The Other Cause of Depression
So I have talked about the cause of depression before being linked to one thing and one thing alone: opportunity lost.
This is still true.
However, our minds are wired for a primitive existence and this can cause unusual situations (relative to our primitive minds) to trigger unrelated emotions.
One strong example of this is repetition causing depression. Only opportunity lost can cause depression, however, since our primitive mind sees our repetition as a trap, it feels that we must have lost in life. And we are missing out on opportunities when we let life become repetitive.
If you do feel stuck in a rut, there are a few solutions.
Curing Depression Short-Term
A short-term solution can be your best option sometimes. It will quickly free you of the current emotions that are keeping you from being productive and allows you to start focusing on long-term solutions.
In other words, don’t rule out short-term answers.
So you want to break your depression caused by repetition? Then do something new. Your easiest option that you can do right away is to go somewhere new.
(Don't believe me? This paper shows that novelty increases happiness. But do you know what works even better than novelty? Acts of kindness. Just more proof that we really are wired to connect.)
Important: Once you start feeling better, put things in perspective and start focusing on long-term solutions.
What if going somewhere new doesn’t fix your depression?
This usually happens when you constantly use going somewhere new in response to your depression. This solution to your problem has become repetitive and, thus, now causes or perpetuates your depression.
In other words, this trick doesn’t work because you have used it one too many times without focusing on a long-term solution.
However, going somewhere new will still work once in a while, so at least give it a try each time.
But more importantly, we need to start looking at a long-term solution to your problem.
Curing Depression Long-Term
So if you need long-term randomness to solve your problem, you will need to look outside yourself.
Think about it. You are a creature of habit. It is hardwired in your DNA to stay put and do the same habits over and over again. That is why we often sacrifice happiness for comfort.
Funny how the thing that ensures our DNA to pass on the most is what often causes depression.
This is because we are also hardwired to expect chaos from the world around us. The more stale and stable our society becomes, the more depressed our people will be. Such an environment is unnatural for us.
How do we break out of this repetitive, depressing state?
“Look outside yourself” probably made you think of joining a new class or a new job. But isn’t going to yoga class every Wednesday at 6 repetitive? Isn’t waking up and getting home at the same time also repetitive?
Sure, there may be new challenges at work, but aren’t they usually very stressful? Now you are just giving up one thing (depression) for something also terrible (stress).
The best way to break out of repetition is to look outside ourselves and towards other people.
The biggest social butterfly will tell you the social world is a dynamic, complex creature. You never know what adventure awaits you when you are riding its back.
But I’m an introvert.
Cool, I understand. The best solution for you is to be part of a group. The group will drag you along for the ride.
You know this is true. I bet this happened to you before at primary and secondary schooling.
In short, you need to belong to something.
How do I find a group to be apart of?
You are basically asking how do I find my place in this universe. And there is no easy answer for that.
I can, however, give you a few suggestions.
- Always put yourself out there. If you don’t try, you’ll never win. Depression can make you not want to show up. But it is very important that you do. Show up every day and eventually something will connect.
- Trust your intuition. You probably know deep down inside what you need to do next. Go do it!
- Shake things up. Get a new job, move to a new place, transfer to a different university; you get the idea. Remember, you aren’t expecting this thing to be the adventure (as we discussed a job will eventually become repetitive), but rather be something new thing in your life that you can build momentum on and create the adventure you want.
- Fling yourself into the universe. This is probably one of the most dangerous things you can do, but this is a post for another time.
- Make new friends
Ultimately, the solution to your depression is to not only do something new but create a world where your life is an adventure.
Remember: Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
P.S. If you want some additional help with depression, I would suggest checking out this video: The Scientific Way to Solve Depression
P.S.S. If you found this blog article on the spot when it comes to your life, you might want to think about and rate in your life Tony Robbin's six basic human needs: certainty/comfort, uncertainty/variety, significance in the world, love & connection, personal growth, and contribution to the world.