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Ten things I did to feel less depressed

Overcoming negative emotions

Ever just go through so many things at once that it totally drains you?…. Emotionally? Sometimes I have days where it’s hard to “fight the funk”. There are days where I feel stressed and confused about what to do next in terms of personal goals and career moves. Do you ever fall into the “what’s next” trap? Sometimes, on the really bad days, I find myself becoming Alice in Wonderland and falling deeper down that rabbit hole of self-doubt, anxiety, fear, and confusion. Before I know it, I am at work, staring at my computer, unfocused, unmotivated and totally depressed.

Here are some things I tried to lift the mood (and they worked).

1. I exercised/went for a walk. Exercise releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins release feel-good emotions and are considered to be natural painkillers. I felt so much better after going for a power walk.

2. I wrote in a journal. There are some things I will never be comfortable with talking about to another person so, I wrote it all down. It feels good to write anything I am thinking and get it off my chest.

3. I put on some good smelling perfume. My favorite scent is lily & Sky and I put on just a bit on my wrist. It smells so good and fresh, it made me feel refreshed too. Pleasant scent lifts the mood. You can also burn a nice scented candle or take a walk and smell some fresh flowers.

4. I bought myself a plant. Plants are known to help increase oxygen levels and promote a calming feeling. Studies have shown that plants assist with better concentration and help with uplifting the mood. My good friend Jamie Galvis who focuses on a lot of spiritual and natural ways to uplift and center the mind and body suggested it. I bought myself a small succulent and some flowers.

5. VENT VENT VENT. Not on social media or to your phone but to a person. I asked one of my good friends to grab dinner with me and vented away. You know what? I felt so.much.better. It’s important to talk about our hardships.

6. I stayed out of the house. Here’s the thing, sometimes being alone isn’t a good idea when you are feeling the lowest of the lows. If you are the type that likes being alone and feel that you can work through your emotions in a healthy way without making it worse, more power to you. If you are like me, when I am depressed, I search for trustworthy support. I hang out with people that matter. I visit my friend’s baby (because babies just make you feel all glittery inside), I pet some puppies (no really find a pet store). At times when we are alone, we really tend to wallow and dwell in our feelings. Don’t wallow. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. Spend time with people that make you happy and those that will listen. If you don’t have anyone to vent to, you are always welcome to send me an email and vent away! You are loved!

7. Listened to a good podcast. When I am down in the dumps, I listen to one of my favorite podcasts/videos are Oprah’s SuperSoul conversations. I can’t tell you how many times listening through different stories and experiences changed my entire day.

8. HUG SOMEONE. No really (well not a random stranger). Studies show that hugs promote secure feelings, positive emotions and better health. They stimulate pressure receptors and can make you feel more relaxed.

9. Eat some dark chocolate. I don’t mean eat chocolate all day I mean in moderation, have some dark chocolate. Dark chocolate boosts endorphins and serotonin levels which in turn, help boost the mood.

10. Accept how you feel. I used to run from my emotions. I kept myself busy, searched for large crowds to numb whatever feeling and ignore thoughts I had in my head. As I got older, I realized that suppressed emotions are NEVER a good thing. Suppressing how we feel can lead to health problems and even more stress. So, let it out. Don’t keep it in. Vent to a friend, scream in a pillow and accept that at this moment you are feeling sad and that’s okay. Know that it will pass.

At times, we hold on too long to our negative emotions. A recent study from Harvard mentions that positive emotions can actually lead to better psychological functioning and increase “emotional vitality”. If you feel more depressed than usual, reach out to a therapist or a loved one. It’s so brave to ask for help. There is no magic potion but I truly believe that it takes time and effort to help ourselves push through the hard parts within life. Be patient with yourself, love who you are and take care of yourself. There is only one you in the world. Now THAT is amazing.

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