We all process our sadness, anxieties and problems in different ways. Sometimes we choose to face them head on, with a sword or a shield or empty-handed. Other times we want to bury ourselves away, letting ourselves pretend for a little while that our problems don’t exist, and maybe even hoping they’ll disappear for good.
Whatever your preferences, here are a few tips that may help you lift yourself back up when you’re feeling down:
Write it down or talk it out
Letting your worries out of your head onto paper or into the universe actually helps you to find the root of the problem. Relieving it from the inside gives you perspective on the outside and gives you the chance to figure out ways to solve the problem. Find a notebook or grab a friend and let it out.
Take a gratitude walk
Taking a walk around my neighbourhood really helps me release my negative energy. Instead of allowing your mind to circle around the negative thoughts, try listing everything you’re grateful for, no matter how small. It helps put the situation or your mood into perspective.
Switch up the environment
It’s tempting to sulk and wallow around at home alone when you’re feeling down, but your troubles are weighing you down there. Try and get out of the house; go see a friend or take a trip to your favourite coffee spot. Surround yourself with people. Sometimes we just need a little distance.
Accomplish something, like exercise
Focusing your mind on something completely different to what you’re going through, like an intense workout, is enough to make you feel good about yourself – or at least achieving something you set out to do. Exercise is a bonus, as it is proven to boost your endorphin levels, which increases happiness.
Transport to another world
Listen to your favourite music, crack open a good book, or put on a funny TV show. Your mood can instantly lift when you distract yourself enough to put some distance between you and the problem before coming back to it with a fresh pair of eyes.
I know that I always feel worse towards the evening, when I’ve had a long day and am feeling tired. It can really screw up your perspective. Go to bed early and remind yourself that it will feel better in the morning. Wake up refreshed to tackle your troubles.
All darkness passes and the sun rises. Everyone has bad days. Your problems won’t last forever.
(image: LD Fleming)
Being honest is often daunting, but also liberating. Being honest with others and being honest with ourselves releases the weight of secrets, the pressures of pretence, and the tangles of a tale. We shouldn’t have to lie about who we are or what we do. It gets draining after a while, to the point where we can’t see a way out and life isn’t pleasant anymore. It might be daunting, but it’s true when they say that the truth will set you free.
Letting go of the past
It’s hard for us to forget our mistakes, and even harder for us to forgive ourselves. But whether we accept it or not, the past is done and dusted; it is written already. But that doesn’t mean the pen is out of our hands, that our story is already written. No, our story continues as long as we do. Whatever you do, don’t let it stop because of the past. There’s always time for a plot twist.
Following your heart
Don’t listen to others who tell you who to be, how to be, what to do, if you don’t agree. Whether it’s your family, your friends, your society, nobody has more power over you than you do. It’s exhausting trying to please everyone, meet their high standards, follow what is expected, because nobody’s outlook on life is the same. Nor should it be. Do you and be the best you that you can be. The rest will fall into place.
When we’re aware of what brings us down, we can let it go and watch ourselves rise up.
The energy outside affects the energy inside. People who complain all the time, people who blame you for their problems, people who bring you down, people who laugh at your dreams, people absorbed in their own worlds, people who always take and never give, these are all toxic people, if they do it consistently. People who do not add any love or joy to your life aren’t worth keeping. It isn’t selfish to cut them out, take a break, or limit the time you see them.
Other people’s opinions
We’re haunted by other people’s words, opinions and thoughts. Maybe we want to please someone. Maybe we think someone knows better. Maybe we feel we don’t have a choice. But if we’re never listening to our own heart, we’ll never feel truly satisfied, content or excited about life. We’ll add water to the seeds of regret, bitterness and misery. Do what makes you happy; even if it doesn’t always work out, at least you’re following your own path.
Self-limiting and self-doubt
Many of us struggle with low self-confidence. In fact, we could probably argue that it’s nowadays a part of life, at one stage or another. We’re afraid of failure. We punish ourselves for mistakes. We think we’re not good enough or bright enough or beautiful enough. But it’s all in our head. You are good enough. You have to find that belief, that faith, that courage buried inside and see how much your outlook changes.
Trying to fit in
Finding someone to talk about is an ancient pastime; we often gossip to fit in, to connect with a group of people and exclude someone else. On the flip side, we’re afraid to be that person who is excluded. We compare ourselves to others, always trying to erase the things that make us different. We focus on what’s ‘wrong’ with ourselves and what we don’t have. Trying to fit in breeds self-doubt and self-loathing, which leads to negativity. Instead try embracing and loving yourself and doing the same for others.
(Image: created myself)
Our life isn’t always as bad as it seems inside our heads. Our opinions and emotions are nurtured by what we know and what we’ve seen. But if you were to look from the outside, what might you see? Would it be a bad life like the one we’ve conjured up in our heads? Or would it be a life to be grateful for? There are others looking in who envy your life, who are wishing for a life like yours, who are perhaps even fighting for it. Take a step back and let’s quit making it out to be so bad. Because it really isn’t. It could be worse. And there’s a lot going for you, for many of us.
(Image: We Heart It)
Sometimes we find it hard to set boundaries. We fall into bad patterns, succumb to bad habits, and end up blurring the lines. Sometimes we let our work lives encroach on our home lives. Sometimes we let our lack of confidence erase our record of successes. Sometimes we let people walk over us when we should be kicking them out our lives. But remember to keep maintaining those boundaries. They are what will keep us on the right track to happiness, what we want and what we deserve.
(Image: The Odyessey Online)
We waste too much time worrying over little things and crying about trivial things. And we lose out on time we could be spending enjoying life because of it. Something might seem like the end of the world today but we probably won’t even remember it later on. If you find yourself feeling down about something that won’t matter in five years, don’t spend more than five minutes being sad about it. Something better is round the corner.
Not every day will be a ‘good’ day. But there’s still something good in every day, no matter how small: an accomplishment, a smile, a hug, a chat, a cup of coffee, a book, a bath, a walk, a song. If today isn’t turning out to be a good day, there’s still time to turn it around. Bad days don’t equal a bad life. They just make us appreciate the good even more.
Happiness is a state of mind. It isn’t something we can always hold onto. It’s ok to be down and feel low. Have faith that happiness can always be found again. If you believe it can, you won’t be afraid of sadness, because it’s also a state of mind. Sadness isn’t something you’ll always hold onto. It will pass.