10 Tips to Avoid Becoming Depressed

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Is it possible to avoid depression? What is the secret of cultivating happiness and avoiding periods of unhappiness? To a large extent, we determine our own frame of mind; we shouldn’t feel that we are a helpless victim to depression. Depression is something that we can avoid by cultivating the opposite – happiness.

Here are some tips for avoiding depression

1. Offer goodwill to Others.

If we seek to make others miserable how can we expect to be happy ourselves? If we offer goodwill to other people this creates a powerful positive energy. Focusing on other people’s good qualities can definitely help improve our own state of mind. There is a principle that what we give out, we get back. Therefore, by offering positive energy to, at some time, we will also be the recipient.

2. Learn to Detach from Thoughts

Thoughts play a very significant role in determining our state of mind. If we pursue negative thoughts then we give them greater power and influence over our state of being. However, it is possible to decide which thoughts to allow and which to reject. We have to learn to be vigilant and prevent negative thoughts from taking hold. As soon as we become aware of negative thoughts we should let go of them. We can imagine that we are throwing them out of our mind into a cosmic dustbin.

3. Keep Busy.

If we struggle to detach from negative thoughts we should just throw ourselves into other activities. When we get involved in other activities that we enjoy it takes us out of ourselves. Activity forces us to do something constructive, and does not allow us to dwell on our depressed state of mind.

4. Avoid Feelings of guilt.

If we have made a mistake, harbouring feelings of guilt will not help alleviate the situation. In particular, we are seeking to avoid feelings of guilty for minor events of no significance. Often we have done nothing wrong, but, others seek to make us feel guilty for their bad fortune. Instead of feeling guilty we should seek to concentrate on doing the right thing.

5. Live a Balanced Life.

In life we need to make room for different aspects. If we focus all our time and energy on work then we will have no time for relaxation and cultivating other aspects of our life. If we pursue an unbalanced life unhappiness is more likely to occur.

6. Don’t Base your Happiness solely on other people.

If we expect to gain happiness from another person, at some time, we are bound to be disappointed. If bad relationships end, we should see it as an opportunity to move on. It is no use dwelling on what might have been. It is also a mistake to feel that we can change somebody to match our preferences. If we seek to change a person fundamentally we will just feel frustrated when we fail.

7. Share Problems

Good friendships can offer tremendous help. Especially, if we can have 1 or 2 friends who are able and willing to listen to our problems. Our friends will not be able to solve our problems. However, simply having someone to talk to and share difficulties is a tremendous help in being able to work through our own problems.

8. Cultivate Happiness.

To avoid depression we have to focus on the alternative which is happiness. The problem is that when we are depressed, the idea of happiness seems a million miles away. But, sometimes if we can force a smile or try to be insincerely happy, we can trick the mind and force happiness to descend; and after a while we start to achieve real happiness.

Will follow you
If your heart remains
Undisturbed by trifles.

Sri Chinmoy

9. Have Low Expectations.

Depression often occurs because our desires remain unfulfilled. The more desires we have, the more likely we are to be disappointed. After disappointment comes a sense of frustration and depression. If we minimise our desires then we will not be prone to disappointment. This does not mean we cannot strive for excellence and achieve things. We definitely should strive to achieve various accomplishments. However, we should try to have an attitude of detachment to the outcome. Nor should we expect people to behave in a certain way.

10. Don’t Dwell On the Negative.

This is the key to avoiding depression. If we focus always on negative things this will eventually filter through into our state of mind. Negativity can be, miserable people, depressing situations and our own negative thoughts. If we want to cultivate happiness, we should seek to avoid depressing situations and depressing people.

Photo By Kedar Misani, Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries

70 thoughts on “10 Tips to Avoid Becoming Depressed”

  1. One thing everyone should always remember,that god would never put you in a situation that you cannot handle..These are situations given by god to test us..Never give up..and those who think of committing suicide,just think how will your beloved ones live without you..you may think they don’t love you or they don’t need you,but they scold you because they want to see a much better person in you..suicide doesn’t solve any problem..there’s always a better solution than suicide..
    And at last,always remember that you are a tuff person,why can’t you handle this situation..

  2. I’ve been suffering with depression since I was in grade 8. I have gone for help, also tried different thing but it didn’t seem to help. I watched my grandfather fit in front of me at home. The only sound I hear is no pulse. Being only 12 years old it affected me terribly. My grandfather was like a father to me, he was also my best friend. Reading through this article it helped some but I am still struggling and I’m not 18 years old.

  3. You’ve listed some very important and yet often overlooked tips for avoiding depression. I definitely agree that sharing problems can be incredibly helpful. I’ve learnt that it helps just to talk to people and get things off your chest but this also helps as when talking to people you could find that they even have solutions or ideas to problems you could be facing.

  4. actuly i am a patient of deppression,a tremendous negetivity of several situations have prevailed me even to commit suicide…nd nw wen i survived out of it i find myself totally detached, people especially friends and even my parents avoid me,i hv never got any mental support from nyone in my lyf till nw,cn u provide me with any tips??????….i find myself all alone in a situation lyk this….i will try dis points from my soul…thanks a lot.

  5. thnnx for the nice tips but i want some suggestion how we can follow up these thoughts for the long time…?

  6. Thx, but what if you try to focus on the positive but you CAN’T your mind just GOES back to the negitive? For ex. My dad left me when I was 4 yrs. old, He paid someone to make me had a car wreck when I was 4 yrs. old., My little twin sister’s are getting taken away from my dad…. How do I think positive when my life’s so screwed up, And knowone will even take the time to talk to me about it, not even my mom?

  7. @ Heather: I am really sorry to hear about what your Dad did. He made a decision to do wrong. We all have a choice, everyday, we decide who we want to be. What he did is terrible, but he did not accomplish what he attempted! You are HERE and ALIVE!!

    And as far as your twin sisters, and the people around you, show them your love. You should take up a fun and new activity, i recently started working out… and I was in the same situation you were in about not having anyone to listen..

    I have a terrible past as well, but I have noticed that I think about it way too much, and why did the persons who hurt me do it. Bottom line they did it, but now I see what I am doing to myself. I’m not helping myself by always remembering.
    You will never completely forget it, but at least you know you can use it to be a better person. You know you will be the best parent you can be, because you aren’t going to make that same decision your dad made.
    Make your own decision 🙂

  8. Thank you for all help of tips and advice, it is so helpful to have these words of wisdom ! It is completely honest.

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