What to do when you feel depressed and alone? Are you feeling very unhappy and lonely? You are not alone, most of us feel extremely miserable from time to time. In the modern world feeling despondent is common and is on the rise according to some studies.
There is a difference between feeling very unhappy and clinical depression. Criteria for clinical depression are feeling sad for most of the day over a period of at least two weeks, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, getting tired easily, excessive guilt. This article shows you ways of feeling better when you are suffering from intense unhappiness or clinical depression.
1. Talk to people
I know this may be difficult for the depressed and lonely person to do, but one of the most relieving things to do is to share your feelings with others. Talk to a positive person in your life, it can be a friend or a family member. Consulting a mental health care worker is very essential if you are having clinical depression. Modern science has good insights into how to improve our mental well-being. Go ahead and let people close to you know you are unhappy, it will help you get the heaviness off your mind.
2. Have Fun
Everyone has some things they love to do just for the sake of doing them. It can be reading books, gardening, colleting coins, physical activity, etc. Do something that naturally brings you joy and needs mind and body co-ordination. Temporary fixes smoking, drinking, shopping, surfing internet and binge watching tv are common but they are more addictive than lifting us up.
3. Physical activity and rest
One of the most effective ways to lift your mood is physical activity. Moving your body leads to having more happy hormones – endorphins getting secreted in our brains. Go for a walk, life a weight, run for a mile, move up and down the stairs, do yoga, play your favourite sport, dance to your favourite music, play with a pet etc. Also make sure you also give your body proper rest by sleeping eight to nine hours a day.
I know motivation to try something out new is very less when feeling low, but meditation can be your saviour. By meditation I don’t mean complex techniques, you can just start with the simplest ones like being aware of your breath, watching your thoughts as if they are happening to someone else. Most of the times we feel situations are responsible for our unhappiness but the truth is negative thoughts about those situations are responsible. Watch your thoughts and let them be. Allow them to dance around and they will lose their hold on you. Trying to resist them in fact feeds them more energy. Just watch them objectively, without getting involved. You may also try standard meditation techniques but ultimately they all come back to being aware of your thoughts and feelings.
Eating right will also make you feel better. Minimise sugar and fried foods, these foods lower your energy. Eat healthy foods like fruits, leafy greens, oat meals, brown rice, spinach, whole-wheat pasta etc. There are lots of healthy food options available depending on which part of the world you live in. Enjoy eating healthy and being mentally wealthy.
6. Take a break
If your life seems monotonous, take a break. Break the patterns of habit and do something different. Travel, take leave from work and go to some place you always wanted to go. If you can’t afford long distance travel, check out some places even in your city. There is always beauty lying around you. This reminds of Plato’s saying; “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”. Look at the beauty in your city, in your home, in your friends and family, and also in yourself.
7. Gaining new perspectives
Often we are unhappy because we are holding negative perspectives of the situations of our life. Reading books on Spirituality, positive psychology, autobiographies help us gain new ways of looking at our life situations. Find books that match your tastes and background, there are many books available to infuse your life with joy.
Most of the happiest people are the ones who felt very miserable at some point, let your misery lead you to realise the meaning of your life, your unhappiness be a stepping stone to make positive changes, your loneliness be a pathway to solitude, your depression shape your life into a new way of living. Happy living!!!