So You're Depressed. NOW what?
I know... I know... In my last Ramblings, I promised you a story about golf but. . . well... as funny as the golf story is, the delivery hasn't quite come to me yet, and...it has to hit me a certain way, or it won't be good for us; and I'd hate to deliver you a dull attempt at a great story. So, instead, I thought I would try my hand at depressing you. How's that?
Well... I don't really want to depress you. As a matter of fact, I want to UNdepress you, and I can always tell when I have something important to say (at least in my mind) because I am compelled to stop whatever I'm doing and...well... say it ! And this is one of those times. Luckily, it didn't compel me while I was hanging around my day job (whew). But, now I'm home, and I *could* share with you the ridiculously long list of extremely important things that I am neglecting because I am compelled -- right this moment -- to write about this subject; so. . . here goes.
Depression -- the other white meat. A popular subject these days ! And if you watch enough television, you'll come to believe that the only way to cure your depression is a pink pill, or a purple pill or a 6-month yoga course, or psycho therapy, or any number of remedies whose message it is to tell you that you can't help it, and that you need their pill -- or whatever -- to bring you out of it and make your life normal. Ha. . . Normal ! We take a pill to be happy, and one to be less happy. We take pill to pep us up, then another to calm us down; one to wake us up and another to put us to sleep, and so on and so on, ad infinitum. Normal. . . riiiiiiight. (And these days, they don't even want to wait for your doctor to tell you; they want YOU to tell your doctor the pill you need.)
Now. . .don't get me wrong. I work at a hospital with a gentlemen who has demonstrated to me beyond the shadow of a doubt that there are conditions which result in chemical imbalances and such in the brain, and that there are indeed times and situations when a pill is prescribed to regulate that chemistry and give us a chance at normal life. I am not a doctor -- and I don't even play one on TV -- so I'm not talking about any of all of those clinical conditions that result in chronic depression.
But... I don't believe that most of us are in that particular boat. MOST of us, I believe, are fairly normal, reasonably well adjusted folks who are generally happy -- or some resemblance thereof -- and sometimes things don't go quite right for us and we get a little down -- or maybe a lot down -- and we feel bad or sad or out of sorts for any of a million reasons and YOU (or we) are who I'm e-talking to with this note.
So... you're depressed. NOW what? In his book, Unlimited Power, Anthony Robbins talks about depression, and it means different things to different people. Depression can be brought about by a number of things, including the way we sit sometimes. He will also tell you that when you notice you are depressed, you'll notice that your body has generally assumed a certain posture and you've begun to express yourself in a certain way and that -- many times -- if you correct some of those things, your mood *will* get better. If you sit up or stand up straight, talk a little faster, walk at a little faster pace and “act as if you're not depressed”, that many times your depression will lift and you'll feel better. The “fake it till you make it” motif works very well in a lot of circumstances, and non-clinical depression is very often NOT an exception. TRY IT! You're moderately depressed -- lack luster, unmotivated. Stand or sit up straight, breathe a little deeper, talk a little faster; if you're walking slowly, walk a little faster, force a little smile... FAKE IT for 10 minutes. ACT happy, ACT confident, ACT motivated, ACT in control, and in 10 minutes. . . I DEFY you to be depressed. You will have energy, your heart rate will be up, and you will be on top of your game... until you realize it and convince yourself again that you're depressed. And then you'll realize that depression is often a choice -- whether you realize you made that choice or not.
Depression is also often caused by indecisiveness and lack of direction. I *know* I need to do something, but I haven't laid out the plan to do it, so I'm undirected... I'm just sittin' and thinkin' about doing something, but I haven't gotten around to it yet (okay; so it'been two years.) Depression is often caused by inner conflicts and acting in a manner that is inconsistent with your value system -- whether or not you realize what your value system is; i.e.; Tom went to a meeting and a friend asks him to back him on something and , because he's a friend, Tom does it, to and supports him, when he really didn't believe in what his friend was saying, and now... he's acted against his values and he's depressed. Still other times, depression is caused by inaction -- a failure to do something you know you *should* do, i.e.; I *should* have shown up to help Billy move that whatchamacallit; I told him I would, but I didn't feel like it so I didn't, and now I feel bad about it.
So, you're depressed. NOW what!? Well, ladies and gentlemen... how about you just FIX IT! I make it a point to NEVER waste a bout of depression. If I'm going to suffer through that sucker, darn it, I'm going to figure out why and learn something, so I don't have to transition through that again. How do you find out why you're depressed? Ask yourself !
I know. Sounds silly. But, sit there and think about it -- or run, or walk, or stand but. . . Ask yourself, “why am I depressed?” And, of course, your first response will likely be, “I don't know !” Then, you do what my renowned friend Les Brown does-- the motivational speaker; not the musician. “But if you did know, what would your answer be?” and start thinking about it. The answer will come to you. Anthony Robbins says that we don't come up with the right answers because we don't ask ourselves the right questions (same book; Unlimited Power). So ask yourself, “Why am I depressed?” and then when you figure it out -- and you *will* figure it out -- DO something about it! What did my first article say? It's my fault ! (http://www.ringold.net/past_issues.html) Check it out !
Why does he keep talking about Anthony Robbins?
Click here to find out.
I realize that there are other situations in life where we become sad -- friends and loved ones become exceptionally ill or pass away; sometimes, we or our friends or family suffer great physical pain or catastrophic loss, and no, I'm not suggesting that "sitting up and breathing deeply" will fix that kind of sadness -- but it would probably help -- and some things in life we just have to work through. But, most of us don't suffer that kind of depression all the time. Most of us suffer with lighter weight, fixable stuff. For the other heavy weight stuff? That's another newsletter.
- If the cause of your depression is indecision, then DECIDE and ACT. If you do *something*, your mind will at last know that you are being proactive, and that you're *trying* to do something. If your first plan doesn't work, then, try again, or make another decision and do something else. But ACTION very often cures depression, and the very act of making a decision is often times very uplifting.
- If you're doing something that is inconsistent with your values? STOP ! and do something that is. Don't back Ted anymore on his plan, if you don't really agree with it. He may get upset, but better to lose TED than your integrity -- that is, if you value integrity.
But for right now, if you're depresssed, take some positive action to find out why, and once you figure it out, take some positive steps to do something about it.
Until next time, have an AWESOME day!
"Successful people do the things that unsuccessful people
are unwilling to do." (author unknown)
RESOLUTIONS for 2004:
1. Practicing what I preach. . .
2. Don't ever "settle for" . . . again
Kelvin ( http://www.ringold.net )
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