I have a confession to make. I get depressed sometimes.
It's not a huge admission. I think everyone gets a bit depressed sometimes. Though I have dealt with depression in the past, it largely plays no role in my life now. Part of taking the plunge was really getting to know myself better, maximizing the things I like most in life and minimizing or eliminating what I don't like. This basically eliminated all causes of my depression, which I think was mostly caused by my brain guiding my life in the opposite direction that my heart wanted to go in.
Still, there have been days on The Happy Nomad Tour where I just wake up and things aren't right. It could be one thing after another going wrong, illness, or just waking up on the wrong side of the bed, but on rare occasions I most certainly face some mild depression.
The difference now is that it's always temporary, never severe, and isn't harmful. I still don't know what causes these bad days to occur once every few months, but I do know myself much better. Below are the ways in which I conquer or overcome these mild bouts of depression.
- I don't deny it what I'm feeling. Just the opposite, actually. I confidently embrace it.
I guess depression is becoming less and less of a taboo subject. Still, I consider it a part of life. Life is about balance, and I think one cannot know happiness until one experiences depression, just as one cannot know what it feels like to be healthy if we aren't periodically interrupted by illness. In my case, the tiny bouts of depression just serve as reminders for how great my life is otherwise, or at least that's how I choose to see them.
In studying Eastern philosophy a bit, some of the first things you come to understand are that the mind and body are separate. Once you accept this, you can clearly see that depression is rooted in the mind, because on a day-to-day basis your heart and soul remain the same (hopefully positive and giving!). It's not easy, but sometimes we have to be patient with our feeble minds, realizing that they are imperfect machines. Cars and planes are amazing feats of ingenuity, but both require maintenance and sometimes break, then requiring repair. For me, that is depression -- the mind breaking in some way (or getting sick) and requiring repair. There is no shame in that.
This article first appeared on Happiness Plunge.
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