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5 Ways to Ward Off Depression and Stay Depression Free

Updated on October 7, 2013

Getting hit with hard times can really get you down. Here are five ways to stay depression-free through life's challenges.

You are more resilient than you think.
You are more resilient than you think. | Source

How to Beat Depression

Experiencing hard times, such as unemployment or divorce, can really get you down. When you are facing setbacks and struggles, you may feel like you have lost control of your life.

Dwelling on negative thoughts and feelings can make it hard to bounce back. Fortunately, most challenges in life are temporary, and they do not have to lead to depression.

You are more resilient than you think, and those dismal feelings can be short-lived if you catch them in time. Do you want to know how to beat depression?

Certain techniques can keep your sadness from turning into despair. Here are five ways to ward off depression and stay depression-free through life’s challenges.

1. Regain Control of Your Life

Brian Tracy, a popular motivational speaker and author, said it well: “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”

Taking charge of your life, even in the challenging circumstances, is one way to stay depression-free. If you have lost your job, for example, brush up your resume, place some phone calls, and take steps toward finding new employment.

By the way, if you equate your identity with your career or professional title, consider the blessing of unemployment. It can help you discover your true identity.

Let your past success encourage you.
Let your past success encourage you. | Source

2. Review Your Successes

Think back to a time when you overcame adversity or enjoyed success. How did you handle a difficult problem, finish a hard project, or help a friend through a rough patch?

Knowing what worked then can be a powerful help today, especially when you are wondering how to beat depression.

Your accomplishments are good reminders that you are competent, capable, and resourceful. Let your past success encourage you in your present struggles.

3. Focus on Your Health

Focusing on your health is another way to ward off depression. While junk food may seem comforting in the moment, it usually makes you feel worse afterward.

Your body and brain benefit from healthy eating. According to nutrition experts, a Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest ways to eat. Not only does it improve heart health, supply antioxidants, and fight disease, but it may also reduce your risk of depression.

Exercise is another depression fighter. Physical activity releases “feel good” brain chemicals that improve your mood, appetite, and sleep. It is also a good way to boost your confidence and self-image. Do you need more reasons to exercise? Here are ten good ones.

As you consider your health, do not overlook sleep. Depression may cause a lack of sleep, but the opposite is also true. A good sleep increases the metabolic activity in your brain. This enables you to better control your behavior and emotions. Follow these steps for better sleep.

Visiting a friend can lift your depression.
Visiting a friend can lift your depression. | Source

4. Connect With Others

When you feel sad and depressed, social contact is probably the last thing on your mind. However, connecting with others may be just the thing to lift your mood. It is often the best way to stay depression-free.

Spending time with your friends or family keeps you from isolation, which tends to increase those sad and lonely feelings.

Take an exercise class, join a club, or volunteer for a good cause. Focusing on the needs of other people takes your mind off your own worries. Here are good ways to give to others, even in the hard times.

Local or online support groups can help, too. It may seem hard to talk to strangers about your problems. However, by reaching out to others, you discover that you are not alone.

52 Ways to Beat Depression Naturally
52 Ways to Beat Depression Naturally

Book by Nicole McCance / Format: Paperback Edition


5. Manage Your Stress

When you are feeling stressed, your breathing and heart rate increases and your blood vessels constrict. Learning to control the stress can reverse these physical responses and the emotional ones that lead to depression.

Practice deep breathing, sing a song, count to 10, laugh out loud, or pray. Repeat the activity until you feel relaxed. These steps will not solve your problem or change your situation, but they can calm you and help you get through a trying circumstance.

Your Turn

How do you beat depression? Leave a comment below and join the conversation. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your social networks.

Reference Sources

Medical Disclaimer

The information presented in this article is not intended as health or medical advice, nor is it a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment by a qualified medical professional.

These tips can help you ward off depression and stay depression-free.
These tips can help you ward off depression and stay depression-free. | Source

© 2013 Annette R. Smith


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    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      3 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      I like your stress-reliever, frozenink. What a great suggestion! Music can be so uplifting and quite a mood changer. Thanks for sharing!

    • frozenink profile image


      3 years ago

      I have always heard of the magics of walking, but I have yet to try though. My favourite would be listening to songs reflecting my stress and sing along. It's kinda like channeling my stress or negative emotions out through the singing. I don't know if this is actually a popular way like walking, but it sure works for me!

    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      3 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hi, frozenink. Walking is my favorite stress-reliever right now. And talking about my problems with a support group at church helps me deal with stress, too. So glad you stopped by!

    • frozenink profile image


      3 years ago

      I think these are really useful methods. Personally, I feel that it is very important to remain positive and review our achievements or successes. Talking out to our friends about our problems would definitely share and put off the stress. I think everyone would face hard times or setbacks, and it depends on how we manage them. Great Hub!

    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      4 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hello, Rob! You're so right. Exercise is a wonderful stress-reliever that can melt away those depressing thoughts. I tend to exercise alone (walking/hiking), but I like the social aspect of a gym setting. Thanks for weighing in!

    • secondshot profile image

      Rob Allen 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Annette! This hub says so much. I agree with you. If you feel stressed and depressed, one of the best ways to break out from such phase is to flex some muscles. Exercise triggers the brain to release endorphin or what we call the happy hormone. More than that, working out in a gym opens you to different people. One of the best ways to make friends and be social. :) I did that and bam! It felt so good and even for a while i got distracted from all those unnecessary negative thoughts. :)

    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hello, Rachna Rai. Thank you so much for your comment. It's been said that isolation breeds loneliness and depression -- which, in turn, leads to an even greater sense of loneliness and depression. Spending time with my family or a good friend gives me a new perspective when I'm feeling down.

    • Rachna Rai profile image

      Rachna Rai 

      5 years ago from Mohali, India

      Annette R. Smith, you shared very useful tips to tackle depression. I have observed that when people are depressed, they just want to sit alone at home. You rightly said that such people should connect with other people. Sharing problems with your family or friend will surely make you feel better. Isolation will not help, instead it can make the situation worse.

    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      You are most welcome, MsDora. I appreciate the vote!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Voted Useful because it is. Thanks for these important tips to help us get through the hard times.

    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      You're welcome, Ruby. Humor is good medicine for the mind and body, and shared laughter is the best. I'm glad you like this hub.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I find that friendship helps me more than anything to fight off depression. Laughter is so important. I really like this hub, very helpful ideas..Thank you..

    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hello, sriramapriya. Thank you for posting a comment. I am glad to hear that my article is useful.

    • sriramapriya profile image


      5 years ago from India

      Use full hub to stay way from depression.


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