It’s a spiritual truth that the mind takes on the “vibe” of wherever you put it. When you’re depressed, you need to pull your mind out of depressive environments and put it in brighter places.
For Immediate Relief
- Get outside.
Go on a hike (preferably), take the dog on a walk, or walk around the block. Clear air and exercise do wonders for lifting you out of the swamp.
- Turn off the TV and video games and stay off the Internet.
Both TV and the Internet can make you feel really dull and uninspired. They sap you of energy even though you are not physically doing anything. While it’s not practical to avoid the Internet entirely, when you’re depressed you’ll be well-served to avoid it as much as possible. Limit your Internet time to necessary shopping and banking transactions and then get out. Here’s more on how to fact check for yourself that the Internet is a depressant.
Video games are worlds that you immerse your mind into, so when you understand that where you put your mind determines how you feel, you understand that you need to protect where you allow your mind to go. Most video games are not bright, happy places and should be avoided when you’re trying to escape depression.
- Get away from toxic people.
We pick up the moods and energy of other people, so hanging around toxic people will make you feel tired, angry or depressed. When you are mired in depression, it’s imperative you get away from these people.
- Get to work—whether at your job or on a personal project.
Staying busy keeps you from focusing on yourself and your predicament.
- Read a spiritual book.
Immersing your mind in bright energy will make you feel so much better. Here are some easy reads that will lift you up.
- Believe in yourself.
Absolutely everyone is worthy of happiness.
For long-term relief, you need to get in touch with your soul. This is the way I recommend.
Here are a few related posts: What You Focus On You Become, Remove Emotionally Heavy Items From Your House, Practice Mindfulness.
Note: While I’ve helped many people successfully overcome depression through meditation and mindfulness, I have no expertise nor experience working with addiction or severe mental illness. The above steps are not intended to treat those illnesses.
© 2013 – 2015 Sara Weston. Sara is the author of the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com and Amazon UK, CA, FR and DE. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.
I’m glad you asked this question because there is some nuance to the “Get to work—whether at your job or on a personal project” point, and I did go back and forth on whether to include it. I don’t think working in and of itself combats depression, rather what I’m pointing to here is when you’re almost immobilized by depression, getting out of the house and to work is helpful. Lying around the house exacerbates the problem. Likewise on the weekend, when you feel a cloud of depression closing in, if you put your mind into a bright project, it keeps you above the cloud.
Above being said, it is also true that if you have a draining job, going to work is not an uplifting experience (though it’s usually still better than not working at all). When folks I work with have crap jobs, I advise them to get a different job. I don’t say that flippantly, as if it’s so easy. There’s usually quite a bit of work involved in changing fields, but given career takes up such large portion of our lives, it’s usually worth it to the person.
I hope this makes more sense :-).
I have depression, but I wouldn’t necessarily label myself as someone with “severe mental illness”. I wonder if your tips might be better labeled as how to combat sadness or low energy.
I’ve been steadily employed for 20+ years…curious how working combats depression?