A Clean Mind

Blogging about a less stressful way to live…

Situational Depression

Good and bad are always around the corner on earth; this is true for every human. In other words, sometimes life sucks. That might sound depressing at first, but upon closer inspection, it’s actually a pretty good thing to go ahead and accept. That way when things go south, we don’t resist and make an extra problem out of it. Instead, we just remind ourselves that that’s how it is sometimes and we can only do our best and handle one thing at a time. No big deal – that’s the best we can do.

When things go south in a really big way, it might knock us down for a while. This is known as situational depression. It means that there’s nothing wrong with you, like the chemical imbalance that you might think of when you hear the word “depression.” In fact, what you’re feeling is actually normal under the circumstances. You’re not supposed to jump for joy when tragedy happens. It’s totally normal to feel depressed, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you stick to the plan and do what we talk about here at A Clean Mind, though, then that’s the fastest way out. You’ll drop the story and let those powerful feelings flow through without getting stuck. And you’ll make the decision to go on about your day regardless of how the body feels. Before you know it, you’ll be back to normal.

I started this post after lunch one day and then saw two afternoon clients before returning to finish it. As things would turn out, both of those clients had some situational depression going on. You know by now that I don’t believe in coincidences…

The first client doesn’t like the holiday season, for one thing. And many people don’t like the holidays. Many people find them sad, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Lots of folks are disgusted with the commercialization, and others have an issue with the religious aspect. If any of that describes you, though, then you might want to prep your mind as the holidays approach each year because they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. That’s just a fact. Practicing A Clean Mind is essential in this case, and this is a great opportunity for practice, really, because everywhere you turn you see decorations and hear holiday music.  If that takes you down, then you’re screwed. What a great annual measuring stick for your path to inner peace, though! I’d say bring it on – I’m in charge of my peace and not some decorations or music.

On top of not liking the holidays, this client also has a stressful situation going on at her job, with a change in positions coming up. The change will be for the better, but she’s stuck in her current position for the time being. When you add these things together, you have a formula for not feeling so hot. How nice it is to understand this, though, because that means how you’re feeling isn’t bad but rather normal under the circumstances. That’s a HUGE difference, and the situation hasn’t changed one bit – how we see it has changed. And we’re one step closer to inner peace. Pat your self on the shoulder. Seriously!

My second client that afternoon had something much more extreme happen – her dad had died. Four days prior to our session. Unexpectedly. This is also the first time she’s lost someone major in her life, so she’s had no way of being prepared for this experience. She’s in the beginning of some intense grief, but she’s really good at A Clean Mind. In fact, she was coming in to say she didn’t think she needed to come regularly anymore. And I agreed with that. I’ve said before that I’m always trying to teach people how to not need me, except maybe every now and then when big things happen or just for a tune-up here and there. So my client is handling this as well as it can be handled, but it’s still not exactly fun. As I told her, it’s normal to feel terrible for a while – there’s no avoiding that. It’s situational.

Hearing her talk also reminded me of when my own dad died about ten years ago. It was pretty unexpected, too. Life just felt strange for a while after that, like it was a dream or something. It was the weirdest feeling. Something was different, and it was hard to describe. So I got a bit choked up myself, but that’s fine – it’s just normal feelings flowing through.

Understanding situational depression is a great thing, because it normalizes how we’re feeling when life isn’t so fun. This is a much better plan than thinking there’s something wrong with us! When we do that, we’ve created an extra problem that has to be fixed. In this day and age, that often means prescription drugs. I think that those are fine in many cases, but not as a first resort for situational depression. And it seems that many doctors are irresponsible in this regard. When tough things happen, you’re not supposed to feel great. If you do, then that’s awesome. But if you don’t, that’s simply normal. Just let those feelings be there and don’t hold onto them or resist them. Drop the story and feel, like we always do when there’s something in the body that needs to be felt. Feelings are temporary, even if your dad died and there are a ton of them, and that’s good news. When you’re in the middle of it, it might not seem that way – it might seem like you’ll never be happy again. Keep practicing A Clean Mind, though, and you will.

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All anybody really wants is peace. The good news is that peace can be learned. I’m serious. This should be taught in middle school, but it’s not. So I’m teaching it now.

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