Depression. It’s a soul-sucking and potentially life-threatening state of mind that many people suffer through at one point or another.
Losing a job. Losing out on a great work opportunity. Losing a loved one. Breaking up with a partner. Getting caught up in tragedy.
There are plenty of ways that you can find yourself stuck in a miserable state of mind. But luckily, there are also plenty of ways that you can snap yourself out of depression.
The following are four happiness-boosters for reconnecting with fulfillment when you’re feeling depressed.
Happiness-Booster #1: Exercise
Let’s start with the most well-known and straightforward happiness-booster on this list: Exercise.
Running miles on the treadmill, burning calories on the stationary bicycle, lifting weights at the gym, going for a jog or a stroll through your neighborhood, and even sex are all healthy ways to reap the happiness-boosting rewards of exercise on a regular basis.
According to this info-graphic by Happify.com, exercise is “a proven remedy for both depression and anxiety” because it produces “feel-good brain chemicals” that boost your happiness. And the positive mental health benefits only get better with more consistency. Because people who exercise more frequently for longer periods of time tend to reap the most happiness-boosting-rewards from their workout sessions.
So if you’re looking to bust yourself out of a sad mood or a depression, exercise is a high quality all natural solution for reconnecting with genuine happiness. And according to that Happify info-graphic, listening to music during your workout can improve the happiness-boosting mental health benefits of exercise.
So grab your sneakers, snap on some headphones, and get ready to break a sweat. And don’t question your decision to go for a job, take a mid-day walk, go for a swim, join a yoga session, or hit the gym. Because there is no downside to working out on a regular basis. It can only make you happier.
Happiness-Booster #2: Daily Meditation
Daily meditation is a powerful remedy for snapping yourself out of depression because it brings you back to your true nature—pure happiness. Simply sitting in meditation for ten to twenty minutes can cure anything from a bad mood to a severe depression. Because true happiness lies within.
That’s right. Despite how agitated, messed up, or depressed you might be feeling, your mind is fundamentally—at its core—a happy place.
Many of us spend our whole lives searching for true happiness externally through jobs, careers, money, material things, relationships, and substances. But ironically, that fulfillment that we spend so much energy looking for externally is already inside us.
Finding true happiness isn’t a matter of connecting with your perfect partner, perfect career, perfect house, perfect car, perfect family, perfect friends, or perfect net worth. It’s a matter of reconnecting with real fulfillment inside yourself. Because true happiness lies within.
And daily meditation is a powerful remedy for snapping yourself out of your depressed mood and getting back in touch with that state of genuine fulfillment that is your true nature. Sitting in meditation everyday will make you happier.
But in order for it work, you have to be consistent. Connecting with lasting happiness through meditation takes a commitment to sitting in stillness everyday—at least once per day.
As you consistently sit in stillness on a regular basis, you’re going to find that the problems, situations, and drama that used to instigate feelings of sadness are no longer able to faze you as they once did. Because meditation will provide a comfortable cushion of fulfillment for you to fall back on.
And as any meditator can tell you, that feeling of pure joy will only get deeper, better, and more authentic as time goes by.
Happiness-Booster #3: Gratitude
Sadness, bad moods, and depression often sprout from negative thoughts and pessimistic feelings about situations, events, or circumstances in your life. Depression originates from a feeling of ungratefulness and dissatisfaction with what you have been through, what’s currently happening in your life, and what you anticipate might happen to you in the future. Depression stems from ungratefulness.
So it makes sense that gratitude—the opposite of ungratefulness—is a powerful remedy for producing more feelings of genuine happiness to counteract that sadness. Gratitude is a research-proven happiness-booster.
TED Speaker, former Harvard professor, and Positive Psychologist Shawn Achor raves about the happiness-boosting effects of gratitude in Happiness Advantage: “studies have shown that consistently grateful people are more energetic, emotionally intelligent, forgiving, and less likely to be depressed anxious or lonely. And it’s not that people are only grateful because they are happier, either; gratitude has proven to be a significant cause of positive outcomes. . . . they become happier and more optimistic, feel more socially connected, enjoy better quality sleep, and even experience fewer headaches than control groups.”
Creating more feelings of gratitude, appreciation, and thankfulness for the situations, events, circumstances, people, places, and things in your life is a powerful way to snap yourself out of your depression.
And a simple way to express more gratitude on a regular basis is gratitude journaling.
So set aside some time every day to express some appreciation for three or more events, situations, people, or circumstances in your life that you feel grateful for. Even though it sounds simple, it’s proven way to snap yourself out of depression.
Happiness-Booster #4: Giving
My very first MuchokiMotivation blog post—“3 Reasons Why Giving Away Your $$ Can Make You Happier Than Earning More”—was about three reasons why the practice of giving is a much stronger approach for increasing happiness than seeking to earn more money. I decided to launch this blog with a post about giving because giving a very powerful—and often overlooked—way to enjoy more fulfillment.
According to research, donating to charity, giving to the homeless, volunteering for a cause, spending on others, and spreading positivity with no expectation of getting anything in return can add a significant boost to your happiness. Giving to others is a simple, but powerful way to melt your sadness away.
In fact, a Huffington Post article titled “Want to Be Happier? Give More. Give Better.” by Brady Josephson describes the act of giving as a remedy that activates a reward-center-area in our brains that is responsible for feelings of pleasure—the same area that lights up when we’re having sex or eating chocolate.
So if you’re looking to snap a miserable mood, one of the wisest ways to do it is by giving more. Because by giving to others, you’re also giving to yourself. And by helping others, you’re also helping yourself to a healthy, happier, and more positive way of living.