All Of Depression > 50 Things You Can Do Today To Beat Depression

All Of Depression

A step by step, no nonsense guide to making depression and anxiety a thing of the past.



To recap then... the basis of all this thinking can be distilled into the following concepts that can be adapted to your own needs.

1) Diversify your life: add extra interests.

2) Look at what you already have and see if you can improve its quality. This may involve being even nicer to people and being more tolerant of their ways, and finding ways to enrich and explore your interests and pastimes.

3) Attack depression on all levels at once, don't put too much store by any one solution, person, or event.

4) Get exercise and eat well.

5) Be more proactive with your own life. Make things happen, pick up the phone more. Book stuff so that there are events appearing on the horizon.

6) It's not someone elses job to make your life better. They might need you to be nice to them and considerate of their needs, just as you are hoping they will be considerate of your needs.

7) Look into cognitive therapy and/or self hypnosis

8) Do background reading such as the Seven Stories of Love.

9) Move forward. Don't dwell in the past. People thrive on a sense of direction; seed interesting events for your own future.

10) Stop thinking. Start living!

11) Get inventive. Review all the ideas again at random and think up variations and different ways to apply them. You probably have better ideas than I have, that are more appropriate for your life. Try them out. Then tell me about what worked so I can pass it on.

Want a benchmark way to assess quickly how you are doing from one month to the next? Try - it's free and takes thirty seconds and if you do the test a few times over a few months you will see as you answer the questions whether you are having a good patch or a bad patch.

Finally, think of your brain as a muscle that got damaged. Once it is better, still keep building it up. When you get to the stage where you feel happy, still do a lot of the exercises regularly, still book stuff up and enrich your life. Like a muscle, if you keep it exercised and strong it will be far more able about take on challenges in future without being damaged again.


Here are more ideas which were sent to me by readers from all over the world, largely in their own words:

Incidentally a large number of people have said to me month after month that getting a pet has helped: so much so that I feel that almost everyone should take that line of thought very seriously.

"I hate being on my own so I leave a movie on the TV that I already know well"
"Sometimes my body throws up physical signs that give me a clue to underlying psychological probelms that I haven't thought through yet, so it can be worth 'listening' to the body more."
"Stand in front of the mirror and watch yourself say aloud the things that are upsetting you or getting you down or whatever. After a while you will feel quite foolish about the things that have been annoying you and you will see it in a better context."
"If you have a friend who also suffers from depression, then I find it helps if you both have a session where you spill your guts out. There mayne tears but you feel better afterwards."

Get a fish tank. They are so absorbing to gaze at and offer lots of little jobs to do.


I learnt a helpful poem which I would recite when down, like a mantra:
"If you think you are beaten you are
If you think you dare not you don't
If you'd like to win but think you can't its almost a cert you won't.
If you think you'll lose you've lost for out in the world you'll find
Success begins in a fellows will its all in the sate of mind.

If you think you are outclassed you are
You have to think high to rise
You have to be sure of yourself before
You can even win a prize

Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man
but soon or late the man who wins
Is the fellow who thinks he can."
Author Unknown.

"What I like to do when I feel depressed (and it can be often) is go to my local no-kill animal shelter once a week. I'm a regular volunteer there and it's something I look forward to every week. I find that I'm happiest when I'm there. When I'm not there, I write poetry, happy messages to myself, or invite a friend over. When not with animals I find that being with a friend distracts me from problems."

"This one's for women, but I guess as more women than men are affected by depression, this should help. I had never worn makeup much, but you have to try this to believe in the pepping up power of red nail paint. I painted my nails red for the first time & I swear it made me feel a lot better."

Try creative writing. Just as a warm up exercise spend 10 mins describing your perfect day. It could be fantasy type stuff such as Tea with Queen or everyday kind of stuff like going to a football match or going for a cup a of tea round a friends house. The first time I did it I wrote about a day that combined a couple of past relationships, with a couple of places I'd visited at different times. The effect of this was incredibly profound for me.
I really hadn't experienced any sense of joy for the previous 6 months and had actually forgotten what it was like to have any sense of pleasure. This simple exercise reminded me that I had in the past experienced pleasure and that I may one day have experienced pleasure again but most profoundly it actually gave me a small sense of pleasure right there and then. I really think this exercise was the first step on my rocky road to a decent life."

One of the best times/worst times for me was during a brief stay in a home I attempted to purchase. The attic partially finished was my bedroom. Initially I began writing healthy quotes on the walls with colored markers as if all the walls were chalk boards. I surrounded myself with encouragement - whatever I read or heard that pumped up my spirit/emotional health I wrote it on my walls.

"Later that spring/summer before my addicted partner came home from prison - there was a thrift store sale on paint - I'm talking gallons for 2 or 3 dollars! I spent pennies on colors I loved. I went totally psychedelic in my bedroom ceiling and dressing area - the bathroom was beautiful - calming blues, purples, greens. All of my moods were expressed while listening to music I loved each day. When I finished upstairs I painted the kitchen - unusual combination of orange, gray and green. What made it "oh so perfect" was some artwork I came across which had the exact colors I had chosen in the kitchen."

