Depression And Your Thinking
Thinking can change your depression or at least the way you look at depression.
Buddha believes that obsession with the self is one of the sources of human miseries. Interestingly enough, most people with depression are self-centered: they focus on themselves, thinking of their lack or their own needs. Depressive people often dwell on the negative aspects of their lives. They need to change their thinking.
Thinking is a skill that leads to self-knowledge. According to Buddha, self-knowledge, which is available to everyone, is the way to true human wisdom. Enlightenment, a result of pursuit of wisdom, shows you the “emptiness” of feelings and things, and hence the futility of “attachment.” “Emptiness” in Buddhism does not mean “negation” or “self-denial” of objectives and goals in life. Rather, it implies holding your objectives and goals in “emptiness”, allowing them to move along with their natural energy, but with no attachment of the “self” to them. It is similar to your creativity: you let it come on its own; you don’t force upon it; you do it, but you give up “striving” and “struggling” to do it. Just “being present” and “be available” when it comes. This is the wisdom of “emptiness” and “non-attachment.”
With liberation from “self-preoccupation”, you intuit the wisdom that all pleasant feelings in life just lead you to desire for more. The initial satisfaction that comes with the desire is short-lived, for no sooner have you satisfied one craving than another arises and there is another new craving. Buddha says that you suffer by wanting the things you don’t have and having the things you don’t want. Life is not a bed of roses, and it is never supposed to be one. If you want the roses without the thorns, you are planting the seeds of depression.
To eliminate the depression-causing desire, you need to start thinking right. The pursuit of self-knowledge leading to intuitive wisdom suggested by Buddha is attainable only through daily meditation in which you dispel all negative thoughts and replenish your mind with positive images.
Discipline your mind to think in a different way, in particular to avoid any distorted thinking. According to many psychologists and therapists, you mood is determined by the way you think about your own experiences. If you choose to think of unpleasant things, you will experience unpleasant emotional responses or moods. Your thoughts are only what you decide to believe in and continually reinforce in your mind.
Avoid any thinking that makes you too optimistic that it releases unrealistic energy precipitating in euphoria and fantasy, commonly seen in bipolar depression.
Avoid any thinking that leads you to obsess with physical and sensual matters. Such obsession often underlines a lack of emotional and spiritual satisfaction in life.
Avoid any thinking that reinforces your fear. Truly, nearly all of us feel afraid or low at some point in life. But if you thoughts of insecurity are habitual, and your mind is reacting to these dark forces daily, then you may have become overwhelmed by the world around you. It is time you did some thought discipline.