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How to overcome depression? 154 tips, symptoms & treatment

How to overcome depression? 154 tips, symptoms & treatment

How do you get out of a depression? What are the symptoms and what is the best treatment? Here you will find the steps & tips to stop feeling down and depressed. Think of this as a complete ‘wiki’ including tips for overcoming depression.

Contents of this page:

Maybe you ask yourself one or more of the questions below

  • How am I supposed to live with depression ?
  • What to do with deep / severe depression and anxiety?
  • How do you stop feelings of depression and how do I get out of my depression?
  • Help, I feel down, gloomy, blue, sad and / or tired. How do you stop that?
  • What are the best tips for the gloom I feel? How can I stop feeling so down?
  • I have sudden feelings of depression, what can I do about this?
  • I am not feeling well and I feel unhappy. How can I best get help with this?
  • I’m depressed again after I thought I had resolved it. How do I fix it permanently ?

Here you will find a detailed explanation and tips for these kinds of depression and all the questions above, so that you can get out of a depression and soon tell others, “This is how I got over my depression!”

Foreword: depression is  real  and serious …

It’s painful to talk about this topic and it’s hard for me to give the best tips in this article, but it’s very real and painful. It exists and is in the DSM-5 (but not the ICD-10), so it is a recognized diagnosis. I am also aware of this.

I am aware that you cannot say to a blind person, ‘Look! It’s easy! Just watch, just like me! ‘ And that you cannot say to a deaf person: “Hear!” For example, you cannot just say to someone with depression: “Don’t do it!”

So let’s say I don’t want to be too light about it. The first advice from me is to see your doctor if you have not already done so. Secondly, here you will find tips on how to get started yourself.

… And more is possible than you might think

depression article

The other side of the story is that there are also many doctors and scientists who believe that depression is not a mental or physical illness , and so it is incorrectly listed in the DSM-5 so that the pharmaceutical industry can make a lot of money from the antidepressants ( with serotonin as an important component).

And this is not a conspiracy theory, but simply widely known through the major media  and scientific research . One million Dutch people are on the drug while it has not (yet) been officially proven and has many side effects.

There are those who argue that depression can be mental or physical illnesses cause , but that depression is not a disease. Depression would not be inexorably transmitted through genes . The first onset to depression could be transmitted via genes. Also, according to many, depression would be a normal feeling and part of life, and if accepted, it would not last long and it will not cause all kinds of illnesses.

Who is right? There are many factors that play a role in depression and more is possible than just the doctor’s visit. So see the extra tips in this article as one of the many ways to look at it.

Meaning of depression & meaning of burnout: the same or different things?


Burnout and depression are two different things. There is a good chance that you do not have depression, but you do have a burnout.

It’s difficult to tell the difference between burnout and depression. This is partly because they often occur simultaneously. Some diagnostic tools do not distinguish between the two, and some diagnostic tools see it as two separate things.

Meaning burnout:
Burnout means ‘burned out’: extreme exhaustion of your body and your mind. The ‘reserves’ have also been used up and the stress system has been disrupted. This makes even the small tasks such as making a phone call or running errands a tough task. Delivering performance that was previously effortless is no longer possible.

Meaning Depression:
Depression is a ‘mood disorder’. Depression is when you have abnormal sadness, inability to enjoy yourself, listlessness or disinterest that lasts longer than usual. The DSM-5 sets this period to longer than two weeks.

The differences:

  • One of the differences is the question of ability and willingness. Someone with burnout still wants to do things like go outside, but a burned-out person can’t do it anymore  or thinks he / she can’t do it anymore. There is then a predominant feeling that says that you simply cannot do it anymore. When you’re depressed, you don’t feel like doing anything like going outside.
  • The doctor also asks you whether you can still enjoy things that you always enjoyed before. If the answer is yes, then you are still in the burnout zone. Only in terms of energy it is not possible to do those things. However, if you can no longer enjoy those same things, then you fall under depression.
  • Depression is more common than burnout. Where burnout is often work-related , depression can also arise from friends, family and hobbies, for example.
  • Depression can also result from exhaustion, so depression can result from burnout. You often see that people with burnout no longer go to work and hobbies, so that they no longer experience the pleasure of working, meeting people and their hobbies and therefore become more gloomy.
  • The time of day when the complaints occur also indicates the difference between depression and burnout. Depressed people experience their symptoms more often in the morning and clear up in the afternoon and evening. People who have burnout complaints become more and more tired throughout the day.

Signs / Symptoms / Characteristics of depression

depression symptoms

What is the description of depression? What are the characteristics of depression in women and men? What happens in a depression? How Does Depression Feel? How can you recognize a depressed person?

Let’s take a look at the symptoms:

  • Feeling down for no reason. So your life situation can be just perfect, you can be without debt, be a millionaire, have the best living space, have everything with you, be perfectly healthy, have never had an accident, and have zero problems … yet you feel gloomy on the background. Depression and exhaustion are completely separate from all other factors in your life. So you feel gloom for no immediately apparent reason, but there is a deeper cause of that spontaneous gloom.
  • You feel lethargic.
  • Difficulty getting out of bed. Almost literally a feeling of, “I’m not moving.”
  • A feeling of down when waking up.
  • Having a short fuse.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Fear. This can manifest itself in panic attacks (for example, always thinking that something bad is going to happen when you are outside) and nightmares.
  • Whimsical: Anti-social and dramatic.
  • A gloomy and empty feeling.

Who diagnoses depression?

It is always your doctor who makes the diagnosis, but you can also look up the characteristics in advance and check for yourself whether you recognize the symptoms. The characteristics are described in the previous section.

Cause of Depression? These are the causes

causes depression

How do you get into depression? Are you wondering what the causes and triggers of depression are? ‘I feel bad but I don’t know why. I feel bad but I don’t know why. Why do I feel this way? ‘

Many say that the dark months, such as November, can suddenly set in. But a holiday dip in the middle of summer or a January dip is also possible.

Did you know that depression … causes complaints to 737,000 people in the Netherlands every year?

