Depression has been rising like a steady tide in modern times. Suicide rates are at an all time high. Doctors are prescribing anti-depressant medication like it is going out of style. More and more Americans are finding themselves without purpose and community. Adrift in the world of superficial comparisons across social media platforms. Caught in the constant onslaught of our consumerist culture as it erodes away our morality, our dignity, and our life-force. If only you can attain enough money to buy the things you want, then you will achieve happiness. The hedonic treadmill goes on and on. How ever can we get off?
There are three ways that I have come upon to combat depression. They are certainly not the only three, but their themes run throughout all other suggestions. They are neither secular, nor religious, though you can think of them in either context. They are simple, but not easy to apply. They take a humility to initiate and focus to accomplish. They have no end goal in mind, which is why they work. Yes, happiness is the result, but only insofar as pooping is the result of eating. It is a healthy byproduct of an even richer experience. The steps are cyclical. No one of more importance than the others. The order is also of no importance. Engage in these activities with sustained gusto and depression may find no room to invade.
-Seek to understand novel ideas and experiences.
-Channel your energy into creativity.
Of course there are infinite qualifiers for each of these actions, but the obvious ones should, ironically, still be stated. When seeking novelty look inside as much as out. Your own mind is as vast as the universe. Acquire new objects only when necessary. Don't destroy or hurt others in your pursuits. Helping those who do not want your help is of little help at all.
Lastly, I want to be clear that depression is not a "bad" thing. It is one of the many states of being in which humans are capable of living. We don't have to be stuck in any of them. If you are depressed, know that you are not alone. Sometimes the most novel idea will be seeking help and trusting you will get it.