10 Simple Steps to Overcoming Depression and Becoming Happy and Successful

Copyright © 2007 Lisa Tyler

I have seen a lot of suffering over the years.  One lady in particular that I counseled summed it up by having all of the phobias and “terrors of the night” that I’d been seeing rolled into one.  She panicked and imagined the worst, before there was even any real problem to worry about.  Her life was severely impacted and she couldn’t move forward in any direction.  She clung to people in her life as if she were drowning and felt that she could never be happy unless people were constantly reaffirming her worth by showing her love, or what she perceived to be signs of love, (which was often closer to abuse). 

Today people are crying out in very real agony over rising bills, medical expenses and more and more sicknesses that “seem”* to require doctors and medicines than ever before. 

Our generation has been made to believe that we all have to live this way.  We expect we’ll need a mortgage, car payments, insurance burdens in case of this and that, college expenses worse than mortgage costs, and then we live in fear of the dreaded popular diseases that “of course all people get”. **  

In fact, every month or two the television commercials and doctor’s news warn us of a new “flavor” of sickness, and we sometimes obediently develop the symptoms, whether there really is a germ there or not.  Even if we don’t get the sickness they’re subtly programming into our belief system, we become further burdened by worry that we might.  We are “warped” into patterns of thought and emotions that are not naturally present all the time and are undermining our health and our lives. 

At least ten years ago, my youngest sister told me that she believed the tribulation would be an emotional battle, not necessarily anything of substance and real.  If this is true, one would think we must surely be in the middle of it.  Has there ever been a time of suffering greater than this? 

Yet at the same time, has there ever been a more glorious and wonderful time to live than this? 

This generation is marked by a lack of self-control, lack of self-respect and what I call “the terrors in the night” that the enemy can put into your heart if you are not firmly anchored in the Lord. 

The burdens in our society combined with other factors, lead to depression, chaos and obsessions/addictions, and yes, it could look like an emotional and spiritual tribulation. 

Obsessions such as the woman mentioned above, where she must be loved (or abused) by a man to be happy, I hear the echo of millions of people, men and women, who are going down similar paths.  Child molesters, drug addicts, over-spenders with overdrawn bank accounts, it seems to be all one in the same problem.  A desperate searching for something more than we have, for something that can fill the void inside us. 

What we need to do is STOP.  A giant stop sign should be painted on our eyeglasses.  Stop and stand still, be thankful for what you have and where you are.  Stop and stand still, know that God is there, all powerful and capable of delivering you to safety. 

Stop so that you can see that there IS no real danger around you, other than what you create. 

The over spending, too many possessions, burdens of having to care for, insure, clean and move all that we have, are taxing our minds and our bank accounts.  We set up chores to do, taking the children to events, extra jobs that have to be manned, and more babies.  We feel obligated to do things for everyone around us that we have no time for, and no business loading onto our schedules.  Always MORE.  (More than human beings were designed to bear.) 

The keyword is LESS.  Clean out your closets and home, give much away.  Clean out your schedule books, and clean out your minds and hearts.  Return to an awareness of the basics of mankind.  Knowing who you are, where you are hoping to go, and what is truly important in this short span of life between birth and death.  Learn what is truly your obligation or job, and what is not. 

When you are discovering yourself again, be still and know the power and the wonder of the Lord.  Seek HIM alone, first and with all of your heart, and HE will add to your life all that needs to be in it. 

Be faithful to your spouse, and attentive to your children’s TRUE needs.  The most important thing to pass on to them is the knowledge of and obedience to the God who will judge us. 

Our people are in desperate need of some kind of sanctuary, a place to hide from the constant, relentless pressure and the voices that demand more. 

The Holy Spirit IS that sanctuary, and we can increase His effectiveness by finding a quiet place to seek Him.  Hollow out, empty out, a prayer closet in your home, or find a nearby park bench.  Find a church that will allow you to come inside and pray, and a person who knows the Lord well to assist you back onto a good path. 

