Our life is never the same. Like the changing weather, like day and night – our life goes through changes, ups, and downs. Sometimes we are on cloud nine, punching in the air to celebrate our successes, enjoy precious moments with our loved ones, and yet there are times when we get dejected, find ourselves in a downward spiral, emotionally shattered, and want to hide from the world in a quiet corner. That’s life – there ain’t no sunshine always. So we have to learn to accept the moments of sadness as much as we cherish the lovely moments. Never expect that life will always be a smooth sail. There will be big waves which will turn our raft upside down. Why am I telling this to you? With my biological clock ticking into the fourth decade of my life, I have weathered both good and bad times. So I would like to share some strategies that can help you to remain resilient in those moments of depression. Some techniques which helped me before and still helping now. I will not try to teach you rocket science here – but some very simple ways that may or may not work for you. Here are six things that you can do to keep yourself calm and resilient when you are emotionally down.
1. Build a life-long hobby that will – Our hobbies are a great source of joy that will not only keep us busy but also provide us with boundless joy when everything else seems meaningless. Whether gardening, reading books, vlogging, collecting precious objects, traveling, writing, knitting, or as crazy as beetle fighting – every hobby has some elements of joy. Taking part in our favorite hobbies can release neurotransmitters – a chemical messenger that carries dopamine a pleasure hormone giving pleasure. These feel-good chemicals can then help us to get distracted from the reasons which make us feel down. So pick up a hobby that will keep you busy in those unpleasant moments in life. For selecting a hobby, think about these three aspects – a hobby that will make you creative, a hobby that will keep you fit both physically and mentally, and a hobby that can possibly make you some money as well.
2. Take part in physical activity – Science has proven that physical activity releases dopamine, serotonin, and other positive hormones and reduces cortisol – the stress hormone. Don’t’ think that you have to hit the gym, or lift heavy weights for physical activity. Do whatever is convenient and easy for you – walking, doing chores, yoga, Zumba dance, treadmill, aerobics, or strength training in the gym are all part of physical activity that can enhance blood circulation, and release a positive hormone, refresh your mind. So make this a routine rather than a push that only kicks in when you are sick or overweight. Trust me, this will greatly improve your physical health leading to sound mental health that can handle stress very strongly.
3. Watch something inspirational – Have you ever considered how blessed you are endowed with a body with perfect limbs, no disability, and no disease. Yes maybe you are not rich, maybe you are not on the fortunate side at the moment, maybe luck isn’t in your favor or you are going through ‘shit’ right now. And guess what – many of us go through these situations. Even worse – at least I can tell you that after what I have experienced in my life. But LIFE is all about moving on, not dwelling on the past. So it is always a good idea to see some inspirational videos on YouTube, listening podcasts, or read books that will tell you that there are less fortunate ones in this world than yourself. And yet they never gave up. Check out the story of my good Aussie mate Nick Vujicic or the very inspiring Malala Yousufzai who was hit by a bullet in her head and yet came back to life again as a Nobel laureate.
4. Crank up your favorite music – Look this may not work for you but it worked for me! I love listening to some very inspirational uplifting music, and songs from my favorite singers. Music has the power to uplift our souls and soothe our brains and culminate a positive vibe. So make a playlist that includes all of your favorite music and songs. Having smartphones these days, everything could be synced into one platform. Even you can seek help from your virtual assistant like ‘Siri’! Make sure to get a nice in-ear headphone that can inject the music inside your soul and help you to reinvigorate your soul.
5. Share your feelings with a soulmate – In our life, it is really important to have a soulmate – one that you can always latch onto, share your innermost feelings, seek guidance, ask for help, or at least they can lend an ear that will listen to everything that you have to say. Maybe they can not help you, or offer you professional counseling but they can always listen to your feelings which is really important. If you keep things within yourself for a long time, the outcome may be bad – because the emotional volcano may erupt very badly leading to worse outcomes. So dump everything from inside to someone that you can trust.
6. Using technology to revive mood – If you are techy, then you may use technology sometimes to heal your mind. These days there are lots of apps such as – Headspace, Noisli, SAM, and thousands if not millions of apps in the app stores which can help you to revive your mood and increase your positive energy. But make sure to keep a balance of technology usage. Over usage of technology can work negatively like social media which is as toxic as digital cocaine.
I hope that these tried and tested techniques will be useful to help you when you are emotionally down. Above all, I suggest that – be ready to accept the negative situations but always remain positive to get out of those situations. Lastly, keep in mind that life is never FAIR and you can not control everything. So focus only on those which are under your control!