Introduction

Depression_Well-Being

From Depression to Well-Being 10 Minutes at a Time

A series of ten-minute readings and tested training exercises by a fellow depression sufferer.

Objectives:

Help fellow sufferers identify and uproot the underlying causes of depression.

Help fellow sufferers increase their ability to:

• Be well in body, thoughts, and feelings

• Face and cope with the life’s inevitable stresses

• Work productively to benefit themselves and others

• Make a contribution to their community.

About Bruce Cantwell

Toward the end of the last economic downturn, I got the news that millions of people before me had received. I was let go.

I was barely scraping by on the last vestiges of my educational and vocational experience: advertising/journalism. One of the world’s largest information services decided to eliminate their North American freelance staff and outsource the work to India.

I was old. I was obsolete. I had a history of depression. And since I worked in journalism, I knew the story of what people in my position did next. They lost hope, turned to opiates, and killed themselves.

But, oddly enough, I wasn’t depressed.

My curiosity led me to ask, “Why not?”

The one word answer I came up with was this:

Neuroplasticity.

It took 21st century neuroimaging to confirm what the unaccredited father of neuroscience hypothesized over 2500 years ago.

“Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of the mind.”

I concluded that my meditation practice had reconfigured my brain to conform with the World Health Organization’s definition of mental health: “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

My potential: to offer depression sufferers time-tested and scientifically validated techniques to permanently increase their resilience.

Coping with the normal stress of life: I sometimes describe my daily mindfulness practice as a shock absorber for what life throws at me.

Working productively and fruitfully: the current neuroscience suggests that 10 minutes a day is roughly the minimum effective dose to habituate the benefits of these exercises.

Make a contribution to my community: putting in the effort to maintain a healthy mind and showing others how to do the same is the best way I know to contribute to my community.