1. Turn the sound down - shut the TV news off and stop watching soap operas and other depressing fictionalised worlds
that only reinforce your perception that everyone else but you is having a good time. We have been conditioned from a
very young age to accept negative influences on our lives and sometimes we can forget to question why we need its continual presence.
Take control of your own environment and only allow things into your world that have a positive element. Watch comedies.
Listen to relaxing music. Stop reading about all the bad things that are happening in the world - bad things will always happen,
whether you read about them or not. Is this the avoidance of reality? Not really. Reality is when you walk down the street, not
when you listen to someone on the TV telling you how awful things are.
2. Activity. So you feel like you cannot be bothered. You have no energy and everything seems so difficult to do. The solution?
Wear yourself out. Life is motion. If we sit still, we stagnate. We must always be doing things - join a gym, go for a 5 minute run.
The best way to beat depression is to occupy yourself constantly and always be moving. OK, so this is easier said than done because I
know what severe depression is and exactly how hopeless it can make you feel, but the way back begins with a decision. You have to get up
and do something about it. Start running. Do ten minutes. Then the next time do 15 and so on. Small positive steps are what you need to break
the cycle of stagnation. It is all about making the initial decision to do something about your condition because depression is despair, and
when we are consumed by despair, we lose the inability to make a decision. Make the decision anyway.
3. Alcohol. Cut down. Drinking makes any form of depression worse, because alcohol is a stimulant and a depressant. In fact it is better
if you give up drinking or limit it to the odd occasion.
4. Routine. There is nothing quite as bad as being stuck in a depressive rut with no job or structure to your life. You must build
some kind of daily routine of activity. And you must engage with other people, no matter how hard this seems, because other people
probably will not be as depressed as you are and they will help you in ways that you could never have imagined. Cutting yourself off
will only make the depression worse, so make the decision now to get out of the house for a set amount of time each day, engage with people,
even if it is a brief conversation. Activity is the solution to beating depression. And this next point is perhaps the most important in this
article - You will not beat depression straight away, but by being active, you will make a dent in it. Think of it like this - you are trying
to smash through a large reinforced wooden door with a sledgehammer. There is no chance that you will take the door down with your first few
swings and you may even look at the door and wonder why you bothered. This is the same principle with depression. When you first do something
instead of doing nothing, it might not make you feel any better..at first. But you have to keep swinging the hammer at that door and eventually
you will get stronger and you will see some visible dent in the door.
5. Building momentum. Once you see that dent in the door, this will give you the glimmer of hope you need to keep swinging that sledgehammer.
Remember that depression is like paralysis. You are caught cold in the headlights and you cannot move. The key to beating depression is to make
a decision to start being active. Even if it seems like a very shaky kind of control, at the very least you are no longer powerless. Make the decision.
Get up and start moving. Even if it kills you, do it anyway. Even if that first effort seems pointless, do it again. What is the alternative?
To sit there and do nothing and be consumed by despair. That is not any kind of alternative. You have no choice but to make a positive decision.
an we be happy in a unhappy society? The 64 thousand dollar question. We can take steps to make our own lives more comfortable and fulfilling.
The larger processes that are going on in the world - Politics, economics, war, famine and all that other negative stuff - are generally beyond our control.
When we stop thinking about these larger forces and pay attention to our own needs on a day-to-day basis, we certainly can beat depression for good.
Remember that no one is happy all the time. Real life does not work that way. Once we accept the rollercoaster nature of life and reality, we can be
content with our moments of happiness and shrug our shoulders when we have a bad day.
Tips and Warnings
Even if we find ourselves living in what we consider to be a unhappy society, can we still beat the blues and carve
out our own happiness? I will address that question at the end. In real life, happiness is never a constant.
The TV fantasy world might convey the impression that the world is always happy and harmonious, but we know that the
real world has absolutely nothing to do with the media - the media sits in a comfortable zone somewhere between fantasy and reality.
The first thing you can do to combat depression is..