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Learning how to overcome depression is something that not many people know how to do.
Those who suffer from depression will tell you that it is one of the most unpleasant things that a person can experience and many believe that it is something that they can't control.
Depression is something that is considered by most medical practitioners to be a form of mental illness, but when it comes to learning how to overcome this state of mind, the label of mental illness serves no purpose.
What is important though is to understand that the state of depression is one that comes due to a severe disliking or disinterest in life itself.
Feelings associated with depression do not always mean that a person is depressed but sometimes reveal that a person simply isn't enjoying the life that they have either consciously or unconsciously developed for themselves or the life that they have been born into.
One word encapsulates everything that needs to be done about depression — 'CHANGE'.
For a person to overcome the mental state of depression, something needs to change. Exactly what that is though will usually differ from person to person.
It should be obvious that if a person is depressed because they despise their job, they could simply get a new job that made them feel more motivated and inspired. At the same time, if someone is depressed because they are overweight and they deeply desire to lose weight and become healthier they could start to exercise and eat a healthier diet.
This is the usual kind of information you could get from any half decent doctor out there, but I want to approach the debilitating and destructive state of depression from a completely different angle.
If we look at the brain, its habitual thought patterns and routine emotional responses to external stimuli, as 'programs,' programmed responses that have been built up over the course of a persons' lifetime, then we can begin to understand that these programs, just like the programs on your computer, can be over-written and altered.
There are in fact dozens of techniques used by Mystics and meditators to influence their own state of minds consciously, so I won't be going to into all of them here. However, it is my hope that by revealing just one simple technique to help you feel better right at this very moment, that you might just attain a small realization that there is something very real and very effective that you can do to consciously and intentionally influence your current emotional state, no matter how depressed you are.
Begin by just simply sitting still. It would be wise while you are practising this technique to turn off your mobile phone, or at least put it on silent and turn it over so you won't be distracted by any incoming calls or messages. Turn off the T.V. or radio. In fact, put yourself, as best you are able, into an environment where you can be alone for 15 minutes without distraction.
Empty your mind. What does this mean? It simply means forget about everything that you have been thinking about, everything that has been taking your attention and just sit with your body and the sounds and motions of your environment. Ideally, you would be able to hear the wind and other sounds of nature. This is only really important while you are learning how to practise this technique. Eventually, you will be able to do it anywhere in the world no matter how much chaos you find yourself surrounded by.
You are going to sit for fifteen minutes and consciously take control of your thoughts and emotions.
Simply for the sake of this exercise, I want you to remember the last time you were happy. Remember the feeling as vividly as you can. If you find it hard to remember a state of happiness in your past, don't worry, you don't really need to remember one, but it can help to induce the feeling of happiness a little easier. I will approach this exercise from two angles, one for those who can remember a happy memory and those who can't.
If you remember something, great. Sit with this feeling and forget everything that is going on around you. Make this feeling grow inside you and let it spread throughout your body like a gentle light that is slowly growing more and more, spreading throughout you. If you are doing it right, you will feel yourself begin to smile and feel a warm and comforting sensation inside your body.
For those of you who couldn't remember a specific memory when you were happy, do the following: Imagine a warm and comforting light inside yourself. I know, if you look within your body, you will notice a feeling of warmth. Sit with this feeling and let it spread throughout your entire internal awareness. Notice that this feeling actually feels good, it feels safe and it feels warm. Allow this feeling to make you feel better inside. Just sit with the feeling for as long as you can and notice that doing this actually improves your current mental state. You actually feel better, right at this very moment. You have taken control of your internal state.
This action will override any mental state that you were feeling, and replace it with a feeling of warmth, comfort and contentment. This is a wonderful resource for anyone who hasn't felt good in a long-time, the kind of person who regularly struggles with depression.
This technique is not a complete cure for depression, but it will serve as a temporary means of internal medication to just bring back some good feelings, to give you a little respite from your troubles. Practising this often will help you to retrain your thought patterns and habitual emotional responses to yourself and your life. IT WILL REPROGRAM YOU.
Combine this technique with honest personal reflection and insight into exactly what is happening with your life that you don't like and that you want to change. If you have the strength to go through with changing these things you will absolutely conquer your depression and transform your life.
In sincerity, I must tell you that what you have read here is only the very tip, of the tip, of the iceberg. There is so much more you can do and so much more that you need to do. Don't give up.
As cheesy as it sounds — "There is a light at the end of the tunnel. But as is true with any tunnel, you have to keep moving forward to make it out the other side. If you just stop and stand still, you will remain in darkness for the rest of your life".
Always in Love.
D.H - Mystic
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