Troubles are everywhere. We face issues in relationships, we face issues at work, and we face issues relating to our own physical and mental health. Even on my happiest days if I look around I find someone or the other facing some kind of issue. Right now, most people are concerned about rising prices and thus expenses. The ones who do not have to worry about their finances are helpless as they face issues in their personal relations. The ones who are lucky enough to be out of relationship mess and financial dilemmas are physically unfit or maybe just not happy with where their lives are going.
I have had many coaching clients who have just one little complaint. They are not finding their life meaningful. They say they do not know where they are going and whether they are happy doing what they are doing. This makes them sad, and although they have a life that most people would kill for, they still feel gloomy and depressed.
Though this issue is deep-seated and needs personally customized plans for every individual here I want to address a general problem and unique solutions to it.
The question that I want to address today is simple.
How to uplift your spirits when you are sad.
If the reason behind your sadness is external circumstances and is out of your control:
In situations where everything is out of your control, it becomes tougher to let it go and uplift your spirits. But the most important point to remember here is that there is actually nothing you can do to change the circumstances. You are unhappy about people dying but you cannot stop the war between the 2 countries. You don’t like government policies but it is not in your hands alone to change the government. You don’t like the way a certain person behaves but you cannot change their behavior. You don’t like that your boss prefers your colleague over you but you cannot change their behavior. You do not like your job but that is what keeps your family going so you can’t quit. All you can do is change the way you react to things and make things easier for yourself.
- Sleep for some time. It might sound like a silly suggestion to start with but it works wonders. When there is something that is disturbing you and you can do nothing about it sleeping for some time can give your brain the relaxation it has been craving from all that overthinking. When you wake up you will feel a little better.
- Cry if you need to. There have been many pieces of research on why people feel better after crying and what it reveals is crying releases oxytocin and endorphins. These happiness hormones help deal better with both emotional and physical pain.
- Schedule meetings with people you like. Meet them and divert your attention to things that make you feel better.
- Do something for someone else. Evolution has wired us to help each other. Our bodies are structured in such a way that when we give to others or help others it helps release happiness hormones like oxytocin and reduces cortisol (stress hormones). Read more here.
- Listen to Music. Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, stress, blood pressure and in fact also relieve you from pain (both mental and physical). It improves your mood.
- Have a Gratitude Jar. This will need a little preparation but can work wonders when you are sad. Whenever something good happens to you make a note of it, fold the paper and put it in a jar. The next time when you are upset pick out random chits and start reading them. You can also do it with a gratitude journal.
- Go for walks. Being close to nature and working out both can help you curb your stress hormones and thus going for a walk becomes the most desirable option.
If the reason for your sadness is internal and you can make some changes to feel better:
For times when there is something that you can do about the situation and bring about a change here are the things that you can do to uplift your spirits.
- Focus on facts. Many a times we overthink and make things worse for ourselves. In order to uplift your mood the first step you need to do is stop overthinking and focus on reality.
- Create an action plan. Once you can stop your overthinking the next step is to take action.For example, if you do not love your job and you are not being able to make the switch because of financial responsibilities, then start working on making a shift. Learn how to reduce you expenses. Try to find things you love and how you can make a career in them. Follow the HEART model for setting goals. Initially just use your spare time and weekends to work on it and then you can make a permanent switch when it is possible. No matter what the issue, even creating an action plan to bring about the change can uplift your spirits.
- Talk about it. Talk to people about it and not with the ones who will make you further gloomy. Have a set of solution-oriented people. The ones who can actually give you some great suggestions for working on your current situation.
- Work on improving your mental health. Check your belief system, and work on strengthening it. Create your own calm and work on things that make you anxious. Connect with a professional who can help you identify why you are feeling a certain way and what changes you can bring in your life to make you feel good about it. Spend time with yourself and for yourself. Indulge in self-care.
- Learn to say no. There may be times when you overburden yourself just to please others. Work on saying no and being able to live with the fact that you cannot make everybody happy all the time.