Today, Rumination is the magic word!
Definition of rumination: the compulsively focused attention on the symptoms of one’s distress, and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions. (Wikipedia)
That’s precisely what I do when I get down: I ruminate horrible thoughts related to my past, and they take over my brain, they flood my entire system.
In my self-help quest, I’ve learned methods to revert those mental states, along with a bunch of tricks to uproot depression when it tries to settle.
There are thousands of great ways to kick your mind out of its misery, I’ve just chosen to share 20 of them with you, just like that, free of charge:
Acknowledge and let flow
- Admit that you’re not feeling great, it’ll alleviate the effort you’ve spent pretending all is fine.
- Open the drain and let all the crappy feelings flow out, naturally. If you need to cry, please do. Nothing to be ashamed of.
- Gear your focus towards a positive object:
Focus on the good, ignore the rest
Look around you:
- there’s a bee pollinating a flower
- there’s a hobo petting his quiet dog
- there’s a kid learning to say “potato” with his giggling mother
- the mother’s pretty sexy, BTW
There’s an equal amount of horrible and beautiful things happening in your immediate environment, pay attention to what helps your mind recover, trash the bad part.
Take one step Forward
Identify one thing that you need to do, like filling the dishwashing machine. Do it mindfully and calmly. Once it’s done, congratulate yourself. Proceed to something else.
Simple tasks done mindfully heal the mind from an excess of dark thoughts.
Avoid the news
The News never broadcast good news: mass shootings, tsunamis, lay-offs…Unless you can do something about all that suffering, shut the TV down, seriously. If you get bad news via the social media, just don’t click.
Cut down on drugs
Drugs ? They’re great!…Until their effect wears off. In the long run, they make your brain chemically vulnerable. I know many people who’ve done drugs on a regular basis and they’re all chronically depressed.
Give yourself a long break if you want to be happy again.
Chest up, soldier!
Chest up, breathe big, bring fresh oxygen to your depleted brain, it’ll respond by taking you to heightened states of mind.
Assess your privileges
You can read, you can think, you can create, you can CHANGE! Focus on all the potential you have. Instead of ruminating on your past screw ups, contemplate how your life can massively improve if you use your present capacities.
Leech on to sunshine
Don’t avoid sunlight, you’re not a vampire, even if you feel like one when you trample into the quagmire of sadness. I sunbathe as often as I can, it’s amazingly effective and it don’t cost a thang.
Put a silly grin on your face, keep it there
Smile no matter how inappropriate and stupid you feel. Soon you’ll see: it becomes contagious, people start smiling back at you and you’re the one that initiated that positive social feedback. See if you really want to get back to a depressive mode, now.
Give something to someone
Stop the vortex of self-concern by giving something to someone, putting your mind in a place of abundance that allows you to be generous is a fabulous way to ruin depression’s agenda.
You don’t need to offer expensive items if your means are currently limited: when I’m dead broke I give small things, 20 cents to a homeless person, or a cream sample I had for free in a shop. Little signs of attention are always appreciated.
Turn your eyes towards the sky and look around, the sunlight will flood your nervous system and your eyes will be less strained. The sky is an object that doesn’t require any focus, you can look at it effortlessly. That’s a trick for a quick relief.
Rejoice for others
You might be in the muck up to the neck, but if you rejoice for somebody else’s happiness, you’re doomed to feel better. It’s like using others as a cable wink, their happiness lift you up.
I know that rejoicing might sound unnatural, yet it’s taught in most major religions.
I’ve consistently trained that muscle over the last 10 years, I guarantee it makes you stronger and more positive.
Sync up with your body
Body scan yourself: focus your attention on one single part of your body, experience how it feels, fully.
Move gradually your consciousness through the vast territory of your chest, limbs, throat. Millions of subtle events are occurring, it’s not only a fascinating exploration but also a great way to slow your thoughts down and reconnect with yourself.
Ask yourself: what’s great about this situation?
That’s exactly what we DON’T do when depressed, instead we’d rather brood on questions like: “what the hell did I do to deserve all that crap?”. Try to do the opposite and ask yourself: “How can I use this situation?” you’ll be surprised by how your mind responds (it’s more creative than what we think).
PS: As a general principle, when I’m depressed, I do exactly what I don’t feel like doing. It’s a drag at first, but in the long haul I promise it works!
Hack your inner iPod
Bad feelings always come with a soundtrack. Don’t you have a special set of ballads that you play in your head when you feel terrible?
Does it ever help you alleviate the pain?
When I want to switch mode and feel better, I simply play something else in my head, it works great.
Take a hike without a purpose
Put a bottle of water in your bag and go walk around, run if you want to, nobody’s watching. Just do it for yourself.
Walk up the stairway
Elevators smell weird, and they’re socially awkward places. Instead of squishing yourself in the lift, just run up the stairway and unleash the power within (very efficient tip after a conflictual meeting).
Look back: what did you learn?
Crush your regrets by assessing all that you learned in your life. Even your worst experiences made your infinitely wiser and smarter, didn’t they? What is there to regret, really?
Don’t negotiate with your physiology: if you need 8 hours a night just get them, there’s no point in cutting corners with your biological needs.
Be curious about the person right next to you
“Forget about yourself and problems will forget about you” – Guendun Rinpoche
- What is he/she thinking?
- How can I help him/her?
97% of people don’t ask those selfless questions, but you can make a change by being curious of others, you’ll be the first one to benefit that process.
I’d come up with more but this article is already too long, if you’d like to get some more OUTSTANDING LIFE SAVING TIPS, you definitely should subscribe to gr0wing.com’s Newsletter :)