By Sarah Stevenson, The Tini Yogini
Life is guaranteed to knock us all down a time or two. What’s important is that we get back up. Research suggests that in order to bounce back, we need perseverance. It doesn’t come naturally for everyone, but it can be learned. Recovering from a breakup, job loss or financial setback isn’t easy, but on the next slides are 12 ways to pick yourself up, brush off the past and stand tall. Even though these tips can help lessen the effects of minor depression, they by no means trivialize it. If you find you are unable to bounce back after much effort, seek professional help. Talk therapy and/or antidepressants may be the thing that helps you get out of your funk.
Start by waking up at the same time every day and getting out of bed right away. Oversleeping can ruin your sleep cycle and increase your risk of depression, diabetes and obesity. According to the National Sleep Foundation, while there’s no “magic number” when it comes to hours of sleep per night, seven to eight hours is a good target range. Once you’re up, keep your mind and body occupied so you no longer have time to fixate on the negative. Plan a lunch date with your mom, offer to take your grandmother to the doctor or march right out your front door and mow the lawn. A step out of the house is a step in the right direction!
Reorganize your world so you’re ready for the new fantastic life you’re beginning. According to a recent study published in the journal Social Research Indicators, our personalities change throughout our lives due to experiences and circumstances. So what may have fit in your personal world a year ago may not be appropriate for the new you. Clean out your bookshelf, closet and video and music libraries. Rummage through your old pictures, bedding and other things you don’t need anymore. Donate anything that no longer serves you. Things you no longer need could be of great benefit to someone else.
When you’re weak and vulnerable, stay away from anything that creates negative emotions. Stop listening to love songs that remind you of your ex, refrain from driving down the street near the job you were fired from, avoid romantic movies if you don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day. Create a “happy bubble” that will allow you to focus on the good and avoid the bad long enough to put some wind back in your sails. According to positive-psychology researcher Barbara Fredrickson, avoiding these triggers and replacing them with things that make you feel good broadens your mind. It sparks an urge to explore and play instead of relating to the world from a place of fear.
Research suggests that the best way to bounce back from adversity is to find meaning in every experience. Motivational speaker Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” In the Harvard Business Review, a former senior editor of the publication Diane Coutu writes, “Resilient people possess three defining characteristics: They coolly accept the harsh realities facing them. They find meaning in terrible times. And they have an uncanny ability to improvise, making do with whatever’s at hand.” Instead of focusing on all the terrible things this mojo stealer has caused, try to discover the value and meaning it brings to your world.
Learn Something New
Learning a new skill will boost your self-confidence and open up a whole new adventurous world filled with interesting people. Allow whatever it is you’re facing to be a jumping-off point for new knowledge. If it’s a broken heart, head to the library and check out books that will teach you how to have a successful relationship. If it’s a job loss, take some new classes that will put you ahead of your competition. Maybe you always wanted to learn French or how to salsa dance. Now is a great time to pick up a new hobby. Research from the University of London suggests that continual learning increases the ability to quickly recover from mental-health issues and stress-inducing situations. If you want to get your mojo back, you’re going to have to challenge yourself.
Get In Shape
Exercise is a great way to put the zest back into your life. It’s similar to taking an antidepressant, neurochemically speaking. Not to mention, you’ll look better and feel healthier once you have a consistent exercise routine. Psychologist James Blumenthal at Duke University performed a study with older individuals diagnosed with depression. The study involved two treatment plans that consisted of exercise and medication. He collected data on how each patient responded to either aerobic exercise, psychotropic medication or a combination of the two. After 16 weeks of care, all patients were significantly less depressed. When the researchers followed up with the patients, they found those who continued the exercise treatment were still experiencing the mental-health benefits.
Make a Mix Tape
When you control the type of music you listen to, you can change your mood. Spend some time gathering songs that inspire you and make you feel happy, alive and sexy. Avoid songs that bring you down and remind you of the pain you’ve endured. It’s important that you are strategic during the low points of your life, specifically with what you do and do not allow in it. Research from Pennsylvania State University, Altoona, found that music has a huge effect on your mood, especially the lyrics, so consciously choose the soundtrack of your life.
Give to Others
To keep your mind off your sad situation, put the focus on someone other than yourself. Helping those less fortunate will put your own life into perspective. You may even find you don’t have it so bad when you volunteer at a soup kitchen or a home for abused women. Dr. Suzanne Richards from the University of Exeter Medical School in England reviewed data from 40 scientific papers and concluded that altruistic behavior decreases depression, enhances well-being and is good for physical health. Next time you’re feeling low, simply shift your attention to someone less fortunate and receive the benefits it has to offer you and your mojo.
Ditch the Pity Party
My mother used to say, “You have a whole two days to feel sorry for yourself. Pout, stay in your pajamas and eat too much ice cream. After the two days are up, you have to get out of bed, put a smile on your face and carry on with life because it’s not going to wait for you.” She was right! Feeling sorry for yourself isn’t helping anyone — especially not you. Researchers say that if you want to lift your mood, just put a Duchenne smile on your face, which consists of a full smile that uses the muscles around the mouth and eyes. If you hate smiling, a study published has also shown that biting down on a chopstick or pencil will produce the same muscle reaction, causing a decrease in heart rate after completing stressful tasks.
Head for the Sun
Tap into the free benefits nature has to offer your mood. Head outside and spend some quality time in the sun. Researchers at the Baker Heart Research Institute in Melbourne collected blood samples from 101 healthy men during several seasons. They found that the amount of sun exposure they received profoundly affected their moods. Those who had adequate exposure to the sun had elevated moods and decreased stress levels due to an increase in serotonin levels in the blood. Be sure to get enough time in the sun each day, especially if you are feeling low. It will lighten your mood and even help you sleep better. Just remember to wear sunscreen and a hat.
The effortless act of breathing has numerous benefits and, according to the Mayo Clinic, reduces stress hormones. Dr. Rebecca Gladding, author of the book “You Are Not Your Brain,” says that meditation turns off the “me center” of the brain that is constantly overthinking everything. This overthinking keeps you stuck in that place of depression. In order to be set free from the limiting beliefs that prevent you from moving forward, you must quiet the part of the brain that produces that anxiety. Sit quietly in a comfortable spot, close your eyes, and focus on the sound of each inhale and exhale. You can also recite a positive statement with each breath cycle to guide your thoughts in the right direction. Getting your mojo back can soon be as easy as breathing.
Julia Ross, author of “The Mood Cure” and “The Diet Cure,” says you can actually eat your way back to a healthy, robust mojo. Avoid drinking too much caffeine, which is a serotonin blocker. Decrease your intake of sweets and simple carbohydrates because they spike your blood sugar, are quickly gobbled up by your body and leave you feeling depleted. Load up on foods that are high in antioxidants like fruits and vegetables. These natural sources (as opposed to supplements) will help fight off depression. Finally, make sure you eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Beans, oatmeal and romaine lettuce are great sources of folate, while eggs, fish and poultry contain high amounts of B vitamins.
What Do YOU Think?
Have you ever had to bounce back from a setback? Did you try any of the tips mentioned in this slideshow? If so, how did it work for you? What else has helped you get your mojo back?
Originally published on SportRec