We live in a depressed world. You would think, given the amazing advances we have made as a human race and the unlimited blessings we all enjoy in the developed world, that we may be happier than ever before, but studies show the opposite.
Research indicates depression and suicide is growing at an alarming rate and expected to continue to grow in the coming years.
Maybe, you’re thinking the most depressed countries are those that have “less” materially speaking. That would also be wrong. It seems the more we have as a country, the greater our depression.
It’s a shocking truth, but also a valuable one, that helps us to understand true happiness can never be found in things.
Most who suffer from depression may seek comfort in drugs (prescribed and illegal), but this is not a long-term fix, and very rarely even a fix.
If you don’t mind side effects, and possibly the risk of more severe depression, go to your doctor and ask for some anti-depressant medication.*
So, How to beat depression without drugs?
The only way out of depression is to accept that the responsibility lies solely with YOU.
You are the only one that can make the choice, right now, that you deserve more out of life. And YOU DO deserve more.
You deserve more than those constant negative thoughts invading your mind. You deserve to be happy, and you can be. There is NOTHING you have done or not done in your past that can prevent you from being happy now, and in your future.
I tell you this, not as some all-the-time happy camper that has never had a worry in the world.
I tell you, as someone that suffered severe suicidal depression for much of my life, until i realized i was in control of both my mind and my thoughts, and by using the principles below, i turned my life around to not only beat depression but also became very successful and fulfilled on the journey.
Beat Depression With These Principles:
Find Something To Be Grateful For
For me, this is the single most important piece of beating depression.
If you think about it, it is impossible to be depressed if you live in a state of gratitude.
If your thought process is: “i have nothing to be grateful for” – try losing something you take for granted – like your eyesight, your limbs, your health or a loved one – sometimes a little perspective is helpful – everyone has something to be grateful for.
Yes, some may have bigger challenges than others, but that only makes for a stronger character when you overcome those challenges.
The greatest part about daily gratitude is that it attracts more to be grateful for. When you make a conscious effort to be grateful, at least once every day, you are on the lookout all day for positive things. If you start your day with gratitude (recommended every single day) it puts you in a positive mood right away, so your chances of feeling down are slim at best.
When i forget to start my day with this practise, everything changes. It is important that you make time, every day for gratitude. Notice how good you feel right after you have written down your list of things or people you are grateful for, and every day search for new things to add to your list.
Depression: This is Not The End – Inspirational Video
One of the main reasons many of us sink into deep depression is because we feel like there is nothing to look forward to. “I have nothing” and or “I will be nothing” is the general thought process.
But, if you start setting meaningful goals for yourself to achieve, in all areas of your life, from financial, to fitness and physical and maybe even some goals aimed at simple daily happiness – you will then have plenty to look forward to.
The key with goal setting is to make a promise to yourself that you will not get down if you don’t reach your goals.
We all encounter failure, i’ve failed many more times than i have succeeded, the important thing is (if we don’t reach our goal by the deadline) that we change the PLAN, not the goal. Then once reached, set NEW goals and raise the bar. Having something to strive toward is essential for a life of fulfilment.
Your goals should never be material based, they should be development based, that way if you don’t quite reach the goal, you will have succeeded (developed) anyway.
You should at-least set monthly and yearly goals, some super achievers have mini daily and weekly goals as well.
Health and Fitness
Getting fit and vital is essential for a happy life.
If you are eating foods that make you feel fat and sluggish, and then sitting on the couch all week, do you think that will help you feel better about yourself?
Studies show a strong exercise routine and healthy diet increase happiness and reduce depression in almost all subjects.
Think about how much happier you would be if you added some extra energy and vitality to your life. Think about how much happier you would be if you felt (and looked) strong and fit.
The key here is to make a commitment. Nothing is more important than how you feel, and considering your physical body plays a big part in your energy and emotions it makes sense to take great care of it.
Read something positive.
Books on self development are for successful people, and for happy people!
Self Development books completely changed my life, and if it weren’t for great mentors like Tony Robbins, Richard Carlson, Wayne Dyer and others, i may not be here today, and Fearless may not exist.
To Start: Don’t sweat the small stuff
To Evolve: The Power Of Now
For Success: anything from Tony Robbins plus Think & Grow Rich
For the life you really want: The 4 Hour Work Week
Listen to something every day that inspires you.
If you don’t like reading (You should get out of your comfort zone and try it!) you can listen to audio books, or even free youtube videos on self development subjects.
Youtube isn’t just for funny cat videos you know? There are millions of free videos from great humans that can change your life, almost instantly. Guys like Tony Robbins, Eckhart Tolle, Oprah, Wayne Dyer.
Of course Fearless Motivation is the best channel out there 🙂 but there are unlimited sources.
Recommended Life Changing Channels:
1. Tony Robbins Official Youtube Channel
2. You Are Creators
3. Mateusz M
4. Super Soul Sunday & MasterClass by OWN
5. Fearless Motivation & Fearless Soul
Make a commitment to yourself, that NOTHING is more important than how you feel!
