In the previous write ups in these times series of posts, enough stress has been laid on meditation. It is more or less scientific in nature and the effects meditation has on the mind are enormous. It can single handedly prop up the mind to a higher state where in the mind assumes larger capacity in self recognition and self checks, endurance and most of all it builds robust capability to fight disease through its command over the body and various channels available to it to so such as immunity, lesser dependence on senses, reduction in wasteful appetite, disease eradication with discipline as the tool etc. Desires could be controlled much more easily with a consistent disciplined life regimen. Wastefulness and extravagance assume a very low meaning and place in life. A very dear friend of mine who is a heart surgeon says he rather miss out on breakfast in the morning than a session of meditation before going to hospital if he is short of time. That is the kind of daily life regimen that we need to build up around us. Therefore it is very very essential that the mind is trained through meditation and we are able to lead a more quality existence and that means nothing but enjoyment. The sages and the Holy gurus and scriptures in Hinduism of the ancient times lived life in similar manner.
It needs to be mentioned here that while the whole world aims at Wellness most efforts are to keep the body healthy because that is what we can see tangibly. We try and overlook a more important aspect of ourselves and that is the master of our body, THE MIND .
So lets understand what actually depression is and try and tackle. The world health organization estimates that more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It’s also the world’s leading cause of disability. This number could easily double triple in THESE TIMES.
Types of depression are Major depression. The classic depression type, major depression is a state where a dark mood is all-consuming and one loses interest in activities, even ones that are usually pleasurable. Symptoms of this type of depression include trouble sleeping, changes in appetite or weight, loss of energy, and feeling worthless. Thoughts of death or suicide may occur. Second type is Persistent depressive disorder. Formerly called “dysthymia,” this type of depression refers to low mood that has lasted for at least two years but may not reach the intensity of major depression. Third type is Bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder have episodes of depression. But they also go through periods of unusually high energy or activity. Manic symptoms look like the opposite of depression symptoms: grandiose ideas, unrealistically high self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, thoughts and activity at higher speed, and ramped-up pursuit of pleasure including sex sprees, overspending, and risk taking. Lastly there is the Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This type of depression emerges as days get shorter in the fall and winter.
Second aspect is despair. This can be described as a feeling negative in nature arising out of extreme circumstances when we ask ourselves what will I do now. How will I get out this one. What am I supposed to do. Oh god help me i am lost. When we ask ourselves all these questions we are in ‘despair’……
Insecurity is a sense or feeling or a state of mind which makes us feel very unsafe and unsure. As we say ‘this door has no lock it is insecure’. Life similarly can make us feel or put us in helpless situations and make us feel insecure. It could be any of the kind, mental insecurities which tend to remain with us life long, financial insecurity, emotional insecurity, social insecurity etc. Most of these feelings leave us weak and truly vulnerable.
OUR COUNTER ACTION – prime most is recognising the condition of the mind. We must must always keep viewing or watching our mind from the outside as a third person. Believe me once we get into this habit you will be never bored of yourself. Outside social companionship will not be desired too much. This is because now there are three identities always functioning in tandem with each other with good communication within them. You can call them the good, the very good and the beautiful. This team can do wonders. Let’s run through an example to understand it better.
One fine morning you get up with the thought, ‘ I am ruined. So much of debt I am already into and counting. Expenses are shooting and earning seems to be far off. So many people’s livelihood depends on me’. This thought puts you in a submission to circumstance. Depression starts to creep in, you may keep going more and more quite and withdrawn, you may start appreciating the darker side of everything you see, touch and think. This was the mind playing its part. Now comes in the 2nd team member the soul or call it the conscience. It starts telling you and making you aware that the mind has started playing games. “Hey! You are falling into a depression” it says loud and clear. It plays its part very well only if you listen to it as intentively as you listen to the mind all the time. Conscience directs you to counter the defined target the negative mindset. Now moment you have consciously identified and resolved to counter the state of mind the anti depressant or anti anxiety or anti despair measures come into play. An identified target is easier to hi and chances of a perfect score of 10 is highly possible. Thus the anti or counter process brings the Third team member into play, the body. Positive actions start in the mind and body.
Conscious actions by the body such as exercise, healthy eating, meditation, disciplined actions, not more than required rest or sleep, good hygienic and groomed self upkeep are all the recommended actions to be performed by the body will help the entire team of the good, the very good and the beautiful. Team will therefore never let foreign negative influences creep in.
Example 2. You suddenly get a racing heartbeat and become unsure and unsteady, sweaty and you fill up with a feeling of an impending disaster. The conscience will cry out aloud “hey you are having an anxiety attack”. The body gets deeply affected here. It looses balance and energy to perform, the mind looses focus. Being conscious of your situation will only be the real help. It is the overall situation of the mind and the body which make you prone to anxiety attacks. That is why miniscule some have it and others don’t.
We also need to note that depression at times can also be caused by clinical reasons, for example lithium or many such mineral deficiencies in the body. Many such clinical indications in majority go undetected for long periods of time. Such clinical conditions also need to undergo through the team process protocol as stated earlier and medical help sought as well. There are various supplementary anti depression and anti anxiety therapies available to us all.
We therefore quickly pick out the salient key words from this write which will act as recap to hit home with impact.
Although nothing is definitive there’s evidence that foods with omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon and tuna) and folic acid (such as spinach and avocado) could help ease depression. Therefore key anti depression factors to be practiced are strengthening the mind, exercise, form a routine, sleep adequately, form a routine, have a definite faith building factor in life. But most important of all remains building a strong mind.

We are after all our own mentors, aren’t we?

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