The 7 Ways That Help Me Overcome Depression

Sadness is different from depression. The former is a natural reaction to a bad or upsetting situation. It's temporary, an emotional state that fades away in time.

The latter however is a mental illness that lasts longer. You feel hopeless. You struggle to wake up every day. You shut your self down from others. You lose all the reasons to live. Everything felt meaningless. And you want nothing but for the pain to end.

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The year we became a family is a momentous event in our lives. It was the year we welcomed our firstborn son home. Sadly, the pure happiness I felt didn't last long. Three months later, depression seeped through my mind unawares.

One moment I was filled with jubilation celebrating our little boy's milestones. The next, I was holding pity parties with the voices in my head whispering harmful and detrimental viewpoints.

I couldn't see past the dark clouds of negativity. I'm not smart enough to see what others could, no matter how good their advice was.

Depression twists the way you see reality. You don't see the truth of the matter. You become short-sighted.

I made changes to my lifestyle to deal with it (here's what I did) but it wasn't enough to completely shoo it away.

Until... I did the 7 ways below.

(Note: I'm no professional and I'm not making any guarantees. I'm only sharing these ways in the hopes that someone who is going through the same will also be freed from debilitating depression. You don't have to follow these ways religiously. See what works and ignore what doesn't.)

How I've Overcome Depression
[Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash]

Here are the 7 Ways That Help Me Overcome Depression.

1. Seek Mental Clarity

To clear out the mental fogs hovering over my head, I did a fast. Exercise can do this too. However, mine went unchecked for too long -- about 2 years -- I had to take drastic measures.

Fasting is not just good for the body it's also beneficial for the mind. It was through fasting that I gained mental clarity to be able to see the problem as it is.

Once I gained control over my mental faculty, I was finally open to healing. My mind is willing to seek and find solutions to restore me back to wholeness, or better yet, a whole lot more than where I was before.

In fact, it was during a fast I'm lead on what to do next. I couldn't do this alone on my own. I had help from above too. ;)

Note: Before you fast, please consult your doctor.

2. Acceptance and Taking Ownership

Accept where you are, acknowledge you need help, and take ownership of your thought-life. If you engage in faulting others for your problems, realize it's not them. It's your interpretation of the situation. You can't fix anybody but you can always fix you.

The problem is not so much what happens outside, they only reveal what's already inside.

It's disabling to think the problem is outside yourself. It's easier to point blame to God, my partner, this person, or the government but never 'me'. Others may have caused you pain but dealing with it is your sole responsibility. No one is going to be responsible for your life but you. But of course, others can help.

This is one of the hardest things I went through towards the path of healing. However hard, it's necessary.

3. Hurting Yourself Is Not the Answer

I have to be very blunt with my faith here because this is what delivered me from hurting myself. There was one time I hit myself. I did it because couldn't take the pain, guilt, and condemnation any longer.

I realize though, cutting or beating myself up won't make the voices of accusations from ever going away. Once is never enough so I keep hurt myself more and oh, with greater intensity. Ad infinitum!

God had to correct me while I was in the middle of hurting myself. I am reminded that His Son -- Jesus Christ -- have been beaten, flogged, punished in my stead so I don't have to. I simply have to look to the cross and believe.

I've acknowledged my faults, asked God for forgiveness, and believe Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I then applied the forgiveness I receive to those who cause me pain, including myself.

Whenever the voices come, I simply point them to the cross. There, my Saviour is found.

Stop being too overly critical over yourself. Don't allow the past or what you did or did not do keep you from moving forward. Forgive, forgive, and keep forgiving yourself and others.

4. Identify the Distortions


People perish for lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)

You don't have to bite the dust! Know what thoughts push you to the abyss of mental downfall. Identify your triggers.

What labels do you accept as your own? What lies do you propagate to yourself over and over? What untruths have you come to believe as your own?

Once you're aware of them, proceed to Step 5. These two go hand and hand.

Also, you might want to check out my post: 5 Ways to Deal with Thoughts of Not Being Good Enough here.

5. Challenge Those Disruptive Thoughts

Evaluate every thought that goes in. Take every thought captive. If it takes away your sense of peace, question it. Eliminate toxic ones and build something better.

If you can't do it alone, ask someone to help you reconceptualize those toxic thoughts.

Say... "Why me? Why do bad things keep happening to me? Why not that person? They always have something going on for them."

Challenge the Thought: No, nobody deserves misery. I don't wish misfortune for others. The bad things that befall me are not somebody else's gain. Everybody has problems.

What I see on social media are only the nice and celebratory -- sometimes braggy moments. (Sure, I'm guilty of this too!) Who knows, what's happening behind closed doors. Other people's business is not my concern. I can only do work on things that fall under my property line.

Another strategy I use is seeing a situation in a different light -- a perspective change.

Example: "They rejected my job application. I'm not good enough!"
Perspective Change: It's nothing personal. It's not me but my skills. Perhaps it isn't a match.
Question the Thought: What can I do to improve my skillset?

Yes, keep challenging those degrading thoughts. Kick them out! There's no room for them there.

6. Release

I journal to release my thoughts. I don't have lots of friends; I keep losing or weakening our bonds because our family keeps moving from place to place.

Also, I personally don't like sharing my inner struggles with someone other than my husband. No one likes to be judged. Others haven't really gone through depression so they give band-aid prescriptions, who knows if it even works. Some brush you aside.

So I write. Yes, a lot! No one reads your writings on the journal anyway and those pages won't judge you either. If you have close friends who you can trust, share it with them. Tell them in advance you don't want solutions rather someone who listens without judgment. Or find a support group.

Let those thoughts flow out. Do it with Step 5 in mind. And then you can...

7. Feed Your Mind With Positive & Hopeful Thoughts

I read and listen to lots of motivational materials to challenge my ways of thinking and replace old thought patterns. I also listen to sermons online. This is one of the churches I go to online.

Do you have sources where you could get those positive and hopeful thoughts?

Also, I make it a goal to learn something new every day. It's very simple like when I read my Bible I must have a take away that I could apply to my daily life. It could be a verse or a life lesson.

I don't know what that looks like to you but you can also do something similar.

Learning is exciting. It's good for the brain. It sharpens your edge and helps you stay sharp even as you age.

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And please, please if depression becomes too much, seek help. You can find sources here or here.

If you're going through depression and seeking freedom, why not practice The 7 Ways That Help Me Overcome Depression and see if helps you as it did on me.

Or If you have gone through depression and have overcome, what are the ways that help you free from it?

How I've Overcome Depression


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