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Utilizing Depression

June 2, 2010

As I’m sitting here today, punching out 4 blog posts in the span of a couple hours, I get to thinking: How is it that I can type up so much inspirational material when I’m so depressed?

Well, as irony would have it, it turns out that I’m so damn productive precisely because I’m so depressed!

I once heard a claim that “depressed people statistically have a more realistic perspective on reality than the average person. Well, I don’t know if that’s true, but at least for people with bipolar (like myself), depression can be quite advantageous when you utilize it correctly– that is, by sublimating it.

Taking this into context (and thereby elaborating upon this principle), Depression is a state of mind that when present, the person (i.e. me) who is experience it will wish to escape from it. This need for escape is precisely what one can utilize to make depression productive instead of the unhealthy but unfortunately more common self-sabotage response (e.g. displacement and impulsive behavior).

To better help visualizing this, I’ll appeal to the analogy of Aikido martial arts:

Aikido is a unique martial arts style that practitioners can use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury. It follows martial arts principles or tactics to blend with an attacker’s movements for the purpose of controlling their actions with minimal effort.

To apply this to utilizing depression:

Rather than trying to fight against your depression (which usually results in anger, impulsive behavior, and self-sabotage– I would know!), you should:

1. Slow down, and recognize the flow and power of your emotions.

2. Decide a direction and method in which to shape those emotions.

3. Ensure that the mold that you have chosen meets the needs of your excess energy

4. Redirect that energy and those emotions into something controlled and productive.

In this Aikido analogy, you are your enemy, and so by loving [Ai] your energy [Ki], you will [Do] much better for yourself, by conserving your excess energy, redirecting it into more practical efforts, and saving yourself from the harm that would otherwise result from impulsive behavior and self-sabotage.

So if you’re ever feeling depressed, remember to practice some Ai-Ki-Do today!

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