A thought while doing deadlifts at the gym today:
Nobody is “depressed” when attempting a max-attempt deadlift.
Then which made me start thinking —
We always talk about mental depression — but why don’t we ever talk about physical depression?
What if many of our mental maladies were in fact physical maladies?
For example, when our bodies feel torpor and we lack the desire to move and get out of bed— perhaps we are experiencing physiological depression— the depression of our bodies.
Then when our bodies become depressed, our minds become depressed as well.
What is to blame?
I think the root cause of physical/physiological depression comes from our modern life and society.
Consider — most of us live sedentary lives. We spend most of our days commuting to work, sitting in a car, or sitting on the train, then sitting at our office jobs, sitting more during meetings, sitting with our computers, then sitting more on our commute home, then sitting on our couches watching Netflix, then lying in bed.
If you don’t live in a big city — what opportunity do you really have to walk? Or stand?
Thus it is my belief that modern living doesn’t allow non-sedantary behavior.
So given this knowledge, what are we to do as individuals to fix this problem of sedentary behavior/lifestyle?
- Getting rid of your car, and walking and taking public transit. Or taking a work shuttle if your job provides it.
- Switching to a standing desk, walking and standing more, and using your phone or tablet more for work.
- Experiment standing when watching movies, films, or media/books/etc.
- Experiment using virtual reality (Oculus) when standing and playing games, or doing work.
- Move close to work to reduce the time of your commute.
Can you feel mentally feel depressed when doing deadlifts?
When I am about to attempt a ‘max attempt’ PR (personal record) in deadlift (or squat, heavy dumbell press, or anything)– I need to focus 100% of my mind and body to lift that fucking heavy weight, and thus– no feelings of fear, depression, anxiety, regret, or shame arise.
I know when I feel mentally depressed, I lack vigor and the will to get on with my day. But when I am at the gym, it is almost impossible for me to ‘will’ myself to feel mentally depressed.
Which makes me wonder:
What if PHYSICAL depression was the root CAUSE of mental depression? If so– what would be a more effective way of curing/treating/preventing mental depression?
And also– perhaps we should optimize our lives to prevent physical depression?
My basic conclusion:
When you are feeling mentally depressed– perhaps you are actually feeling physically depressed.
Instead of watching an action film at home at night– perhaps better to go to the gym and lift some heavy shit (we can re-create our favorite action heroes in the gym).
Instead of playing video games which we kill monsters and are heroes– perhaps we can attempt to create heroic art, or pursue heroic philosophical ideas.
Instead of watching sports, perhaps we can play the sport itself? Instead of watching UFC or boxing– perhaps we can take boxing classes, and become a fighter instead of a spectator (fighting is more fun than spectating).
Or to sum up:
To become heroic in spirit, become heroic in your body.