We all get that “down in the dumps” feeling at one time or another in our lives. If you work from home or anywhere by yourself, you might find that feeling sneaking up on you more often that you’d like. Here are six ways you can shake off that emotionally draining, blue feeling so you can recharge, get a fresh perspective and push on with your life.
Take a Walk
Get out of the space you’re in. A change of scenery, a bit of fresh air is just what you need to decompress and get a fresh perspective on the problem causing you to feel stuck or temporarily feeling down. Research suggests walking, especially brisk walking, releases endorphins. Endorphins interact with receptors in your brain, triggering positive or “euphoric” feelings. According to the Arthritis Foundation, a study done by California State University, Long Beach showed the more steps people took during the day, the better their moods were. So get up, leave everything behind and take a nice, long walk.
Call a Friend
It goes without saying, making connections with people who have your best interest at heart makes a difference in how you feel about yourself or your problem. A trusted friend can be a sounding board, offer a different viewpoint, encourage you or just empathize. Your true friend is just a phone call away.
“It’s the friend you can call up at 4 a.m., that matter.” Marlene Dietrich.
Eat a Piece of Chocolate
Yum-o! Nothing beats nibbling on a high-quality piece of chocolate decadence. For chocolate lovers, you already know dark chocolate is healthy for you. It’s a rich source of flavanol anti-oxidants and increases the levels of endorphins and serotonin, which helps alleviate stress and feelings of depression. Eat up, but remember, everything in moderation!
Listen to Upbeat Music
Music does the body good. Music helps us perform better while exercising, relaxes us and even helps us deal with life’s stresses. Not all music, however, works in pulling you out of a funk. Techno and heavy metal were sited by studies as having a negative effect on your emotions, whereas, classical and meditative music were shone to reduce stress, calm the nerves and foster positive thinking. Other types of music, such as, gospel, smooth jazz and world beats work in the same positive manner. Nevertheless, music is highly personal. Whatever you choose to lift you up, turn it on, tap your feet and let go!
Buy Something For Yourself or Someone else
If you are a giver and spend a lot of time and energy doing for others, it may be time to treat yourself to something, just for you. Sometimes, when you’re feeling out of sorts, down and depressed for no particular reason, your body may be telling you that you’ve been neglecting yourself. It may be time to gift yourself, even if it is a candle or coffee mug from the dollar store. On the other hand, the old adage, it is better to give than receive, really is a true and timeless virtue. Giving to others, especially those in need, helps to lift your spirits and takes the focus off of you and your issues.
In my opinion, one of the best things you can do in life is to pray. For those of us who pray, we affirm God is in control of everything. We release our cares and concerns to God and trust He has a plan and will work out everything in the end for our benefit.
On those days when we are feeling blue, talking to God, like we do our closest friend, can serve to lift us up and give us hope for the way forward and keep prolonged, non-clinical depression at bay. A study completed at Columbia University on patients who were at high risk for depression showed that those who prayed regularly had thicker cortices in their brain than those who did not. Thicker cortices indicate a lesser chance of suffering from depression than those with thinner cortices.*
Feeling down is similar to having your car stuck in the mud. Once you do the necessary things to get your car unstuck, you can then move forward on your journey. Likewise, doing any (or all) of these six things can help you get free on those days when you are “stuck” emotionally, feeling blue, depressed or all of the above, but need a push to keep on going.
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www.webmd.com, Exercise & Depression
www.usatoday.com, 20 Surprising, Science Backed Health Benefits of Music
www.arthritistoday.org, Mental Benefits of Walking
www.thehealthsite.com, 10 ways Praying Actually Benefits Your Health*