Monday, June 26, 2017

Depression Symptoms

It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours.” Harry S Truman

We are all depressed, with no exception; just do not deny or stigmatize depression. It is because we are living in a world of depression that can make us unhappy in many different ways, and we are all vulnerable.

Depression is always an inner struggle against unhappiness and insecurity; it is a deliberate and desperate but futile attempt to lose contact with the realities of life. Depression is no more than a mental escape from the inescapable.

Depression is evidenced by many symptoms that may be imperceptible in the beginning, but these symptoms often get worse if they are not properly addressed.

Depression begins in the mind, affecting the emotions and feelings of an individual, with some of the most common symptoms, including the following:

Lethargy and loss of appetite

A depressed individual begins to feel lethargy and listlessness without any apparent reason. The mind simply refuses to function, causing physical tiredness and even loss of appetite.

Involuntary tendency to weep

Many depressed individuals get the sudden “weeps”—a tale-telling sign of the beginning of depression.

Irritability and hostility

A depressed individual, who is often passive or inactive, may express irritability towards someone who wishes to activate that individual physically or mentally.

A depressed individual may also initially express hostility directed towards someone who has rejected or insulted him or her, before turning that hostility inward at himself or herself.

Sadness and hopelessness

The most common symptom of depression, of course, is feeling sadness and hopelessness that may drag over a long period of time. The almost worldwide symptom of all depressed people is withdrawal from others, including the loved ones due to their loss of affection for self and others.

The bottom line: overcome your depression not by avoiding it with distractions, not by taking medications to suppress its symptoms, but by going through it with TAO wisdom, known as the Way, the ancient wisdom from China more than 2,600 years ago. The Way is the only way. 

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, June 23, 2017

Career Choices Can Cause Depression

To choose a career, to pursue a career, to change a career, or to end a career—they often come with the bag and baggage of the signs and symptoms of depression, such as fear, regret, disappointment, and among others.

Career choices

A case in point

A Chinese couple in Canada have a son who wants to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Their son in his early thirties decided to go to Beijing to learn the Chinese language as a prerequisite of his career pursuit. His parents have opposed to the idea of living in Beijing, or rather pursuing a career in the entertainment industry.

The different perspectives

From the parents’ perspectives: a really successful career in the entertainment industry is few and far between, especially if it is not pursued at a much younger age.

From the son’s perspectives: money, glamour, and quick recognition often come with success in a career in the entertainment industry.

The ultimate truths

A be-all-and-end-all career based on only one variable, which is money, may not turn out that way.

Any glamorous career is always competitive, but it does not mean it is unachievable at any age. Have an empty mind that everything is doable and achievable irrespective of the age.

Recognition should not be the only primary reason for pursuing any career; rather, passion should be the driving force behind.

Easy success in any human endeavor hurts ultimately, especially a career in the long term, because it does not expand an individual’s capacity and capability to deal with problems when they get tough, or to have the persistence to go through them when things do not turn out as expected. Hard-earned success, on the other hand, may prepare an individual for more success in the future through persistence and perseverance. 

The reality

There is no right or wrong in the choice or pursuit of your career; after all, it is your career, and others may be looking at your career from their own perspectives.

Follow your passion, not people or what they say. Success comes from hard work, and not from wishful thinking. Spend your internal energy pursuing what you want, not defending or explaining why you want it; the latter has to do with your ego. Always ask yourself many self-intuitive questions about why and how you want to pursue your career goals.

TAO wisdom

According to TAO, choosing a career is like digging a well. Did you choose the right spot? Have you dug deep enough? If nothing happens according to your expectation, then self-doubt, reinforced by fear and uncertainty, may make you go for another spot. Going for another spot and yet another one may only bring you further frustration and more disappointment.

The bottom line: carefully choose your career, apply persistent effort, and you will find your initial investment of time and effort rewarding. Even if you choose to move on after a while, you will still find it very worthwhile because you have learned something from it TAO says that giving up is not an admission of defeat or disappointment; rather, giving up is letting go of any resistance when dealing with the chaos of life, and redirecting your energy to a higher purpose.

This book is perhaps one the few books with an unconventional approach to depression, a universal mind disorder. Instead of the conventional ways of avoiding depression with distractions, such as exercise, suppressing its symptoms with affirmations and visualizations, and elevating its depressive moods with medications, this 180-page book uses the ancient wisdom from China, what is known as TAO wisdom, to experience anything and everything in depression, that is, going through every aspect of depression.  

