I have a million things to be happy about and yet some days I am beyond sad. Depression’s greatest power is its ability to rob us of our happiness without our consent. It took me a while to come to this conclusion, but eventually I realized I needed to play a more active role in my own happiness. I needed to take action to find happiness and make it a part of my life. So I tried a few things and learned a few tricks that help to almost immediately improve my mood.
Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. ― Dalai Lama XIV
So say sayonara to sadness and hello to happiness with these ten tips.
- Get out of the house. The physical act of leaving your house, although it may be the only place you want to be, is incredibly rewarding. I’ve found it’s important to displace your sad moods. Run to the store. Visit a friend. Do something that takes you outside, as being at home can make you comfortable in your sadness.
- Go for a walk. The sun is beginning to emerge after months of hiding, the temperatures are increasing, and it’s the perfect time to get outside. You don’t have to go anywhere in particular. Just walking in the sunshine and getting some of that natural vitamin D will lift your spirits.
- Put on music. Your favourite song. Your favourite band. Play it really loud. Dance by yourself in your bedroom, blast it while you’re walking, or go out dancing or to a concert with some friends. Music has the power to transform your mood.
- Take pictures. We are lucky to constantly be surrounded by beauty, a luxury that can be so easily overlooked when you’re down. By taking photos, it forces you to concentrate and capture this beauty, which makes you appreciate it more.
- Get active. Go to a yoga class. Go for a run. Do something that helps you to reconnect with your body, mind, and the world around you. Exercise releases endorphins, which triggers feelings of euphoria. Many studies have shown that exercise is one of the most powerful tools in fighting and managing depression. Sometimes exercise is the last thing you want to do, but it’s the best thing you can do for yourself.
- Try a new recipe. Cooking is a pleasurable and rewarding experience. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or someone you love (invite over a partner, friend or family member), trying a new recipe is a fun and delicious way to improve your mood and reconnect with the earth and your body. Have some dark chocolate for dessert. It also releases endorphins.
- Drink a glass of red wine. Red wine has numerous health benefits, including reducing anxiety and helping you to relax. Sometimes I love to meet up with a friend for a glass of wine when I’m feeling sad. It gets me out of the house, helps me appreciate wine culture, and shifts my mood. Be experimental and try a wine you’ve never tried before.
- Plan a trip or excursion. Planning trips, even if they’re just day trips somewhere, really makes me happy. I think it’s important to have something to look forward to, and researching and planning a getaway/outing is one way of doing that.
- Laugh. Do something, anything that makes you laugh. Call your most hilarious friend, watch some standup comedy or a funny movie, do tricks with you pet, or visit a friend with a child (kids are funny!). Laughter truly is the best medicine.
- And if all else fails, take a nap. Sometimes you just need to sleep it off.
What else do you do to life your spirits? Tell me in the comments below.
Photo: © Martinmark | Dreamstime.com