These are the causes of depression:

  • One of the main causes of depression is stress. This is a survival mechanism and therefore ensures that all the energy of your body is used to the maximum so that you can survive. This causes hormonal disruptions (cortisol). In principle, this is a ‘normal’ function of the reptilian brain, but if it happens too often, your organs will receive less energy for a longer period of time, which causes physical complaints.
  • Another common cause of depression is exhaustion, or burnout. ‘Burnout’ and ‘working’ are often mentioned in one sentence. Burnout happens after you’ve exhausted and pushed your mind and body for too long. Moreover, nowadays we have a lot to do with all kinds of extra stimuli from our mobile devices, which further exhaust our mind.
  • Genetic factors are not a complete cause of actual depression, but they can be the first trigger for depression.
  • Trauma such as loss or illness.
  • Social environmental factors: not being socially active, for example due to major changes in the environment. For example, foreign students are vulnerable to this.
  • Negative beliefs and values about yourself. These often arose in childhood.
  • Not being authentic: you are going to receive messages from your body if you are not honest with your heart and your values. Your body then says, ‘Get out of here! I don’t want to be this character anymore. I don’t want to play that avatar you created anymore. ‘ This incongruity is the hardest thing to sustain in your life and it drains an incredible amount of energy. Your body needs deep rest from the character you are trying to play. So eliminate this persona fatigue: drop those masks quickly and accept what’s behind it: yourself . Be yourself!

As we read earlier, there is no scientific connection that chemical disorders (hormonal: stress, menopause …), such as a lack of serotonin and norepinephrine, are a cause of depression.

How can you deal with a depressed person?

How can you deal with a (manic) depressed person?

  • Be considerate and use your listening skills . This means paying attention and listening without judgment. For example, ask about the other person’s thoughts.
  • Do not give advice unless the other person asks for it very explicitly.
  • Don’t take anything personally. Someone is sick and is not himself. For example, if the other person is indifferent or not interested in you, it has nothing to do with your friendship, who the other is or who you are. It only has to do with the feeling of depression.
  • Invite the other to go out together and do something fun.
  • Encourage the other person to see the doctor.
  • If the other person talks about suicide, ask about this, again without judgment. It helps enormously for the other to talk about it. In terms of ‘advice’, only mention the temporary nature of these black glasses.

And if a loved one has depression? What to do? “My partner is in a slump.” How Can You Deal With a Depressed Adult Child? What to do in case of depression in your partner? Is it necessary to leave him / her? Apply the above again and look for fellow sufferers who also have a depressed partner.

Treatment: go to your doctor for testing and treatment

doctor depression

The doctor will first do an anxiety, depression or burnout test and examine you until there is more clarity. He / she looks at your syndromes of fear, sadness and physical exhaustion.

The doctor will also answer your question: “How bad is my depression?” The GP then determines the most effective mental health care and / or antidepression drugs.

Recovery tips to get out of your depression

Well, you’re experiencing depression, what then? Below you will find practical tips against depression and feelings of depression.

Tip 1 – Go to the doctor

The doctor is most important. See the section on treatment, two paragraphs back. Self-help for depression is also excellent, but that comes second, after the process that starts with the GP.

Many GPs do not consider medication necessary. You can also overcome depression without medication, so you can also help yourself to get rid of your depression in addition to the GP help.

Tip 2 – Take a few weeks of rest, but go in smoothly and be patient

This tip consists of three points of interest:  rest, a smooth transition and patience.

Point of attention 1: rest
Do nothing at all for a few weeks. Rest alone, lower your stress levels and sometimes do some fun things. If you can do this without problems, you have an advantage over people who are addicted to work.

Point of attention 2: a smooth transition to rest
is suddenly not so easy for a number of people. It can be difficult to rest if you are used to working 24/7, being ‘productive’, arranging things and / or feeling down. The solution? Move smoothly from ‘work’ to relaxation:

  1. First stay active for a few days, but through a different type of activity. Activities that give you energy: an active hobby, cleaning up your house, canceling appointments, creating a minimalist design of your files and agenda, arranging your dismissal …
  2. Thanks to the intermediate step above, you can now also do something relaxing that is really completely passive, such as lying down, listening to music, mindfulness and / or wellness.

“But … I have a depression / burnout and my boss is a nuisance.” In one of the following tips, you will learn to rigorously cut those kinds of ‘obligations’ and cross-border responsibilities from your life. And yes, that could just be your job.

Point of attention 3: patience
The heading of this section reads: “Take a few weeks off.” Has your depression and / or burnout suddenly disappeared? No. Rest assured it could take years. So be patient. It turns out – step by step – all right.

This point of attention is not there to discourage you, but to prevent you from striving for ‘the future in which everything is better than now’. That striving for the future – and ignoring the here-and-now – is an illusion that only makes you more unhappy. Depression is not simply resolved, so be patient and just make the most of it now .

Accepting your depression or burnout is one of the most important steps.

Tip 3 – Plan relaxation and fun things and think of the balance

This tip is simple:

  1. Schedule fun things (see 70+ fun activity inspiration here) .
  2. Schedule relaxing things in which you are free and do nothing, such as a sauna or massage visit a little extra often. For many people it is normal – and healthy – to completely relax three days a week, for example. Here are a lot of recommendations to take good care of yourself. In this way you actually listen to the complaints of your body, which needs care.
  3. Keep it balanced. So keep in mind that you are not filling your entire time with fun things.

With peace, help and healing, the dead ends suddenly become continuous and you see the world again through positively colored glasses. ‘Opportunity is nowhere’ changes to ‘Opportunity is now here!’

Tip 4 – Exercise regularly (with the approval of your doctor)

sports depression

Notify your doctor of all your additional sports activities. But feel free to do extra sports activities! Once your doctor knows about it, you should definitely do it because it works.

