How to Live Happily with Depression & Anxiety


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Everyone suffers from depression or anxiety at some point in life. The feelings are natural during times of high stress, transition or after a traumatic event. Starting college, a new class, moving away from home or preparing for finals can cause anxiety, sadness or both.

However, there are healthy ways to overcome depression and anxiety. The easiest ways are to reduce the amount of stress in your life.

Tips for managing moments of high stress or anxiety:

  • Take deep, slow breaths.
  • Count slowly in your head.
  • Force yourself to think positive thoughts.
  • Visualize success.
  • Take breaks from long projects.
  • Avoid alcohol and other drugs.

Daily tips for reducing feelings of depression and anxiety include:

  • Make sure to get enough sleep at night.
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
  • Exercise moderately.
  • Take a yoga or meditation class.
  • Participate in creative activity such as playing music.
  • Avoid isolation by connecting with friends and family.

For some people, feelings of depression or anxiety last for long periods of time. They’re unable to overcome unhappy feelings without help. That’s when it’s time to find help.

If you’re suffering from intense sadness for more than two weeks or you feel persistent symptoms of anxiety for more than a month, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder or a type of clinical depression.

Fortunately, most college campuses provide free mental health counseling services for students. Even if there isn’t a licensed therapist on campus, almost every college can refer students to a reputable therapist in the community.

Students should seek help from a therapist or counselor if they believe they are suffering from an anxiety disorder, depression or if they’re having thoughts of harming themselves or others. Talk therapy can often relieve symptoms of anxiety or depression.

In some situations, therapists may prescribe antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications. It’s important to talk to your therapist about the benefits and risks of medications and determine the best treatment for you.

Serious mental health problems can’t be cured with one or two therapy sessions. It takes time and hard work. Therapists will help you understand the underlying causes of sadness or anxiety and teach you strategies to overcome those feelings. It’s important to practice those strategies in between counseling sessions in addition to practicing the tips listed above.

Chris Elkins writes for — a comprehensive resource for addiction-related topics, including co-occurring mental health disorders and treatment options for recovery.


1. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (2016). Tips to Manage Anxiety and Stress.

2. Mayo Clinic. (2013, June 11). Stress Management.

3. National Institute of Mental Health. (2016, March). Anxiety Disorders.

4. National Institute of Mental Health. (2016, March). Depression.

5. Old Dominion University. (n.d.). Tips to Reduce Anxiety and Stress for College Students.