All of us go into depression at some time or the other. It could be due to one tragic incident, or a series of incidents, it could be something trivial and sometimes, we feel down for no reason at all. Once sorrow grips us, we feel lethargic, inactivity makes us brood further and with time, we get pulled deeper into the abyss of depression. We grope in the dark for a spark of happiness and most often, we do not find it.
The bottom line, as we have often heard, is that happiness is within ourselves. And it is up to us to find it. Succumbing to our sorrow and waiting for it to pass will only make us suffer more. Instead, always the solution is to act upon the sorrow. It isn’t easy to get up, fight it and win over it. Obviously, that is why depression is feared and shunned. Major depression requires psychiatric help while our daily sorrows and mild depression could be dealt with by ourselves. Here are some ways you could find happiness when you are down.
- Meditate – How many times have we heard this and how many times have we ignored this? People think meditation is meant for sages and spiritual seekers and that it is very difficult. It is this notion that should be removed. You could start by playing a light music, closing your eyes and sitting still for just ten minutes a day. You need not try to control your mind. Let it wander. With each day, let the time increase. As you advance, refer articles on meditation. You’ll know that there are different methods. Choose one and keep practicing. It will help keep you calm. You’ll notice visible changes in around eight weeks’ time if you meditate daily.
- Exercise/Dance – When your body moves, your mind is kept busy. Like point one, I know that exercise isn’t people’s favorite. But try keeping fast music, lock the doors and just let your limbs move. You need not dance gracefully. Just flail your arms, squat and move the muscles like no one is watching. Be a child and just jump & move around. You’ll find yourself invigorated. This is all you need to take your mind off something. The sorrow would leave.
- Do What You Love – I was very depressed this morning. I complained a lot to a friend and noticed that my sorrow was just doubling. I had some painting material and so, did some painting. After that, I began writing this article. I am a blogger and writing is a stress buster as far as I am concerned. Now, I can feel little bubbles of happiness bursting within me. My problems aren’t solved. But they do not bother me as much as they did a while ago. Find your passion and put your head in it.
- Watch Sitcoms – I am pretty sure I don’t have to give this tip to many of you. For those who haven’t watched sitcoms, I suggest you give them a try. During those times when I am down, I rush to my laptop and pick random episodes of ‘Friends’ or ‘How I met Your Mother’ and watch. Half an episode later, I feel much better. There are tens & hundreds of sitcoms out there only if you could look for it. Comedy movies could do the trick too. Though I find sitcoms more effective due to their continuous nature. I know I have more episodes to watch and that makes me happy.
- Food – Food items that you like the most distract you from your sorrows. This happens with most of the people. I prefer chocolates, coffee, anything made of potatoes and pizza. Once I gobble up a bar of chocolate, I suddenly feel that the world has become a better place. Maybe sweet does nullify the sourness from life.
- Go on a Drive – There is definitely something about the wind on your face. No matter how dejected I am, the moment I start travelling, the wind washes away a portion of it. I can’t ignore the breeze, the scenery and the activity around. Gradually, whatever bothered me isn’t so terrible anymore.
- Read Books This is a variant of watching sitcoms/ movies or traveling. If you have reading habits, you will know how similar reading is, to traveling. Books transport you to another world and no matter how unreal it is, you find yourself forgetting all your worries and embracing the new world. After a series of events in the book, when you come back to your real self, your sorrows would have reduced, your mind would be processing other information and you find yourself calmer. Always have a good book handy so that when you have to escape, just open the pages and delve into them.
It is said that real sorrow affects us only for a few seconds. The sadness that remains later on, is self-inflicted through thinking, re-thinking and over thinking. This is why we need to distract ourselves before our mind brings in new information and analysis. The tips above will not destroy your depression or sorrow, but distracts you from them for a while. When you find yourself thinking again about your sorrows, take up another activity to keep yourself busy.
This understanding is necessary so that you do not ruminate over your sorrows again. By practicing this, gradually, you will overcome the problem of brooding over your sorrows. Finding happiness becomes easier with practice.