7 Proven Steps to Beat Back Depression

by Wendy Keller, author, blogger, friend

When you set a goal and move toward it, even if it is only baby steps, you give yourself a “small success.”  Each small success gives you a little booster shot of dopamine, a feel-good chemical in your brain. You really can use the power of “Small Successes” to help yourself feel better.

Small successes could include:

  • Taking your vitamins today
  • Saying no to a second helping
  • Summoning the energy to go for a stroll or even to exercise
  • Ticking one task off your to-do list

Here are 7 quick things you can do regularly to give yourself the “small success” feeling:

1.  Clean and organize your home.  You can start with just one part of one area. For instance, if you determine to tackle the bathroom, start with your tub.  Scrub it until it is shining.  A clean, fresh place to live enlivens your spirit and gives you a sense of deep satisfaction.

2.  Stand up straight.  Sounds silly but just walking with your head held high, as if you had all the confidence in the world, can “trick” your body into feeling good about you.  Square your shoulders, imagine that your vertebrae are a string of beads and you want to keep them perfectly straight by pulling up on an imaginary string that comes from the top of your head.  Posture dramatically influences breathing, mood and movement.

3.  Eat something healthy – and refuse just one thing “bad.”  Instead of chips, choose an apple.  In lieu of chocolate, have a yogurt.  Making just one switch can begin healthier habits, and in that first moment of choice, cause you to feel powerfully happier.

4.  Finish a task.  Just do it now.  Do you have a pile of laundry that you never get around to folding?  Dishes that you never seem to slip into the dishwasher?  A long email you just have to read and respond to?  Make a game of it!  Set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and see how much you can get done in the time allotted.

5.  Tell someone something positive about themselves.  Better yet, compliment 3 people. Pick 1 person you love, 1 person you suspect is sad or depressed, and 1 stranger.  Give each person a sincere, from-the-heart compliment and then pause for a moment to listen to their response.  Watch how your kind words affect them.  Reflect on how giving yourself compliments instead of criticism might affect you.

6.  Do something physical.  You don’t have to join a gym to start taking care of your body.  When we move our bodies, neuro-chemicals get released that change mood. All you have to do is get your heart rate to go up a little. Start with 10 Jumping Jacks. Move a little, mood increases a little.Move a lot, mood increases a lot.

7.  Draw.  Even if you can’t draw, get you kid’s box of crayons, some markers or even just a pen or pencil. Copy a pleasant scene, a famous painting, a fish, a flower, your child’s school picture.  You can throw it away when you’re done if you want to, but something about the physical act of concentrating your eyes, brain and hands on drawing lets your body, mind and spirit take a break from feeling sad.

These 7 strategies will help you chip away at depression, PTSD, sadness and a general lack of vitality.  Try ‘em and you’ll see…you have the power to chip away at your negative state and move toward a positive one…starting today.




Wendy Keller, author

Wendy Keller writes and speaks about healing, inner strength and surviving. People have applauded, thankful and blessed by her hourlong webinars. Join them here:  Stop Hurting and Start Healing


Posted on April 15, 2015, in Reflections and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. These 7 steps will be very helpful to me. Been in a deep depression for months and am starting to fight my way out. Thank you!

  2. Since a child I was created by fight and to be strong, It’s was good in some situations, so another’s was very stressful.The best was never allow bad events damage my self steam and my confidence. When Iam at crisis,I always keep my notepad with prayers,recipes,beautiful icons,pictures all that give me pleasure,I have faith, I believe in God, it’s help me to overcome,I always still involved with a lot of interests it’s pulled me away from the problem, and suddenly it’s gonna be solve. I know that our life always will have issues, the question is how to carry it out. Trip is good way to relief painAn everyone should be find yours!

  3. Sandra Lovelock

    Please read as very Good for us all! xo

  4. Reblogged this on Finding Hope's Sunshine and commented:
    Positive steps to take…

  5. Something that helped me come out of depression was thoughts from literature of Pandit Sri Ram Sharma Acharya. I didn’t took any medicine for depression. One day by a matter of chance I found his thoughts on a facebook page. I started reading his thoughts on daily basis and experienced a betterment in my mental state everyday. You can find his thoughts and literature here- http://quotes.awgp.org/chintan.php?qType=1&lng_id=2
    Maybe it can help you.

  6. Wish the first tip wasn’t to ‘clean and organize your home’! Such an overwhelming suggestion only increases my feelings of worthlessness and drowning.

    Put it last! I can sit up straight immediately, or do something physical, or eat something healthy. To clean takes more time and energy than I can scrounge up if I’m really down. The suggestion, right off the bat, just makes me feel more low.

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