No matter how often you may strive to maintain a positive outlook toward life, inevitably there are times when you find yourself feeling sad, unmotivated and overwhelmed. The experience of feeling “down” only lasts a brief amount of time for many people, though others struggle with longer stretches in which productivity and enthusiasm is elusive.
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Although seeking professional care is recommended if you have symptoms of chronic depression, oftentimes small “pick me ups” can help if your down feelings are occasional in nature. Beat the temporary blues with these seven spirit-lifting exercises.
1. Create And Pursue Inspiring Goals
If you are down on yourself because you feel like you are stuck in a rut, then make a short-term or long-term plan for enhancing the quality of your existence. Set a goal that you are inspired to work toward, whether you wish to travel, start a business, pick up a new hobby or redecorate your home. A specific motivator can do wonders toward elevating your general worldview.
2. Be Thankful For Simple Pleasures
The phrase “count your blessings” may be hard to hear when you are unhappy and discontent, but gratitude for the pleasures and comforts in your life really does help put things into perspective. Acknowledge the things that you possess that others might not, such as shelter, food, family support or a steady income, and practice expressing your thanks each day.
3. Spend Quality Time With Uplifting People
Surrounding yourself with positive energy can serve as a natural way of alleviating the doldrums. Make an effort to talk with friends and loved ones who consistently display an optimistic attitude toward life, and you may find that their enthusiasm, happiness and motivation rubs off on you. At the same time, limit your exposure to negative energy, as this will only worsen your spirits.
4. Indulge In Lighthearted Entertainment
Working up the desire to smile and laugh is often challenging when you are down in the dumps, but these seemingly small actions can go a long way toward improving your mood. Entertain yourself by watching a favorite comedy film, reading a lighthearted book, playing an interactive game with friends or joining in an outing to a music club or sporting event.
5. Take Stock Of Your Accomplishments
Through times of personal struggle, it is easy to allow feelings of worthlessness and a low self-esteem to cloud over all of the accomplishments that you have made in life. Counteract this negativity by making a list of your achievements and your overall best qualities.
Whether you have won awards in your educational or professional career, are a kind and loving parent, maintain a well-run home or are known among your friends for having a good sense of humor, reminding yourself of your successes can be very encouraging.
6. Lend Your Talents To Where They Are Appreciated
Using your special talents or abilities to help others can boost your confidence and give you a sense of being appreciated during a difficult period in your life. Volunteer your time at an animal shelter if you are good with pets and people, tutor a child in one of your best academic subjects, donate some original artwork or crafts to a fundraiser or offer to cook or bake for people who are in need of home-prepared meals.
7. Lift Your Spirits With A Treat
When you are feeling down, sometimes there is nothing like a simple beauty treatment, food indulgence or small purchase to make you feel better. If pampering your body appeals to you, book a massage, paint your nails in your favorite color, try a new hairstyle or experiment with cosmetics.
Edible delicacies, such as a few squares of dark chocolate or a hearty soup, can also provide comfort. Consider buying a new item of clothing, cookware or other spirit-lifting treat within your budget as well.