Unpresent and Very, Very Depressed

Do you want a fantastic recipe for depression?

Spend all day trapped in your head being jostled from one thought to another without ever stopping to notice where you are and what’s actually happening Right Now.

Depression arises from a million and one factors, and most of these factors have more to do with the past or future than with where we are right now in the present.

If you are currently struggling with depression, then I’d be willing to wager that you could stand to cultivate your relationship with Right Now. Become more present and stop listening to the mental confusion that drags you back to the past and forward to the fearful future.

Depression as Disconnection

Depression is merely feedback that something is amiss.

In this series on the Roots of Depression, I’m tracing some of the many places from which depression springs.

One of the quickest ways to begin uprooting your Depression is for you to become fully focused on holding yourself in the present. Become fully committed to being wherever you are as fully as possible.

This is not easy. It is surprisingly hard, in fact.

The present is relentless–and the battle to remain in the present is always on.

However, the present is also all there is. Past is fiction. Future is fantasy. Your natural cure for depression lies, always, Right Now.

Techniques for Presencing

Your breath connects you to the present. Place your awareness on your breathing without altering its natural rhythm. Just watch it–you’re watching it in the present.

Your heartbeat connects you to the present. Observe the steady beat of your heart in your chest. Feel it pulsing within you. Your heartbeat drums its rhythm, always, in the present.

Look at whatever is in front of you. Just notice your surroundings. Don’t let your mind grab you and send you off into thoughts about what all the things you see mean. Just observe. Notice. Watch. You’re seeing all of this in the present.

Feel the sensations in your body. Feel your depression, if you’re feeling depressed right now. Feel the tightness in your chest, the pain in your neck, the glow of warmth all over that declares you’re alive. Your body dwells in the present. Stay with it and love it for guiding you back to Now.

Meditation can help you train yourself to remain more fully in the present.

Yoga can help you get your workout in while also developing your capacity for staying more and more fully in The Now.

When you’re with friends or family or co-workers or random people you’ve only just met, place all of your attention on them and noticing their movements, their contours, their eyes–be in the present with them and watch and see.

Depression is Hard, Brutal, Debilitating and Chronic

Sometimes, the problem with depression is that we’re taking it, and ourselves, too seriously.

Yes, depression is serious business. It causes people to suffer and, sometimes, resort to drastic measures to try and reduce that suffering.

However, there is an easier way out of the intractable prison of depression.

Open up to wherever you are, whatever you’re doing. Be there fully. Invest all of yourself in this moment. Stop hiding from the world and start showing up with as much presence as you can manage.

Depression is a disease where past and future overtake presence. The antidote is more presence.

You will rarely hear this taught by therapists or psychiatrists. My encounters with psychiatrists, for some reason, always involved discussions of drugs and dosage.

What if your depression is a loud and clear clarion call from the center of your being out to that part of you that has fallen asleep at the wheel? Wake up, stay present and cultivate your capacity for observing whatever thoughts, feelings and experiences arise for you right now in the present.

It may not be sexy, but disconnection from the Now is absolutely one of the deepest Roots of Depression. Reestablish your presence ever more fully and watch how your depression responds.

Nature and Depression

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Spiritual Depression

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Relationships and Depression

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Think the World is Depressing?

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Depression and Money

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Depression and Self-Esteem

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