TAO wisdom may enlighten you so that you can ultimately free yourself from depression, or at least look at your own depression very differently.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © Stephen Lau

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Right Mental Attitudes for the Depressive Mind

Your health is dependent on your mental habits acquired in childhood, that is, your mental attitudes. Your emotional reactions strongly affect your immune system, circulatory system, and, most importantly, your brain — they all control your overall well-being, especially your mental wellness.

Your mental attitudes develop your health cognitions and form your health behaviors. Therefore, mental attitudes play a pivotal role in your mental depression

Adopting the Health-Seeking Attitude

According to a study, consumers who sought out healthy lifestyle information on the Internet were more health conscious and more health-information oriented than those other consumers who did not seek out health information. 

Remember, seek and you shall find. You don't have to look any further. YOU have got all the answers to your major depression: they are all within yourself. They are all in your mind!

Adopt a health-seeking mental attitude to empower yourself with everything you need to know about mental depression.

Learn the art of getting what you want out of life. If you find yourself facing constant frustration from never-ending problems in life, or you feel as though your life is a proverbial treadmill, not going anywhere. Now is the time to take charge of your life. It is all in your subconscious mind that is the real power center of your being and the "headquarters" of your body. Use state-of-the-art subliminal messages to transform your subconscious mind in order to change your conscious mind.

Abandoning the Magic-Bullet Attitude

There is no magic bullet, and there are no miracle cures. Seeking a magic bullet only exacerbates and perpetuates your depressive episodes. 

Why is a magic bullet bad for your mental health, or your overall health, for that matter?

Looking for a magic bullet is essentially giving away your problems to a health expert. Remember, it is your problems — someone else can only “help” you solve your problems but cannot solve the problems for you.

Looking for a quick fix, you are, in fact, giving up your role and responsibility in managing your mental disorder. Not recognizing your role and responsibility in life is one of the underlying causes of mental illness.

Looking for a panacea will end up in taking more depression medications, making your body more toxic and recovery more difficult.

Remember, there are no miracle cures. You hold the cure in your own hands. Recovery lies in your mental attitudes.

Aborting the Procrastination Attitude

You may have the best doctor, the best medications, the best therapist, but you need the persistence and perseverance to follow the doctor’s advice, to take the medications, and to go and talk to the therapist. 

Unfortunately, this is what is lacking in many patients with depression problems. They know the way, but they do not have the will. Remember, mental depression is a disease of the mind. It is not something you can overcome with the willpower. If they had the willpower, they would not be sick in the first place.

Depression is also a result of behavioral problems. Behavior is habit-forming. Therefore, you must learn to develop mental attitudes to remove those bad habits or behavioral problems that may have contributed inadvertently to your depression disorder.With the right mental attitudes, you can eradicate your behavioral problems to remove your mental depression.


One of the most devastating habits is procrastination. It is human nature to procrastinate. We all procrastinate. Procrastination is due to mental anticipation of the difficulties in the process and the unpleasantness of the outcome of an action. Procrastination is detrimental to mental health. This is more so in individuals with major depression. But is inertia or inaction a result of -- or a cause of -- mental depression? 

Behavior therapy will benefit individuals who wish to overcome procrastination.

Start living the life you choose instead of the life that “just happens.” There is a big difference between knowing what to do and doing what you know. 

The only things you will regret in your life are the things you never did.

Do not be one of the procrastinators who spend their whole lives postponing what they "should do" and in doing that they never get to do what they "want to do."

Do not let procrastination be one of the biggest "dream killers" in your life. Your inability to take action slowly eats away your self-esteem. When you finally decide and take action, you will immediately feel a sense of accomplishment and that feeling is what builds massive self-esteem, which is crucial to your fight against major depression. 

Do not let procrastination leave you feeling hopeless and helpless, and, after depleting your emotional strength, make you feel totally depressed. 

Rethink Mental Attitudes 

Let your mind control your body, and not the other way around. The mind cannot be separated from the body. What you feed your mind is as important as what you feed your body. Your mind affects your health as much as your body does, in particular, in major depression. Rethink your mental attitudes.

Rethink health attitude

Feed your mind with the right attitude towards mental health. If you are paranoid, admit your paranoia. Sticking your head in the sand will not do your head any good.

If you keep on doing what you have been doing all your life, you will continue to be what you have been for the rest of your life. 

Rethink the magic bullet 

There are no miracle cures. You are the healer. Do something about your life. It is YOUR life, and only YOU can change it, not someone else, not your doctor, not your therapist, and not your spouse, especially if you do not listen to him or her.

