The old and the current methods of overcoming depression

Subhash Chandra Sawhney
5 min readFeb 1, 2021

There is nothing new about going into depression since people have been going into depression since time immemorial.

The old methods of overcoming depression

Surely, it should have taken the man several years to have discovered that the sound produced by the word “Aum” when spoken with a long intonation relieves the mind from mental stress caused by worries.

If nobody should have been going into depression they would not have looked for such a word nor would they have created a short cut “ॐ” for it.

Nor would they have evolved the peculiar method of holding a garland of 108 beads to distract the attention of people from the resentments of any kind by chanting holy phrases such as “Hari Aum” after pushing down each bead of such garlands — one by one in India, as shown in the following image.

Of course, later on, they even invented such mantras as the “Gayatri Mantra” which can dispel depression since the sound waves created by them serve as an ointment for our mind.

Though when the Brits established East India Company in India, they criticised why the old people should be reciting “Hari Aum” holding a garland of beads in their hands since it did not make any sense — many people gave in to their advice but today we know little did they know why Indians should have had such a tradition.

These garlands used to have precisely 108 beads only since the Indian astronomers had stirred up a belief that if the garlands had 108 beads in them it shall drive out all ill feelings that may be disturbing our mind since it was a divine number in the following sense.

Though we don’t know how even around 10,000 years back, the astronomers of those times should have the diameters of the Sun and the Earth as well as the distance of the Sun from the Earth they indeed ought to have had the capability of making such calculations since they had proclaimed that the Sun was as far as 108 times its diameter away from the Earth and its diameter was also almost 108 times as big as the diameter of the Earth.

As we know, since the average distance of the Sun from the Earth is 149,597,871 km, the average diameter of the Sun is 1,392,000 km and the average diameter of the Earth is 12,756 km; 149,597,871/1,392,000 = 108 (when we round off 107.5 to the nearest integer) and 1,392,000/12,756 = 109.

It is quite possible that around 10,000 years back; the values of these ratios may have been exactly 108 — we have no idea.

But it is quite mysterious that though the Indians have a verb “japna” for this process of pushing down the beads of a garland; the Brits don’t have even a matching word for it in their dictionary.

Though we, now, know the ways how people used to get rid of depression in the past — let us also look at the ways of overcoming depression in vogue, nowadays.

The methods of overcoming depression in vogue today

If we talk about the spectre created by the long lockdowns declared from time to time all around the world due to which many people have gone into depression particularly about the travails of the people of ripe age — I may narrate my own story.

I am in my 80s and got the first shot of the Covishield vaccine on January 28, 2021, at about 10 a.m.

Though I had no problem of any kind for the whole day on the day I got this shot; but on the next day, I not only developed severe malaise, so much so, I was not able to take even my normal breakfast the next day.

A nauseating idea gripped my mind, “How long could I, at all, put through my life if I was not able to take even my breakfast?”

So I went into deep depression.

By evening, I developed even fever as high as 101.6°F.

Though my wife, a medico herself, administered me some medicines and some injections and I became all right within an hour; it took me quite some time to recover from the depression I had gone through.

But it was then when I realized that though we can’t control the involuntary functions the primary cilia, the antenna-like structures located on the surface of the trillions of our body-cells, perform day and night it is not difficult to control our depression in some of the following ways.

Though I won’t know much about the songs sung in the movies in other languages — the songs, sung in the Hindi movies, have a specific flair about them.

These songs are sung in the movies in such lilting tunes that have a very soothing effect on our mind when we listen to their videos on TV.

On Indian TVs, we have a 24-hour channel “Mastiii”, which streams only the songs of the Hindi movies uninterrupted by any commercials.

As we know, we get depressed only when our mind is homed by negative thoughts.

I observed that if we listen to such songs at a stretch for a few hours, it acts as a balm on our mind.

I also observed that for better results, we may watch such channels half of the time in audio mode and half of the time in non-audio mode.

When we listen to the songs in non-audio mode or, in the audio mode with our eyes closed, it soothes our subconscious mind.

The fact is — if we have thousands of things that disturb our mind; there are thousands of such things, also in the world that can relieve us from the negativity.

So, we should not think that it should not be possible for us to overpower negative thoughts if we succeed in diverting our attention from what may have been disturbing us, to something that may fill our mind with something that may take us out of such thoughts.

We may learn the methods of controlling our stress even by attending webinars such as the webinar titled “The 3 Step Formula to Bounce Back Instantly When Life Knocks You Down” that had been hosted by Sonia Ricotti on re-programming our subconscious mind and re-programming our conscious mind, this month.

Even the yogic exercise, known as Vrikshasana,
shown below may help us to get relief from depression especially if we do it by closing one of our nostrils with the palm of one hand and raising the other hand upward by standing on one of our legs for five minutes and repeating the same exercise by standing on the other leg — closing the other nostril with the palm of the other hand this time, for another five minutes.

Not only Vrikshasana — even Kapalbhati Pranayama, which is done in the manner shown below, can also give us relief from depression.

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Subhash Chandra Sawhney

A mechanical engineer,born in year 1939, lives in Lucknow, India. Has authored six books. Website theultimategoalofourlife.in;facebook.com/sawhney.lko