Depression is characterized by episodes of low mood (sadness) accompanied by low self-esteem that usually leads to loss of pleasure or interest in activities, ordinarily felt to be enjoyable. If we investigate a bit of what is self-esteem, that possibly leads to depression, we may separate “self” and “esteem”, and understand both the meaning of each and the meaning of the association. Afterward, we easily understand that the core of this mental activity is, in fact, the constant focus on “self”, meaning what is currently occurring within oneself, be it in his mind, his heart or his body. And the continuous tendency to assess or to “esteem” the level of good appreciation with regards to inner parameters. Ultimately, that means that the only interest that one may have is, in fact, oneself.
What is self-esteem and how does it work? Self-esteem could be defined as an inner spontaneous and unconscious assessment of one’s mood or abilities to overcome, or not, any goal. Self-esteem is an idea (which is basically a thought) one may have on one-self, irrespective of the fact that this idea could be pleasant or not. To some extent, depression is giving too much importance on only one topic, which is experienced by simultaneously the subject that thinks, and the object, as one’s inner experience. Thus, in order to treat depression, one must get out of this endless morbid and self-centered focus, which is one-self. Whenever it is possible to distract this constant selfish investigation, even surprisingly, one will experience an alleviation of the depression.
This process of alleviation can be illustrated by the simple activity of walking, which is frequently proposed to depressed people. Basically, walking provides many alternative objects of attention, when the sight isn’t anymore focused innerly but outerly on any item the sight may catch. Furthermore, walking increases the blood circulation, which leaves less blood to irrigate the necessary neurons which were used previously to think too much on oneself.
Distraction, entertainment, sport and physical exercise are a very useful practice to forget, for some time that one is depressed. Whenever some joy and happiness arise spontaneously, it is understood that no one was really ever depressed.