Friday, September 5, 2014

Alleviation Of Stress / Depression



Song:  One

Group:  U2




Although I don't know for certain...
I think people who feel (non-clinically) depressed, fail to see clearly into the future...
of how easily it is to effect a positive change in our lives...
with but a dream, a positive and viable long term plan...
and the ability to stay the course to see it through.

As I have never felt depressed...
I can only surmise what some depressed people feel.

I think that so many of them see a dark horizon and think of an inescapably 
 cold dark grey day...without color, without feeling, and without reprieve.

I say...
unlike the skies...
we can make our own beautiful sunsets in life.

Whenever I see dark clouds on the horizon...
I see the potential for a beautiful sunset.


(my wife had taken all of these photos a few weeks ago from our front and backyard.
They are all unretouched...the colors are all natural).






I have a pen pal (email) who lives in another country.
This person had recently asked me how I relieve stress or depression.


This is my reply email:


Actually, from what I have read about depression...I don't think I have ever been depressed.

However, I release stress through exercise.
When you exercise makes a huge difference on your mental outlook.  
The best way to relieve stress is to exercise and shower just before bedding down for the night
(within a few hours of bedtime...after dinner).  


My thoughts on this:

Stress is accumulated during the course of the day.

Sleep allows you to recover from the daily stresses and to rebuild yourself...
provided you get deep restorative sleep (very important).

Accumulated stress over the day prevents a person from getting deep restorative sleep.

Exercise and a hot shower before bed relieves the body of the daily built up stress...
and deeply relaxes the body, which then allows it to get the deep and restorative sleep it needs.

You will wake up fully energized and feeling as if you are a tiger on the hunt for food and adventure.  
You will not only accumulate less stress throughout the next day because you have more energy...
you will get rid of any stress before bed.

It becomes a positive spiral.

(and it goes without saying...no stimulants for at least 6 hours before bed - coffee or tea especially.  
Although I usually have a good cup of coffee once a day...
for me, it is a treat which greatly speeds up my mind and makes me feel creative.  
I don't drink coffee at least 12 hours before bed).


--------------------


Should you exercise upon waking...you meet the day tired and needing to recover.

You go to bed extra tired because the recovery time was hampered by the daily stresses...
then many people look to drinking coffee to keep themselves energized enough to carry on...
which then exacerbates the lack of quality sleep negative cycle. 

You cannot get the deep restorative sleep which makes you awaken with extra energy and a bright outlook.

You are even less able to meet the day's exercise and stress...etc.

It becomes a negative spiral.


  ---------------------


I am glad you brought this up.  I am going to write an article on this.  
I think it is a very important topic to many people.  

Every day should bring a sense of wonderment and excitement.  
You should be hearing great symphonies and seeing great art as you go about your day.  
You should be making movies of the mind (sometimes referred to as writing novels in the mind) 
during your down time...
and you should be enjoying adding new scenes and viewing them at your leisure.
  
Just looking at sunsets, or any of the simple pleasures in life, should touch you deeply.  
You should get great pleasure from everything you eat.  
You should hunger for every moment in life.  
Even daily stress should be handled with gusto as it 
gives you a great reserve of energy to exercise that night.

Keeping yourself on a positive spiral in life is the key to enjoying life deeply.

Barring neurochemical and hormonal imbalances 
(much of which may be greatly modified with many of the negative symptoms alleviated... 
and the positive feelings greatly amplified through rigorous nightly exercise)...
if you don't feel the calling of a great adventure throughout the day...
and the feeling of blissful serenity and peace while enjoying the many simple pleasures in life...
especially, after your nightly exercise and hot shower...something needs to be fixed in your life.

Life is simply too short to not be fully experiencing and enjoying life.


This is where I ended the email.


----------------------------


Now...
I am in no way downplaying true Clinical Depression.

It is a medical issue which is partly initially diagnosed by ruling out
situational depression and a general lack of exercise, a poor diet...
and lack of deep restorative sleep.

It is also far more rare than what the pharmaceutical industry would like you to believe.


However...
Situational Depression comes about because of a temporary situation
which seems to take away hope.

It comes about because people can see simple cause and effect...
but lack the will to correct the situation...
as it usually takes a long term plan (5 - 10 years).

When people are in a situation they do not like...
and even though an exit to the mental cave exists...
they don't wish to put in the effort to correct the situation.

That is what makes them depressed.
They see the mountain they must climb...
and mentally give up without trying.

People learn to accept that which they cannot change.
It is the situations that they may change...
but takes more effort than what they are willing to invest...which vexes them.