Rethink procrastination 

Do something about your procrastination, and do it NOW. Sir Walter Scott once said: “The three greatest letters in the English alphabet are N-O-W.” 

Rethink your mental attitudes! Change your mental attitudes, and begin living as if everything is a miracle.

TAO is looking at life not as a series of both happy and unhappy episodes, but simply as a journey of self-discovery and self-awakening to the real meaning of life existence. You are defined not by your words and thoughts, but by the ways you act and react, as well as the impact you may have on others around you. You exist not because you are simply here; you are here in this world to love and to learn how to live, as well as to help one another do the same."

To get your Amazon digital copy, click here; to get your paperback copy, click here.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Celebrity and Depression

Carrie Fisher, the American actress, writer, and humorist, who died at the end of 2016, was a celebrity, well known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars film series. She had spoken openly about her struggles with alcoholism and bipolar disorder. She also was an advocate for mental health awareness and treatment.

Carrie was diagnosed with bipolar, just one of the many labels of depression.

Since early childhood, she demonstrated high risk for depression, when she became both mesmerized by the performances and successes of her parents, as well as consumed by the awareness of their transience and impermanence. She was hesitant about stepping into the shoes of her parents. Finally, she did, and she became depressed, leading to drug abuse and alcohol addiction that haunted her for decades.

Drug abuse and alcohol could not have changed Carrie's mental state because they were the norms, and not the exceptions in the struggle against depression. What could have changed the whole picture was the Carrie's recognition that all thing in life follow a natural cycle: what goes up must eventually come down; life inevitably and eventually begets death. This natural cycle continues in everyone's life, and it is just a matter of time.

"Their bright, white, hot star of celebrity was slowly dimming and fading and cooling. It scared me. I saw what it did to them. It hurt them," she said.

People mistake celebrity for acceptance or love and believe they can maintain some "fantastic level" of fame forever, but that isn't the case, she said. Seeing what the effect that reality had on her parents led her to believe that "celebrity is just obscurity biding its time," Fisher told CNN.

The bottom line: attain achievement without glorification; excel without fanfare; do what you can with what you have, without expectations of results; most important of all, diminish the ego without its many attachments.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Learn how to get out of depression by going through it.

My Way! No Way! TAO Is The Way!
TAO Wisdom To Live And Survive In A World Of Depression

This book is perhaps one the few books with an unconventional approach to depression, a universal mind disorder affecting many people worldwide. Instead of the conventional ways of avoiding depression with distractions, such as exercise, suppressing its symptoms with affirmations and visualizations, and elevating its depressive moods with medications, this 180-page book uses the ancient wisdom from China, what is known as TAO wisdom, to experience anything and everything in depression, that is, going through every aspect of depression.  

TAO wisdom may enlighten you so that you can ultimately free yourself from depression, or at least look at your own depression very differently.

To get your Amazon digital copy, click  here; to get your paperback copy, click here.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, June 12, 2017

Dealing with Many Life Changes

Life is forever changing. A static life is not worth living. Ironically enough, many people resist any change in their lives; they desire consistency and stability. Unfortunately, whether you like it or not, changes are inevitable as you continue to age. The only ways to cope with life changes is adaptability and acceptance.

Adaptability is changing the mind's perception of the change you confront, and act or react accordingly to the circumstances. This mental perception requires awareness, without which actions or reactions may not take place, because often times changes are slow, gradual, and even subtly imperceptible. Awareness means knowing why and how changes are taking place.

.“We need a still and composed mind
to see things with greater clarity.
Because trouble begins in the mind
with small and unrelated thoughts.
So, we carefully watch the mind
to stop any trouble before it begins.”
(Chapter 64, Tao Te Ching)

Acceptance is taking the responsibility of the results of the actions or reactions taken. Acceptance may not be easy, especially if you have a pre-conditioned mindset of expectation or comparing the condition before and after the change.

Both adaptability and acceptance requires wisdom -- the wisdom to know and understand that nothing is permanent because everything remains only with that very present moment, and that everything follows a natural cycle, such as success .

"Success and failure are no more than expressions of the human condition.
So, accept both gracefully and willingly, with no judgment, no preference.
The Creator loves us unconditionally, irrespective of our success or failure.
What is meant by “accept both gracefully and willingly”?
Success is avoiding failure; avoiding failure is seeking success.
Both originate from fear and pride: the sources of human suffering.
Seeing ourselves indiscriminately as everything, including success and failure,
we see not only the manifestations but also the mysteries of the creation.
(Chapter 13, Tao Te Ching)

Tao wisdom is profound human wisdom based on not acquisition of knowledge but self-intuition of the nature of things. Through this self-enlightenment, one become wise, and accordingly knows how to live one's life as if everything is a miracle. Click here to find out more about Tao wisdom..

