How Do I Overcome Depression?
Do you find yourself in a persistent depressed mood? Have you lost interest in areas you have found great enjoyment in before? If so, you may be struggling with depression. Many clients describe depression as “a dark cloud that follows me”, “lack of motivation to do anything”, and “feelings of hopelessness”. If you resonate with any of these, you are definitely not alone. Depression can feel debilitating and isolating, however, there are tools that can provide you with some relief.
Becoming Aware of Your Thoughts
Oftentimes, when struggling with depression, gaining insight into your thought patterns and how they contribute to your depression can be extremely helpful. Our thoughts are going to influence how we are feeling and how we perceive what we are going through. A big problem many people face is that our thoughts become automatic and habitual when we have been reinforcing them over time. When they become automatic, we experience these thoughts without even knowing we are experiencing them!
Lack of awareness of our thoughts can make us feel hopeless in the way that we are feeling. Take a few moments to pay attention to the thoughts going through your head. Ask yourself, “Is this thought supporting me or contributing to my depression?” If the thought is not supporting you and possibly contributing to your depression, what is a replacement thought that is more empowering or encouraging?
Set Small Goals
Accomplishing small goals can uplift your mood and build your self-confidence. When struggling with depression, setting goals can often feel daunting. Many times, this is because we don’t set small and realistic goals.
If your goal is to start working out again because you know this helps relieve your depression, set a goal to go for one walk this week or even to just put your gym clothes on one day this week. I know, it sounds silly - but it works! Once we accomplish one small goal, we build confidence in our ability to set goals AND accomplish them!
This technique is one that was created by Mel Robbins. Any time you find yourself facing a decision or thinking about taking an action, count backward from five. As soon as you get to one, get up and instantly go do the action or make the decision. Our brain is a powerful tool, however, it can talk us out of taking an action or making a decision. It happens so fast, that we don’t even realize it’s happening. Counting backward from 5 and completing the task takes away the ability to talk yourself out of doing it!
Creating a gratitude list can help us retrain our brain into seeing what good we have in our life or even what went well during our day. Creating a gratitude list can be identifying things or people in your life that you are grateful for or creating a list at the end of each day answering the question, “What went well today?” or “What did I accomplish today?” Recognizing what went well during your day can help create feelings of hopefulness and happiness.
Find a Therapist Who Specializes in Depression
If you apply these tools and are still finding difficulty managing your depression, it may be helpful to find a therapist who specializes in depression in your area. Having a therapist who specializes in depression can help you navigate this challenging time and assist you in finding relief from your depression.
If you are in the south Florida area, we invite you to reach out for a complimentary consultation at 954-391-5305. We would be happy to speak with you and discuss how therapy can help you overcome depression and move forward in a positive direction. We also can help with psychiatric medication management if that’s a direction you decide to take.
Our offices are in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Coral Springs, Florida. We also provide online counseling through a secure telehealth platform for those in the state of Florida. We look forward to speaking with you!
This article was written by Heather Deecken, LMHC who specializes in helping adults overcome depression, anxiety, stress, addiction, and trauma through counseling and EMDR. She also works with First Responders and their partners.