Depression is not a death sentence. It is not a promise of a sad life. Best of all, depression is not permanent.
According to Healthline, it’s estimated that 16.2 million adults in the United States have had to personally deal with depression. Outlined in this article you’ll learn 10 tips that when applied will help these 16.2 million people tremendously.
I will not be outlining the cause of depression in this article, but you can learn a lot about its cause from this one.
If you are actually the depressed one, still do the steps for someone else. Doing this will help because it is impossible to make it out of depression alone.
Let’s jump in on how to help.
1. Never take anything personally
A person that feels depressed and separated from the world is going to say some depressing things. That’s obvious.
What isn’t obvious is your reaction to it.
Remember, it’s never about you even if they say something that seems insulting. If you can remember this one thing, then you will have made the biggest step toward healing those with depression.
Similarly, since it’s never about you, make everything about them.
Sounds simple enough except we’re wrapped in of ourselves. The thought of helping another can bring up other thoughts such as, “Well what about me? Why do I have to be the one to help all the time? Why can’t I get help?”
These thoughts deepen the sense of separation making you feel more like a depressed person and less like yourself.
By making everything about the other person, not only do you change the belief that no one helps, you become that belief. You become proof that help is always available & free.
This has numerous positive effects on your life as well. Most importantly this will lead to you never fearing a situation because you’ll know that no matter what, someone will help you if needed.
But the only way to truly know that is to live it. To live it, you must give it. So give help always without question and without hesitation.
You have more awareness and self-control than to react negatively to anyone that says something seemingly negative. Show that by never taking anything personally ever again.
2. Treat them like the perfect self they are
There’s an art to making everything about others.
Your beliefs make up your whole world. When you believe that the world and everyone in it sucks, you’re going to be depressed. When you believe that everything and everyone is love, you’re going to be happy.
A depressed person is going to say things aligned with the idea that the world and themselves are sucky. Look beyond this. The fact that you’re willing to help that person means you already see something greater in him or her.
Speak only to that.
Don’t acknowledge anything seemingly negative. You don’t have to disagree, just don’t agree.
Find ways to speak highly of them. Give examples of their greatness. Remind them of ways they do wonderful things.
By focusing on others in this manner, you too will gain a great appreciation for them. Your days will be happier because you get to be in the presence of those you appreciate. The objects of your appreciation will genuinely feel this appreciation and will want to live up to it to continue to receive your favor.
3. Ask positive ended questions
“How are you doing” should never be asked when dealing with a seemingly depressed person. Obviously, they are not doing great.
One variation could be, “What’s good with you?” But this can lead to them replying, “Nothing at all.”
The goal is to get them to talk about themselves in a positive way.
Here are some examples on how to do this:
- “You’ve always been an expert at [blah blah blah], how did you even know to do something like that?”
- “I know that was an interesting year, but what’s your favorite thing that happened in 2020?”
- “What’s one childhood memory that no matter what always made you smile?”
If you’re following me on Instagram, you’re probably like…”Hey, these are things you’re asking us.” 😁 Yes, because they work!
Be creative though and use your normal way of asking questions.
4. Send them “Let Go”
Let Go is a different kind of hip-hop song for a reason. It allows you to see exactly how you are sabotaging yourself repeatedly.
This resource has been valuable to hundreds of thousands and it will be valuable to your loved ones as well.
This is the song’s link (jclay.org/letgo). Send this to someone that you know is depressed.
However, when you send “Let Go”, send it like you would any other song. Don’t send it saying something like, “I know you’re depressed so listen to this.” Nobody wants to be reminded of their depression.
How to do this?
I would suggest a variation of:
- “OMG, this is the song of the year. Listen to this. I don’t even know what just happened.”
- “Dude, I’m speechless. This song just told me everything I was going through.”
- “Oh snap, we gotta support this dude. Listen to this now.”
Copy this link to your clipboard now so that you can share it when you finish this article. (jclay.org/letgo)
5. Be your best self
This may seem contradictory to when I mentioned that you should make everything about others, but it is not.
Being your best self allows you to be an example. When others see how happy and unaffected by outside circumstances you are, they will get curious. They will want to know how you do what you do.
The irony is, you may be doing this just as an example for them, but it still helps you both.
What does it mean to be your best self?
To be your best self means you listen to your heart. You focus on what is within. You are never without anything. The best way to demonstrate this to yourself is to go within. This will take practice but start now.
6. Learn about wellness, not depression
Learning about wellness ties to the previous tip. It allows you to practice the tools that help you be your best self.
Although you want to help those with depression, it is not necessary to learn about depression. For example, learning about poverty will never teach you about wealth. It is only when you focus on wealth, will you understand it.
Similarly, you are to learn about wellness because it’s ultimately what you want.
How to start?
Start here with these daily affirmations. You can say these anytime and anywhere out loud or in your head. These affirmations will begin to heal your world at its source.
Read A Course In Miracles. This is a real course complete with daily exercises that will correct your perception. I recommend the physical book and not the audio version. The reason is that this book isn’t a simple read. If you get the audiobook you will find yourself rewinding, rewinding, and rewinding because each line is that powerful.
Last, teach wellness to others. You can do this verbally and/or by being an example of it. To truly learn something, you must know it so well that you can teach it. To truly teach something, you must learn it.
7. Don’t say what not to do without giving something to do
I feel like there’s a better way to word number 7, I just couldn’t think of it. 😁
Those with depression are frustrated with their worlds. They want to be out of their depression and are looking for help from anyone and anything willing to provide sound advice on the subject. Even though it’s hard to tell what is sound while in a depressed state, they still want guidance.
Saying not to do something does not seem to help because it creates another question. “If I can’t do this, then what do I do?”
In order to remedy this, always have examples of what to do instead whenever you suggest what not to do.
8. Have no expectations
Focus on what is present.
Expectations can also lead to depression. Expectations are future-based. They ignore what is present and instead favor the future.
Since the future has not come and never does, you are giving attention to a world that does not exist. You are missing the wonderfulness that exists right now. By continuing to ignore right now, it will seemingly fade from your awareness.
You will be fully immersed in a world that you can never get to.
Instead of setting expectations on healing yourself or others, focus on what is here now. And yes, I made a song about that too called Right Now. 😁
9. Keep in touch
Those that are depressed feel alone. Although loneliness itself is impossible, those that are depressed aren’t aware of that. Checking up with someone with depression will make them feel more loved.
This is the easiest thing to do. It can be a phone call, a text, or even a positive thought toward him or her.
You don’t even have to go out of your way. Keep it simple. A little really does go a long way.
10. Follow your heart
This is how to follow your heart.
Everything you ever need to know exists within. You feel cut off from it only because you have the habit of trying to look without.
Every interaction with another presents an opportunity for you to join with that person in perfection.
There isn’t a way to prepare for this. Everyone has their unique perception of the world. The goal is to align with truth so that instead of perceiving, you see truly.
By checking within and following your heart, you will know at any given moment what’s needed in order to extend and share that love with another.
This is not found in the future and it does not exist in the past. It is right here, right now. Always.
Ultimately, how to help a friend with depression is also how to help yourself be a better person.
It’s a win-win.