5 Tips to Go From Severe Depression to Joyful Living
We all go through tough times in our lives when everything seems to be crashing down around us. It is easy to get lost in the depression or anxiety that each day brings. However, with a few simple tricks you can start to become one step ahead of these feelings and eventually learn to transmute them.
Take Charge of Your Life
1.) Change Up Your Playlist
The music that we listen to each day is affecting us more than we may realize. Songs have different frequencies, and these frequencies can engage emotional centers in our brains. Music is strongly linked to memory as well, and so if there is a certain song you listen to when you go through a bad break up, anytime you hear that song those painful memories will flash through your mind. Whenever we are feeling depressed it seems natural to listen to music that holds that same emotional frequency. But doing this can cause us to get stuck in a cycle of low vibrational feelings and emotions. The songs that we listen to often play back in our heads and we find ourselves randomly singing lyrics from them as we go about our day. Listening to songs that have lyrics like “I don’t belong here”, “I don’t want to be here anymore”, and “I hate everything”, really pulls our moods down and we do not even realize it. The next time that you are feeling sad, try this instead: Turn off the low-vibe music and put on something positive and upbeat. It might seem silly at first, but if you change your playlist to incorporate more positive songs it truly does make a difference. There are so many good musicians whose lyrics are motivational, clever, and very catchy!
Some Positive Vibe Musicians:
Nahko and Medicine for The People
2.) Identify What Brings You Joy
Depression can be a very difficult thing to deal with because it takes away your desire to experience life. So in order to combat this, you have to try your best to reach for the things that bring you joy. Smiling for even a few seconds sends information to your brain that can uplift your mood. Whenever you are feeling down, distract yourself with something that you like doing. Make a list of things that make you feel happy and keep that list handy for times when the depression has a tight grip on you. There are so many little things that can bring you joy. Is it your cat snuggled against your chest? Is it the comfort of getting lost in a good book? Maybe it is connecting with friends or hanging out in your pajamas playing Xbox. Just reach for something that feels better and watch how quickly this can improve your mood.
What is it that brings you joy?
3.) Release the Tension in Your Body
The power of taking a deep breath is so overlooked. Whenever you are plagued by depression, anxiety and stress usually come along with it. These negative feelings can take a huge toll on your body. One way to get rid of this tension is to spend 15 minutes each day taking deep calming breaths. This will fill your cells with oxygen and allow them to function more efficiently. If you are able to quiet your mind while you take those breaths, the benefits will be doubled because you are giving yourself a break from your negative emotions. You can also release tension by simply getting up from your seat and walking in a circle or from room to room. Our muscles feel so much better when they are being flexed, especially if you have been sitting in the same position for a long time.
Have 60 seconds of free time? Check out this breathing exercise!
4.) Drink Water
We all know that it is important for us to stay hydrated, but unfortunately our society encourages the consumption of sugary drinks instead of water when we are thirsty. The average American wakes up and has juice and coffee for breakfast, a Gatorade for lunch, and soda with dinner. Those drinks are filled with additives, artificial dyes, and sugar – which is not good at all for the body because white sugar feeds cancer cells. If you truly want to feel refreshed and energized each day, try cutting out the sugary drinks and reach for water instead. Challenge yourself by doing a water cleanse, even if it only lasts for a day. By replacing all of your beverages with water, you are hydrating your cells and allowing your body to have what it needs to function at it’s best. You will see that your skin will clear, your heartburn will lessen, and you will just feel better overall. You can also turn the act of drinking water into a meditative practice. Everything that exists is made up of energy, including water. When you take a sip of water it can flush out the stagnant energy that you have been holding in your body. Try to attach a positive intention to each sip for the best results. For example, when you go to grab your cup of water you could think something like “Water is so good for my cells”, “I am happy to give my body the water that it needs”, or even an affirmation such as “As the water flows through me I feel it’s calming energy envelope me”. If you want to feel better, ditch the soft drinks for good, and start drinking more water!
Scientific experiment showing how words can affect water:
5.) Shift Your Mindset
We have so much more control over our days than we realize. We can consciously choose to interact with our world in a more positive way. Each moment we have the opportunity to reach for thoughts that feel good. Whenever we are faced with a situation that causes us to feel anger, jealously, or sadness, we can choose to transform those feelings by changing how we look at it. It is so important to try to be as empathetic as possible in our daily lives. Let’s look at this example: You are late to work and someone cuts you off and causes you to get stuck in a line of traffic. Your adrenaline spikes and your initial reaction is to furiously shout at the car that cut you off and then angrily fester as you sit in traffic thinking about how you are late. You arrive to work in a bad mood.
We have all been through a similar situation as the one above. But let’s see how changing our thinking can lesson the negativity of this situation: You are late to work and someone cuts you off and causes you to get stuck in a line of traffic. Your adrenaline spikes, and when you notice this you take a deep breath to center yourself. You are grateful that you were paying enough attention to avoid a wreck when that car cut you off. You feel upset that now you are going to be late to work, but you understand that you should have left earlier so that you didn’t have to rush. It is not that car’s fault that you are late, it is your own fault. Since you are sitting in traffic, you now have some time to listen to your favorite music or put on an interesting podcast or audiobook.
Whenever we can mindfully choose to take control of our emotions, life becomes a lot easier and much more fun!