“Recipe for depression.” ~ Doc Meek

Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out

Image from: http://www.amazon.com/Happy-No-Reason-Steps-Inside/dp/B002RAR2OI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1299910535&sr=8-1

Tuesday, March 15, 2011. Today I am grateful for a friend who questioned me about depression. I had sent him the following “Recipe for Depression” and he queried me on it.

Here is the exchange:

RECIPE FOR DEPRESSION:

(1) You notice that what is happening is what you want (you get your own way).

Result: You are happy.

(2) You notice that what is happening is what you don’t want (you don’t get your own way).

Result: You are not happy (you are depressed).

Since life does not always produce for you what you want, this is a guaranteed recipe for depression.

Solution?

Stop basing happiness on whether you get your own way or not.

My friend replied:

That sounds good, Collins, but it’s just so natural to live the way you describe. Any suggestions as to how to change that or deal with it?

So, I guess I’m saying… You’ve told me the “what.” Now, please tell me the “how.”

So I replied to my friend:

I read Marci Shimoff’s book entitled Happy for No Reason and that provided a real start for me. Many “how’s” I think.

Then I got a “gratitude rock” (a small pebble) which I carry in my pocket continuously. Every time I reach in my pocket and touch the little rock, I think of something for which I am grateful. Actually feel grateful for, not something I “should” feel grateful for. I have slowly, very slowly, transformed my mental life from one of very natural criticism and complaints to one a healthier set of feelings of gratitude. Real feelings.

Just as real as the feelings of depression that haunted me for so many years.

Love and Respect, Collins

Side-notes with respect to my friend’s statement: “. . . it’s just so natural to live the way you describe [recipe for depression].”

(1) Yes, in our Western culture we do tend to live that way. That is why depression is so rampant.

(2) My Christian friends tell me that I should not try to live as the “natural man,” that I should try to live as the “spiritual man.”

(3) Knowing that my friend is a professing Christian, I should ask him, “What sayest thou to that?”

P.S. One thing in Marci’s book that caught me square in the solar plexus was one man (one of her group of “The Happy Hundred”) who said (and lived it):

“I am grateful for everything. I have no complaints whatsoever!”

I was so stunned when I read this that I determined to learn how to live like that!

I still have a long ways to go. However, I am getting there and it is so satisfying I cannot express how much in words.

Doc Meek, Tues, Mar 15, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

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