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Stress and Depression

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

STRESS

We all experience various distractions in our daily activities, which can deviate us from the intended path. These disturbances create ripples, both small and large, and can lead to moderate to challenging situations. When the resulting disruption exceeds an individual's acceptance threshold, it is referred to as stress. Each person's capacity to handle stress may differ based on their attitude towards it.




Internal factors that contribute to stress include how we interpret and learn from each experience. Numerous reasons, such as analyzing past events for their positives and negatives, knowingly making mistakes and defending them, and internal or external struggles in managing emotions, can all contribute to stress.


Stress can be beneficial as long as the individual possesses the ability to effectively manage it.

DEPRESSION

Depression is characterized by the inability to cope with internal or external stress, leading to feelings of weakness and instability accompanied by fear and unease. There are two types of depression: internal and external.


From a theistic perspective, all forms of depression are believed to be the result of past actions or "karma" from previous lives. Being disturbed by the past generates stress, while thoughts about the future rarely cause it. Stress related to future thoughts usually arises from predictions and uncertainties, such as contemplating the next five years for one's family or planning an upcoming event with concerns about its smooth execution. Inability to handle certain situations can also contribute to stress. The ability to manage emotions and stress may be influenced by the type of food consumed, hormonal balance, oxygen supply to organs, blood circulation, and neuronal strength.




Making the right decisions leads to the right path. Therefore, it is essential to take a step back, breathe, pause, relax, and rethink before reacting. This process provides the strength to bounce back, similar to how a lion hides before pouncing on its prey. Stepping back should not be seen as avoidance, but rather as gathering the courage to face the situation from a different perspective.


During depression, a person may struggle to judge others and may experience a loss of energy. Common manifestations of depression include uncontrolled emotions, anger, hyperactivity, excessive excitement, dwelling on the past, prolonged remembrance of past events, outbursts when questioned, relating all events to negative experiences from the past, suicidal tendencies, and thoughts of harming or seeking revenge on others.


Depression arises from holding onto old thoughts and living with them instead of learning from them. Life events and experiences are meant for learning and growth, not for dwelling on past failures. Depression tends to be more prevalent in individuals who engage in excessive thinking and less action. People can be categorized into three groups: Mavens, Relators, and Evangelists (MRE). Mavens focus more on thinking than taking action, while Evangelists prioritize action over excessive thinking. The latter group experiences less depression as they are consistently engaged in productive work.


Low blood pressure can also contribute to depression. For some, depression comes and goes like a guest, while for others, it becomes a constant companion. Those who live with depression tend to doubt every step they take and carry the weight of past memories with them. They struggle to enjoy the present moment as they constantly compare new experiences with fearful "what if" scenarios, remaining trapped in the past. By approaching each step as a new experience, detached from the past, depression can be prevented from taking hold.




Handling Depression:


1. Handle Stress: Addressing stress promptly and not allowing it to escalate is crucial in preventing depression. It is important to weed out stress when it is still manageable rather than letting it grow and dominate your life.


2. Socializing: Engaging in face-to-face conversations with others can release hormones that alleviate stress and feelings of agitation or insecurity.


3. Physical Exercise: Regular rhythmic exercises such as walking, running, swimming, and dancing can effectively distract from worries by focusing attention on physical sensations.


4. Connect to Your Senses: Engage one or more of your senses, such as sight, sound, taste, smell, or touch, to alleviate stress. Finding the sensory input that works for you, like listening to music, cooking, tending to a garden, can help bring a sense of calm.


5. Counseling: Seeking counseling can provide guidance and support in overcoming difficulties and eliminating comparisons with others. A counselor can highlight positive attitudes, talents, and emotions, helping individuals develop a healthier mindset.


6. Change Environment: If a particular environment exacerbates depression, it is advisable to move away from it. By analyzing the situation from a third-person perspective and staying away from the problem temporarily, individuals can gain a broader understanding and increase their ability to handle it.


7. Establish a Daily Routine: Following a balanced routine that includes saathvik (pure) food, eating when hungry, avoiding late-night meals, going to bed early, and waking up during the "brahma muhoortha" (early morning) can help maintain emotional control and provide the necessary energy to handle challenges.


8. Food Control: Sour and spicy foods should be avoided as they can contribute to emotional attachment and hinder effective stress management.


9. Manage Expectations: Expectations can be a significant source of depression. Instead of expecting specific outcomes, focus on performing tasks dutifully and with affection. Having contingency plans (Plan A, B, C) prepares you to handle deviations and reduces the impact of unmet expectations.


10. Society: Do not let societal expectations and norms dictate your life. Society should be viewed as a supportive structure rather than a cause of stress. Stay true to yourself and avoid living a false life to meet societal standards.


11. Acceptance of Truth: Stress often arises from resisting or struggling to accept the truth. Understanding and accepting the inherent properties of situations, objects, or events can help in managing stress effectively. Just as different metals have their properties, accepting the nature of things as they are can prevent undue stress.


12. Understand the Creator's Interest in Creation: Recognize that stress is a result of circumstances that may be irrelevant or contrary to our own thought processes. Understanding the purpose or intent behind events can provide perspective and minimize stress.


By implementing these strategies and approaches, it is possible to keep depression at bay and cultivate a healthier mindset. It is important to seek professional help if needed and remember that everyone's journey is unique.




Upcoming Blogs:

  • Ayurveda To Fight Depression By Dr. Dr. Udaya Shankar, BAMS., MD

  • Role of nutrition in Depression By R. Balasubramaniam Iyer

  • Infertility and Depression By Dr. B. Sundoromeenool, B.S.M.S., M.D.(A.M.), M.D.(Accu.)

  • Depression - Probing into the Scientific reason


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