Stephen Lau 
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, May 29, 2017

Tao Wisdom and Enlightenment

Tao Wisdom and Enlightenment

We are living in a world of depression. To free yourself from depression is not easy; after all, depression is a complex and complicated mind disorder. You must need profound human wisdom to look at your depression from a totally different perspective. More specifically, you need TAO wisdom so that you may become enlightened.

TAO, also known as The Way or TAO wisdom, is the ancient wisdom from China more than two thousand six hundred years ago. It originated from the ancient classic Tao Te Ching), the only book written by Lao Tzu, the Chinese sage, who was born with white hair—often considered a sign of old age and wisdom.

TAO and enlightenment are two separate and different entities.

First of all, TAO is the Way through anything and everything you encounter and experience in your life. It is a pathless path to the understanding that its purpose is not to get you to any particular place or a specific goal. It is just a journey of your own self-discovery and self-understanding. By the same token, TAO does not show you how to avoid or get out of your depression; it only helps you go through your depression so that you may or may not become enlightened by those experiences.

Enlightenment is self-awakening, or attaining a very different way of looking at everything with totally new perspectives. Humans live by the eternal law of cause and effect: that is, if you do something good, you will get a good result; if you do something bad, you will then get a bad result. Enlightenment is self-awakening to the unique consciousness that an individual experiences regardless of what has taken place. Simply put, you just let yourself experience both the good and the bad, or just about anything in your life; going through those experiences may or may not change your own perspectives, but that is not the point.  Enlightenment is not a state of mind that you can force yourself into; it may or may not even come, but that is irrelevant and unimportant—just experience whatever that comes along your way.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

My Way! No Way! TAO Is The Way!
TAO Wisdom To Live And Survive In A World Of Depression

This book has an unconventional approach to depression, Instead of the conventional ways of avoiding depression with distractions, such as exercise, suppressing its symptoms with affirmations and visualizations, and elevating its depressive moods with medications, this 180-page book uses the ancient wisdom from China, what is known as TAO wisdom, to experience anything and everything in depression, that is, going through every aspect of depression.  

TAO wisdom may enlighten you so that you can ultimately free yourself from depression, or at least look at your own depression very differently.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Your Own Bag and Baggage

We are living in a world of depression, which means most, if not all, of us are suffering from some depressive episodes some time in our lives. Depression has now become an epidemic even among the younger generation.

What causes depression? Depression is a mental disorder—that is, our thinking mind is the underlying cause. Does it mean that we are responsible for our own depression? In a way, yes: depression is a result of the bag and baggage we all carry with us as we plod along our life journey.

Life journey is forever on a long and winding road with many detours and sideways. On this bumpy life journey, we all carry with us our own bag and baggage, containing our individual beliefs, feelings, and skills, some of which may ultimately become the signs and symptoms of our own depression. To illustrate, we all have own beliefs and feelings. Accordingly, we expect others to comply with our beliefs, and to satisfy our feelings; when they are not met, we become disappointed, and thus creating the contents inside our own bag and baggage. What is inside an individual’s bag and baggage could be anything from anger, bitterness, frustration, regret, sadness, shame, to “what-if”—the major components of depression.

TAO is the human wisdom, which is the Way of going through what is in your bag and baggage. Don't  strive to avoid depression or distract yourself from it with medications, alcohol and drugs, shopping sprees, or even going on a vacation—they don’t work. TAO wisdom is going through everything inside your own bag and baggage to find out how and why it has made you become depressed in the first place.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

My Way! No Way! TAO Is The Way!
TAO Wisdom To Live And Survive In A World Of Depression

This book is perhaps one the few books with an unconventional approach to depression, a universal mind disorder affecting many people worldwide. Instead of the conventional ways of avoiding depression with distractions, such as exercise, suppressing its symptoms with affirmations and visualizations, and elevating its depressive moods with medications, this 180-page book uses the ancient wisdom from China, what is known as TAO wisdom, to experience anything and everything in depression, that is, going through every aspect of depression.  

TAO wisdom may enlighten you so that you can ultimately free yourself from depression, or at least look at your own depression very differently.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Happiness Mindset

The Happiness Mindset

We all pursue happiness in our lives. However, happiness always seems elusive, evasive, and unattainable. The word "happiness" is a term difficult to define because it is very much individualized. But genuine human happiness has to be holistic in that the body, the mind, and the soul all feel some sense of satisfaction.