Tip 5 – Let yourself be healed by a nature walk (this has also been proven)

There are countless studies done on: nature works wonders for depression and stress. Learn relaxation and tranquility from nature! You can do this individually or you can use a walking coach, as I did:

Hi Dagmar, thank you again for this wonderful experience! How valuable this walking coaching was to me! The afternoon was just right: it contained all the simple ingredients to de-stress: don’t have to, don’t force anything, let everything arise, have an eye for the little luck … It was actually a de- stressing experience , instead of ‘working methods’,’ planning ‘or’ theory ‘. And what is that ideal de-stressing experience? There is no need for anything to happen – you allow the experience to emerge patiently and spontaneously. When you experience stress, you shouldn’t think and plan all kinds of things, but you should experience it. So just walking in the stream or listening to the birds is an experience of de-stressing. Thank you Dagmar!

Tip 6 – Which foods help against depression?

Healthy eating helps. Use your common sense to consider what is healthy and unhealthy: something along the lines of less fast food, less sugar and more vegetables.

Tip 7 – Go to bed early, get up early

It is a myth that a lot of sleep helps against burnout and depression. It is a fact that getting enough sleep helps. Your body needs to recover. It is a mental and physical condition. And that requires a lot of energy.

Why is this such an important tip? The hours you sleep before midnight are extra healing. So go to bed early and get out early in the morning.

Tip 8 – Do a sun cure: being in the sunlight often

Depression has more to do with sunlight than you might think. After being out in the sunlight every day for a month, you will feel reborn.

Tip 9 – See depression (and burnout and stress) as an invitation to make a change

Exhaustion means there is a better way for what you have been doing so far. Stress is a message . It is a personal invitation to change something. Stress is not a punishment and not a weakness. It’s information. Use that information.

Are you completely exhausted? It’s an internal memo that says, “Urgent – look at yourself.” Or, “Help – ask for help!” Or: ‘Empty – charge yourself. Or, “Important – work smarter, not harder.” Or, “Live!”

Success with stress starts with internal listening. Be willing to learn something. Be open to receive a great gift. If you didn’t feel depression, you would have finished learning.

Everything teaches you something. Be ready to receive a lesson now.

Be honest. An old saying goes, you are as sick as the secrets you keep. Stress is an opportunity to be more honest. Especially towards yourself.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the lesson here?
  • How can I act smarter, more inspired and more intelligent instead of ‘struggling’? Use less struggle and more wisdom.
  • What is my real goal? Now choose to get back on track.

Burnout, depression or stress? That is a ‘wake up call’. A healthy response to an unhealthy situation . Listen quickly, because the messages are getting louder and bigger.
– Robert Holden

I see sadness, like all other waves in the ocean of life, as an invitation , a call to open to deeper truths about existence, to recognize the immense magnificence that is our own. What if you weren’t nearly as limited as you and others believed? What if you are big enough to hold, contain and allow all life energies, the ‘positive’ and the ‘negative’, to express themselves? What if you transcend positive and negative, if you are an ocean of consciousness, one and limitless and free, in which even the deepest despair can come to rest? Your melancholy may contain a natural remedy.
– Jeff Foster, from ‘The Free Fall in Life’

Tip 10 – Eliminate persona fatigue: be yourself and an incredible amount of energy is suddenly released

sun cure depression

Be real. Why is this relevant in burnout and depression? Integrity is energy. It is very exhausting if you constantly resist what you really are, your intention, vision and purpose.

Discard old defenses (masks / personas). They consume a lot of energy.

Ask yourself:

  • Where am I not authentic?
  • Where am I not following my values?
  • Where people-please do I?
  • Who am I not honest with?
  • What do I not say, for example?
  • In what ways do I hold back?
  • In what ways am I afraid of being vulnerable ?
  • In what ways am I looking for more, because I don’t have enough now?

You are going to receive stress messages from your body if you are not honest with your heart and your values. Your body then says, ‘Get out of here! I don’t want to be this character anymore. I don’t want to play that avatar you created anymore. ‘

This incongruity is the hardest thing to sustain in your life and it drains an incredible amount of energy. Your body needs deep rest from the character you are trying to play. So eliminate this persona fatigue: drop those masks quickly. Be yourself!

The moment you really  don’t care  about what others think of you … Just look at what freedom and energy it delivers!

What is congruence, or personal integrity ? That your emotions, behavior, speech and thoughts are aligned. Also, sometimes just be congruently depressed or cranky. That is real. Raw. Without masks. No pleas. No ‘socializing for fun’. No ‘playing nice weather’. No ‘socially accepted’ behavior ‘because it should be’.

  • So feel free to say so if you are not doing well.
  • Or just show your behavior and attitude that things are going badly.
  • Always feel your emotions. Literally. Straight away. Authentic, congruent and fair.

There is also a special bonus effect when you apply this tip. If you do this and even share the things that are going bad, you will suddenly create beautiful connections! With others and with yourself! Others find recognition in it and feel invited to share something vulnerable as well. Suddenly there is authenticity!

All suffering is a variation of “not enough.” When the seeker is gone, all that’s left is love.
– Jeff Foster

Depression and / or burnout can be a message to finally be able to be vulnerable again and face life without fear. Just admit that you are completely exhausted by that lifelong quest, including pretending and avoiding the sheer experience and wonder of this moment. Can you see that life with all those masks would never have been your life at all?  Can that finally collapse?

Tip 11 – Let everything collapse, because what collapses … is only the mask

depression collapsing walls

Indeed … make the sad feeling worse. Make that 9 a 10. Make it more depressing. Now finally sit down for it and finally give it the attention it wants.

We have learned to be constantly happy and distracted . Always that mask …. No attention to our real feelings … which have been banging against the door for a long time … and then things collapse …

If you feel panic , for example because you feel deep sadness and loneliness and ‘seem to lose touch’, then you are on the right track. You are doing something very good! You finally feel your feelings and the mask shows some cracks. Doing well!

Are those cracks … are they in something important or is it just the mask? And where do you actually lose contact with? With the illusions you thought were very important. Those cracks in the mask are the first step in breaking down the illusions .

Liberation is a kind of loss: loss of nonsense and everything that was not necessary.

It all falls apart right before your very eyes, which is very scary . Wealth, popularity, status, good looks, saying ‘good weather’ … It all suddenly disappears. What is left now that that false identity is disappearing?

