Disclaimer: While self-help information is useful, it’s not a substitute for professional advice. Please always consult a physician or a trained mental health professional before making any decision regarding treatment of yourself or others.

The headline that rocked international news over the past week was the death of Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, who committed suicide at the age of 41, due to his persistent fight with depression.

Even as millions grieve over his death, the fact remains that depression is an all too real issue that still gets treated as merely being “sad”, rather than the mental health problem that it is. Even the happiest person you could think of might secretly be suffering from depression (the late Robin Williams come to mind). However, while it isn’t remotely easy to defeat depression at once, there are steps you can take to overcome it, one at a time.

1. Talk to your family and friends 

A good way to remember that depression should have no root over your thoughts is to know that there are people who care about you, and will help you no matter what your problem is, even if you don’t need any advice, just an ear to listen. That feeling of connecting with someone is needed as a social support and will eventually help to improve your mood and outlook in life.

2. Do any hobby or activity that you enjoy

Doing anything when you’re depressed may be hard, but it makes a whole lot of difference in increasing your energy level. While there’s no such thing as an instant recovery, the effect it has on your mood will help you to feel more upbeat about doing other activities.

3. Get enough sleep!

Depressed or not, everyone should try to sleep for at least seven to eight hours a day. Having enough sleep gives you energy to do things and coincidentally improves your mood; but be careful! Sleeping too little or too much isn’t good either, as you will feel groggy as well as being bad for your health.

4. Exercise!

Any kind of exercise or workout, whether it’s just dribbling around a basketball or even martial arts will give out positive energy and help increase your energy levels allowing you to be more upbeat throughout the day.

5. Don’t Overthink

Consistently overthinking develops more negative thoughts, which will lead to stress and consequently undermine your fight against depression. Try to read books on positive thinking; attempt to look at problems from another perspective. This way, we will be less susceptible to thinking about the negativity, and focus more on the brighter side of any situation.