10 Tips on Overcoming Depression

Here are ten tips on overcoming depression. Let us know which ones work best for you, or if you have others to add.

1. Stay in the present and do manageable tasks. (Focusing on the past keeps you in a state of guilt. Focusing on the future keeps you in a state of worry.)

2. Identify things that please you and do them. Find things that don't hurt you or others.

3. Watch your level of depression change. Become aware of what thoughts or activities make it go up and down.

4. Remember that feelings pass.

5. Work with a cognitive-behavioral therapist who can help you change your thinking. Research has found that if you're depressed, you may be interpreting situations over-negatively. Be aware of your negative thoughts. Ask yourself, "Is there anything I can do about this problem?" If yes, do it. If not, work with your therapist to find new ways of interpreting situations. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps you identify and challenge the thoughts that make you depressed, and helps you identify new thought patterns that are more realistic and healthy.

6. Respect the limits of what you can reasonably expect to do. Challenge your own perfectionism.

7. Involve yourself in activities outside yourself. Reach out to others. When you are depressed, you are self-preoccupied.

8. Recognize that "normal" people feel depressed. Give up perfectionism - often your sense of what it takes to be normal is highly inflated. Normal people are not always happy.

9. Exercise physically everyday or several times a week.

10. Feeling bad for yourself doesn't help to overcome depression - it makes it worse.

To find a therapist who specializes in treating depression, go to the Anxiety and Depression Association of American (ADAA) website and search based on your location.

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