You will find out in a terrifying way. That mask was so useful and seemed to give you strength, but that mask always wanted something from the outside world. And now that that mask falls away, you will find the true power within yourself.

Depression and fatigue is a wake up call to see everything that the ego clung to, finally burst completely. This literally leaves a gigantic charge of energy. What a relief!

So this happened …

  1. At first you seemed to be ‘free’ – which unfortunately was an illusion.
  2. At some point, all of that collapses, which is very scary and painful.
  3. And then: freedom … ecstasy ….
  4. You are never ‘finished’ with your spiritual development. It just starts at step 1 again and you keep breaking through more illusions for the rest of your life.

You ‘swing’ from agony to extasy , and you keep swinging and breaking through illusions.
– Carolyne Myss

This is the Dalai Lama’s daily spiritual practice: The Dalai Lama dies six days a week. “Who am I if I am not the Dalai Lama?” The answer is the same for each of us. Who am I if I am not trying to be an ‘individual self’ in this world?

We ask ourselves throughout our lives, “Is there another mask I can take off?” You must remove the mask in order to use Divine intelligence.
– Carolyne Myss

Tip 12 – Do not compare yourself to the ‘perfect life’ of others and do not strive for the same ‘perfectionism’

the perfect life of others

I’ll tell you about my own life. My life is not perfect at all … I don’t want to be just another showing how wonderful and fun my life is. Social media only seems to revolve around that. Everyone only gives a positive and nice image about his / her life on social media.

I’m not always doing well. And not with you either. Not with anyone. And that is also healthy. It is precisely thanks to (and in!) Those dips in life that we can find happiness … but at the same time it seems as if society expects us to have all kinds of things …

  • A beautiful house …
  • A prestigious job that provides at least an average income …
  • A nice circle of friends …
  • A handsome partner …

Do you also feel the expectation to make all that come true? No wonder you are burned out or depressed. Do not strive for that – held out by society – ‘perfection’, but rather for imperfection. In the end, you will be much happier and less stressed if you can love imperfection.

Burnout? Set the bar low. You don’t have to live up to that perfect fake image. Find acceptance and peace in the sense of, ‘I’m just an average boy / girl. I am exactly who I am. ‘ Accept that you don’t live up to that perfect picture you have in your head! Know that you are good enough anyway. That you are still worthy of being loved. That you are valuable.
– Jelle Hermus

In short: embrace the suck  and don’t compare yourself to others in the meantime. Focus your off on your own thing, instead of the perfect peach lives of others. How do you do that? Have love , compassion and forgiveness for yourself and appreciate yourself.

Want to read more about this principle of ’embrace the suck’?

Tip 13 – Eliminate choice fatigue (FOMO)

Choice fatigue and the strongly related FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) means that you are very concerned about making a certain choice or not.

  • ‘What would happen if I choose this and not the other?
  • “What will I miss if I choose this and not the other?”
  • ‘My peers already have a nice house, a prestigious job, a nice courtship and a pleasant circle of friends …’

This sucking mental activity paralyzes you and is the opposite of movement, action and energy: it is a thought knot.

‘It’s never good enough’ is one of the biggest causes for people with burnout.

How do you get out of that FOMO mindset? By doing instead of thinking. Don’t spend your time and energy overthinking a decision, but choose something and enjoy it.

I don’t negotiate with myself. I’m just doing what’s right for me. I ‘get out of the way’. My personality / ego therefore gets out of the way. I’m not going to waste my time arguing with my ego.
– Tony Robbins

Do not ask yourself: shall I take this chance or not, shall I say something or not. That takes so much energy! If you skip that, you will have more energy and you will get more experiences.

Overwhelm the thinking mind with action.

Here you can read more tips about FOMO  and consider having a digital detox .

Tip 14 – Eliminate self-assessment fatigue: have self-acceptance instead of self-criticism and self-judgment

self-assessment depression

Do you feel pressure and stress? Chances are that it is due to self-rejection. Don’t reject yourself anymore. Stop self-criticism and self-judgment.

This eats up energy, which is weird, because there is really only one ‘you’. That image of ‘you’ that you are judging does not actually exist. And that is so tiring. This is also called the ‘split illusion’. Difficult to explain, the whole idea that there is only one ‘you’. That is why it is also extensively described in this article on non-duality.

Love your depression. Love your pimples.

Also read  the article about self-acceptance . This gives true power because then you are no longer judging yourself.

Tip 15 – Find depression normal and accept it without creating a second layer on it

Depressed? Embrace him and love him just the way he is. Sit together with the depression or fatigue, in silence. Say yes to it. Accept it and make it feel ‘worse’: make it as strong as possible by allowing it all in. Accept that sometimes it is just bad. Don’t feel bad anymore for feeling bad. That’s a second layer  we don’t want.

When there is sadness, just let the sadness be there. Without someone present who is trying to do something about it. The grief thus completes its life and burns itself up.

In other words, give it compassion. Why is this important? Depression isn’t ‘bad’. It only gets bad when you handle it badly. For example, by hiding it, ignoring, fighting, blocking, avoiding or lying about it. The key to managing stress is to work with it, not work against it.

Depression, what’s actually wrong with that?

No one has to be perfect ( read these 23+ Tips for Perfectionism ). Sometimes there may just be ‘dips’ and things that are not going well. Every person has one or more of these days or weeks. That’s what we’re people for.

The desire to escape the pain and misery of a life – and to pursue a “spiritual quest for enlightenment” – actually breathes new life into the pain and misery. Do not resist the way the current situation of your life is expressed.

What you resist gains in power.

So do not strive to improve your situation. Do you want to change ‘what is’? Make peace with ‘what is’ without wanting it any other way. Just feel without putting extra layers on top (for example: not wanting it). Let it flow, so that new ‘vibrations’ can also come. This is aptly described in the bestseller  ‘The noble art of not giving af * ck’.

Just allow the tears. Sinking into that mess and imbalance – and being swallowed up by those emotions. Then it flows. Then that child will also receive love from you. Allow it to come and go.

