental and emotional clarity.
You further tell your mental state: Now, stay and work with me this way until I tell you otherwise. Here, there are no negative feelings. The silence and the stillness you’re producing through your deep breathing exercise does not leave space for disturbed thoughts. Your thoughts are still and so is your mental and emotional state. YOU have succeeded in stabilizing your mental and emotional state and abandoned your wishful thinking for needs and desires, which are creations of your ego.
The breath is the symbol of silence and stillness - a symbol of peace.
YOU have applied the power of your creative intelligence over the power of your ego – the root-cause for depression. Isn’t the effect wonderful? Can you feel the power within the stillness? Listen to your heart in that stillness and how steady and rhythmic your heartbeat has become. Now you are home, grounded in your true essence, and therefore strong in mind, emotions and body.
Out of this breathing exercise create your OWN THERAPY now:
Repeat this breathing exercise THREE times a day for TEN minutes, everyday for a week. Then double the timing and the repetition in the second week and combine the breathing exercises from the coming posts. Gradually you will create a breathing practice (a breathing therapy) that would be perfect for you.
This is the start of your OWN TREATMENT – the start of DISCIPLINING your mind and emotions.
YOU know now that you’re not missing anything essential right now. By repeating this exercise, YOU will be able to gain more mental and emotional stability. Now, if YOU apply to this breathing a gentle body movement – rotating your arms that goes in rhythm with your breathing, YOU will start to feel an energy emerging from deep inside of YOU. This is only the first step to relieve the pressure from the depressed state of mind. Repeat this exercise as instructed above.
Conscious breathing brings us back to our true essence which in turn relieves the depression by bringing us back to our source, reminding us of who we truly are. In the next posts the goal will be working towards creating mental clarity and in-depth understanding of how your essence and true intelligence has power over the ego. Take care of your health this way and your mental health will improve.
I welcome you to comment on how these breathing exercises influence your mental and emotional state.
For more insight on the Breathing as the ultimate source for enhancing attention, inspiration and compassion, or understanding the structure of the psyche and the meditation, I welcome you to read the excerpts of the book. It is written from pure self-inquiry and personal experience with the vision to help anyone live life righteously, virtuously and joyfully. In union and love. That’s why we’re here on this planet.