Some days are a struggle just to get through. Your mood swings become noticeable even to those around you – it goes from feeling “down in the dumps” to feelings of sadness, and finally, depression. The more you ignore it, the worse it gets. It becomes a self-perpetuating, vicious cycle. So what can you do about it? The most obvious approach would be to try to find out what’s getting you down. This might not be as easy as it sounds if you are the type of person who is a firm believer in the “this too shall pass” maxim, and while the maxim does make good on its promise, it can be exhausting to have the negative mood drag on. There are easy and quick ways to boost your mood when you’re feeling down! And they work! All you need to do is try them!
1. Force yourself to smile
This might seem impossible or simply dumb, but it does work. You just have to try. Try smiling when you talk to people – it will make you feel better and seem more approachable. Look for funny videos online or watch a funny movie. If you’re more approachable, there is a higher chance of people talking to you, and that might help forget the bad mood or the thing that you may or may not realize caused it.
2. Don’t feel bad about feeling bad
This might seem like the opposite of the first tip, and it is to some extent. The first tip would be more appropriate for extroverts, and this one – for introverts. What is the difference? Introverts feel like they have to explain why they are quiet or want to be alone. This can be annoying because people think you are upset or sick if you say you want to be alone. If you are reading this, you’re probably an introvert. An introvert like you needs time on their own to recharge their batteries. Introverts derive energy from relaxing and being alone, while extroverts get theirs from the outside world, hence the tip to smile, communicate and socialize. Whoever you are, that’s who you have to be. You don’t need to pretend to be an ambivert, introvert or extrovert. This is not just a tip; it’s an order. Did you know that forcing yourself to be amicable can cause stress and burnout? Don’t feel guilty about saying something inappropriate because you are in a bad mood, leaving a party early or anything else. If you are tired, you need to rest. Social people are much more prone to saying something inappropriate or awkward, because they are always talking without thinking. Don’t beat yourself up over blurting something stupid or insensitive out. The people you said it to have long forgotten about it.
3. Go out for lunch or dinner
Plan some lunch or dinner dates with relatives, friends, or coworkers or go out on your own. It’s time to check out that new cafe or restaurant that you always wanted to go to. You might feel better if you have something to look forward to. Actually, you’ll definitely feel better.
4. Focus on positive things
The basic principle of mindfulness is not to focus so much on the past and more on the here and now. You’re wasting time by continuing to be angry about something that is in the past. Tell yourself that thinking about the past really won’t change anything no matter how much you think about it. Try to focus on something nice and peaceful instead.
5. Indulge in your vices
Are you a chocoholic? It’s OK to eat a whole chocolate bar (or five) without regrets. Don’t worry about dark and milk. Just eat whatever you feel like eating. Chips, pizza, a hamburger…or have a glass of wine or two. Have sex, but use a condom (or masturbate). Any of these, or all three together (for best results), are guaranteed to make sadness a thing of the past very, very quickly. Drink green tea – it has an ingredient which has a soothing effect on your body.
6. Ask people questions
You can alleviate depression by showing interest in other people. Ask people about everyday stuff like what they did over the weekend, what they are working on now, how their kids are or how their elderly parents are doing. You’ll find people have interesting stories to tell when you least expect it. And even if they don’t (you’re barely keeping yourself from yawning), it’ll offer a welcome distraction. Asking questions will result in brain activity that is similar to real curiosity.
7. Find something to do
If you are feeling down, don’t dwell on it. Take some time to try and find out what caused the bad mood, but if you just feel down just because, that’s OK. It happens to the best of us. Keeping busy is always a good solution. Set a goal for the day or the week – something small and achievable. You will get a sense of closure that will make you feel better every time you achieve a goal, no matter how banal.
8. Give compliments, and learn how to take them
Compliment others, and be grateful for their compliments to you. Being nice to others will improve both your mood and theirs, so find something nice to say to the people you meet and talk to, like something about their choice of clothes or jewelry, but not, “You look so energetic today” or “you look so happy today” or “you look so good today” in a tone that is supposed to convey enthusiasm. Why not? What they’ll think you’re really saying, “You don’t look energetic normally”, “you usually look miserable” and “you don’t normally look good”. Something that’s just as important – learn to take compliments. That’s fine if this doesn’t apply to you. When people are in a good mood, they can really appreciate a good compliment. This isn’t quite the case when they aren’t. If someone says you look great, it can be tempting to reply, “OK but I feel like…” or say “Really?” in complete and utter disbelief. If you come back with a retort, the person will be less inclined to compliment you in the future. It may have been appropriate to be humble in the past, especially if you are a woman, but it isn’t anymore. Show some appreciation and say “thanks” at the very least.
9. Ditch your negative friends
Some people are just negative. They don’t think negatively on purpose and they don’t mean any harm, but avoid them at any rate. These people can ruin a good mood and you can imagine how they’ll make you feel if you are already down in the dumps. Negativity is contagious. Hanging out with grumpy people will rub off on you. Instead, find cheerful people to speak to and spend time with. Positive thinkers lend positivism to those around them.
10. Don’t feel guilty about not being active enough
Some people look like they are always doing something – one of your friends is a single mother who has two jobs, volunteers at the local charity, takes Chinese courses, goes to the gym every day and is active in the local government. Other people, on the other hand, are good at analyzing and providing quality over quantity. It’s better to be able to do one or two things really well than a thousand things poorly. There are a number of things that affect our inclination toward mood swings. Here are a few of them:
Are you sometimes afraid to speak up? Some people tend to avoid arguments, compromising their values and boundaries and self-respect instead. The more you speak, the more you will be heard, and with time it will start getting harder and harder to stand up for what you believe in.
Going to the doctor
Go to the doctor only when you really need to. If your health complaints aren’t very clear, all you’ll accomplish is racking up medical bills for services from physicians, labs and other medical parties, including laboratories and medical providers. They say the medical billing management focus is on creating strategic partnerships through professional and exceptional medical billing solutions to help perfect services to clients, but they just say that. The focus should always be on client satisfaction and service quality, but it isn’t.
Getting Professional Help
Please note that if you are dealing with a more permanent and serious problem, none of these tips can offer a long-term solution. This is where therapy comes in.
Things to consider when choosing a therapist
The area of mental health is very broad, encompassing a lot of subareas. This field is fast-paced and in a state of perpetual change, so be sure to look for a therapist with a solid reputation and long-term experience. There are several factors that keep people from getting help, the main one being not knowing who to turn to. You can look at reviews online, but often there are neither bad nor good reviews of any therapists. There are some star ratings of mental health services, but no explanation for the rating and what it is based on. Unless a friend or acquaintance can recommend a therapist, you’re pretty much in the dark. When trying to decide on who could help you, you should know what to look for in a health care expert. A true professional will show patience, empathy and understanding. They will really listen and help.