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10 Tips to Help Relieve Depression and Heartache

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” ~Johann Von Goethe

Not long ago I was completely imprisoned within myself, feeling lost without any direction. Sleeping consumed most of my time. I had brief moments when I checked in on Facebook, only to get a glimpse of others’ seemingly perfect lives with holidays, parties, babies, and weddings.

This made me more miserable, as I felt I had nothing going on in my own life.

Frustration was building within me because somewhere deep inside, the dreams that I had hidden away wanted me to start pursuing them. Easier said than done of course, but I knew that hiding under my duvet cover wasn’t going to take me anywhere.

I needed to change my negative outlook on life to a much more positive one. In this new process, I started to apply what I call the 10 “T”s to help with my feelings and fears.

The 10 “T”s to help relieve depression and heartache:

1. Trust yourself and the universe.

Know that the universe has a greater plan for us than we can ever imagine. My first authentic feeling of surrender came by reading self-help books. This gave me the first push toward believing and trusting in the power of the universe. It’s the greatest comfort knowing that you are taken care of.

2. Touch other people’s lives by sharing your personal story.

By reaching out you can help others in similar situations. Tiny Buddha and other spiritual websites helped me recognize that I am not alone with my emotions. There are people out there fighting the same type of battles who are willing to share their experiences. This kind of support system was needed in order to rebuild a healthy relationship with myself.

3. Therapy sessions are like taking an inner journey.

With my therapist’s help, it became clear to me why I acted the way I did and how I could overcome the fear, sorrow, and aggression I felt trapped with. Although professional therapy worked for me on a deeper level, the support from friends and family has been invaluable.

A previous teacher also helped me tremendously during depression. He instantly saw my full potential and became my friend and mentor. We keep in regular contact and he is a true source of inspiration that motivates me to be the person I want to be.

I encourage everyone to connect with someone they trust. Perhaps it’s your grandmother, aunt, friend, teacher, or neighbor who inspires you. Whoever it is, cherish that relationship.

4. Treat yourself (and others) with respect and compassion.

When suffering from depression and heartbreak, the last thing you may want to do is take a walk or go for a haircut. Beauty comes from inside, without a doubt, but taking care of yourself will make you feel better and stronger.

Start with little things, like moisturizing your skin with some nice smelling body lotion. You deserve the extra attention.

5. Tear down those walls that you have built up saying that you are not good enough.

I tell myself every day that I am a unique and beautiful, and I believe it.

6. Thank the universe or your higher power for keeping you healthy, safe, and alive.

I do this every night before going to sleep. It truly helps. I promise.

7. Tea and other hot drinks (not coffee) are calming.

Lighting a candle and drinking a nice cup of green tea can be such a soothing sensation.

8. Trying new things is fun.

For me, practicing guided mediations became an important part of my healing. I am still learning and loving every minute I dedicate to myself.

9. Traveling can be therapeutic, relaxing, and stimulating.

Until recently, traveling was my drug, as I would “use” it to escape from my anxiety. It seemed like a great idea for years, even though the outcome was always the same: I’d spend all my money and still feel empty, as the destination and people never made me feel complete in the way I’d hoped they would.

It took me a long time to accept and realize that serenity and peace start from within. Today, traveling is pure joy and inspiration.

10. Taking risks and chances is crucial to find a sense of purpose.

By throwing yourself out there, amazing opportunities can and will arise. I know this because it has happened to me several times.

For example, after reading the book Find Your Happy, by fellow Tiny Buddha contributor Shannon Kaiser, I suddenly felt a wave of courage to write publicly.

I’ve always dreamed of writing travel articles in English, but with English being my second language (Swedish being my first) I was scared of making grammatical mistakes.

I told myself that native English speakers could do it better than I could.

One day, after writing for fun on my computer about 2012 being a difficult year, I asked my sister (who is a photographer and writer) to post what I wrote on her lifestyle blog. She did, and a UK lifestyle magazine read it and asked to republish it online.

Since I had traveled extensively in my life (running away from my anxiety), I started writing travel articles. I am proud to announce that I am today a published travel writer. If I had never gotten out of my comfort zone and taken the risk of receiving criticism, I would not be where I am today.

This goes back to my first T: Trust. And the quote by Johann Von Goethe, “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”

I do; I listen to that inner voice and the guidance I’ve been given from the universe and I have felt more joy, abundance, and happiness than I thought was possible.

The same can be true for you!

Photo by Valokuvaaja Joonas Tikkanen

Avatar of Julia Humphrey

About Julia Humphrey

Julia Humphrey is a Sweden-based lifestyle and travel writer for the UK online IDEAL magazine. She is also a recurrent guest blogger on her sister’s photograph and lifestyle blog. When she is not writing, she enjoys meditating, yoga, learning foreign languages, traveling, and connecting with new people. Connect with her @JuliaLHumphrey on twitter and at renehumphrey.blogspot.com.

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  • Jon

    Great article Julia!
    Congratulations :)

  • Louise

    Great post. I especially identified with tip no. 9! I did exactly the same thing.

  • Dave Burney

    I’m still at the “completely imprisoned in myself, lost without direction” stage. Working to resolve my negativity, my guilt and anger. This list will make a handy addition to my current toolset… thanks so much.

