Many depressed people believe they need to feel better before they can take action to change their life. Actually the opposite is true; action is a potent antidote to depression. When you do things you value and enjoy, you feel better. If you do those things often enough, you’ll forge your way out of depression. If you are tempted to dismiss this idea because it seems too simple, consider the fact that research backs it up: For decades we have known that an approach called behavioral activation (in other words, taking action) is a highly effective treatment for depression.
There are several ways that engaging in activity relieves depression. Pleasant activity breaks up the blocked energy patterns of depression and stimulates mood-boosting reward pathways in the brain. Similarly, constructive action helps counteract feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. You feel empowered knowing you can take action that makes you feel better. Constructive activity gets you out of your head and the depressing vortex of rumination. When you stop worrying and start doing, you feel better. Once you feel better, you can more effectively handle your problems.
For more info, please read my articles on action at Rodale.com: