7 Powerful Ways to Fight Depression

Growing up in a small, ‘this is the way it is’ town, I learned quickly what it’s like to be an outcast, to be judged before you open your mouth, and to be bullied and live in fear just because you don’t follow the crowd. I knew that one day I was going to make life better, easier for everyone else. I also knew I was moving to New York City ASAP.

And that is what I did. I saved my babysitting money and moved to NYC when I was seventeen. I was ready to conquer the world! However, there were times when the world almost conquered me.

I know what it’s like to fight for a dream – and what it’s like to lose one. I know how it feels to be smiling on the outside and crying on the inside, for habits to become lifestyles, and to look in the mirror one day and barely recognize yourself. I know what it’s like to give up. And I know what it takes to get up.

Don’t let depression consume you. Make a decision today to Fight!

7 Powerful Ways to Fight Depression

1. Believe You Are Worth Fighting For

Depression steals your joy, your passion, and your zest for life — it makes you forget who you are. Depression silences you into thinking it’s the boss.

Have you ever had a houseguest who stayed too long? Think of depression like this guest. If you cater to its every need, listen when it says You might as well… No one cares anyway… You don’t deserve that job… You’ll never be good enough… it will hang around forever.

Take charge, and tell depression it has over stayed its welcome — it’s time to hit the road.

2. Count Your Blessings

This can be the most annoying thing to hear. But it is the one thing that psychologists, pastors, scientists, and psychiatrists agree on. Cultivating ‘an attitude of gratitude’ affects everything from your health to your finances.

I used to waitress in New York City. Before rushing to work, I’d write a note to myself about something I was grateful for and put it in the pocket of my apron. I would reach for a pen… and feel the note. I’d get ready to take an order… there was the note.

I put it in my pocket so I’d ‘remember,’ yet all day long I kept finding what I forgot was there.

Depression is like this. As much as we want to remember the good things — it distracts us. Today, make your own list and put it somewhere it will keep finding you.

3. Be Aware…

Of what you are thinking! Are your regrets on re-play? Do you re-hash old wounds? Go over and over conversations that hurt you in the first place? Do you think about how bad things are, or how good they can be? How many times you’ve fallen, or how many times you’ve gotten back up?

I’ll never forget moving into my first apartment in Los Angeles. I could see the “Hollywood” sign from my window (something I had always dreamed of), and the Serenity Prayer (which I knew nothing about), was hanging on the bathroom wall. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

We can think about our past. Or we can focus on moving forward despite what’s in the way.

4. Watch Your Words

Words either build us up or tear us apart. They make us feel like we’re on top of the world, but just as easily, can break our heart.

We can’t control what people say about us — we can make a commitment to ourselves to speak life into our life.

Words are powerful and full of energy. They carry momentum. Which direction are yours taking you?

5. Remember!

It’s not all about you.

Depression makes us feel unworthy, therefore we isolate ourselves. Yet while isolated, all we do is think about ourselves! Today, get the focus off yourself and do something for someone else.

Helping others really does help.

6. Dig Deep

Every successful corporation knows that taking inventory is essential to success. Take a second to jot down what is working in your life. Next, write down what is not working.

The ‘thing’ you didn’t write, don’t want to think about, and ‘just can’t deal with’ holds the key to your freedom.

7. Ask for Help

You don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.

Talk to someone who will share their strength, their scars and their story with you. Someone who has been there, done it… and overcome it.

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10 Responses

  1. Wow, #6 (Dig Deep) really got me thinking. The things that do NOT make it on the working/not working list are the most important things for me to acknowledge! Hmmmm. I’d like to read an entire article on why this is true!

  2. Thank you for the authentic, heart-felt words on fighting depression. Whether it be a bad day or a serious issue, these tips are powerful and well-said. I am writing my grateful list and putting it in my pocket today. Thank you.

  3. Such a clear and great way to describe it and what you found to work. It’s HARD picking yourself up over and over again, but I HAVE. I’ve suffered with clinical depression since 2006, the same time I had a great paying job but mountains of stress. Stress and depression won, but I haven’t been without a counselor/therapist since, some great, some not soooo. You have to not give up. I’ve learned that. Many times the hard way by losing all of those I held near and dear to my heart. They’re all now gone from my life. Some I’ll never give up on. Others, too bad. I’m a great person to know and a friend that listens as well as expects friends to listen. You do find out who they are. And that can be devastating and heartbreaking. But you have to put yourself first. (easier said than done). We all know that.
    The gratitude list is something I’ve been doing for quite some time. And it feels the best giving back in whatever small way we can if we are struggling financially as I am. The kindness of strangers always takes me to my knees in thanks. I don’t know what I’d have done some days when the hurt and pain was too much to bare, & yet somehow, someone always managed to step into my life if even for a few minutes to make a significant difference in my feelings. My own family doesn’t know if i’m dead or alive due to an angry controlling ex-spouse who should be happy by now with the third of three live in gf’s in two years. Yet he still tries to manipulate me however he thinks he can. My reaction is NO REACTION. NO CONTACT. Nothing for him to see or know from anyone we once knew together. It’s a lonely existence, but it’s better than an emotionally abusive marriage. My dog is my companion and best friend. And she’s always glad to see me. As I am her. Thank you for putting your own experience into such meaningful and positive terms. It helps. It helps knowing i’m not alone even though I feel that way a lot. I know I’ll survive and recover from my marriage that put me lower than I’d ever been and survive and I certainly hope it’s not to late to thrive. Best of all to all of you. ❤

    1. Dear Nancy,
      Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I can tell you are a Fighter!!! And fighters, don’t give up. That being said, I am so sorry you have been through so much. I believe that some of our ‘stuff’ is because this world is full of problems (IE: nothing we did wrong) and some is because of our choices. However, regardless of the reasons, we can turn every bit of our pain into Purpose! We can help someone else–just like you did, by sharing your story.

      RE: counselors. You are right, there are some great ones! But nothing/no one can take the place of God, or do for us what only we can do. Seems like you know this well.

      Lonely: I too, know all about lonely. But nothing is lonelier than being with the wrong person, or not being true to yourself.

      And girl– it is never too late. God restores the years we have sown in tears! He’s been cheering us on the whole time.

      God Bless you. Breakthrough is on the way!!!

      ~Kirstin Leigh

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