"Many years ago I enrolled in a hypnotherapy course where you learn an awful lot about yourself and your fellow people. We had to do monthly tasks to learn about peoples behaviour. One task was that I had to buy a bunch of flowers or a pot plant and leave it on a neighbours doorstep that I felt needed cheering up - and then wait to see if they smiled, looked or felt better! Well, it makes your neighbour feel better (as if someone cares) and the act of thinking about someone else when you are depressed and buying them flowers (you can pick flowers if you have no money) definitely makes you feel like part of the human race and suddenly appreciated by society - it's a real morale booster. I would recommend anyone trying this task."

"Drawing and painting really works."

"I have also found that listening to books on tape while driving to and from work (instead of the same old music on the radio) helps to stimulate my mind and distract me from my own problems. Reading biographies helps me realize that we're all human and everybody has problems that they overcome. Some even go on to help other people with the same problems. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!"

"Hospital visiting works VERY well."

"I've always believed that we are self creating works of art, but sometimes depression can make us dwell on issues and forget about our vision of the person that we have the power to construct ourselves as. So many other sites on the web concentrate on drugs and psychotherapy - whilst these things are important in treatment, they're ultimately NOT the things that are going to make us happy...
I, myself like the 'collective solitude' of yoga. It allows me to spend an hour or so a week with a group of people who are all there to achieve the same ends - to relax, to seek balance and allow reflection, to stretch and concentrate on health and well being."

"Have someone that you talk to everyday as a support system. I find if I take a hot bath and light candles I feel wonderful. Go out and meet new people, join some type of social club: keep yourself occupied."

"This might sound a bit absurd but try eating Raw Broccoli.
I know, yuck you say!! But Broccoli is number on the food charts.
It’s packed with B vitamins, anti oxidants, anti cancer chemicals.
It keeps me alert and eases the stresses of my job.
Try it. You’ll get used to it!!!
PS Raw Celery is good too!!"

"Find someone you can really trust a girl/boyfriend, family, or friend, etc. Share your feelings, your depression, what's going in your life. Chances are, if it is someone you really trust, they will know you pretty well, and they know that something there is bothering you and eating at you inside. I find that when you feel depressed and want to shut your self away from the world, that the best thing to do is call that person up or visit them, let them know details of your problem share any positive goals or plans that you have considered with them. My Problem was that I am fully aware what is going on around me but I just bottle all my feeling up and try to deal with them myself ( my own worst enemy ) when I know I can't."

"I would like to contribute my own site: and I have an entire page that discusses holistic ways of healing depression (having had 2 clinical depressions) ... and it is an insightful discussion of the mind and how it works. My book is a challenge to modern psychiatry and its invalid view of the psyche. You can read the entire book on my site."

"I find that an over the counter supplement called 5-Htp seems to help"

"1. Keep records and check back on them. Last year I set 10 goals for myself at the beginning of the summer and this year found I'd accomplished almost every single one without even realizing it! I was still really down on myself and when I read back over my goals I realized how very inaccurate was my thinking. It was like a splash of cold water in my face - startling but refreshing.
2. Visualize/give a name to/ somehow characterize your depression. That's a kind of shorthand that will help you recognize it when it strikes- then you can just say, O, that's just Jerry or My Bag of Wet Rocks or my Gremlin. Also, Respect Its Power! By that I mean, don't be scared of it, but respect the danger it poses to you, so that you can avoid it. We can't detonate all our mental/emotional land mines but we can clearly mark them and stay away.
3. Just as another reader wrote in, Go Too Far when you write. Go all the way to the end of a negative train of thought or list every single thing that bothers you. By the end the sheer absurdity usually makes me laugh, and I'm so tired of my whining I can't wait to go for a walk or call somebody."

"Take several deep breaths then think of a house or property that is your ideal. Preferably somewhere you have been and felt happy in - or even an imagined place. My favourite place is an Alpine chalet. Visualise that building and see yourself moving towards it and going in through the door. See yourself inside that house, moving to a warm, comfortable snug room in the house. Enter the room. Look around. If it is day there, the sun in shining in. If it is night there, lamps are softly shining. Notice the furniture, the walls, the ornaments. On the far side from you is a window. Look out through the window to a wonderful view - anything that you love such as a meadow, a lake, the sea, moonlit snow covered Alps. Feel yourself contented and safe looking at that view. You are looking at the view and at the same time you are lying down, safe, warm, comfortable. Just drift there. Imagine yourself drifting towards the window, through it and into that wonderful scene on the other side of the window.

Now imagine a glowing silver ring forming at your head, breath slowly and deeply, feel the ring slowly, slowly moving down around you moving from your head slowly down towards your feet. As it moves that glowing silver ring, feel it drawing out the aches in your bones, in your skull, your hair, your teeth, your nails, all the bones in your body, as it moves slowly down over the ends of your feet drawing out all the pains and aches in your feet and toes.

