How to Tame the Lion Within

No one likes depression.

Depression is one of those oddities in life that can occur seemingly without a cause. It can lay dormant and undetected for years or it could be as demanding as a newborn. 

While the variations and tribulations can manifest differently in people, the end results are often the same: fatigue, irritability, hopelessness, sadness, anxiety, and more. If that weren't bad enough, depression is just, as if not, more detrimental for the people close to the people suffering with it. 

Many studies agree that depression permeates a large portion of the population in any demographic - a sobering figure if you've ever had the misfortune to live with depression for any significant amount of time. So how are we supposed to battle something that seems so out of control, and all-encompassing? 

With the biggest problems in life, I've found it's best to take a 1,000ft view of the problem - take a step back and view it for what it really is...

Scientifically speaking, depression is classified as a chemical imbalance. But is that all? Isn't life more than just a correct firing of brain chemicals? Of course it is. And isn't life more than just having our way all the time? Absolutely! 

We obviously can't say.."Hey brain, I'm feeling a little dopamine-light today, can you help me out?", nor can we walk around saying..."I didn't get that promotion, so I guess I'm going to be depressed until I do." Well---you could say that, but no one would have any empathy for that attitude. 

The truth is that depression is best handled in controlling the things you can, and learning to allow the things you can't to take their course. Perhaps this may be stating the obvious, but it's better than nothing. 

You can control your diet. Eating vitamin-rich foods and making sure to have a variety is essential in brain health. You can control your sleep schedule which is also integral in proper brain function and mood regulation. Any study on the subject will also tell you that regular light exercise goes a long way in fighting depression and providing a plethora of benefits to your body. These are things we can control. 

And the other hand. Your boss may be a jerk for the rest of your career. Your family members may criticize you for your choices. You car may break down, and your day may just plain suck. The only thing we can do when that happens is recognize that its not in your sphere of influence. Seasons of pain and misfortune occur, but be excited to let them refine you instead of afraid of them hurting you. Don't be too introspective. Our brains are always focused on something so it might as well be something opportunistic or hopeful.

I'm starting to build speed on the topic, however I wanted to keep this light, so I'll just conclude by saying depression is a lion roaring in our minds. It screams, "FEAR ME! FEED ME! LET ME OUT!". And it will devour you if you let it. It's time to tame the beast and live a life that decries emotional bondage.