Expansion v. Depression – Round 1
One of the most powerful tools that depression uses against us is its ability to narrow our vision and life experiences. We begin to feel that the moment we are currently experiencing is the only moment that exists. We forget all about other people, our past, our future, and the world as it continues to move on around us.
This is a very powerful tactic. It limits our experiences and quickly eliminates any sense of hope, as it disallows us future oriented thinking. It keeps us stuck in a depressive rut, incapable of seeing any good behind us or any good that is yet to be.
But it is not invincible. This tactic that depression uses has it’s own achilles heel.
That achilles heel is known as the process of expansion.
Expansion is the practice of allowing our mind to expand itself from noticing our internal experiences, to noticing and encountering the external world. It connects back to the reality of the world around us and that our suffering is not only momentary, but also a small piece in the grand scheme of the universe.
Expansion may not work for everyone (or in every situation), but it can be a powerful tool to use when we feel depression closing in around us and we begin to see life through a narrow lens.
Below is a song that really epitomizes the process of expansion. It is one of the greatest songs (in my opinion) ever written, as it takes the listener on a journey through mindful, in the moment, experiences. It provides a great example of how we can do the same thing when we are feeling depressed. We can bring forward out attention to the outward world and begin to notice what we see, feel, smell, hear, and feel. The song is “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.
Thanks for reading, and be well!