Feeling down now and then is okay; it happens to all. However, it is not okay to wallow in depression and allow it to take over. You can shake it off in 15 minutes with simple steps that will make you feel better. If you don’t take action, stress and depression can cause headaches, sleeping problems, stomach pain and other illnesses.
Here are some pick-me-uppers that you can try.
If you’re feeling down, clear your mind
Set a few minutes aside to meditate. Even if meditation is not something you usually do, sit quietly with closed eyes and focus your mind on your breathing. Importantly, if anything distracts you, refocus your full attention on your breathing again. After 10 to 15 minutes, you will feel refreshed, ready to take positive steps to pick you up.
Count your blessings when you’re feeling down
Sit down, pick up your pen and make a list of a few blessings for which you are grateful. Most importantly, focus only on positives, such as healthy relationships and any other big or small things that went well. If you ban all negative thoughts, listing the positives will take only a few minutes. Once you’ve written them down, they’ll push the reasons for feeling down out of the way.
Stretch your body if you are feeling down
Take a stretch break. Stretch your shoulders, neck and back. Reach down to your toes and stretch your thighs and hips. If you know some yoga moves, do them. Stretching provides your muscles with extra blood, and it lowers stress.
Feeling down? Step outside for fresh air
Regardless of the weather, stepping outdoors for a while will do wonders. If you can, sit in the sun, or get your hands dirty. Remove some weeds from flowerbeds, and soak up nature. Better yet, go for a walk and take note of trees, flowers, parks or anything else in your neighborhood. Researchers say the fresh air increases energy, lowers anxiety and improves memory. It boots creative thinking, and it will get you out of the rut.
A good laugh can pick you up if you’re feeling down
Feeling down has no chance against having a good laugh. Call someone who is known to crack you up. Watch a comedy clip or read a funny book — even if you read only a few pages. Essentially, all you want is to have a good laugh. Laughter will quickly lighten your mood. It also stimulates your lungs, muscles and heart. It will improve circulation, relax muscles and boost the release of feel-good endorphins by your brain.
Listen to your favorite tunes
Get out of the rut and put on some lively, happy songs. Above all, don’t hold back — take a few dance steps if you want. According to researchers, music can reduce pain and anxiety.
Connect and catch up
Call or email a family member or a friend to catch up or meet them for coffee. Checking in might have you focus on them instead of your own feelings. Studies have shown that social connections and relationships provide support and are best for making people feel happy.
Attend to a long-overdue chore
Do something about a small task that you have pushed to the back burner too often. For instance, replace the dead light bulb, reply to an email or make the appointment that you have postponed too many times. You will be amazed at the amount of satisfaction you can get from doing a chore that has been lurking behind the scenes. It might even encourage you to tackle a few more.
Treat yourself to a smart snack
Did you know that the omega-3 fatty acids in nuts like almonds, pistachios and walnuts can bring your stress hormones to normal levels? Fueling up with smart, healthy snacks can work wonders. Vitamin C in citrus fruits, like oranges, boosts your immune system. Furthermore, the whole grain in oats or whole-wheat toast encourages your brain to produce more serotonin. It is the primary hormone to stabilize your mood, provide feelings of happiness and well-being.
Give yourself some positive talk
Practicing some positive talk can reverse your negative thoughts. Do it out loud, and address each negative thought. Tell yourself you can handle this. For example, if you made a mistake that led to you feeling down, remind yourself that everyone messes up sometimes, and you can fix it. Listen to your own voice saying some upbeat mantras. If you do your pep talk with conviction, positive thoughts will reduce your stress.
Focus on others — do a good deed
Sign up as a volunteer for a good cause or donate to such a project. Help somebody with a small task, or simply open a door for someone. Consequently, showing kindness to others will positively affect your feelings about yourself.
Send telepathic good wishes
If you show compassion for others, you will also lift your own feelings. You can do this with telepathy. Focus your mind on a friend, colleague, family member or even someone who is a stranger. Send the wishes of health, good living and happiness in your mind. You will feel better about yourself if your focus is on others.
Write thank-you notes to those who have helped you with something. Express thanks for birthday gifts, support or favors. If you do this frequently, you will train yourself to be more grateful and show it.
Last but not the least
Ask for a hug. A warm squeeze from a family member or friend can be invaluable. It could lift you and make the things that cause you to feel down seem insignificant. Interestingly, researchers say we do not pay enough attention to hugging, which can even boost our immune systems.