Everyone feels troubled from time to time. We may face certain life events that make us feel worry, fear or despair. While feeling depressed is a normal reaction, feeling low for prolonged periods does not help. What then can you do to lift your mood quickly when you are down?
Dealing with Dark Moods
Whenever I am in a dark mood, it is possible for me to overcome it through sheer willpower. Here, I remember my purpose, focus on the solutions and do what I must. Yet such an approach requires great effort.
What happens when willpower alone is not enough? What happens if you cannot shake off the sadness, despair or negativity that you feel? What happens if your solutions fail to bring about the change you desire? What happens if you cannot think of any solutions to deal with your problems?
All these are questions and fears I grapple with as frustration saps my will. The problem with brooding is that it makes me stare too closely at the problem. When my mind keeps going in the same circles, it is not likely to find a new solution. Thus, I need to step back to see the bigger picture from another angle if possible. In such cases, the best way for me to overcome my dark thoughts or moods is exercise.
The Need for Exercise
Honestly, I am not a huge fan of exercise. The only kind of exercise I get is to hit the gym twice a week. Even though I have been doing so for ten over years, I am lean at best. I was never motivated enough to develop and maintain huge and bulky muscles. If it were not for the gym, I could be termed lazy.
Still, a sedentary lifestyle has many negative effects. Without physical activity, the human body will just atrophy from disuse. As I get older, problems will start to arise. Therefore, I cannot just sit around and ignore this. I have to make it a point to exercise. Apart from that, it is also good to maintain a certain measure of fitness and health.
But it can be hard to drag myself to the gym for a two-hour workout each time based on these reasons alone. Yet overtime, I have come to realize that my workouts do wonders for my mood as well. I might leave my home feeling gloomy, but after my workout, my mood improves tremendously. By having a fairly long and intense session, my body releases endorphins to cope with the stress I place on it. You see, endorphins act as a natural pain reliever and antidepressant. This in turn makes me feel good at the end. But this is not all.
A Mental Shift in Focus
Early on, I realized through observation and experience that one way to beat my dark moods is to shift my focus. When I focus on other things instead of brooding, I feel slightly better. This is why I have always made it a point to focus on the solutions and not the problem itself. I have been a compulsive brooder for most of my life. I might be better able to manage my brooding today, but the tendency to brood is always there.
The beautiful thing about exercise is a need to focus on the task. There is no room to brood if I wish to have a good workout. Otherwise, I could seriously injure myself in the process. My workouts last about two hours on average. During this time, I give it my all. I make sure I push myself as far and as hard as I can. By escaping my mind’s hold on me in this manner for a prolonged period, I feel better naturally.
I may have started my workout feeling gloom and doom. But at the end of my session, everything seems brighter and possible. Even if the road ahead is hard, I have renewed determination to press forth.
Exercise or sports are natural and healthy ways to lift your moods. But the type and intensity that suits you may vary from person to person. Always consult your physician before you start any exercise program.
What other healthy and natural ways can you think of to feel better quickly? Do you exercise or play sports regularly? How do you feel after that? Are there any favourite sports or exercises that you have? Do share your thoughts and comments below!