Moreover, non-duality teaches us that stress and depression also implicitly contain happiness. If you don’t know stress and depression, then you can’t know happiness. So, feel free to accept and welcome it as something normal.

Your shadow is part of you and deserves love.

Tip 16 – Depression is a verb: you ‘depress’ your emotions … Let them flow again!

depression let emotions flow

People have learned to hold on to emotions. The body then gets stuck. That’s what’s actually going on. Western medicine calls this phenomenon depression.

How do you let that stuck body flow again? Don’t get along with emotions in a logical way. For example, just saying that you feel depressed is not enough. Be open to the emotions that you ‘depress’. Actually feel your emotions.

So the solution is to feel what is here. Feel what you have avoided before, and let it complete itself. It takes a lot of energy to suppress emotions, for example to have fear of fear (two layers).

This takes courage, willingness and openness. In upbringing, we’ve been told to put the lid on and build walls for it. Undo that conditioning.

Do you feel depressed? That’s the old story you hold on to. All you have to do is let it out. How? By feeling and expressing it. Let yourself be, let yourself be you.

For example, when you feel sadness or an old trauma, it means that it is on its way out. Don’t numb it, distract yourself, or hide it. When you walk outside with an (uninvited) guest, it shows itself for a moment, it says goodbye and it is gone. But if you put it back in a corner, it will stay … and guests and fish will only last two days.

So guide the emotions all the way to the exit. So stay in it. Fall right through it. Hold on so you can finally end it. Really feel the emotions all the way to the other side of the tunnel. There it is light again. An emotion has only one ambition in its lifespan: it wants to be felt.

Dive into that tunnel. This can take several days. There is eventually light at the end of the tunnel. After that you feel great. Suddenly there is the new you and you have set yourself free.

When I am angry I will take it out on the outside world. If you think, “Actually, I don’t feel very good,” and if you have good reasons for that, then let that anger out. Don’t keep it in or it’ll turn into depression – you’re depressing them. It makes you sick – it makes you cancer. So let that f * cking anger out. React to the outside world. Beat things up, scold someone rotten … do that!
– Maxim Hartman

Tip 17 – Always step in and out of the ‘tunnel’ using small, physical pattern breaks

We will learn in a later tip to break rigorous patterns in your life, but it is just as important to  interrupt your patterns in small ways  with a ‘literal pattern break’ : for example by moving (!), Dancing and laughing.

In this way you regularly do something new that you are not used to. Another example of this is: trying out a new ingredient, piece of jewelry or another route to work every day.

‘When I’m down, I stop being down, and then I’m awesome instead!’
– Barney Stinson

You can also add ‘ ‘ fractionation ”  : get comfortable in that gloomy tunnel and feel the depression and fatigue completely. After you’re done, just do a pattern break, like a dance. And then settle back into the depressed feeling. And then do another pattern break. And then feel gloomy again. That’s how you go in and out constantly.

If you want to break through patterns in someone else who is depressed, give a reaction that is completely opposite of what the other would expect. Humor is a pattern break! This kind of pattern interruption is also called provocative coaching .

Because everyone says the same things to depressed people over and over, they resist the advice. Saying something surprising to them (ie anything but rational advice) breaks the pattern, often through “reverse psychology.” ‘Don’t laugh at this joke. Now you’re ruining that whole depression thing. Now please go back to that depressed feeling. ‘

Why do these types of pattern breaks work to change a mood abruptly? Because you are not rationally saying to another, “It will all be okay,” because the other will not accept it anyway because of the negative state of mind. But you are actually going to show it through the other person’s own experience.

Tip 18 – Also process old emotions such as regret, guilt or fear

depression makes the tears flow

Very old emotions. For example, what do you feel sorry for from the past? Let those emotions flow, because apparently you are currently depressing some of them on this. This article about processing emotions will help you with this.  Also look at feelings of guilt .

Tip 19 – Solve the fear? What are you afraid of?

As you learned earlier in this article, stress is a fear mechanism of the reptilian brain. Stress = fear. Replace the word stress with fear and examine what you are anxious about. What is your fear? Process it according to the previous tip.

In addition, read these tips on overcoming fear.

Tip 20 – Sing your blues

Admit that you are in darkness . Sing your blues to anyone who can make you listen to you. For several weeks. What is bothering you? Write down your story as well. Everything.

Instead of resisting suffering, suffer.

Get it out of your system. Until even you get bored of that story. Even your mind will get tired of it and want to get on with life. That way you stick to it less.

Shared sorrow is half sorrow.

If you write down what’s bothering you and look back on it later, you’ll think, “What was bothering me again? Was that bothering me?”

What you resist will stay. What you allow will dissolve.

Tip 21 – Don’t be too self-sufficient in an unhealthy way: ask for help

Cure unhealthy self-sufficiency. When you want to do everything yourself, it creates burnout. Ask and receive help . Connect with other souls instead of your ego, which does not ask for help and connection.

Who can help me? Drop your pride. Who wants to talk to you about it?

Are you experiencing depression? You don’t have to do it alone. In fact, you can’t do it alone. Don’t be too afraid to ask for help. People are generally eager to help you … only they can’t always smell it.

Tip 22 – Again, get help from close friends and dedicated therapists

Because in my opinion this gives so much freedom and air, I say it again: report to the doctor and ask for help from good friends. A conversation alone is a huge gift.

Look, the doctor will probably also refer you to the informative website . In addition, the doctor will probably refer you and to to choose a psychologist.

In terms of content, a psychologist does nothing other than the things described on, but it is also about the conversation . That is one of the most important aspects of a psychologist.

Tip 23 – Stop sacrificing yourself and giving up

Stop sacrifice. What is Sacrifice? You give your energy and time, but you don’t really give yourself. Therefore, no real intimacy, synergy or reception is possible. So there is a loss of energy: sacrifice. Click here to read more about sacrifice.

Tip 24 – First delete & break patterns of having to, perfectionism, performing and proving yourself

perfectionism depression

It is not for nothing that you are in a burnout or depression. What are you doing to yourself with? What led you to it that could have come this far? Those old patterns don’t work. This burnout is proof of that.

