Fighting the Blues: How to Build Resilience Against Depression


Resilience is important for mental health as it helps you adapt and bounce back from tough times like stress, challenges, or adversity. It’s all about having the strength to maintain your emotional well-being even when things get rough. Developing a positive mindset and coping strategies can make all the difference when dealing with depression, affecting millions worldwide. 

This article provides tips and strategies to build resilience against depression, recognize the signs of resilience, and improve overall mental health. Whether you’re a millennial, Gen Z, or Gen X, these insights can help you on your journey toward emotional well-being. You can thrive despite your mental health condition by recognizing signs of resilience within yourself and developing coping mechanisms through therapy or self-care strategies.

Understanding depression

Several individuals experience depression, a mental health condition, across the globe. It’s when someone feels really sad, hopeless and doesn’t enjoy doing things they used to love. Recognizing these symptoms is key to tackling depression and bouncing back from it. 

Depression is pretty normal and can make life quite hard as it goes beyond just feeling down sometimes. Symptoms are different for everyone but usually include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness;
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed;
  • Changes in appetite and weight (either significant weight loss or weight gain);
  • Sleep disturbances (insomnia or excessive sleeping);
  • Fatigue or loss of energy;
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt;
  • Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering details;
  • Restlessness or irritability; and
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

Statistics of depression

Depression is a pretty big deal worldwide, affecting more than 322  million people, according to the World Health Organization. It’s also the top cause of disability globally, which can have some major social and economic consequences. Interestingly enough, women are more likely to experience depression than men for a variety of reasons, like hormones, life events, or societal pressures. 

During adolescence or early adulthood stage, depression usually starts and can stick around for life if not properly treated. Unfortunately, depression tends to co-occur with other mental health issues like anxiety or substance use disorders, making things worse. Depression can seriously mess up someone’s work-life balance, relationships, and self-care abilities.

Building resilience against depression 

Resilience-building strategies are important for preventing and intervening in depression, acting as a protective factor against it, enhancing treatment outcomes, and promoting long-term well-being. To combat depression and build resilience, there are a few tips and strategies you can use, such as: 


First off, exercise is key! It not only improves your overall mental health but also helps reduce stress and improve your mood. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day—think brisk walking, jogging, or cycling—to reap the benefits.


Try practicing mindfulness and meditation if you’re feeling down or stressed. It can help you become more aware of your own thoughts and feelings, reduce stress levels, and help you manage your emotions better. A few minutes daily focusing on your breath and being present in the moment can make all the difference.

Social support

Hang out with your pals, family, and others who make you feel good. These connections can give you an emotional boost and make you feel like a part of something. Talk about things that matter to you, do fun social stuff, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed.


It’s important to take care of yourself, especially regarding your mental health. Make sure you set aside some time for things that make you happy and help you unwind, like reading or doing something you love. Don’t forget that taking care of yourself isn’t being selfish — it actually helps you build up your ability to bounce back from tough times.

Read more: Best Practices on Improving Your Mental Health 

Professional support

If you’re feeling depressed, it might be worthwhile to consider therapy or counseling. These are great options for learning how to manage depression by developing coping mechanisms and exploring the root causes of your feelings.
A therapist is a mental health professional who provides a safe place for you to express yourself and offers support, guidance, and tools to help you conquer your depressive symptoms. Below are several types of therapy available that can be used to treat depression: 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 

CBT is a type of therapy that helps people who are feeling down. It does this by figuring out and changing negative thoughts and actions that make the depression worse. This way, they can learn to think more positively and deal with their emotions better.

Watch the podcast: Corey Jackson: Negative Emotions | Sero Boost #3

Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal Therapy is a type of therapy that helps improve how people relate to others. It helps with stuff like talking better, solving fights, and finding people who can help you when you’re down. All this can make you feel less depressed.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic Therapy is a type of therapy that helps people understand the hidden thoughts and feelings that they may not even realize they have. By doing this, it can help people figure out why they might be feeling depressed. The goal is to increase self-awareness so that people can gain insight into what’s really causing their depression.


Some therapy techniques are all about being mindful. These include Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). They help you be more aware of the present moment, accept tough emotions, and learn ways to deal with them better.


When you’re feeling down, talking to a healthcare professional might help. They could suggest some medication to help with your depression symptoms. The medication will depend on your unique situation, so it’s important to get advice from a professional.

Medication can really make a difference when dealing with moderate to severe cases of depression —things like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are commonly prescribed because they balance out mood-regulating brain chemicals. Just keep in mind that everyone reacts differently to meds, so it’s crucial that you have a qualified healthcare pro prescribe and oversee any treatment plan involving medication. 

Other treatment options

There are also other treatments like light therapy or complementary therapies that might be worth considering too!

Keeping your ability to bounce back and stay strong is a continuous journey that needs regular work. To maintain resilience, engage in self-reflection, set realistic goals, cultivate a supportive network, prioritize self-care and healthy coping mechanisms, manage stress effectively, and continue treatment.

Signs of resilience 

Resilience is something that people can develop in themselves. Here are five signs that you’re a resilient person:

Positive outlook

Well, one sign has a positive attitude. Resilient people are able to stay optimistic even when faced with tough situations. They don’t give up easily and instead, look for ways to overcome obstacles and grow from their experiences.

Emotional regulation

Being resilient means being able to handle your emotions in a good way. People who are resilient can identify how they feel, express themselves in a positive manner and deal with tough situations.


People who are resilient are really good at finding solutions to problems. They can look at a situation, figure out what might work, and then take action to fix the problem.

Social support

Resilient people know how crucial it is to have social connections, and they reach out to friends, family, or mental health experts for support. They put effort into maintaining relationships and having deep conversations with others.

Healthy lifestyle

Taking good care of yourself is a big part of being resilient. This means keeping your body and mind healthy, like working out, practicing mindfulness, getting enough sleep, and eating nutritious foods.

Simple ways to help others build resilience 

Developing certain qualities can help individuals become stronger and more adaptable when faced with difficult situations. They can not only help themselves but others to become more resilient. Below are some ways how you can help others build resilience.

Pay attention

When dealing with others who are going through tough times, focus on their actions. Notice when they show traits like not giving up, adapting quickly, or being proactive about finding solutions.

Show support

When someone needs to talk about their difficulties, it is important to listen attentively and provide support without judgment. Suggest constructive methods of coping with their struggles and offer emotional encouragement. 

Offer positive words

It can be helpful to remind them of their positive traits and abilities, as this can cultivate self-assurance even in trying circumstances. Encourage them to persist by providing words of motivation that inspire strength and determination.

In conclusion 

Building resilience against depression isn’t an easy task and requires a lot of hard work. You can start by identifying the signs of resilience, seeking help from therapists, taking care of yourself, learning how to deal with stress and anxiety, and surrounding yourself with people who support you. 

Keep in mind that it’s a slow process, and there might be setbacks along the way. So don’t be too hard on yourself and take things one step at a time towards a brighter future.

If you would like to see more resources on depressive disorders, check out the Personal Resilience Science Labs. The lab uses the research of the Institute for Life Management Science to produce courses, certifications, podcasts, videos, and other tools. Visit the Personal Resilience Science Labs today.

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