How to chase the blues and mild depression
A list of ten ways to cheer up when feeling blue or mildly depressed.
At times, everyone gets the blues or feels mild depression without recognizing a specific reason for it. It can hit without warning, but we don't have to stay there for long. In fact, it's healthier for us to move as quickly as we can to a more positive mood.
Top Ten Ways to Cheer Up
Consider this list of the top ten ways to cheer up. The next time you feel blue try one or more of these tips to become happier to see what works for you. Then keep these cheering up tools handy for future use.
Breathing is normally a subconscious function, but conscious breathing can help reduce stress and tension. Focusing on your breathing keeps your attention on the present moment and is a common component of meditation, a proven stress reducer. Breathe deeply and slowly, noticing each breath you inhale and exhale.
Laughter is the best medicine. Keep handy a book of jokes or a favorite comic strip cartoon. When you feel blue, immerse yourself in the humor and go for a stomach-aching full laugh. Deep laughter improves your immune system and helps you keep life's problems in perspective.
8. Return to Nature
Go for a walk in a park, sit by a fountain, or gaze at a poster of your favorite ocean or mountain scene. Reflecting on a beautiful natural scene can lift your spirits.
Make a brief list of three to five things in your life for which you are grateful. Reflect on each item and identify the positive way it impacts your life.
6. Give of Yourself
Providing an uplifting message or thought to someone else also uplifts you. Scientists know find that performing random acts of kindness and generosity also makes you happier. Call an elderly relative or friend. Offer a few minutes of your time to baby-sit or walk the dog for a busy neighbor. Helping another moves your focus and will improve your spirits.
A brisk walk or any other form of physical exercise will improve your mood. Weed the garden or clean the house. The physical activity will help lift your mood.
Recall a great vacation or a wonderful family reunion. Reflect on a card or letter someone sent you that was touching and showed they cared for you.
3. Use a Strength
We all have unique strengths, capabilities at which we are particularly talented. Use one or more of your strengths in some activity. If you don't know your strengths, take the VIA questionnaire.
2. Tend Something You Care About
Tend to a garden, a favorite house plant, a pet, or your car. When we tend something we provide a loving, caring attention to it that is a form of giving. Tending is not a chore, it's a blessing.
Guilt and regret can hang around us like a lead weight, bringing on mild depression without our awareness of the cause. Offer up a sincere apology for things you've done or said that offended or hurt another. You'll feel the relief of your burden of regret even if you aren't able to personally deliver the apology. Offering it up to the Universe is sufficient.