Illness is a healthy response to an insane situation.
– Eleanor Longden

It’s time to break those things. Delete all these sources of pressure and delete all these ‘musts’ that make you ‘live’. Even what ‘really can’t stop’, do it anyway! For example…

  • ‘First finish that project, otherwise hundreds of redundancies will come …’ Then you will have to ask if someone else can be put on, such as an interim manager.
  • ‘I cannot ask my supervisor for a budget for my burnout treatment, because no one is allowed to know that I have burnout …’ Then you will have to ask for that budget immediately.
  • “I have to move on, that’s the only way to keep my job going …” Then you have to break that pattern and make a major change.

Are you experiencing too much pressure at work or your relationships? Break through rigorous cost what you so much energy! Are you taking that step? Then you are already recovering. At the bottom of this article you will find tips for not only scrapping and ‘uncovering’ your belongings, but also your responsibilities and activities.

Let go of your ‘musts’. Use this metamodel question : Who should do that? Who are you ‘living’ by?

That rigorous shutting down of responsibilities is a great way to break the patterns that led you to burnout. That has to happen anyway.

If it doesn’t give you energy and if it even costs you energy, why are you doing it? Get rid of it.

Solve what bothers or irritates you and / or cut it out of your life completely. Happy and successful people find a solution! Be proactive , resourceful, and creative until you remove such an energy-draining  “must” thing  from your life.

Make a “I don’t want-this-anymore” list. What did you do last week when you didn’t want to? What was a waste of your time? What have you done that you really didn’t want? What shouldn’t you have done? Sometimes you have to do things, but much less often than you think.

And what then replaces that old pattern? So what is the new healthy pattern? See next tip …

Tip 25 – Restore your limits: You just need to choose what strengthens and energizes you

Now that you’ve broken some patterns, it’s time to reset your boundaries. How do you restore your limits? From now on you will do the following:

  • Determine what you want and do it. Before, everything was determined for you and now you are going to determine your life again.
  • Say no to everything else.
  • Eliminating Responsibility: Not my BV, not my problem.
  • No more pleasing and being lived.
  • No more going back to old patterns. Don’t go back because it ‘feels good’. It doesn’t feel right at all. It feels familiar and it is a habit. That is something else entirely! Do something completely different from now on. Renew yourself.
  • Apply everything else that is said about setting boundaries.

Tip 26 – Focus on what you want, instead of what you want to avoid

Depression and burnout is our signal to focus on what we want . If you continuously avoid something, it requires so much energy that it becomes too much at some point.

On the other hand, if you focus on what you want to achieve, you will get energy. Focus on the frequency of your desires. The article on changing habits  and this article on the law of attraction also discuss this.

Many people are constantly automatically mentioning what they don’t want. How often do you repeat what makes you unhappy?

Tip 27 – What do I want ? What is my mission? What does my heart want?

what do I want then depression

Follow your heart. In other words: do what you want.

Stress means that you lose contact with your heart. People with depression are cut off from their hearts. The intelligence of the heart creates positive experiences and feelings in us. If you choose not to follow your heart, that intelligence in our heart withdraws, which automatically leads to depression.

Follow your mission. By now we all know that there are various reasons for the development of a burnout and yet I believe that there is one ingredient that can help you enormously to prevent or cure a burnout, namely your life mission …

Many people have no idea why they are here and what exactly they want. There is no clear purpose and if you have no purpose in your life, you quickly become a ‘product’ of society. In other words: then others determine what you want.

I believe that it is more important to do something that makes you happy than to be successful at something that does not make you happy.

Be in alignment with your heart. Do what your heart wants you to do. There will be a ‘flow’ and then there will be no limiting or depressive thoughts. Be on your mission! And even if it really scares you, you should pursue your mission!

Depression? God will find a way to thrill you a number of times and say, don’t forget your purpose in life.

Ask yourself:

  • What am I not giving?
  • What am I not receiving?
  • What am I not listening to? Listen to the wisdom of your intuition, follow your heart.

Create a personal statute with your values ​​and your philosophy of life. A statute with your own rules of life. My own personal status includes – in summary – the following values:

  • I have self-esteem.
  • I have freedom and independence.
  • I have and spread love and compassion.
  • I am wise and intelligent.
  • I spread connection and connectedness.
  • I make a social contribution and I take responsibility for it.

Now that I know what is important to me, now that I know what my mission is, I no longer have time for depression.

Tip 28 – Make people happy: make your donation!

Sometimes it’s that simple …

By bringing light, the darkness disappears. You can be such a light. The light that chases away the darkness – in your own life and in the lives of others. You can be the person who lights up the room.
– Jelle Hermus

It can be done in very simple ways: smiling on the street, being there for friends, taking quality time with family, compassion and a gentle look for everyone you meet …

Tip 29 – It is not ‘complicated’: just pretend you are energetic and joyful … and you are already healed!

pretend burnout

See this tip as a way to apply all the previous tips, and then also in an extremely simple way: pretend …  This technique is also known as the wonder question in solution-oriented working.

See yourself as already healed.

It’s not a deep technique. You don’t need deep, elaborate or complicated techniques, past recessions, psychologization or “personal development” at all. There is nothing wrong with you.  “I’ve done and tried so much and I still feel depressed …” Yes, of course: you don’t have to do anything. It’s okay.

FYI: No one ever hurt their eyes looking at it on the bright side.

You can get rid of it. You can just change now. By pretending. How do you do that? Pretend in the following three areas:

  1. Focus : From now on, focus on positive instead of negative things.
  2. Posture : Do pattern breaks and move around a lot. Dance! For example, do you know the experiment with the pen in the mouth? Your posture affects how you feel. Change parts of your posture and keep testing what changes with your feelings. For example, two inches higher with your chin and your shoulders back can make it impossible to feel depressed anymore.
  3. (Internal) language : Does a negative internal dialogue or a positive internal dialogue (‘Let’s go!’) Lead to depression? For example, choose your favorite song with positive lyrics as internal dialogue.