READ your Bible; know scripture yourself in increasing amounts.  The enemy can’t fight against the Word of God.  Use it as a sword and learn spiritual warfare.  There are many books on the subject, and you can train yourself to be the victor instead of the victim. 

The battle is the Lords, God said.  The decisions are already made and won, it is simply our place to act in obedience and learn.  To know and stand upon the firm ground of God’s power working in our lives.  (There are “faith confessions” on this website that will help you as “tools” to accomplish this.) 

Your emotions are the ripe soil that the enemy loves to plant seeds of destruction in, but by controlling your mind and reactions, determining that you will take every issue and concern to the Lord before you allow your emotions to kick in, you can thwart his plans. 

Control the gardens of your spirit, and allow only God to plant in them.  Remember the verses about hearing of wars and calamity, and rumors of wars, but knowing that the end is not yet.  Let these constant alarms wash past you without sticking.  Don’t be overly concerned about terrorism, war or starvation.  Obey the Lord and follow His “recipes” for having abundance and having your needs met, and you will walk among these things untouched. 

There is no need to get upset over who is elected to office, who may threaten us, or which hurricane is headed this way.  

Everything that there is belongs to the Lord.  The storms and the seas belong to the Lord, and obey His voice.  They will obey ours too, if we grow strong in the Lord and learn to use His anointing power.  (Jesus said, “These things and more shall you do if you believe on me…”) 

Everything that exists, that belongs to the Lord, is given to God’s people, freely and abundantly available for the people who claim the name of Jesus.  (Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”)  (God supplies my needs through Christ Jesus.) 

Everywhere you stand is Holy Ground, if you love the Lord.  Everything you touch, or lay your hand to, can be victorious and successful, if you first tend to what is important.  Tend to God’s business first, seeking Him, and all other things will be made right for you.  (Jesus said, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.”) 

This generation today doesn’t know that it is all right to do things differently, or simply, or to NOT get caught up in the fads of the moment.  They don’t know that there were simpler ways of doing each task, and if our modern ways are unavailable to us, there are the basic ways, the first ways that worked well for our forefathers, that we can still use. 

On the Internet there are many websites devoted to teaching a simpler life, cooking and making due with what you have.  It’s called frugal living, and responsible living. 

For instance, at Christmas time, do your adult children and friends know that it isn’t necessary to go into debt to give a good, loving gift?  There are many things we can make, or just enjoy the company of a person in place of a gift. 

If your power is off, do you know how to cook?  If water is not safe to drink after a storm, do you know how to purify water?  There are many natural and old-fashioned solutions to life’s problems that will empower us if we learn them now. 

Why are these things that are so crucial to life, not taught to our children in school?  Because the eyes of the world are on false things, “gods” if you prefer to use that word.  We prepare them to live IN the world AS part of the world, but what happens when the “world” fails them?  When disasters strike and governments fall. 

Search for the websites that teach the “old” skills.  Take a cooking class, to learn how to bake breads and pies better.  Take a sewing class and discover a whole new world of clothing opportunities. 

Learn to cut your children’s hair, and to repair your own car.  As you learn these things, share them with your family, and experience quality time together, as well as quantity time. 

The television is a wonderful thing, but it will tell you lies.  The constant marketing brainwash is to make you dependent on products and lifestyles they want to sell you.  They show families living in unreal situations and make you believe if your family doesn’t respond this same way, there must be something wrong with you. 

Unrealistic expectations bring sorrow, and failure.  Avoid hearing and seeing them. 

Simpler lifestyles and needing less will free you up for the important joys in life.  You’ll have more money for a vacation, or to pay off your debts and live without so much shame and fear. 

More importantly, to have money for the real crises that come along, dental needs, unexpected car repairs, or sudden job transfers that require a move.  The things that we normally don’t set aside money for because we’re so caught up in the “world”. 

Being happy is a CHOICE.  It is a system of electrical brain wave activity that triggers memories and emotions.  Caused by internal chemicals produced by the body through physical activity and certain foods you eat, and by repetition.  Did you know that you train yourself to feel and act in certain ways, by repeating them? 

