If you’re depressed and looking for a way to be happier, you might be wondering exactly what you should do and if there’s a “best” way to approach everything. What’s the best way to overcome depression?
What’s the Best Way to Overcome Depression?
There’s an (awful) saying that applies very nicely to the pursuit of happiness:
“There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”
This idiom isn’t supposed to be literal, it just means that there’s more than one way to do something to reach the same goal.
It’s the same way with depression and happiness.
There’s lots of tips in the world about how to be happy, whole books written about it, varying expert opinions, sometimes conflicting studies, alternative healing methods, and of course lots of life advice posts on this blog and others too. 😃
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming because you don’t know where to start and you don’t know what will work for you, and almost any of the common methods you hear about has the potential to help you with depression – therapy, medication, a healthier diet, a positive attitude, exercise, forgiveness, gratitude, changing your beliefs and thought patterns, meditation, and on and on and on.
So which one do you do?!?
Do whatever you discover works for you, and that you can do consistently.
You might naturally start off with something you’ve been recommended by someone else, but if that doesn’t work, try going with whatever technique sounds the easiest and most manageable to you right now. Often, the best results in your life come from consistently applying a technique to your life over a period of time, rather than doing something once or sporadically. And the easiest way to be consistent is to pick something that’s easy for you to do.
So if the idea of running every day for the endorphin boost when you can’t even get out of bed right now is overwhelming, try something else. Try something less overwhelming. You can get results without forcing yourself to do the most “difficult” thing on the list.
There is, as they say, more than one way to skin a cat. 😉
Some people will claim that their method is the ONLY solution for whatever problem you are facing. Usually, there actually are many different possible solutions.
If something doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or that you’re a “hopeless” case. It just means that that method isn’t the right one for you. There are dozens and dozens of different ways to achieve the same goal – if something doesn’t work for you after you’ve applied it consistently, don’t beat yourself up. Just try something different.
There’s More Than One Path to Happiness
In the marketing world, there’s a lot of advice that you should always act like an authority and an expert on your subject matter, even if you don’t feel like you are. So this ends up creating a lot of people claiming that their solution is the best one and the only one that will work.
But just like there’s more than one way to build a business or be successful, there’s more than one path to happiness.
So if you find yourself disagreeing with something you hear (including what I say) or you try something and it just makes you feel bad, realize that there are many, many ways to become happy.
I can give you suggestions for what worked for me, but at the end of the day, they’re just suggestions. If you’re trying things and they’re not working, maybe it still helped you because you discovered what doesn’t work for you.
Sometimes knowing what you don’t want is just as valuable as knowing what you do.
And every step you take or action you try, the closer you are to figuring out something that does work. You may fail hundreds of times before you finally stumble upon something that does work.
I wish I could say that there are a definitive series of steps that you can follow and you’re guaranteed to be happy, but unfortunately (and fortunately), people are different and things that work for me may not work for you. And vice versa.
It does help to have a starting place though, especially so you can compare your results from trying different things. Maybe your therapist suggests one thing and I suggest something and you hear about something online, so you end up trying a little of everything and figuring out what you like and what you don’t. That’s making good progress!
It’s kind of like the different world religions. They each claim that they are the truth, but they say different things. The Buddha suggested one thing versus the things Jesus taught. But they’re actually very similar deep down.
Maybe there’s some truth in all of them, because fundamentally they usually support the same basic ideas (like the concept of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”).
That’s like the path to happiness. Fundamentally, there are some basic ideas that work for a lot of people, like gratitude and a positive attitude and meditation and exercise. But the details and exact steps are up to you to figure out.
Try things out in your life, keep the things that work, and let go of the rest.
Whatever you discover is helpful is perfect for you. There’s more than one path to happiness.
You got this.
If you want to know what worked for me personally with being happier, you can check out our 30 Day Negativity Detox.