Tim Ferriss on Surviving Depression

Maria Popova at Brainpickings.org writes about Tim Ferriss's autobiographical account of an attempted suicide and living with depression. The entire article is worth reading, and here are a few highlights.

He has a few recommendations to deal with depression.

One is to make a “non-suicide vow” with a friend. He writes:

As silly as it might sound, it’s sometimes easier to focus on keeping your word, and avoiding hurting someone, than preserving your own life. And that’s totally okay. Use what works first, and you can fix the rest later. If you need to disguise a vow out of embarrassment … make it a “mutual non-self-hurt” vow with a friend who beats himself or herself up.
— https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/12/08/tim-ferriss-tools-of-titans-depression/

Another is to. "Go to the gym and move for at least 30 minutes. For me, this is 80% of the battle."

And finally:

If you can’t seem to make yourself happy, do little things to make other people happy. This is a very effective magic trick. Focus on others instead of yourself. Buy coffee for the person behind you in line (I do this a lot), compliment a stranger, volunteer at a soup kitchen, help a classroom on DonorsChoose.org, buy a round of drinks for the line cooks and servers at your favorite restaurant, etc. The little things have a big emotional payback, and guess what? Chances are, at least one person you make smile is on the front lines with you, quietly battling something nearly identical.
— https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/12/08/tim-ferriss-tools-of-titans-depression/

While he knows he will deal with depressive episodes throughout his life, he believes the key is building "fires - the routines, habits, relationships, and coping mechanisms you build - to help you to look at the rain and see fertilizer instead of a flood. If you want the lushest green of life (and you do), the gray is part of the natural cycle."

Posted on February 23, 2017 .