You can train yourself to feel happy by working this system backwards.  Begin by putting a smile on your face.  It will trigger a backwards response of the feeling of happiness.  Your subconscious and your body will not know the difference, and will give you the health benefits of happiness, as well as get yourself into the habit.  Each time you do it, it will get easier to feel it all over. 

Next, get more activity.  Move your body.  Get outside and walk, or march in place in your house, but you must increase the activity level enough and for long enough, to trigger the endorphins your brain produces that cause a feeling of happiness. 

We don’t get enough clean air to breathe usually, so doing this outside will give you twice the benefit, unless you live in a city with smog.  Sometimes our doom and gloom is actually a response to the lack of sufficient fluids in our body, and the lack of movement of our muscles. 

Another great robber of joy is the lack of proper lighting in our homes and work places.  We must have a certain amount of strong light in a day, or we suffer from a well-known and documented condition of seasonal depression from light deficiency.  It’s not just green plants that need sunlight to thrive! 

There are many kinds of light in sunlight, and our bodies need them all.  We produce certain necessary vitamins from being exposed to sunlight, but don’t overdo it.  People who are taking medications should check with their pharmacist to find out if sunlight is not recommended for people on your medication.  

You could also install more and brighter lights in your home.  Do that anyway, to save your eyesight. 

So to start you on an immediate course change and down the path of happiness and fulfillment, these simple things can be done today and cost nothing! 

1.  Read your Bible and use scripture for promises, for a chant in meditation and for a weapon to prevent harm. Rely on God for your needs and for your security.  (Find the tools here:  www.blessingmeadowsministries.com/faith_confessions.htm) 

2.  Find a place to go regularly where you can be alone and seek God.  Pray, meditate, and just listen to nature.  Listen to the wind and the rain, and imagine what God wanted you to hear in its voice.  These things are naturally calming, they’re the music that God programmed the earth to sing to you, to aid your healing. 

3.  Sort out your home and eliminate both possessions and obligations.  Pare it down to the barest minimum that you can stand, and then keep going now and then to eliminate more.  Pare down expenses too, and experience the joy of having more money.  Practice saying no, and as you get better at it you’ll experience a feeling of power.  (Read this article for more help:  Ten Ways Family and Friends Use You ) 

4.  Get physically moving.  Brisk walks of 15 minutes or more are your goal, or marching in place or dancing.  Anything that gets your heart pumping and your mind focusing on the next step instead of your next problem.  Start with 5 minutes at a time, and work up to it.  Imagine how much more joy you will have when you lose weight, or firm up muscles and can DO more physically than before! 

5.  Get outside and breathe fresh air!  Learn to breathe deeper and fill your lungs.  Breathe from your diaphragm and expand your chest, not just your tummy.  Take a few minutes each day to open the doors and windows and exchange the stale air inside for fresh air outside.  Don’t worry; our homes are still more polluted inside than the air outside most days.  (Deep breathing along with massaging your tummy helps keep your internal organs stimulated and in good health.) 

6.  Install more lights in your home and open the curtains.  Let the sunshine in, and get outside in the middle of the day for a few minutes to be “shined on”.   This exposure to sunlight resets our clocks too and aids natural sleep, as well as helping the body produce the chemicals and vitamins it needs to.  (You may have heard of a condition called SAD, meaning depression that is seasonal, brought on by lack of sunlight during winter months.) 

7.  Adjust your sleeping schedule.  Go to bed a bit earlier each night and get up a bit earlier in the morning.  Some people are sleep deprived, but most people experience fatigue as a symptom of depression, and more actual sleep isn’t what’s needed, just an adjustment of the hours. 

8.  Look in libraries and on the Internet (and in magazines) for information on how you can live simply.  Look for older ways to do things, alternatives and cheaper ways.  Learn to make your gifts and your own clothes.  Ask older people in your community to share their knowledge. 

Bake more, and teach your children to do these things.  Share time with the family as you explore frugal living.  (Baking goodies yourself with olive or coconut oil, will eliminate deadly trans fats from your diet which will give you longer life, a trimmer body and greater overall health.  It also creates memories your children can keep of you long after you have passed on.) 

