Work in Japan Advice Board
Entering the Gold Coast Airport in Australia, I was struck by the posters on the airport walls for Beyondblue, the National Depression Initiative designed to raise awareness about a pandemic problem of depression and anxiety, and related drug and alcohol problems (http://budurl.com/jvdj). Australian friends were all aware of the campaign, and confirmed that it was a national problem.
Japan may not have the same campaign, but it certainly has the same problem, with suicides exceeding 32,000 people per year, and hundreds of titles being published on depression (utsuby). Reading that chronic depression also affects some 21 million adults and children in the United States, and the whole situation can seem downright depressing!
However, none of this is anything new. The ancient Greeks described Melancholia as one of the four temperaments, Albrecht Drer engraved it in 1514, and the period between the two World Wars is known as the Age of Anxiety. Though it may have been around since human beings first gained consciousness, it is certainly not a companion to keep company with.
You don’t have to look far for reasons to feel depressed, or for people who feel the same way, for misery loves company. If you are feeling low, there a few simple things that you can do to turn your mood around, and brighten the day for those around you too. In fact there are four things which are easy to do, and in your direct control.
Eat Right. Eating too much of the wrong foods can make you feel sluggish. Fast food can be slow to digest. Consciously seeking quality and balance in what you eat can elevate your mood and give you extra energy to make the most of your life.
Exercise. Lack of exercise can accelerate your demise by luring you into a sedentary existence. Use a thesaurus to look up the synonyms for sedentary, and ask yourself if you are ready to be lethargic, disengaged, out of service, lazy, desk-bound, sluggish, or unemployed. The average person walks less than 30 minutes a day, which can be considered a sedentary existence. Get out of your seat and onto your feet!
Use Positive Words. To your brain, the words you speak are like marching orders. You can literally talk yourself into any mood or attitude. Next time you catch yourself using negative self-talk, ask yourself, “Whose side are you on?” Speak your positive thoughts aloud, and see how quickly things improve.
Raise Your Sights. Observe yourself and others while walking, and you will see that most people look down as they walk. This is actually an outward sign of inward discouragement. On the other hand, if you hold your head too high, reality will surely clash with your ideals, and you will set yourself up for disappointment. The best place to gaze when you walk is slightly above the horizon. This is the zone of continual improvement, and is also the realm of the possible.
This small change in where you focus and how you hold your head will not only increase your awareness of what is ahead, but also your peripheral vision of what is around you. This subtle shift can make a significant difference in your mood and appearance. Give it a try and see how differently people respond to you.
Sakamoto Kyu reminded the world of this positive message in his classic song, I Look Up When I Walk (Sukiyaki Song, Ue wo Muite Aruko), the lyrics of which you can find at: http://budurl.com/spcm
You can change your mood and attitude to positive by making basic changes in the way you eat, move, speak, and look at the world. This will help you develop the ability to take on hard tasks with a positive spirit, to face the challenge (挑 ch, idomu). There is probably no better prescription for depression.
WEB TV: http://williamreed.tv
iPAD CREATORS CLUB: http://ipadcreatorsclub.com
William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.