7 Things People Do Who Have Overcome Depression

Did you know that once you overcome depression, the risk of relapse is 50%? Prevention is essential, therefore, we will tell you some strategies that people who have been able to recover implemented.
7 Things People Do Who Have Overcome Depression
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 03 June, 2024

People who have overcome depression know that sometimes our bodies can’t overpower our souls. They also know that relapses are very common. The cold shadow of depression is always lying in wait.

But having gotten out of that tunnel once has given them new tools that they make a point of using every day. A good perspective, resilience, and a positive attitude are their life jackets.

Some people see depression as the fever of mental disorders. And it’s only getting more common. It’s like a “strain” that just keeps getting more resistant and wreaking more havoc.

Unfortunately, people usually go through it silently and alone. The data says that fewer than 40% of people seek professional help. Out of that 40%, it’s men in particular who are the most resistant to asking for help from an expert.

It’s been proven that the thoughts we choose have everything to do with our emotions. I can tell you that a commitment to feeling good can take away a stomach ache, fear, depression, sadness, anxiety – you name it.”
-Wayne W. Dyer-

But beyond the data and the fact that the WHO now sees depression as an epidemic, there’s another factor that’s just as important. That factor is relapse. Studies show that there’s a 50% relapse rate after a full recovery. In other words, there’s always a huge risk. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance for both professionals and the patients themselves to create a prevention plan.

Really, the plan is just a way of developing a healthier mental, physical, and emotional lifestyle. It means using certain strategies, perspectives, and tools in your daily life. They will all help you reduce the effect of any stressors, recognize your triggers, and create the right psychological outlook.

woman who has overcome depression standing up in a convertible

What do people usually do to overcome depression?

You don’t have to be made out of some supernatural substance to overcome depression. You don’t have to be a superman or superwoman. All over the place there are friends, family members, coworkers, teenagers, and kids who have let people help them, who have learned from the process. And now they handle life better.

It’s the kind of lesson that shouldn’t go to waste. One thing all those people understand is that depression is a chronic illness. That means you have to be smart, committed, and able to manage your emotions and thoughts.

It means learning to coexist with that shadow, but never ever letting it define you. Now we’re going to look at some of the strategies people use to overcome depression.

1. They fight off apathy with new interests

Sadness, loss of interest, apathy. These three things form the dark triangle around a lot of cases of depression. But letting them trap you will just set you adrift. You’ll just get stuck in the web of discouragement again and hand the keys right over to your depression.

That’s why people who have gone down this path before and made it to the end have some strategies and tools that will most likely be useful the next time they find themselves there. So when you notice any apathy or fatigue shutting down your body and mind, you have to react. 

  • These people look for new interests: they sign up for classes and add new activities to their routine.
  • They make changes to their daily habits so they can find new motivation for doing things.
  • They spend their time with positive people and good friends.

2. They can recognize their triggers: they say no to brooding

Brooding (repetitive, negative thought) is what makes up the foundation of depression. It’s when you start to obsess over your mistakes. You get stuck in your head anticipating things and attracting misfortune and dark clouds even on sunny days. This is not a good pattern.

People who have overcome depression know that cognitive therapy can be a huge help in those times. You have to change your perspective, break the cycle of negativity, and make exit routes for yourself.

3. They get up with a purpose

Getting up without any goals is like throwing away the day. Opening your eyes to the morning without any motivation is like starting your day with your heart turned off. Like your mind can’t be bothered…

If you want to avoid relapse, you just have to give yourself a purpose — concrete goals. You can even make them as simple as having an afternoon to yourself, buying a book, booking a trip, or meeting up with someone.

4. They’ve learned to say “no”

Setting limits is a key to health. People who put up with everything end up crumbling. On top of that, one of the most common causes of depression is thinking you can handle it all. Thinking that getting along with everyone means you’re a good person is another big mistake. It will completely drain you.

People who have overcome depression understand that they have to set limits in their lives. They say “no” when it feels right and “yes” when they want to. It’s a great way of to be happy and healthy.

5. Moderate daily exercise

Bodies that move aren’t as sad. People who walk, dance, swim, jump, or stretch their muscles are gifting themselves a hefty dose of endorphins. They’re improving their circulation and oxygenating their brain. Then all that leads to a higher level of serotonin, the hormone that protects you from sadness.

6. They say yes to a good diet

A good diet isn’t the cure for disorders related to depression. But it can indeed help protect you from them for a few reasons. For one, you’re putting interest into something: you’re making sure you buy good food, you’re trying new recipes, etc.

Eating a balanced diet rich in things like tryptophan, magnesium, antioxidants, and vitamins is a great habit to get into, because these elements help you produce more serotonin. 

7. They use mindfulness to avoid falling back into depression

One proven way to avoid falling back into depression is to practice mindfulness. There are actually a lot of studies that talk about the benefits of mindfulness as a psychological strategy for reducing the day-to-day impact of stress and anxiety. This meditation technique will:

  • help you become more aware of your emotions.
  • break the cycle of brooding thoughts.
  • reduce physical symptoms related to stress.
  • help you think more about your immediate experiences so you can prioritize and make better decisions.
  • help you explore other options and awaken your creativity and intuition surrounding who you are as a person.

Before we go, we just want to point out that everyone has to find their own strategy, their own playlist. You have to find your own driving engine. Discover what tools work best for you for putting aside the apathy, downheartedness, and pain that are all part of the demon we call depression.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.