depression triggers

Depression Triggers: 10 Tips to Help Avoid Them

Here are 10 tips you can use to help you feel sad or start to see some of your depression triggers. Are there any others you would add?

Depression triggers. That’s a fun topic. And I’m being totally serious! A few years ago I would have shied away from talking about this. But not any more. I want to SHOUT it out on the mountain tops.

Well, maybe not the mountain tops, no one would hear me. Haha!

In all seriousness this is a very important topic. Can you image what life would be like without depression? Nothing short of amazing. 🙂 But, that’s not going to happen.

So the next best thing is trying to avoid our depression triggers. Did you notice that I said OUR depression triggers? My triggers are going to be different then the person sitting next to me. They may have some similarities. Everyone’s triggers are specific to them.

Once you know what your depression triggers are then you can start to work on avoiding them. This is super exciting!

Before we go into some tips I want to be very clear that these are not ways to never be depressed. These are not going to keep you 100% depressed free. The tips are just that, tips. I hope they will help you. I pray they will help you.

This list of tips are things that I have found to help me with the help of my therapist and trying them out. If they are not as helpful to you then I urge you to keep finding something that helps with your depression triggers.

Some of these tips are very self explanatory. Others are not, so I won’t spend too much time on those ones.

Breath Deeply

Whenever we can take a few minutes to slow down our breathing and intentionally breath it can have some amazing effects on us. We give ourselves a mini break. Who doesn’t want a mini break?

You will want to take a deep breath in for three seconds and hold for three seconds. When you slowly breath out you can do it through your nose or your mouth. I prefer my mouth, thanks yoga. 🙂 As you are slowly breathing out let it take at least three seconds.

Maybe a few slow breaths is all you need to melt away the beginning of your depression or a sad thought that may lead you in that direction. Maybe this slow and intentional breathing did nothing for you.

If you are the later then you can try one of these things with your breathing. These ideas came from my amazing therapist. She suggested them when we were working on letting go of my need to control.

I want you to think of holding your sadness or depression thoughts in your hands. I sometimes ball my fists up as I take my deep breath in. Then as I hold my breath I turn my fists over so my palms are facing down. Try to loosen your fists.

Now as you blow deeply out open your fists and imagine whatever you were holding in yours hands falling tot he ground. Out of your hands, out of your mind. Throw it away. You can also move your hands down to the ground if you’d like.

Another way to breath away your sad or depressed thought is to give it a color. I like to use red. I feel red gets a lot of heat but it is bright, powerful, and fiery.

You also need a calming color. I like to use a soft blue or teal. As you breath in you want to breath in your soft, calming color. Hold onto that color as you hold your breath.

Then as you blow deeply out I want you to push out the red or whatever color you used to represent your sad or depressed thought. You are physically blowing away the negative thought.

Repeat the breathing (with your fists or colors) for as long as you need until you start to calm down. You can also do this first thing in the morning as you start your day to get it going in the right direction.

This is also a good thing to teach your children. I haven’t been very good at doing this but it would help for when my kids are throwing tantrums or having a hard time calming down.

Working Out

Working out is one amazing tool we can use to help with our depression triggers. When we get into a habit of working out weekly it can truly help with keeping depression asleep.

There are many programs online for free or to purchase, you can join a gym, or workout with a friend. Just get your body moving regularly.

Get Outside

Vitamin D is really good for us. A great source is the sun. So get yourself outside to enjoy the sunshine. Remember to use sunblock if you plan to be outside for longer then 20-30 minutes.

Even if the weather is yucky you can still get outside and benefit from the fresh air. Even better? Go for a walk or a bike ride outside. That will be a double whammy!

Depression triggers


Your body needs sleep. Some weird things can start to happen when you are not getting enough sleep. So make sure you are getting to bed and waking up at a reasonable time.

Naps can also make a huge difference if you are a napping person. Even a 15-20 minute power nap can give you a pep in your step.

Sleeping for the right amount of time for you can definitely help with depression triggers you want have.


This may sound weird but sometimes a good cry is just what we need to help with our depression or sadness. Crying can release some built up stress and tension.

After a good cry I can feel the burdens lifted. I can feel lighter. Give it a try. 🙂


I know that I already talked about working out. But I just felt that yoga needed it’s own place for helping with depression triggers. Not only can it help your body feel great physically it can help with your body mentally.

I have found that I unintentionally slow my breathing down at times. I like to think my body knows I need to do some yoga breathing to keep me calm. Maybe not, but it makes sense in my head. 🙂

Yoga helps to slow us down. Slowing down can be a great thing in our very busy lives.

Talk With A Trusted Friend

The main people I talk with when I’m feeling the need is Eddy or my mom. It really helps to get things our in the open, off our chests, and out of our heads. It may have everything to do with whom we are talking to or nothing at all.

Please find someone you can trust to open your heart to. I have had to help teach Eddy how to listen to me when I need to vent. Many times he wanted to fix my problems. He would give me advice or tell me things to do.

I know he was doing it out of love and the desire to help me. But, that was not what I needed. It took a little bit of time for us to figure it out. Eventually I had to tell him (and still need to at times remind him) that I just need to talk. He needs to listen.

Meet With Therapist

I wonder how far down the hole I would be if I hadn’t had the courage to start going to see my therapist 3 years ago. I was in a very bad place and was super unhappy. There were MANY hard days, weeks, and months.

It didn’t matter that I was surrounded by love and wonderful things. My mind was not healthy and I needed help. If this sounds like you and you do not have a therapist then I urge you to find someone that you feel comfortable with and GO!

Give it time to start to work and for you to feel more comfortable to open up. I was going weekly for awhile. Slowly it moved to every other week, every three weeks, monthly, etc. Now I go about every three months.

Alone Time

Sometimes all we need is just some quality alone time. This may help you or make your depression triggers worse. So please think about how alone time will effect you.

Treat Yourself

Who doesn’t want to treat yourself? Haha! Grab an ice cream cone, go buy that shirt you’ve wanted, get pampered with a spa appointment, get that yummy soda with added flavors. Eat that good dessert and don’t feel guilty about it.

Let yourself smile or laugh. Even if you have to force it at first. You might just find that helps you feel better. Treating yourself is loving yourself. You need to love you in order to love others and live a joyful life.

So get out there and do something to treat yourself. If doesn’t have to cost money at all. Do something you have always wanted to do.

I suggest trying one or two at a time to see how they work in helping you stop your depression triggers. If it was helpful then hold onto that and remember to use it when you need it.

However, if a tip did not work for you, you need to do two things.

  1. Try it again. It may work after more practice.
  2. Try another tip to see if something else will work.
  3. Don’t give up! You NEED to keep trying.

After you have tried out some tips and know which ones have been helpful then you are starting to build your depression trigger toolbox.

We need to be honest with ourselves that these tips may not work all the time. Please don’t get discouraged! Pick yourself back up and keep trying!!!

Are there any tips that you have used to help you combat your depression triggers? I’d love to know and maybe write a post with YOUR ideas. 🙂

Xoxo, Steph

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