  • Sabrina

    Hey Julia.. i love your article. I am in the same boat. Sometimes i feel energized with courage to do things and big dreams other times I just cant move with fear and muscle pain. One sentence in your article struck me as I found a connection. I also would love to write articles about my travels online and share my art that I produce. At the moment I am traveling in Australia. Yes, I did it . I took unpaid leave from work to travel but wanted to work on a traveling / Art blog. I started but havent quite really put my mind to it. I also have the fear of grammatical mistakes as English is also my second language. How did you overcome this?

    I also find difficulty to prioritize on projects and end up feeling tired and frustrated.

    Keep up your good work and for the inspiration you hand to other.

    Sabrina xx

  • http://twitter.com/JuliaLHumphrey Julia Humphrey

    Thank you for reading and commenting John! :)

  • http://twitter.com/JuliaLHumphrey Julia Humphrey

    Thank you Louise. Yes, we don’t think of traveling being anything else than relaxing but it can be when not doing it for the right reasons. Thanks for reading!

  • http://twitter.com/JuliaLHumphrey Julia Humphrey

    Dave, glad to hear you found the list helpful. It’s not easy being in that stage but stay strong and positive and keep the faith and you will get to where you want to be and also learn from the sometimes tough journey. Best wishes to you! Hugs, J

  • http://twitter.com/JuliaLHumphrey Julia Humphrey

    Sabrina, thank you for your reading and sharing your thoughts. I completely understand where you coming from and following our dreams are not always easy. Remember that if there is a will there is a way. About writing in second language, I keep reminding myself that evey time I write I learn, just got to keep on trying even if it might include being criticized. I truly recommend the Find your happy book by Shannon kaiser! Keep following your dreams, I look forward to reading your art and travel posts! Xoxo, J

  • lv2terp

    This list is fantastic!!!! Thank you for sharing your wisdom, and experience!!! :)

  • http://twitter.com/JuliaLHumphrey Julia Humphrey

    Thank you for reading! I’m so glad you found it fantastic! Hearing that was fantastic! :)

  • Sofe

    Hi Julia would love to speak to you about your travel experiences you mentioned. Do you have an email I can ask you a question on?

  • http://twitter.com/JuliaLHumphrey Julia Humphrey

    Hi Sofe, yes it’s: juliahumphrey@hotmail.com :)

  • http://twitter.com/selfgrowth4ever Vishaun Kistan

    Great article.Thanks for sharing this.

  • http://twitter.com/JuliaLHumphrey Julia Humphrey

    Thank you! :)

  • Ast123

    Hi Dave, Good to see your reply on here. I am in a similar situation and have just come across this site. It certainly is very comforting to read other people’s experiences and to not feel alone. As a guy going through a similar situation and have been struggling with it for a few years it was good to see your response. Stay strong mate and also thanks Julia it was a pleasure to read your article, I also started keeping a diary a few years ago and have thought about going back to it recently. Reflecting after an amount of time definitely does help as does keeping things for inspiration, a photo album of achievements and happy times, films and music you like etc.

  • http://www.friv3.co/ friv 3

    Wao. 10 tips are really useful and can help us very much there. Thank you for what the article was shared to us.

  • Cassie

    I really like your perspective on this. I always kinda thought there wasn’t much I could really do to get better without money. Therapy and travel cost money. But, the other ideas like respecting and trusting myself, tearing down the walls, being more thankful and sharing my journey with depression are all things that come from within that I do have the power to change. Thank you for sharing this.

  • fiza kumar

    Struggling for more than a decade – am trying to control my life but there are peaks i have hit several times. And this time I am not able to work, something I love and still not able to do it. My doctor says i will have to try i sit hours and hours but cant write a single word I am sacred to loose the opportunity at work. Sometimes I wish I was able to this time i allocated to do what I loved. But it is so difficult.

  • Silvia

    Thank you so much for sharing your story

  • Dona

    Thanks a lot for this article Julia, I always want to write publicly but I am always afraid that native English speakers are naturally better at it and I would stand out for the wrong reasons, its strange I think that because even though I am from India, I went to an English medium school and everything was done through English except for my native language. I have been living in Ireland for the past 7 years and every one else except me thinks that my english is great, I guess I need to be less harsh on me and trust my abilities more and reading your article has given me the inspiration to take the first step. Thanks again :)

  • Elizabeth Johnson

    WTF is Universe? Is the word “God” too big for you? Or do you believe that you are bigger than him?

  • Elizabeth Johnson

    I came here to help me through my depression, but instead, I get these atheistic article that’s leaving me infuriated instead.

  • Samantha Rothery

    As someone who has personally suffered a lot of depression,
    anxiety, and heartache I thought the 10 T’s were definitely a great way to get
    your life on track. I have some other suggestions that have also worked well
    for me. Personally, I’m a perfectionist and I think a big part of relieving
    depression is to realize that no one and nothing is perfect, and no matter how hard
    you try to control every detail, there will always be some bad that you have to
    accept with the good. Another suggestion I have is that you can never get too
    much of a good thing, meaning if you find something you love doing- a hobby, a
    distraction, an interest- go for it! And lastly, no one is as hard of a critic
    on you as you are on yourself. As cliché as this sounds, no one can truly love
    you until you love you first. You can’t change the past and you cant control every second of your future, so love yourself and live for the moment. These are really helpful tips, I think I am going to print them and keep them in my journal :)

    Samantha Rothery Tulane University