The heavier emotions are “heavier” because they’re more tamas, more inertia. This doesn’t make them bad – inertia gives us a consistent physical form, for example.
The key is balance. Life is a continual dance of homeostasis, of re-balancing the creative and destructive flows. Too much inertia and we get sluggish and lean towards dissolution. Dissolution helps resolve things but we don’t want the whole thing falling apart.
That tamas aspect also ties those emotions more into our bodily state. Fear, for example, is closely tied to the fight, flight, freeze response. We experience a perceived threat, and the body responds in one of those three ways.
Depression can be the heaviest of all. In some ways it’s not really an emotion. Drained of fire, Rajas, it’s a non-energetic mood closely tied to the body. It may also need a little different approach than healing other emotions. For example, it helps to resolve anger by giving it attention. Not by engaging it but by allowing the emotion to be there and seeing where it takes us.
But putting attention on depression draws us into it more because of its tamas nature. It feeds on itself. It’s easier to resolve by changing physically first, by getting active and adding energy. With a little perspective, then it can be healed the usual way. However, depression itself can make this more difficult as inertia brings an aversion to activity.
Depression is often tied to anxiety and heavier emotions like guilt and hopelessness. We may find that as we move out of depression, another emotional driver comes into view. Then we can use the usual approach to resolve that.
We’re in a season where many people struggle with depression. Most depression is a normal and temporary mood. Festive expectations, physical and financial excesses, SAD from too little natural light, and more can trigger it. Behind it is often stress, energy-draining emotions, and imbalance.
Keep in mind that everyone has different thresholds for stress and excess. We all need a little fun and socialization but we all have limits. Our history, karma, DNA (ancestors) and our sustained stress levels can set our thresholds.
Moving back towards a sensible routine, eating better, and getting some physical activity can help a lot. These are common New Year’s resolutions as they can help even if we don’t reach our goals.
The easiest prevention is through transcendence and staying within our healthy physical ranges (activity, diet, sleep) to avoid or much reduce its severity.
Of course, this is for normal, passing forms of mild depression. A deeper issue can require professional support and treatment.
No matter how many people tell us Merry Christmas, it’s pretty normal to have mixed feelings about the whole thing. 🙂
Happy New Year!