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13 Ideas for Overcoming Depression

Each week I spend time with some of our Gateway South Austin college students (including my cousin Debbie Snarr, Elena, Mattias, Colin, Nerie, Diego, Dominic, Will, etc.). Recently we tackled subjects like social media, anxiety, stress, and depression.

Here are some of the insights from our group on depression:

  1. Depression often comes when our plans are not meeting our expectations. Figure out: what is really bothering you?
  2. Mourn for a time.
  3. Change perspective.
  4. Do what you should even if you don’t feel like it.
  5. Awareness of where you are and why you are there.
  6. Sometimes getting out takes an act of God.
  7. Recognize your part in getting into the funk.
  8. Do something differently.
  9. Gratitude. What good has come out of this trying situation? What good come from it?
  10. Look back at other times you’ve overcome as a reminder that this too is temporary. (ex. Elijah in 1 Kings 18-19).
  11. Consider, if a hero in a film was faced with these circumstances, what would he or she do?
  12. Smiling releases chemical in your brain even if you don’t feel like it. Hiking, get moving!
  13. Hopelessness is overcome with hope.

When helping someone who is depressed, keep these ideas in mind:

  1. Be with those hurting. Know when to say anything if at all.
  2. Avoid “I know what you are going through.” instead communicate “you’re not alone.”

What have you seen help those how are depressed? What has helped you?

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Dr. Eric Michael Bryant serves with Gateway Church in Austin as the team leader for Central and South Austin and as part of the teaching team. Eric previously served at Mosaic in Los Angeles and his books include Not Like Me: A Field Guide to a Influencing a Diverse World and A Fruitful Life: Becoming Who You Were Created To Be. Eric coaches church planters and campus pastors, teaches on Post Christian Ministry, and leads a cohort for a Doctorate of Ministry in Missional Effectiveness through Bethel Seminary where he earned his Doctorate of Ministry in Entrepreneurial Leadership.