And the secret is: you don’t necessarily have to do the above things. You can also just imagine (visualize) what that would be like. How do you see the best version of yourself? How would you like to be? Imagine…

  1. What do you focus on?
  2. How do you behave then? Then what do you do?
  3. How do you think ? What do you say then?

What if I started acting like someone without depression? If I were very energetic, how would I behave?

No psychologization, difficult techniques or digging into the past. Just introduce yourself to the above (so that it automatically changes ‘into reality’) and that’s it.

Ultimately, everything is ‘pretend’. But because we are addicted to problems, we often ‘prefer’ to keep pretending to be unhappy.

The above three things are the most important keys to change an emotion. There are more keys that are less important. Do you want to know and apply them all? Then use all parts of the structure of the subjective experience. You will find them halfway through this article with coaching questions.

I did not need “personal development” to become a joyful person who enjoyed life. I just decided to laugh more. Forced at first, but it became a habit … Soon I was the one with the most joyful, mischievous or validating laugh. I received compliments daily. And most importantly: I never felt depressed, but always very happy.

“But this is not a sustainable solution, is it?” Right, so then make you just a lasting solution  by doing more often. For example, within NLP there is the (K-) Swish technique or you can simply break through patterns more often in other ways!

If we look purely at looks, there are ‘attractive people’ and ‘unattractive people’. However, the most ‘unattractive people’ on an external level can be the most attractive people purely because they have a continuous smile on their face. This is not normal. It is different. But they are the happiest and most attractive of all. So laugh all day for no reason. Make it a challenge until it has become normal for you.

Tip 30 – Recovered? Now find the balance between work and relaxation again

balance depression

When can you work again after burnout? You should ask your doctor this question, specifically tailored to your situation. The doctors will soon send you back to work, probably starting part-time and with adapted work. That is the most common policy.

Whatever you do, start working towards a balance in your life between work and play from the beginning .

Tip 31 – Hard work does not necessarily equate to depression / burnout

In the previous tips it was often emphasized to find a lot of rest and balance. However, if you do not need that, but your need is precisely for work, then that is also excellent! Continuing to work is not always necessarily a cause of depression and / or burnout.

If you work on your passion, or your big dream  , you will not get a burnout from extremely full working weeks. In fact: it gives you energy in that case!

Obviously, a lack of timely sleep will have a negative effect on your state of mind, but if you work on your dream in all your spare minutes during the day – every weekend weekend – , such as drawing, filming, photographing or writing, you are just doing great work. You do what you want : your own dream.

Only when you start to think at the same time: ‘But actually I should now be sitting outside on a terrace …’, the fatigue of incongruity comes into effect. Why would you think that? You are now just doing what you love most, even if it is weekend.

Do not panic. Maybe there is nothing wrong at all, you just have had a busy period. Then it makes perfect sense that you are tired now. After peaks you should rest. So take your rest and see if things go better next week.

Read more about working on your passion and making your dream come true here.

Tip 32 – Find out how Byron Katie overcame her depression

Byron Katie discovered how hard your own thoughts can be, and how your thoughts can lead you into depression.

Your thoughts are sometimes very compelling. Everything has to happen or not happen according to your thoughts. “He should have appreciated me more.” Whose business is that? Can you decide that for him? Who are you, God? It’s hard to manage an entire universe, no wonder you’re depressed!

Do you think other people should be different than they really are? This thinking brings deep unhappiness and even depression.

A mother about her son: ‘Kevin uses alcohol’. If she flips this, it becomes, “I’m using Kevin.” Byron Katie: “Yes.” “I use Kevin to stay depressed.”

Stress is always caused by a specific thought. That thought is often a distortion of reality. Investigate that with Byron Katie’s four questions. If you then also start to believe in that thought (s), then that is suffering.

Don’t believe your thoughts (and beliefs): they are just thoughts, not the truth.  We may love our mind , but trusting the mind (instead of the heart) is a mistake. 

Do you believe your thoughts? That’s kidding yourself: keeping yourself out of reality.

Tip 33 – Apply these tips against worrying

worrying with burnout

Here you will find everything about how to stop worrying. Why is that important? Suffering and depression are natural alarms that warn us that we are attached to thoughts: that we are caught in the dream of thoughts. So detach yourself from thoughts.

First we become aware of the depressive feeling, then the thought. So the feeling is an alarm that there is a thought you need to deal with. When you do that, the internal argument will disappear. What remains is love. Love for yourself, other people and everything and everyone around us.

Tip 34 – Accept, tolerate, surrender and detach

When you are depressed, you think things should be different. This is perhaps the greatest cause of all problems.

How do you reverse this?

Of course there are a lot of ways to handle the blues, but it will still be the blues.
– Count Basie

Tip 35 – Your intuition leads you out of burnout or depression

Have you ever seen someone walk into a room and the whole room became more cheerful and brighter? That was certainly a ‘6-sense’, or someone who is in contact with his / her intuition. Your intuition contains a lot of power and energy. Here you will find 89+ tips to get healthy again through your intuition .

Tip 36 – Overcoming depression with attention: mindfulness

Put on mindfulness exercises . Why? It has been scientifically proven to work for depression. Trade the past and the future for the now more often.

Tip 37 – Use meditation

Meditation turns off the fight-flight response . That is one of the biggest causes of stress and burnout. Your burnout forced you to take a break. Do it voluntarily now.

If your phone is empty, you have to charge it. You cannot go on indefinitely.

When you are aware of something, you can make a choice to do something else. You simply need to be aware of feelings of depression – and that you feel that way when you are normally much happier and more energetic. That is a huge step. That automatically puts you in the position of the observer of the depression.

Tip 38 – Get out of your head and into your body

dance burnout tips

In fact, the previous few tips and the tip further on about non-duality are already very much about this: it all comes down to getting out of your head and into your body. Because nothing in your head is a fact.

Here you will find 251 tips to get into your body.

Tip 39 – Positive and helpful thoughts for depression

Positivity also ‘just’ works. Whether you are referred through the doctor for cognitive behavioral therapy or want to think positively through the law of attraction , it works.

