When we’re depressed, it’s so easy to become a “couch potato”. We turn on the tv just for background noise and then find ourselves aimlessly watching anything on the screen. Pretty soon the day is gone. We go to bed frustrated and unfulfilled and bemoan how we feel. It never occurs to us that maybe we had something to do with it.
Sometimes we don’t see the connection between the seemingly innocent things we do, like watching tv, and the final outcome in our mood. After all, we didn’t hurt anyone, did we?
Right now I’m sitting in my living room doing this very same thing. I’m tired, having traveled a lot this past month. I could so easily justify sitting here today and “vegging out”. (In the US, “vegging ou”t means sitting in front of the tv and eating aimlessly and not vegetables I might add) I need to recoup, I tell myself. I’m really tired and need a day to do nothing, I tell myself. Now a few hours of this is o.k. and if I’m choosing to watch a television show or listen to music and it doesn’t impede getting up and getting moving, that’s ok. But it needs to be conscious decision. We need to be the ones calling the shots, not that another entiy—depression..
So back to the tv. We hear stories of “other people’s life”. We are bombarded with commercial messages telling us we need more than we already have.This adds to our already pervading feeling of “less than”. Why do we do this?
One reason might be that we simply don’t want to be alone with our thoughts. It’s scary. If we’ve fallen victim to depression in the past, we have every reason to be afraid of being alone with our thoughts. It’s what got us here in the first place, right? So we fill our lives with non-constructive busyness.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
We can be alone with our thoughts. We can endure the silence. We can learn to choose what we allow into our lives into our minds.
Take a day and turn off the tv and radio for a few hours. You’ll be surprised how this will motivate you to action, Because it feels so strange and uncomfortable, we simply have to get moving or we can’t stand it. That’s how it is for me anyway. Even if you don’t move, you’ll probably feel the need to read a book or look at magazines which is still far better than mindless tv watching.You might even find that your thoughts become clearer and not nearly as frightening as you thought they would be.
You may feel very uncomfortable with silence. I certainly do. But I purposefully try to include some of it into my life every week. I’ve found I don’t need a lot of “junk” words (like junk food which provides no nourishment) bombarding my already sensitive mind.
Here’s an interesting quote to finish this post. It’s from Horatio W. Dresser, author and one of earliest and most distinguished contributors in the field of mind, body, and soul interaction.
“We all find ourselves in particular circumstances that may appear to be holding us back for whatever reason, but we still have the awesome power to decide how to respond to those circumstances with our thoughts and actions. We can always affect the outcome. We always have choices. Often we forget just how much power that fact truly gives us.
And in another part of his book:
It is universally known that there is a natural healing power resident in the body……Many people have learned to relax and keep quiet like the animals, giving nature a free opportunity to heal their maladies.”
So far today, let’s eliminate the “junk” thoughts piling on our already huge mound of garbage. Unlike a lot of garbage, they are not recyclable.