When we're in a depressed state, it seems as if it's never going to end. But everything changes over time. We can facilitate the rapidity of a change to more positive territory through actions of our own, such as those suggested below. No matter how bad things might be, or get, you always have hope. And you have God or a higher power too, if you believe in that. In any event, it's always good to know that you're not alone. Have someone else to turn to and to lean on when you need to.

1. Seek Medical Advice
This is important to determine if your depression has a physical cause or whether a referral is needed to a trained psychiatrist or other mental health professional. Sometimes people say, "I've been there already and it didn't help." My suggestion is to try someone else. Every counselor is not good, nor are they all suitable for us. Just keep at it until you find someone who can help.

A recent survey showed that those who engage in phone counseling have a far lower rate of abandoning their counseling than those who present themselves for in person counseling. If you are reluctant to "go to counseling", you might inquire about receiving counsel by phone.

There is no shame in getting counseling. We all need help with something. Isn't it better to get help than to go through daily living being depressed?

2. Talk With Others
Talk with trusted family members and friends who you can rely upon to keep your confidences. Don't feel like a burden. What goes around in life often comes around. You can be there for them in the future when they need some help. If you need to talk with someone, it can be as easy as picking up the phone. The main thing is to unburden yourself and to try to improve your perspective on your problems.

3. Stop Thinking About Yourself
Thinking about your problems 25 hours a day is not helpful. Maybe you can't always get help, but you can always give it. It will help renew your own self-esteem when you see the power you have helping someone else. It also puts your own problems into perspective. Doing this is an important step to getting yourself out of the woods to the point where you can see a clearing ahead that you can keep walking toward. It's ok to crawl sometimes too. Just keep your head up and keep moving in the right direction.

4. Do What Comes Next
Sometimes depression can immobilize us to the point where we seem overwhelmed by everything and can't seem to get ourselves to do anything. Just do the very next thing. Don't worry about tonight, tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. Just do the next thing. If you're depressed when you get up, then wash your face. Then brush your teeth, then get a shower, then get dressed, then put on the coffee,then do the dishwasher, etc, etc. One thing at a time. Just do the next thing and don't think about anything else until you're finished that. Then decide what the next thing is to do. After a while you're going to see that you are staying active and getting things done. Staying active is a big help because it takes your mind off of you and substitutes accomplishments, even if they are very modest, for obsessing about your problems.

5. You Need To Get Out More
Don't stay in the house. Get out and take a walk, go to the mall, go to the movies and see something amusing or uplifting, volunteer, or ask someone to go to lunch or dinner with you. It is very important to stay busy at night. Many people can deal with things during the day when they are busier, but nights can be very lonely. Whenever you feel tired, take a short nap and stay up at night until you feel tired enough to go to sleep without a struggle. Sleep helps.

6. Self-Improvement Reading
This should be a lifetime habit. There are research tested ways for people to be happier. One I would particularly call to your attention in dealing with depression is written by Dr. Gordon Livingston M.D., a practicing psychiatrist, who wrote the national best seller: Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart. It contains many positive suggestions for dealing with depression. There are also many "happiness books" on the market. Many of them are excellent

7. Prayer and/or Meditation
Both provide the opportunity to stop and reflect and to enable us to gain perspective again.

8. Make The Most of Your Unfinished Life
Think about others and be kinder. If being happier by being kinder and taking the emphasis off of ourselves sounds like mumbo-jumbo to you, here's what famed intellectual and philosopher Aldous Huxley had to say about it:

"People often asked me what is the most effective technique for transforming their life. It is a little embarrassing that after years and years of research and experimentation, I have to say that the best answer is - just be a little kinder."

Virtually all positive psychologists say too that true gratification in life is found not in focusing on ourselves and our egos, or by basing our life on material things, but in the service of something higher. Pick something that's meaningful to you. It will improve your self-esteem, and provide you with the peace of mind,personal fulfillment and happiness you seek.

Author's Bio: 

Larry Danks is the author of Finding The Right Man For You: Dating Advice For Women: Evaluating your current situation,dealing with divorce,death of a partner, and self-doubt. What to look for in a man,sex and intimacy,how to meet men,online dating tips,answering dating questionnaires and writing personal statements,dating for women who have children and work pressures,personal and financial safety,guarding against men who lie,finding happiness with or without a man,finding love and romance, and ultimately making a decision about a man.

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