What to do when depressed

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What to do when depressed

Post by Ramon1920 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:32 am

Some things you can do while depressed are:

Drink tea, coffee, yerba mate, etc.
Clean, dust, wash, air out the house, etc.
Repair things
Study Dharma
Mantras: reciting and writing
Do tasks you've been putting off

These things relieve depression.

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Re: What to do when depressed

Post by muni » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:38 am

I see. I 'll reflect these. :namaste: Study Dharma and emerge it in daily life, help by mantras...yes. (wishing all beings can do so)

Drink enough water ( wishing all have fresh water), eat fresh food (wishing all have such), keep spine nicely correct.

The Vietnamese Master teaches a way how to relax: an oak tree is just an oak tree, that is all an oak tree has to do. I think that is categorized by fitness.

Here one by Tsoknyi Rinpoche. Ah! It is wellness in any case. :smile: All depends how we look.

Sometime go outside and sit,

In the evening at sunset,

When there’s a slight breeze that touches your body,

And makes the leaves and the trees move gently.

You’re not trying to do anything, really.

You’re simply allowing yourself to be,

Very open from deep within,

Without holding onto anything whatsoever.

Don’t bring something back from the past, from a memory.

Don’t plan that something should happen.

Don’t hold onto anything in the present.

Nothing you perceive needs to be nailed down.

Simply let experience take place, very freely,

So that your empty, open heart

Is suffused with the tenderness of true compassion.
Buddha said all is empty like my brain.
Let’s make a selfie!

Having meditated on love and compassion, I forgot the difference between myself and others. Yogi Milarepa.

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Re: What to do when depressed

Post by dimeo » Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:09 pm

Be sure to include meditation in your list!!!
Studies have shown it has a powerful positive effects to help with depression!


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Re: What to do when depressed

Post by Ayu » Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:00 pm

To go outside to a natural place:
Take a walk in the wood, or ride the bike over the fields, or work in the garden.
When i lived in the heart of the city i had a hard time.
Since i go out every day, no matter what the weather says, my mental shape is much better.
Best: walking meditation.
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

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Matt J
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Re: What to do when depressed

Post by Matt J » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:28 pm

Get more sleep.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

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Re: What to do when depressed

Post by Nosta » Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:22 pm

If you are depressed but with physical energy, doing some hard pushups, some vigorous running, pulling weights, etc will have some nice effects on your mind.
If you are depressed and with no physical energy, sometimes the best option for me is to get a warm bath and then go sleep.

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Barney Fife
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Re: What to do when depressed

Post by Barney Fife » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:43 am

of course, if it is deep-rooted depression, some kind of psychological treatment is considered very helpful by most modern buddhist teachers. a lot of buddhist practitioners use cognitive based psychotherapy as a support for buddhist mindfulness and meditation practices.

another good one is to learn and train in the four foundations of mindfulness, which are mindfulness of body, of feelings and sensations, mindfulness of mind, and mindfulness of phenomena. sometimes in mahayana buddhism, this fourth one is given as mindfulness of meditation.
mindfulness of breathing is a very important aspect of mindfulness of feelings and sensations. depression can have so many causes, but it seems like in modern people, one of the main causes is stress, which is disturbance of our vitality, of our vital energy or life force. stress is nervous tension, anxiety, and pressure to always be in a rush. it is the opposite of feeling calm and centered.
in buddhist psychology, there is a direct link between our emotions and our breathing. patterns of depression can be found mirrored in our patterns of breathing. so when we learn to breathe properly and mindfully, it seems to help a lot with our mood. there are mindfulness of breathing practices that watch the breathing at the nostrils, and others that watch the breathing more at the belly. it seems the latter are especially suited for depressed moods. when breathing is properly rooted at the navel area, it begins to balance and heal disturbances in our life energy that play a role in creating depressed moods.

there is a also a nice book that enables one to quickly acquire the tools of cognitive psychotherapy and use them on oneself. many of the basic principles of this kind of cognitive psychotherapy seem to me to be quite similar to basic buddhist teachings, so this approach is easy to adapt to a buddhist practice. the book is "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" by Dr. David Burns. you write down your negative, pessimistic thoughts, and then you write down alternative, positive or optimistic thoughts to counteract the negative mental recordings that are part of the depression cycle.
Buddha taught that our emotions and actions originate in and start from our thoughts. So, from this point of view, addressing the issue of negative thinking and it's role in creating depression, emotional suffering, relationship troubles, etc. seems very in line with buddhist teaching.

these two approaches, addressing negative thinking, and mindfulness practice with a focus on mindfulness of breathing, seem to be used by a lot of buddhist practitioners these days. the more we practice mindfulness of breathing, the more alive and centered we become. the more alive and centered we become, the more we feel capable of facing life's challenges without feeling depressed, overwhelmed, hopeless, etc. likewise, the more positive our thinking, the more positive our emotions and actions become. so through mindfulness, we cultivate positive thoughts reinforced by ample, well-tended vital energy, leading to more and more positive states of experience and less depression.

also, in mahayana buddhism, positive states of mind are cultivated with great enthusiasm. there is a wonderful teaching called the four immeasurables. it means to give rise to the wishes 1) that all beings may have happiness and the causes of happiness 2) that all beings may be free of suffering and the causes of suffering 3) that all may dwell in the excellent joy in which there is no suffering and 4) that all beings may dwell in immeasurable equanimity, free from attachment and aversion. the first of these is the meditation on love; the second is the meditation on compassion; the third is the meditation on joy; and the fourth is the meditation on equanimity.

cultivating these selfless, positive mental states regularly, day by day, starts to produce waves of positive intentions, thoughts, and feelings. these are the basis for the meditation that is the core of mahayana buddhist practice, which is cultivating bodhichitta, the "enlightened intent" or "enlightenment thought". this is referring to the bodhisattva wish that one will oneself attain enlightenment, in order to free all beings from suffering and establish them all in the state of complete enlightenment. it is so powerful for so many reasons. one effect of these mahayana meditations for cultivating bodhichitta is that they work directly on our motivation and lessen selfishness, which is considered by buddhism to be one of the major causes of depression and negative states of mind.

a wonderful writer who has very accessible teachings on cultivating the mental attitudes and enlightened motivation of mahayana buddhism is pema chodron. her many books and tapes have helped thousands to give rise to these precious mental attitudes of mahayana buddhism, a natural bi-product of which is that they help us overcome depression and emotional afflictions.


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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: What to do when depressed

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:08 am

Gratitude is available every moment and can provide relief from depression.
The small things are easiest to start with.

Thank you for this private place where I can relax.
Thank you for joints that don't hurt.
Thank you for a mind that is healthy enough to even try feeling better.
It can get bigger and turn into devotion for the Three Jewels.
Thank you for Dharma friends to share my troubles with.
Thank you for the Buddha who spent his life sharing what he knew.

Sometimes, you can be grateful for something that makes you laugh after you say it, and then you give yourself two gifts.
Thank you for there being no one around to hear my fart.
Thank you for a stomach that isn't violently throwing up.

This helps me get out of the rut. Other forms of practice feel much more in reach after a few minutes of gratitude.

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