A typical situation involves not being happy in their job.

Instead of getting themselves educated in a marketable degree...
and then moving to where the jobs are...
they will, instead, allow themselves to feel trapped in a dead end career...
hating the thought of going to work...
hating being there...feeling drained at the end of the day...
having no energy to pursue anything worthwhile.

This is an example of being situationally depressed.

People will often look to temporarily alleviate the feeling of being situationally depressed...
through pharmacology (to the great glee of the pharmacological industry)...
instead of correcting their situation...
which would make them feel good permanently.

The negative feeling associated with situational depression is what drives a person to improve his lot in life.

To artificially take this away is to practically guarantee stagnation.

A person shouldn't feel happy in a dead end job...
one without enough pay to live on and to allow him to save enough to retire on...
one without a future.

A person should only feel happy when he finds a solution to his situation.


This is why I have never felt depressed.

I have always been able to...
envision a better future...
formulate a viable long term plan...
stick with the plan until fruition.


Happiness depends on three simultaneous outlooks:

Future:  A planned outlook of success.

Present:  With a future plan in motion...
you have peace of mind...
and with exercise greatly enhancing life...
everyday simple pleasures may then be enjoyed.

Past:  With a future to look forward to...
a present to fully enjoy...
the past is what had led you to that point.

You may then look back without regret...
and with deep satisfaction.


------------------------------


It is true that I have been very fortunate in life.

However, my life was not a product of pure luck.

I had made conscious decisions regarding my future...
of what it would take to reach a certain point by a certain time
(although for me...the point of decision came relatively late in life).

I had learned early in life...
the great importance that exercise plays in a person's outlook and drive.


Some of my happiest moments in my early life was when I had relatively little money.

I was working toward my future...
and I was exercising very regularly and vigorously.


I simply must say...
once again...
the importance of the quantity of quality in exercise.

The exercise must be of sufficient intensity...
without being too much
(you should be breathing deeply without getting out of breath).

The level of intensity should be low enough to do the exercise
continuously for 30 to 60 minutes (aerobic in nature).

The level of intensity should be high enough
that you operate at a constant level of just this side of nausea
(you go at a high enough rate to feel nauseated...
then back off just enough to where you no longer feel nauseated...
this will be your ultimate training level for the day).

It is only when you go at this intensity level for 30 to 60 minutes continuously...
that you will derive the great benefits.

Done at least thirty minutes after dinner...
and followed by a hot shower...
for the remainder of the night...
and for the whole of the next day...
you will be filled with a great calm and lightness.

You will simply feel a deep inner happiness.


I cannot stress this enough:

You will feel the music of the mind in your body.
Colors will come alive and everything becomes sharp in your mind.
Patterns emerge in everything you see...and everything makes sense.
You will envision a bright future filled with adventure along the way.

When a person knows that he is in control of his own happiness...
that he may exercise enough to drain away negative stress...
and to give him a deep happiness regardless of what the rest of the world may be doing...
he no longer fears venturing forth.

He dares to dream...and he dares to act.

Dream of a better future...
plan for a better future...
act upon those plans...
stay the course until fruition.

This is the key to a person's future.

(This also includes getting rid of the constantly negative and angry people...
 the manipulative, controlling, and domineering tyrants...
as well as the parasites of life).


And NO...
I am not any of these type of negatively traited people  :)

Although I sometimes flare up in a momentary fit of frustration...
(only because I know why certain people do certain things)...
my anger is but a few seconds in length...
and I quickly regain my happy disposition.

I actually have very little reason to be angry at all.
I use anger as fuel for my next workout...
and in doing so...
it is spent before I go to bed.


I don't stay angry at people who deserve my anger...
I simply cut them from my life.

The feeling I get when I do...
is similar to the shout of 'Freedom'
of William Wallace in the movie 'Braveheart'  :)

(some of the worst people being the manipulative and rudely dismissive people aiming
to provoke you enough to have you destroy your own life through their guided sabotage.
They are unhappy at your happiness...their envy knows no bounds).


I think...
a feeling of a lack of control over one's life leads many to feel depressed.

If a problem is identified...
and may be corrected by the person...
that is having control.

As we have the capability of insight...
we may identify past and present problems...
and with our capability of forethought...
we may identify future potential problems.

And...
as most problems in life may be corrected...
we have control.

If we have control...
we have the ability to control our happiness.

Again, although I don't know about depression for certain...
it seems reasonable that, at least in cases involving situational depression...
it is within our power to seize control of our happiness in life.


(Sorry for the cliche  :)





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