Because guess what? Nothing is!
We put so many insignificant things ahead of our own happiness. In school we are taught how to prepare ourselves for the working life, but no one tells us that working on our happiness should be the main priority.
How can a job be more important than how we feel? It can’t. But still, we spend the majority of our life learning to get them, stressing over them, and then (most of us) spend the rest of our lives complaining about them.
If you are committed to making yourself feel good every single day, your life WILL change, and you do not need any medication, any other human, any likes on Facebook or any attention from others. All you need is your belief and commitment to better yourself. Make that commitment to work on yourself every single day. Study happy people. Read books on self development. Practise gratitude.
Understand you are the creator of your feelings.
Yes you are. When we are lost in the thoughts in our head it’s hard to fathom a way out. It’s difficult to understand intellectually, when we are locked into the feeling of “my life sucks”, that we created the feeling, by the thoughts we choose to think (concious or unconscious) and by patterns of behaviour.
Deepak Chopra once said:
What does this mean? – It means that two people could experience the same challenging circumstance, but create out of that two completely different feelings and realities from that circumstance.
For example, one may use the circumstance to play the victim role (“This always happens to me”, “Why do these things always happen to me”) and the other may use it for gratitude (“I am grateful for that challenge as it developed my strength and made me who i am today”)
Same circumstance, 2 different realities.
How does this relate to depression?
You choose your thoughts, therefor you are the creator of your reality. The problem with those who suffer from depression, is most think all their thoughts unconsciously, so when they are told this they may snap at you, and say something like “I don’t choose my thoughts i am depressed because he did this, or she did that, or this happened to me”
But if we are being honest, we know that is not the case. If it were, every time something negative happened, every human would all sink into depression, and we know that isn’t the case.
How can some people get depressed over a break up, or financial problems, or losing their job, and others remain positive and optimistic? It comes down to our thoughts, and again we control them.
The one who doesn’t get depressed, doesn’t say to herself “i am worthless / i have no future” she says “This isn’t great, but it will pass” or better: “This is a challenge i will overcome!”
Watch your posture.
This is a lesson from my greatest mentor Tony Robbins. In a famous section of one of his self development audios he says “If i told you there was a depressed person standing behind the curtain over there, could you tell me what they look like” and the answer of course is YES.
They would have slumped shoulders, frowned face and walking and talking slowly.
My 2 year old daughter could tell when i was (acting) sad, how? Posture.
And simply enough, when we notice our depression come back up, try to move your body and posture into a strong position and see the instant change.
Depressed/Sad stance: Slumped, forward, looking down.
Happy/Positive stance: Upright, strong, shoulders back, looking up, smile – c’mon you know you want to smile 🙂
What was awesome today?
I read something amazing not long ago, about a family that ask their kids this question, every night before dinner:
“Who were you kind to today, and who will you be kind to tomorrow” What a powerful question to ask your kids. This simple routine ensures the kids are, every single day, SEEKING others to be kind to, because they know the question is coming at the dinner table.
An effective question you can ask yourself every night (Perhaps in a journal or notebook) : What was i happy about today? or What was awesome today?!
This way you can actively SEEK out things to be happy about each day, and, if you have committed to write this down daily, it is unlikely you will find anything but joy.
It won’t all be perfect
Remember, that even after you make this commitment to a happier life, “STUFF” WILL SHOW UP. There isn’t a human on this planet that doesn’t suffer set backs, hard times and have to deal with life’s many challenges.
It is important when these challenges come, you recognise them as just that: CHALLENGES. Not insurmountable issues. Everything passes in time. ALWAYS stay committed to your daily rituals to ensure YOU are the most important part of every day. You can be happy, no matter what happens.
Now, everything i’ve told you above works. I know it from experience, i know it from reading a million and one books on self development over the years, but i don’t know you.
No, i don’t know your situation, but guess what? Everyone has their stuff, we all have our baggage, and only those who DECIDE they want to live a better, happier life will get to.
Some remain in depression because they like the attention, the attention they get from being down is exactly what they (unconsciously) want. So they take comfort in the “diagnosed with depression” label as that re-inforces their identity and gains even more attention.
Problem is life is short, i don’t know about you but i don’t want to waste my life with attention seeking by misery.
Decide that you deserve more, set goals, make a commitment to heath, fitness and self development every single day. I promise you your life will change.
If this article helped you, or you think it might help another, please share it.
You can share privately, by clicking the email share button below, or on any social network.
*NOTE: I am not a mental health professional. If you are on medication for depression please speak to your doctor before you make any decision to get stop taking it. The view expressed here are to help those seeking answers on how to beat depression without drugs. They are intended as helpful guides only, based on experience not as medical advice.
Other great articles on overcoming depression
1. 10 things i do every day to beat depression
2. 10 natural depression treatments
3. 11 ways to beat depression naturally, without drugs