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5 Ways To Dig Yourself Out Of Depression

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5 Ways To Dig Yourself Out Of Depression


BY SANDRA BIENKOWSKI
JULY 17, 2014 4:37 AM EDT

I knew something was wrong with me. I was too uncomfortable with myself to even enjoy
just one night alone. I worried something might happen that I couldnt handle. So I spent a
lot of time losing myself in T.V., food or dating bad men. I was afraid to be quiet with my own
thoughts, and had about zero ability to comfort myself.

The healthiest thought I had was knowing that I needed help. Tired of feeling deeply alone, I
found a psychologist who red a gazillion questions at me in hour one on the rst session.

He didnt accept patients unless he knew he could help them. He was blunt and kind of a
smart ass. I didnt know it at the time, but it was my day one of digging my way out of the
crushing hole that is depression.

I answered a gazillion more written questions in a standardized psychological assessment


about my tumultuous childhood and about me. Around session three, he described me
back to me: chronic depression, fear of abandonment, angry but afraid to show it, and lack
of boundaries in relationships (people pleaser).

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With talk therapy one hour a week for several years, my depression became a thing of the
past. My solution wasnt a quick x, but it has been lasting.

Call me a student of depression. Id drive home from those sessions, type up things he said
while still fresh in my mind, and place my notes in a three-ring binder. I slowly got healthier,
and life got better. I hope what I learned can help you too.

Here are ve lasting changes in how you think and behave that will help you heal from
depression:

1. Set boundaries in relationships, even if it angers someone.

Dont get me wrong, Im not encouraging you to be dicult or verbally spar with your
signicant other. I am encouraging the genuine expression of your emotions. Stop people
pleasing to keep the peace. Say goodbye to letting people take advantage of you.

Set limits. Say no when you want to say no. Stand up for yourself. Think of your
relationships like a ping pong match: you only have to play your side. You cant control how
other people react. Be authentic to your emotions. Depressed people bury anger. Healthy
people express it in healthy ways.

2. Do something you fear.

I was scared of being alone, of not having a boyfriend. Boyfriends were mirrors to me. I
didnt value myself, so Id look for other people to do it for me. If I didnt have a boyfriend, I
didnt have value.

The best decision I ever made was facing my fear of being alone by living alone. I remember
sitting on the oor of my new house surrounded with boxes on moving day, eating a salad
and feeling this empowering sense of freedom. Alone went from scary to liberating.

Facing my fear of living alone gave me the courage to realize I determine my own value. It's
not determined by my relationship status. What fear do you need to face?

3. Make sure you build in some space to listen to your own thoughts.

When you're depressed, there can be a tendency to ll up the emptiness with food, alcohol,
sex, drugs, sleep, or work. You max out your time or go into avoidance mode so you dont

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have to be quiet with yourself or hear your own thoughts. Your gut knows what you need to
do.

Stop telling yourself its too hard or that you dont know what to do. Get silent so you can
listen to your inner voice. I bet you know exactly what needs to change in your life. Decide
now to take the next step.

4. Make decisions and stick with them.

Inaction fuels depression. Make a plan and carry it out. When I graduated college with a
degree in journalism, I found a job as an executive assistant during the day and another as a
waitress at a country club at night.

Why not a job in journalism, you ask? I didnt have enough condence to go for what I really
wanted. My inaction in my career was just one example where I fueled my own depression.
My psychologist kept telling me, You cant be safe and happy. Take the risk. Go for what
you want, and make decisions that get you closer to what you truly want.

5. Give the power back to you.

Give your opinion value. Dont hand over your power to anyone else. No one should be able
to control your mood, your value, or your emotions.

Stop looking to other people for their approval and increase the value of your own thoughts
and perceptions. Validate yourself with positive thoughts and comforting and kind words.
You are worthy.

We dont get to choose our childhoods, but we do get to choose how we live as adults.
Decide your life is worth the ght to take down depression. Your amazing life awaits you on
the other side.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com <http://www.shutterstock.com>

To learn more about how to have a great relationship or happiness, check out our
video courses How To Have The Greatest Relationship Of Your Life and How To Create
More Happiness & Meaning In Your Life.

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About the Author


Sandra Bienkowski
Sandra Bienkowski is a nationally published writer and owner of The Media Concierge, where
she works with authors and speakers to create personal growth and wellness content.
Sandra is the editorial director for national tness trainer and health coach, Chris Freytag.
Sandra also is a regular contributor to Live Happy magazine and her work has appeared in
SUCCESS, Executive Travel and other national magazines. Visit Sandras blog at The Media
Concierge <http://themediaconcierge.net> .

MindBodyGreen.com is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice,
diagnosis, or treatment. All content and images found on MindBodyGreen.com may not be reproduced or
distributed, unless permitted in writing by MindBodyGreen, LLC. MindBodyGreen is a registered
trademark of MindBodyGreen, LLC.

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