Happiness is only a state of mind. The mind controls your thoughts: how you act and react to any event or circumstance. The mind records all your mental perceptions and interpretations. and stores them at the back of your subconscious mind, where they become your memories, and hence the fabrics with which you weave the "realities" of your life. In short, it is your mind that decides whether you are happy or unhappy. Happiness is just a mindset.

In addition, your mind makes your life choices, such as what you eat and your lifestyle. Again, they may positively or negatively affect your body and your health. Given the close connection between body and mind, your physical health has a direct impact on your mental wellness, and hence your mental happiness. 

Your soul oversees your body and your mind, which affect your soul with respect to its supervision. It is the interconnection between the body, the mind, and the soul that is ultimately responsible for your overall wellness and ultimately your perception of happiness. Happiness is always a glass half-empty or a glass half-full. Remember, life is always a bed of roses with thorns -- we all have our good fortunes and misfortunes. It is all in the mind, which can make "a heaven out of hell" or "a hell out of heaven."

In order to empower the mind to create your own happiness, you need true human wisdom to understand what genuine human happiness is. With that wisdom, you know who you really are, as well as your needs, and not just your wants. With that awareness, you become a better person and more connected with others. Human goodness is the foundation upon which genuine human happiness is built.

Read my book Be HYPERLINK ""A Better and Happier You WithHYPERLINK "" Tao Wisdom. Human wisdom also plays a pivotal role in human happiness The Book of Life and Living shows you the essentials of ancient and contemporary living to help you live as if everything is a miracle

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, May 15, 2017

Depression and Body Image

Body image has an important impact on how you feel about aging and self-esteem. There is a direct connection between body image and self-esteem: they reinforce each other. If you have a positive self-image, you will not only feel better about yourself, but also pay more attention to what is happening to your body and your appearance.

In the past, men were concerned about how their bodies functioned, and women were concerned about how they looked. Today, both sexes are concerned about both their looks and their bodies.

Remember, both the look and the body will change no matter what: they will not survive ravages of time and decades of changes despite all your efforts.

Your waist size: Measure your waist circumference (between your rib cage and above your belly button). A waistline of 35 inches or more for most women, and a waistline of 40 inches or more for most men indicate an increased health risk for developing chronic diseases and disorders.

Your Body Mass Index (BMI)
Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on your weight and height: BMI is determined by the formula: BMI = (body weight in pounds) divided by (body height in inches x body height in inches) multiplied by (703).

To illustrate, if you are 5’11” tall and you weigh 165 pounds, your BMI will be: (165/71x71) x 703 = 23

The BMI numbers have the following implications:

Any BMI that falls between 19 and 24.9 is considered ideal and healthy.
Any BMI that is below 18.5 is considered underweight.
Any BMI that ranges from 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight.
Any BMI that is above 30 is considered obese.

Do not step on the scale too often (such as daily): once a week or even once every two weeks is adequate.

One of the reasons why you should exercise regularly is to enhance your body image so as to avoid negative emotions regarding your body image, often instrumental in triggering a depression. In addition better blood circulation activates your brain cells to have better connection between brain cells. The bottom line: your perceptions of your own body image  are all in your mind.

Get the wisdom to see things as they are, and not as they are supposed to be, or  what you wish they were.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, May 12, 2017

Rethink Your Daily Planning

Rethink Daily Planning and Scheduling

If you are depressed, you may be spending a whole day or even many days on end literally DOING NOTHING. This may seem unthinkable to a normal person, but to a person experiencing major depression, this is quite normal. 

To help alleviate your depression, be proactive. Make your daily plan simple and stick to it.

On waking up, in addition to the daily routine, such as exercising and taking your vitamins and supplements, write down what you plan to do for the rest of the day.

Learn to break down your chores into manageable components.

Include a list of things you need to do on a certain day, as well as a list of things you enjoy doing. 

Reward yourself now and then, or give credit for whatever you have accomplished and however small it may be.

Pay your bills, sort out mail, or wash your dishes. Just do something. Lack of accomplishment and low self-esteem only further deepen and perpetuate your depression. 

Rethink letting inactivity and inertia turn into a vicious cycle. 

Rethink letting a day drift by without doing anything. 

Rethink the price you will have to pay for doing nothing.

Rethink your daily planning and scheduling: make it simple and workable for you, not against you.

Make your lifestyle changes to benefit your depression!

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau 

Depression Symptoms

“ It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours.” Harry S Truman We are all depressed, with ...