Many people over the years have claimed to have found the secrets to happiness. Not many of them have had any sort of formal training in the understanding of human thinking and behaviour. Yet many of these have made lots of money selling products and services which have not always proven to be of great benefit.

I very much hope you read the following because I’m confident it will work for you. In 2003 I founded The Happiness Institute ( but before this I spent approximately 15 years studying and practising psychology, and completing three degrees (including a PhD and a Masters Degree). I’ve written five books and several research papers published in internationally respected journals. I’ve treated over 1,000 individuals with common problems such as depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia and all sorts of chronic, sometimes terminal, health problems. I’ve also worked with numerous organisations helping them maximise the productivity of, and manage staff.

I can honestly say that I know what makes people distressed but just as importantly, I’ve also learned what makes people happy.

Not many others have had the education, training and experience that I have and I’m proud to say that I’m now at the forefront of the exciting, new “positive psychology” movement. You can find out more at but for now, read on and find out how, in seven simple steps, you can overcome depression and create a happier and better life.

Step 1 - Learn why you’re unhappy or depressed to begin with.

You can’t change or “fix” something if you don’t know why it’s broken. Different people become depressed for different reasons. Accordingly, the solutions for depression vary for different people. Spend time first, therefore, learning why you’re not happy and why you’ve continued to experience low moods up until now.

Quick Tip - Find some good, sensible information about the causes of depression and select the parts that are most relevant to you.

Check out:

Step 2 - Don’t be afraid to get help if you can’t do it on your own.

We all need help sometimes. This doesn’t mean we’ve failed, or that we’re hopeless. It simply means we’re human and we can’t be experts in everything.

Just like many people seek help (from family, friends or professionals) when they’re learning to drive or when they’re doing their tax, so too do many people need to seek help to overcome depression & other psychological or health problems.

Quick Tip - If you have a good friend, or a close family member whom you can trust and whose opinion you respect then talk to them about overcoming your depression. If not, talk to your local doctor and/or find an appropriately qualified professional trained in something like clinical psychology.

Step 3 - Do something – take positive action now.

Doing something constructive, anything, is almost always better than doing nothing. Don’t worry too much if you don’t think you know all the answers. Much of overcoming depression is trial-and-error anyway.
For many people just getting started is the hardest thing to do but it’s also, frequently, the most effective.

Quick Tip - Do some research (on the internet or by reading one of the many good self-help books in this field) and choose at least one recommended strategy that makes sense to you.

Now make sure that you believe doing this is achievable and if you do, make a plan to do it today or tomorrow. has some great, free tips and resources as does

Step 4 - Eliminate negative thoughts and develop more positive ones.

Negative thoughts are the fuel for depression and the enemy of happiness. To overcome depression and start moving towards happiness it’s essential you learn how to control your thinking.

Although this might seem daunting to begin with it is definitely possible. It is, after all, a skill and like any other skill it’s something you’ll get better at with practice.

Quick Tip - Learn first to identify your thinking. Then understand that thoughts are not facts. As such, learn to challenge unhelpful thoughts and replace them with more helpful ones.

Step 5 - Get rid of bad, self-defeating habits.

At the end of the day, we are what we do. Actions speak louder than words and ultimately it is our behaviours that define us (our personalities and our moods).

Depression, then, is frequently associated with “bad habits” and “self-defeating behaviours”. Identify these as soon as possible and then make sure you do all you can to eliminate them.

Quick Tip - Examine what you do when, and/or just prior to feeling depressed. Assess these situations and the associated behaviours, and explore whether or not there are ways to stop engaging in such actions or alternatively, somehow modify the way you go about things.

Again, has some great tools for monitoring your thoughts and actions and the program at includes a number of very powerful strategies for changing the way you think and act.

Step 6 - Develop a more healthy and happy lifestyle.

Those who claim to have no time to care for their health will sooner or later have to find time to take care of their illness! It’s hard to be happy if you’re literally sick and tired all the time.

So keep active and exercise regularly (this alone is one of the most effective ways to boost your mood), eat well and ensure you get adequate sleep and rest.

Quick Tip - Find a way to increase your activity (you don’t necessarily need to go to the gym or spend lots of money – it might be something as simple as going for a short walk each day).
Eat more fruit and vegetables (and eat less processed and fast foods).

Make sure you get enough sleep and if possible, take up meditation or applied relaxation.

Step 7 - Practice, practice and practice more until you’re great at being happy!

Everything that’s now easy was difficult once. Moving from depression to happiness can seem difficult for some but it will become easier if you practice (and then practice more).

Achieving happiness requires nothing more than practicing a few simple disciplines every day. So work out what you need to do and do it. And don’t allow other things to distract you - stay focused.

Quick Tip - Start simple and start slow. Just do a few minutes of something (constructive and positive) every day; and then build on it as you gain confidence and start to feel better.
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Depression is a common problem, one that many of us will experience at some stage in our lives. At the same time, however, it is a problem that can be overcome. There’s no reason why you should put up with depression or even settle for “okayness”. Happiness is achievable if you know what to do and then do it.
For more information on overcoming depression go to

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Timothy Sharp is a clinical and coaching psychologist with 3 degrees in psychology and almost 20 years experience working with people to help them overcome problems like stress, depression and anxiety. He’s the author of the practical and powerful “10 Simple Steps to Overcoming Depression”, a proven program that’s helped literally thousands of people gain control of their lives and beat depression (

Additional Resources on Depression can be found at:

Website Directory for Depression
Articles on Depression
Products for Depression
Discussion Board
Dr. Timothy Sharp, The Official Guide to Depression