Another ring is forming at and around your head. This one is glowing blue as it slowly moves down from your head to your toes it is drawing out all the aches and pains and bad feelings in your muscles and tissues. See that blue glowing ring moving down past all the tiny muscles in your head and neck down, down your chest easing the sinews in your arms and legs, your abdomen and right out past the end of your toes. Drawing out the aches and pains and hurts in your muscles and sinews and tissues.

And here is another ring at your head, a soft green one, gently glowing. It slowly moves down like its predecessors, drawing out all the toxins in your blood and all the fluids in your body, drawing out bad things and renewing the life giving fluids. a glowing green ring, as it moves down your head towards the ends of your toes. Breathe in, and out feeling yourself renewed.

You can now feel another wonderful friendly circle forming, glowing gold and telling you it is drawing out the tensions in your nerves, this golden glowing ring encircling you ,protecting you drawing out the tensions in your nerves, moving down and around your head, your body, your feet, golden and glowing. Feel yourself relaxed, safe, nurtured and renewed. Breathe in, breathe out. Rest.

Now, renewed and relaxed begin to move from that wonderful landscape, back through the window, into the room, slowly out of the door of that room which is closing behind you. You know you can go back anytime you choose to. Slowly move back to the door out of the house, see it closing behind you. You can go back anytime you choose to. Feel yourself returning to where you know you are lying safe, warm and comfortable.

Lie there until you feel ready to move. When you do move, do so slowly, sit up slowly. It is likely you will need to use the loo and please do drink plenty of water. This technique if it works for you will lower your heartrate and I have found it excellent for helping to get quality sleep and gain and retain energy. All of which can help to beat the blues. I made it up myself and a number of my friends very kindly say that it has helped them."

"To be taken daily, 1st thing in the morning on an empty stomach
Add to a cup
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder; then
1.5 teaspoons honey; and mix well with half a cup of warm to hot water.
Keep mixing and drink before cinnamon settles.
I find it is a wonderful 'pick-me-up' if taken every morning."

"Try volunteering. Especially with children or animals or even the elderly. A lot of times, we hide from the world because of the way we feel. Volunteering is a great way to get back and give back to your community."

"When I felt very down and anxious, I leaned heavily on my Aunt who has three young children, and they were great for the soul. They didnt let me stop to think, constantly asking me to colour things in, play with them, read stories etc etc. The great things about this are two fold! one, you dont have time to be upset, as these children are reliant on you and you are responsible for them, not just yourself (this doesnt mean go and get pregnant and get your own ones!!!) and two, the playing and colouring in etc is really rather therapeutic, makes you regress to happier days!!"

"I have found meditation works wonders."

"Get in your car and go for an exhilarating drive in the sun."

"I give myself little treats after completing a task that I don't like. Even if it's a small task."

"We cannot expect to think our way into right action, but we can act our way into right thinking. Even if we don't feel it at first, we must endeavor to fake it till we make it. 2. A.R.T.S. Anonymous talks about bookending with a buddy, which is calling a buddy and or sponsor to let them know that one is starting a task and will call back when the task is done or the increment of time that one makes a commitment to working on that task, is fulfilled. Even if we just do 15 minutes of it. PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION! It's good to have somebody on the other end of the line, it buffers the anxiety of one's own thinking. One of my worst enemies tends to be loneliness. Yet I will isolate without even being aware of it. I'm not retarded or anything.Well, maybe a little. Checking in with somebody holds us accountable to ourselves and to the task at hand. It also makes the world not so lonely. Another cool dynamic about bookending is that it makes us available to help another. Which, In Fact, Boosts self esteem and self worth. 3. Becoming one's own best friend. VITAL!!!!!!!
4. I would do practically anything for a best friend. Of course.
So why wouldn't I do this for my husband. Also, a cool idea is to treat your spouse like an affair. This can put some spice back into the relationship.
STAY BUSY (one foot in front of the other). TAKE CHANCES (within reason).
DON'T GIVE YOUR HEAD TIME TO THINK (stinking thinking).
PRAY (talk to God or the Universe) or MEDITATE (listen to God or the Universe).
PLAN (we didn't plan to fail, we failed to plan).
BOOK-END (check in with a friend, buddy or sponsor).
FOCUS (Stay on task).
BE OF SERVICE (to your fellow man.or woman, charities,donations, helping others, not just when it's convenient for oneself).

"1) Writing mails to friends and relatives can be excellent. It helps opening yourself and also getting involved in the process.
2) Music. It works a lot.
3) Try helping someone who is into depression. I know it sounds silly (one blind man leading the other), but remember, helping someone with the same problem actually takes you out from yours."

"I found that doing things for others does help.
I volunteered for a literary group and helped a blind person with his permit applications. I also started a creative writing class in my local jail. Prisoners are great students and I learned from them as well. I started a life drawing class at my place of work after hours for other artists - no charge - just a share of the model's fee. STAYING BUSY IS THE KEY."


This website contains over fifty proven cures and aids to help depression and it will completely change your life. If you let it. They are all proven to be effective, they are all small changes that we can incorporate into our lives and therefore, frankly, we have no excuse whatever for not giving them a try.