Is there a way to prevent depression? Sadhguru explains the factors that have led to the depression “epidemic” in today’s society, and how we can reverse the trend.
Q: Depression, anxiety and similar illnesses are on the rise today. What has changed in society, compared to earlier generations, to cause such a dramatic increase?
Sadhguru: The fundamental reason why depressive syndromes have assumed epidemic proportions today is that we are eating too much and do not have enough physical activity. Physical activity is a very important part of maintaining the chemical balance in the system. Over the last few generations, our physical activity has decreased substantially. Therefore, maintaining the chemical balance in the system becomes difficult. Depression is just one manifestation of that. Some sit in a corner and sulk. Others, who are bipolar, can get violent. The common approach is to tranquilize them with chemicals, tablets or injections. This destroys the potential of the individual.
One of the simplest and best ways of establishing balance is lots of physical activity in a natural environment – ideally from an early age. Another aspect is being consciously in touch with the five elements of nature – earth, water, air, sunlight or fire, and space. In earlier times, human beings had to be consciously in touch with the elements. Suppose you are cultivating land or walking in the jungle, you have to know what is happening with the different elements of nature and how they affect you and everything around at any given moment.
One more factor is the type of food you eat – over-processed food should be avoided. Yet another factor is the lack of emotional security that modern generations are suffering. They cannot really invest their emotions in anyone, because no one will be around for too long.
To sum it up, the rise of depression is mainly due to changing lifestyles. Too much eating, not enough activity, no exposure to nature, no contact with the five elements, no emotional security – these are the main reasons why depression has become so widespread in the world today. If we take care of these aspects, we can considerably reduce the incidence and prevalence of depression and other mental disorders.
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