10 Steps To Get From Depressed to Dreaming

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blooming out of depression into dreaming

Stressful events can contribute to episodes of depression. So it stands to reason that setting big goals for something like a big dream can bring on a bout of depression.  At least it does for me.

If your personal standards stress you out enough and interact with your hidden depression vulnerability genes, depression can sneak in and knock you sideways.

My big dream depression fog has begun to lift slowly and suddenly today I feel like my own personal blooming garden of happy.

How did I do it?

Walking the dogs really helps. Exercise is an amazing anecdote to depression, but I also made some other important changes and I am passing them on to help you.

My Top Ten List of of Steps From Depressed to Dreaming

10. Be OK with yourself and your situation as it is right now.

9. Getting better is not a competition – don’t judge yourself by someone else’s standard.  Do what you need to do, but do something.  If you won’t call a doctor, promise yourself a walk around your block today.  Then go do it.

8. Remember that tomorrow is another day.

7. KNOW there is Another Side of your thoughts. There is an equal-opposite positive thought that can also be true.  

6. Find a good therapist if you are stuck being depressed.*

5. Slow down, really listen to your thoughts. Notice your negative thoughts – especially self-berating – and challenge them.  Do some deep breathing while you are clearing your thoughts.  Imagine your melancholy leaving you with your outward breath.

4. When you start remembering something painful, write a story of how you would make it better if you could go back for a do-over.

3. Make a list of 10 things you could reasonably do in the next 30 days to create a change for the better.

2. Plan to fail at 2 or 3 things in your list, applaud yourself for their failure.

1. Know that you matter to someone. Trust me. Right now someone is thinking loving thoughts about you.

You are perfectly imperfect; you are human. We have all failed. We have all messed-up. We have all done something we find unforgivable. Because everyone makes mistakes, it is possible for us to forgive ourselves and start anew.

*If you think you need professional help overcoming your depression, many communities have community mental health centers that offer a range of mental health treatment and counseling services, usually at a reduced rate.

For more information about Community Mental Health Centers:

National Council for Community Behavioral Health Care
12300 Twinbrook Parkway, Suite 320
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: 301-984-6200
Email: [email protected]
Website: thenationalcouncil.org/cs/depression

For some people, over-the-counter depression remedies like St. Johns Wart really help to alleviate their depression.  For a list of some of the top over-the-counter and natural depression remedies, see About.com’s Depression Remedies page.


Alyse rotated off 8 Women Dream in 2009.

  • Veronica

    I am perfectly imperfect – I love it. I see a great deal of depression in my clients when they are coming down off of drugs and alcohol. They are forced to deal with feelings they have suppressed for many years. You might consider the Potatoes Not Prozac way by Dr. Kathleen DesMaisons to help you recover from depression.

    The Seven Steps of Potatoes Not Prozac

    1. Eat breakfast with protein
    2. Journal what you eat and how you feel
    3. Eat three meals a day with protein
    4. Take the recommended vitamins and have a potato before bed
    5. Shift from white foods to brown foods
    6. Reduce or eliminate sugars
    7. Create a new life

    Don’t try to do all seven steps all at once! For more information visit the website at http://www.radiantrecovery.com

  • Wendy

    OK Alyse,
    You did a wonderful post on depression. I am curious about Karen Walker’s book and now you have me wanting to read it. It is my turn next. Depression is an interesting event and can happen to anyone at any time.

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Nice post Alyse – it could almost have been two posts. I am glad the book spoke to you and I love what I see happening in your life.

  • Karen Walker

    Dear Alyse,
    Thank you so much for being willing to read my memoir and for these lovely comments. I am so glad it “spoke” to you. You never know when those low moments are going to hit. I had some this week and your ten steps were just what the doctor ordered.