Society makes us believe that ‘crap’ is normal. Society teaches us to focus on war, disease and depression. ‘That’s life. Life can be difficult ‘. I do not believe that. Let’s see the world that we have so much more power. Just here and now. Fear doesn’t really exist. Only power exists. You own your own mind, your own happiness, strength and health. Our capabilities are endlessly higher than we think.
– Wim Hof

What is a concrete example of this? See next tip …

Tip 40 – See yourself as already healed

You probably already have an intention to overcome your challenges. Beautiful. Now let’s take it a step further – and this is a form of positive thinking: take some time to visualize that you are already healed and free. See and feel this outcome you desire. By doing this, you are setting your intention through this ‘prayer’.

In this way you take an active attitude in your healing journey. Then let go of that whole intention. You have already done enough and you are enough.

Tip 41 – Don’t be serious and laugh often

Some people are very happy (and attractive) purely because they have a continuous smile on their face. However, this is not normal. It is different. But they are the happiest and most attractive of all. So laugh all day for no reason. Make it a challenge until it has become normal for you.

Don’t be serious. We were not created to be serious, but to ‘shine’!

Tip 42 – Non-duality teaches us that you cannot ‘split yourself in two’

split depression

Have you ever heard of non-duality ? It means, among other things, that we are one whole, and therefore cannot do anything with ourselves . Because otherwise there would be two parts within ourselves. Let’s illustrate this further …

Before Eckhart Tolle went through his awakening, he seemed trapped in the depressive thought that he could no longer live with himself. Suddenly he realized something: ‘If I can no longer live with myself, then there must be two’ me ‘ : the real’ me ‘and the’ self ‘that’ I ‘cannot live with. One of these two ‘selves’ can only be real.’ That other ‘I’ seems real, but it is the ego. 

He suddenly stopped thinking and could breathe a sigh of relief / relief. And immediately he felt enormous energy in his body. However he wanted to stick to his persona, he couldn’t help but surrender to this energy. No more resistance. He felt like a different person, filled with peace. The world no longer looked hostile, but beautiful.

He realized: you just have to be yourself. You don’t have to live up to that image you have of yourself, or that other people have of you: that other, fake, little self (ego). You don’t live authentically otherwise.

When you’re depressed, all you think about is yourself, you see yourself as a victim, and you think things should be different … it’s deeply narcissistic in a way. See how impossible this split is.

Tip 43 – See through identification with that which is suffering: the ego

That which suffers is not you. Distinguish between experiences and identity. I am with fear. I am not fear (is).

There are no alcoholics, cancer patients, anorexics or psychopaths. Let’s not identify people with their illness or anything outside of their true selves. Wholeness is still behind that illness. Your wholeness can be darkened but never turned off.

So if you give yourself feedback, give yourself feedback according to the feedback model.

Tip 44 – Clean the ‘energy around you’

In another word: clean your ‘aura’. For example by taking a shower or by taking a nature walk. An article about this will be published soon.

Tip 45 – Have a partner … But always from your heart

partner burnout

As a human you need hugs and physical contact. Have a partner, but don’t force yourself to find one. Following your heart is number one. If your heart tells you to talk to someone to get to know that person, you do.

Tip 46 – Tired? Practice gratitude

Gratitude is a miracle. It turns fatigue into energy. Appreciate what you have and love unconditionally. Then you are free. That is the power of the heart. This changes the energy, so you will get on top of it. You say thank you to life and clarity comes.

Tip 47 – Forgive

Forgiveness sets you free and gives you back your energy.

Tip 48 – Increase your self-confidence with these 49 tips

Anxiety and depression come from a lack of confidence. Fear is a lack of confidence in yourself, which is why we don’t trust life. Here are 49 tips to boost your self-confidence.

Tip 49 – Read these essential tips to overcome fears

To learn how to overcome the fears associated with depression, click here.

Tip 50 – Haven’t had a breakthrough yet? Do this if you are stuck in depression …

Have you not had a breakthrough yet? The reason is always: you still stay in your head. From the questions you ask to the life you lead (or in this case do not lead).

Let everything you do no longer come from your head / mind, but from your body and heart . Then your breakthrough is guaranteed. If necessary, let yourself be coached in this.

Tip 51 – Just as a ‘crazy’ experiment: say out loud ‘Help!’ as ‘prayer’ … It is short and does not hurt

help questions with depression

It is that we are in the sober Netherlands, so I had to announce this as a ‘crazy experiment’, but I don’t really think the following proposal is that strange at all.

If you say to me, “I’m down,” then I’m not at all afraid of doing this little experiment with you: “Let’s pray.”

You don’t have to be religious for it. Science is catching up more and more when it comes to evidence of spiritual powers. Conversations about God are cool again. That is, if you do it in a non-dogmatic way.

Don’t worry about tomorrow. About what you will eat, drink and wear. God will take care of you. Doesn’t he also take care of the birds and the flowers? They grow tremendously. What are you worried about? Nature doesn’t worry about tomorrow either.

Tip 52 – 153: Test these 102 happiness tips one by one …

Here you will find 102+ extra happiness tips in addition to the dozens of tips in this article. Test them out and have a personal experiment with them.

Tip 154 ​​- Do an effective regression to clean your cell memory

There are effective short regression techniques for changing beliefs and dealing with old pain. For example, there is the change personal history technique and The Healing Journey to clean the cell memory and achieve long-lasting results.

Tip 155 – Use the power of the small step

Above all, keep an eye on the power of the small step. Testing all these little things doesn’t seem to make you progress that fast, but secretly small steps are all it takes.

And yes, it can take years to get out of depression and / or burnout, but you can already take a mini-step now. Even if it is as small as putting your phone away and falling down on the bed. You don’t have to do more than that and secretly that is already a gigantic step.

Depressed? You can dig deep and psychologize or you can ask yourself what  small adjustment to your day makes sense. One thing can lead to another.

Read more about the power of the small step here.

What are your experiences about depression?

Feel free to leave a comment below and read on, for example about burnout.

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!