I feel there is a lot going on when we are depressed.
I was a depressed for years, and I have to say sometimes I didn’t feel I was going to make it to the next day. Yet I had hope, hope that life would teach me how be happy from the inside out.
I came to the conclusion that there’s no one change of lifestyle, food, herbs, or anything else that was going to make my depression disappear. It was a collective way of changing my lifestyle and looking at life that changed everything.
And I keep pushing the envelope, because I knew change was good… and if I keep changing I would evolve as a human being.
This is a comprehensive way of getting rid of depression.
Meditation – Putting in at least 30 minute of meditation twice a day changes everything. If there is one thing that is important then meditation is the gold standard for everything else, it changes our feelings so we don’t feel depressed, it lifts up our spirits, it changes our bodies by allowing good genes to be expressed, and turning off bad genes so that we live longer and feel better.
But not only that… I started to understand that I was not just this flesh and blood but was a timeless expression of something larger that incorporated everything in the Universe. Meditation moved me to understand my full spiritual self… thus joy was awakened within my soul.
Understand Feelings – I came to understand through meditation that feelings come and go. That feelings are fleeting and don’t stick around for long. I had to embrace my feelings and become strong inside, and notice the good that was all around me.
Exercise – When I was in my 20’s I found that I wanted to exercise so I started exercising at home. I think this was prompted by my father dying of a stress heart attack, and I didn’t want to end up that way. I also found myself stressed out and because of that started the process of meditation and exercise. I love exercise, exercise grew on me to the point that I can’t see myself life out exercise… and exercising makes me feel happy.
Yoga – I started doing yoga, and yoga was instrumental in changing of life. Yoga created a great feeling of relaxed understanding about myself. Yoga frees the body… but it also frees the mind as well. Thus I opened up my consciousness, which brought about great changes in my lifestyle that created self love and inner happiness.
Food – When I was in my 20’s I also decided to take my life into my own hands and started eating better. Thus I started eating lots of fruits, veggies, and at that time I included lean meats such as fish and chicken. And because of that my body responded… thus I felt even better about myself and was happier.
Vegan – Later I went on to become a vegan, and everything again changed… and I was even more peaceful and full of lightness. Plus my high blood pressure disappeared, my arthritis of 40 years disappeared, all my back pain disappeared, my kidney disease disappeared, and I felt so much better mentally. And a great feeling of peace came over my life… perhaps this was a spiritual change because I was no longer connected to the karma of eating animal flesh. No matter what it was, I was happier!
Changed Where I Lived – I also decided to change where I was living… and moved from the central valley of California to Monterey California to be near the ocean. It was a dream of mine to live by the ocean… and I wanted to make that dream come true, so I just got up and moved. There’s something magical for me about the ocean, and especially the cold water of the Pacific. Thus I again changed my lifestyle… and brought another level of happiness to my life.
Giving Back – And at that point I started giving back to everyone in the community.
I joined the chamber of commerce and worked as a volunteer for the chamber. I also worked as a volunteer for the Alliance on Aging, helping those who were elderly who need someone to help them and just be a listening ear… and be a friend. This uplifted my spirit… I felt better about life.
And because I had a great community of people I was connected to everyday that made me happy. I could walk down the street and say hello and talk to 4 or 5 people. We all need community, friends, and loved ones who care about us.
QiGong – I also started the long learning process of QiGong, being taught by a grandmaster in QiGong who helped me understand the energy relationship I had with my mind/body. I finally understood that everything in life is energy… and that energy is either taken away or added to the mind/body with everything thought, word, and ways of being in the world. Again my spirit was uplifted.
Herbalism – I also delved deeper into herbalism and how herbs, foods, and supplements could lift my life and enhance my body. This is a life long process of learning, and many of the great herbalists that I have learned from in the past were always learning something new and exciting. And that too was important.
Life Long Learning – Many times people decide that they no longer need to learn. But through some of the great workshops and spiritual experiences I had… I came to understand that learning was a life long process. That when I stop learning I began to stagnate, and that stagnation lead to depression… thus I promised to keep learning and teaching.
Teaching – Teaching will keep a person young, teaching is exciting, and teaching not only helps those in need but it also uplifts the teacher… it has for me. I feel honored to keep learning and helping others. And I feel any one can be a teacher… about life, about a trade, or about spiritual experience, it’s all important.
Doing Something You Love – I decided early on that we should work at something we love, and help others at the same time… and in that process great things will come our way. I wanted to wake up and enjoy every moment of my life, and by working with herbalism and spirituality I found just that. I love every moment of life, and I feel it’s vital for everyone… we must all work at something we love… it keeps us feeling vital, alive, and happy.
Giving Love – There’s an old saying, “You get what you give” I believe that with all my heart and decided early on to give love to everyone, even people who are hard to love, for they need love the most. This attitude has always worked for me… and made me feel happy beyond what most people can comprehend. Giving love is one of the keys to being happy!
See the Good – It took me a long time to understand that even in the worst of tragic life events there are nuggets of wisdom and wonderful things that unfold from that process of cause and effect. It took time to see the flowers where there was trash, to see good in people who were mean and spiteful, and even help those who would do me harm. That’s not easy, and it’s an everyday process of working on this broader perspective that keeps me happy.
Nature – Nature has always made me feel happy! Getting out as a kid to go fishing or riding around with my Dad out in the field was great. And even today going out in the forest and feel connected, I feel a oneness with everything that makes me feel happy… there are no words to describe this feeling. Most people are nature deprived and I feel it’s very important to be out in nature daily. I have to say that’s where I feel connected to Spirit most of the time.
God, The Tao, and The Universe – Spirituality has brought me to the Divine. I feel paying homage to God, the Tao, and the Universe is very important. For me it keeps everything in perspective, for when I pray and see that I am just a speck of dust in the Grand Universe. And I feel an amazing feeling of AWE of being alive, thus all my problems seem very small.
I hope and pray these few ways of changing will lift your depression like it has mine.
Dr. Paul Haider – Master Herbalist and Spiritual Teacher for over 20 years, helping people to recover and feel healthy. You can also find Dr. Haider on FB under Dr. Paul Haider, Healing Herbs, Shambala Spiritual Transformation Institute, Meditation for the Soul, and Relax Into Success, Punjab teas, and at www.paulhaider.com – feel free to contact him any time. Also check out Dr. Haider’s radio show at http://www.thesourcecenterradio.com/The-Relaxed-Soul.html August show to be about “Spirituality and Food”