We all know that feeling down, anxious or generally unhappy is a part of life. But it doesn’t have to be the only thing.
Everyone feels this way at some point or another. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, it just means you were feeling down and needed to be lifted up for a bit. We all need to reset our emotional state sometimes. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a walk in nature, calling your best friend or listening to music with lyrics that give you hope. But other times it is more complex.
The first step of course is acknowledging how you feel. This may be easy if you have a medical issue that triggers your negative feelings, but sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what’s bothering you.
People with depression usually know when they’re feeling down and take medication or other steps to address those specific feelings. But the rest of us know when we are depressed because of the way it makes us feel – like we’re having an epically bad day.
There are many reasons why you might feel down, including: loneliness, boredom or anxiety. Even positive events can trigger negative feelings. For example you may be happy about getting a new job or moving into a nice apartment, but this happiness can fade and be replaced by feelings of uncertainty or being overwhelmed.
Why do we feel down? If you don’t know for sure, take your best guess – there could be an underlying reason that’s easy to fix! It’s important to understand why you are feeling down so you can change it. When you know what’s bothering you, it’s easier to find a way to change your mood. If you feel lonely, for example, working on developing yourself as a person and building new relationships may help you stay positive in the future.
The next step is figuring out how to reset your emotional state. Here are nine of our favorite ways:
List some things that make you happy
You could do this on a piece of paper, or create a text file and save it somewhere so you can look at it whenever you want to. This list should have things that make you smile – like chocolate, your favorite song or snuggling up on the couch with your pet. Look over your list when you need a little pick-me-up.
Do something different
This could be anything – cooking a new meal, taking a new class or going to the gym. Any kind of change can help you feel happier: try pushing yourself into unfamiliar territory that makes you uncomfortable and see what happens.
Find meaning in what you do
The best thing you can do is find meaning in your interactions with other people. No matter what you’re doing, be present and focus on communicating with others. You might find some new perspectives that help you feel better about life.
Count your blessings
You’ve heard this before: think about how grateful you are for the things you have in your life. This can feel overwhelming at first, so start small: count your blessings one-by-one and add to the list whenever you can think of something new.
Physical activity is often a great way to get your mind off of what’s bothering you. Take a walk outside, go for a jog or do some yoga. It’ll clear your head and help you feel more peaceful after a while.
Read something that motivates you
Reading is an excellent way to find motivation to change your life for the better, and there are plenty of books out there that can teach you how to live a happier life. Give it a try!
Meditation is becoming more and more mainstream, but some people still don’t understand what it’s all about. It’s not complicated: sit down, shut your eyes and focus on your breathing for a few minutes. You can do this whenever you need to relax or reset!
Get inspired by other people
If you’re feeling down, sometimes it’s hard to remember how lucky we really are. Think about people who have less than you do – this can give you a different perspective and put things into perspective for the long term.
Alternatively, think about people you admire. Look up some famous people online and read their biographies. You’ll realize that everyone has problems, but most people are able to overcome them with time.
Cut yourself some slack
Don’t beat yourself up about feeling down! It happens to the best of us – if it were easy to be happy all the time, we’d probably never experience any sadness at all. Just keep trying and you’ll eventually get to a point where it’s easier to stay positive day-in, day-out!
Whenever you feel down, try forcing yourself to focus on something positive instead of dwelling on what’s wrong. You have an unlimited number of resources to turn to, from documentaries like 20 Feet from Stardom and Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened to TED Talks covering technology or business – whatever gets you excited!
If you can’t change your mood on your own, consider seeking help: see a therapist or doctor if you need some professional help getting back on track.
Do you have any tricks for resetting your emotional state? Share them in the comments below!