5 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health When You’re Feeling Blue
Mental health struggles are a global issue faced by millions of people every day. If you feel gloomy and you’re not sure why, you’re not alone.
Whether you suffer from a diagnosed mental illness or you’re just feeling blue, it’s a problem. Depression, anxiety, and bouts of sadness can affect our relationships and productivity. Worse, they can take a toll on our overall health.
The best thing to do is to learn coping strategies to pull yourself out of the rut you’re in before you get too deeply entrenched. Use these five tips to shake the blues and boost your spirits quickly!
1. Listen to Music
For millennia, people have used music to calm down and feel better. It has soothing properties that are almost medicinal in how well they affect the brain.
In fact, music therapy has been used to aid in depression treatment, stress reduction, and pain relief. Neuroscientists spend a lot of time studying the effects of music on mental health and physical wellness. Some scientists even speculate that music is more effective than medication in lifting depression.
So when you start to feel down, turn up the tunes!
But, be careful about the type of music you listen to. Sad songs can pull you into their depths without any effort. They may be your favorite tunes, but you need to avoid them when you’re fighting the blues.
Throw on some upbeat, happy music instead. Funky rhythms and positive lyrics reduce your cortisol levels and make you want to tap your feet and move to the beat!
2. Get Active
An almost surefire way to boost your mood is to do some exercise.
There are dozens of excuses for not working out. Whether it’s a lack of time or no interest in joining a gym, it’s easy to avoid physical exercise.
But getting active may be your best defense against chronic depression and physical illness. Find an activity you enjoy, whether it’s low, medium, or high intensity, and go do it!
Exercising is an all-in-one way to boost your mood. When you are regularly active, your body benefits in ways you might not even realize.
Outdoor exercise provides you with natural Vitamin D and fresh air. When you’re working out, you’re distracted from your problems for a little while. Your body becomes healthier, which makes you more confident.
It’s a win/win to fight the blues!
3. Reach Out to Someone
We all need help sometimes. Turning to your support system for a distraction or a way to vent can be all it takes to shake the blues.
No matter how introverted you think you are, the truth is that humans are social creatures by nature. We all need someone we can talk to and share our problems with. Otherwise, we can get trapped in our own thoughts.
Just by sharing the things on your mind, you might feel the weight lift a little. Two heads are better than one, and your friend could have a perspective you hadn’t thought of.
If you don’t feel comfortable sharing certain thoughts with those around you, or don’t have anyone to talk to, reach out to a therapist. They’ll teach you strategies for rising above your low feelings, and they’ll keep your conversations private.
4. Change Your Diet
Feeling icky but can’t quite put your finger on why? It could be your diet.
When everything else is fine but you can’t seem to kick the blues, look at your eating habits. Certain foods are scientifically proven to be bad for your mental health.
Check your diet and avoid these common depressants:
- Sugary foods
- Processed foods
- Artificial sweeteners
When you cross those off your meal plan, replace them with mood-boosting foods like:
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate
Watching what you eat is essential for your physical health, but it could also be the fix to getting rid of those bouts of gloom.
5. Switch Up Your Routine
Have you ever felt like you’re doing the same thing over and over, yet getting nowhere? When you feel like you’re in a rut, you might have a good reason.
Routines are helpful, but they can also be depressing, especially if you’re always working or bored. Yet, many self-help books and motivational speakers tout the power and importance of sticking to a routine.
If you look further into their recommendations, though, the answer isn’t the routine itself. It’s what you do in your routine that makes the difference.
Analyze your daily schedule. Is it the same old, same old? Chores, responsibilities, to-do lists that never end?
That’s not a routine. That’s monotony.
A powerful daily routine includes all of those must-dos. But it also makes room for self-improvement, time with friends and family, and hobbies you enjoy.
If you’re feeling down because you’ve gotten stuck in the wrong kind of rut, find ways to shake up your day. Get out of those monotonous routines!
Mental health conditions are serious concerns. The stigma of admitting that you need help is disappearing.
It’s okay to feel sad sometimes, but you have to learn coping mechanisms to pull yourself out of the doldrums.
Depression and anxiety can have detrimental effects on your life. Use these suggestions to improve your mood quickly when the blues are trying to hold you down!
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