How to Pick Yourself Up when Feeling Down in 5 Effective Steps

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how to pick yourself up when feeling down

Occasionally, we get a little sad, and that sense of sadness sometimes lingers throughout most of the day. It’s important to note that feeling down is different from clinical full-blown depression: the former usually has an identifiable reason (your boss didn’t really go super happy about your presentation, and this dashed your hopes for a promotion, hence the sadness), whereas the latter can leave you drowning in that thick, dense feeling of hopelessness, as if everything is lost and there’s simply no light at the end of the tunnel. If you can differentiate between the two, then there’s hope for you. So if you’re sad and wondering how to pick yourself up when feeling down, check out the following tried and tested steps.

1. Meditate

Engaging in regular meditation is a lot more than just performing some meaningless mumbo-jumbo, during which you sit in some spot and recite arcane mantras to yourself. In fact, meditation has been proven in countless studies to have significant positive effects on mood—regular meditation can cause an increase in the brain’s production of “feel-good hormones,” such as endorphins, GABA, DHEA and melatonin. That’s why when you meditate, you can immediately feel the positive difference—your mood lifts up, your anxiety melts away, you begin to sing the lines to that famous Bob Marley song, “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.”

2. Count the good things

Remember the old lines to that popular Christmas song, “Count your blessings instead of sheep.” When you’re sad, and you’re looking for tips on how to pick yourself up when feeling down, then this is the simplest you can do: count the good things that have happened to your life. Maybe you have been so focused on these little frustrations and failures that you have been regularly overlooking the good ones. Start making that list now.

3. Exercise like you’re getting paid for it

Yes, we know: when you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps, the least thing you’d want to do is doing some exercise. But believe it or not, against your initial feelings, exercising can instantly give you that emotional lift. This is because physical activity boosts your production of certain “feel-good” hormones, such as dopamine, and these hormones are responsible for what is known as “runner’s high.” So getting out of the dumps can be as easy as taking a walk or running a few laps around the neighborhood.

4. Pamper yourself

Often, when sitting right there and wondering about how to pick yourself up when feeling down, we tend to neglect our personal hygiene and simply wallow in our uselessness. The more you wallow in your festering isolation, lying on the bed in your underwear and smelling like you haven’t washed in ages, can only make you feel worse. Getting out of this emotional slump can be as simple as taking a good, long shower. Feeling clean and fragrant and wearing crisp, clean clothes can work wonders on your mood. Brush your teeth, comb your hair, try to look good as much as possible, groom, shave, and wear your new shoes. Anything you need to do to look and feel good, do it.

5. Play some funky music

Yes, music. Any “how to pick yourself up when feeling down” checklist of must-do things always include music. Also, remember that our taste in music is set for life during adolescence, so the kind of music you can listen to depends on your particular taste and what you actually regard as “lively.” Play Mozart’s lively piano concertos or Ed Sheeran’s songs, whatever makes you feel good. Just avoid heavy metal music, especially if you tend to “head bang,” as studies have found that head-banging (swaying your head vigorously to the riffs of a heavy metal song) can cause brain injury.


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