9.  Perhaps most importantly, change your way of thinking.  If you find yourself often being negative or jealous of the good fortune of others, or their incomes or vacations, or if you criticize easily.  At first, though it sounds mechanical, say out loud phrases such as “I wish the best for them”, “God bless _____”, “I’m so glad for these people, and I hope they get even more joy, money, health, etc.”  

Don’t allow yourself to speak negative opinions or conjecture about why someone has bad luck and don’t make negative observations about people.  When you point out someone’s flaws, you are narrowing your spiritual heart and squeezing the Holy Spirit out of you.  

You should be inviting more of Him in, not pushing Him out of your life by your unholy words and thoughts.  If a negative thought about someone comes into your mind, immediately say “God, I bless __(name of person)”.  Add with it a big smile and let it seep into your heart.  

Know that God alone will judge people and He is keeping everyone in His hands, ordaining their lives and fulfilling what people’s behavior and beliefs are dishing out to them.  It’s not your place to name a person’s sin; God sees everything.  When you call someone else’s sin into the spotlight, some of that light is going to point right back at you and reveal all that you have wrong in your life. 

Jealousy and envy are symptoms of a fear of lack.  If you truly believed that God would and WILL give you all the desires of your heart, you would not have time to be jealous over someone else’s goods.  You’d be claiming all that you want in Jesus’ name, speaking the words before the reality appears, to make it appear!  Use the faith confessions below to claim more of what you want. 

10.  Remember that you are SPIRIT inside a body temporarily.  You will never die, but only change your clothing in death.  You are NOT just a body with a spirit somewhere inside.  Body is not most important; it is only a vehicle to get you around while you are here on this earth.  

Therefore the body can be ugly, deformed or poor, yet it serves just as well whatever purpose God put us here for.  Don’t allow the fads of our day to convince you that money, beauty and health are all important.  

Understanding ourselves and knowing our relationship with God, is what is ALL important.  How you interact with others, how you have helped others, and how your spirit and joy ease the passing of this life for those around you, is important as well. 

* Our bodies were designed to heal themselves, and they do a remarkable job.  Every cell is in communication constantly with other cells and with the brain.  The moment a virus or organism tries to invade, it knows what to do and goes about doing it as long as the body is not depleted of rest and basic minerals, vitamins and chemicals to do this job.   

All that we need was supplied to us in the foods we eat, and in simple plant materials (herbs) that God provided here on earth.  The knowledge of how to heal ourselves beyond what the body can do, is known by ancient peoples, - such as the Native American tribes, Ayurvedic medicine in India, and Chinese medicine in the mountains of Tibet.  A body given the basic building blocks of nutrition and rest will right itself if we stop knocking it off its feet (figuratively).  We can also help this process with meditation, guided imagery, EFT, reflexology (which is based on the acupressure points from the Ancient Chinese knowledge), and energy from healing hands and prayer.   

Don’t underestimate the power of God to heal a person either.  This one power deserves it’s own book.   

For more information on these subjects, see my pages on health and healing: 

Faith Confessions To Claim God's Power And Put It To Work

Seven Steps To Healing

Why Do We Get Sick?

Good News, Here is the Power to Overcome!

Natural Cures Found In Common Foods

Quick, Simple Method To Stop Pain and Heal Physically or Emotionally 

** As I said, our bodies were designed to heal themselves and to interact in this world with all of these known bacteria and viruses.  Many people never come down with something they’ve been exposed to, and I think this is the way God had intended originally.   

If we keep our minds clean of emotional clutter, and live simply, in joy and thanksgiving, we can avoid much of the illness that is going around.  Read more about how to do this here: 

Damage Control For Your Health

Creating Abundance Through Brainwave Frequency 

You may use this article to post on your site or send to a friend in an email, as long as the following bio remains with the article and nothing is removed.

Lisa Tyler pastors the Blessing Meadows Ministries Church and is a writer and artist.  You can read more of her work and devotionals at www.blessingmeadowsministries.com.


© Lisa Tyler 2007

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