So you missed the flight and got lost on the way home! Or maybe you just got ditched by your long term companion! An exam did not go through as well as you thought. Some one close suddenly passed away! For a substantial number of people, these are some of the many reasons that can set up a cascade of thoughts leading to depression. Whatever the reason that started it, once you are in the “loop” you just feel inclined to think of the few most depressing aspects of your life! Some people are born resilient and can easily overcome this. For most others however it leads to a few days or even weeks of self loathing and regret.But depression can be objectively analysed and self healed. It does not take a lot to control your mind to be free from depression. Even in the worst of circumstances, a clear thinking mind is of more value than a mind that is depressed and afraid to act. So how can depression be beaten on its own turf? How can you play the game of cat and mouse with depression and come out winning every time? What are the thought processes that make a resilient mind?Rule No. 1: Treat depression as a person and not as a thought!Depression is a process in your brain. In fact when you are depressed you are an altered version of your self. Whatever may have started the cycle of depression – at the lowest point you are the same “altered” image of your self. Once you realize this you can treat the battle with depression as a battle with your altered self. This “other person” has a set of characteristics – that you already know of! So when you are depressed write down your behavioral pattern some where in bulleted text – to make your mind remember this “other self” completely.Rule No. 2: Start making a list of normal day to day activities that you hate doing when you are depressed and then try to do them without emotion!We all do certain things when we are depressed, and are loathe to do certain other things when we are sad. These activities which irk you during a depression – are actually the key to beating depression. That is because it will not take much on your part to learn to do these activities objectively and without emotion. Try doing these activities when you are normal, but do them mechanically – Step 1, Step 2, Step 3…etc. Break up these activities into steps and just follow the routine! Once this can be achieved (even for a couple of such tasks) – you can do them just when you are starting to get depressed. This sets up a reverse feedback loop. You are proactively using the cues from your depression to convince your own mind – that you are not depressed!Rule no. 3: Understand that your happiest thoughts are equal to your most depressed thoughts, and that all your thoughts are equal to just a handful of processes in an organic machine!This usually is the most difficult thing to achieve for most depressed souls. Since depression makes you more emotional – logical reasoning usually fails. But the key here is not to start this process of logic when you are depressed, but rather when you are happy! So when you are your happiest self – just pause for a moment and verbally say aloud (quietly if you want it to be private – but do say it ) – “I am extremely happy but I understand that this is a chain of thoughts in my brain. I want this chain of thought to exist in my brain always. I want to cultivate this way of thinking”. After you are able to remember and do this successfully every time that your are happy, start using this method to fight depression. Whenever you get depressed say: “I am very sad but I understand that this is a chain of thoughts in my brain. I do not want to think this way. I will try my best to think in the way that makes me feel the happiest.”Rule no. 4: Choose an arbitrary new activity if you find yourself going into the loop.When you are depressed, trying to do things that make you feel good land up feeling hollow and eventually these activities may completely fail to provide joy – even on the days that your are not depressed. That is because once you do it while you are depressed a sad feeling gets associated with the activity. This leads to new connections in your brain – which may in fact make the activity less desirable in the future! The best solution to this – use an arbitrary activity to distract yourself. Borrow your friends guitar and strum it – even if you have hardly ever touched a guitar all you life! Try to cook something – even if you do not know a single recipe! Jog to the mall! Buy a leather whip and beat a wall! Do something that you can do discreetly and without looking like a fool – and yet is completely different from your usual activities. This will distract your mind and prevent it from turning into your “other self”.Rule no. 5: Verbalize, write down and analyse your depressive thoughts, and then fight them when your are stronger.When you are most depressed – use some of your time to write down the things that are making you depressed and why you are feeling the regret and unhappiness. Afterward when you are your most energetic self and feeling happy – pit your mind against those depressive thoughts. This is often the most abhorred step and yet is the most beneficial. There is a slim chance that looking at your depressed thoughts can make you a little “less” happy, but the very fact that you decided to take the fight to your altered depressed self, makes it more likely that you will not falter the next time this “other person” is trying to get a grip over you. Keep repeating the word “ridiculous” as you read through your list of reasons for your depression! It is like training your mind for the battle – so the next time you are much stronger on the battlefield!These are some of the important tools to fight depression in a proactive manner. This is not superficial advice which makes you feel good as you read it. That is in fact the job of the therapist. No! These are tools to reach the remedy and not the remedy it self. This advice is for you – if you want to teach yourself the method to beat depression. Use them to slowly gain confidence and when you are “ready”, you feel lighter at your whim – in the worst of circumstance!