Credits to Elena Koycheva -Unsplash
"We are made of flesh that bruises and bleeds, bones that break, and a mind that is susceptible to wild mood swings."
― Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls
As humans, we all tend to feel low at times. One cannot always be happy. There is so much noise in the surrounding world that we don't need a particular reason to feel sad: Social Media, News Papers, Smart Phones, Television News all display negative happenings. Even a small dose of negative news with your early morning tea can set you up for depression. Depression can sometimes last for the whole day.
Can we control what is happening in the world? I don't think that is possible. We can control how we react to negative news or events. At times it is easier said than done. The brain warns you against any such negativity, but the mind chooses to ignore what the brain is saying. There are millions of ways to distract you from your mind. But something stops you from doing so, and you fall into the trap of sadness.
Why do we feel out of sorts on some days?
There could be many reasons for depression. All of us have this Blah! Days. There are many scientific reasons for depression and mood swings. To mention a few,
- The weather, which could make one feel sad, or sunshine, would make you feel inspired. I'm not too fond of rainy days as they make me feel depressed.
- Continuos work-related stress. I get depressed and angry with myself if I cannot complete my work on time. Same if I find the house not cleaned, or there is dust gathering on things, and I do not have the time to attend to it.
- Deficient levels of Vitamin D, I am told, cause depression. Most people in large cities have this problem.
- Unmet expectations is another reason. One may have worked hard over a project or an assignment. But if you don't see the rewards of your hard work, then you can get depressed.
- Your inner critic could always judge you and criticize you for everything you do. Especially if things are not going the way, you want them to go. It generally gives you a negative biased perspective making one feel sad.
- Diseases or disorders that interfere with the functioning of the nervous system can also cause mood swings.
How can we prevent moods from sabotaging our lives?
As long as you don't define yourself by these moods, things should be fine. I have never allowed mood swings to sabotage my day and impact my rationality.
Four things that always improve my mood
I have always believed in keeping myself busy. Either it is the housework or office work. Both these can sometimes be overwhelming. Some events and incidents make me feel low when I get time to think. I know I cannot change what has already occurred, but the nagging thoughts get me stuck.
And then there are some days when I feel uninspired and low energy. Laziness evokes a feeling of frustration and makes me angry at myself. While I understand it is customary to sometimes go through these phases of inactivity and feeling low, it took me time to reflect and realize what lifted me from such moods.
Things that almost always improved my mood
- Whenever I am feeling low, I pick up the phone and talk to my son. Talking to my son has always lifted my spirit. From the tone of my voice, he understands my emotions and knows something is bothering me. Just a brief conversation with him settles all restlessness.
- Taking a walk in nature is yet another way I lift my spirits. The colourful bounty of flowers and characters brings a smile to my face, and I start feeling happy. Nothing beats breathing in the fresh air. While admiring the beauty of the small things in nature, laziness disappears. It rejuvenates me and kicks me into action.
- Making changes in my environment. Moving around the furniture and beautifying my home and my balcony garden. Talking to the plants and nurturing them, watering them also keeps me engrossed and pushes me to quit feeling lazy. There is a lesson to draw from the plants. They don't set any limit for themselves. They grow as much as they can. In comparison, we humans have limiting beliefs that place restrictions on us and prevent us from achieving what we would like to achieve.
- I like Indian light and classical music. Listening to music or doing a thirty-minute yoga also helps me lift my spirits.
Negativity can always take a severe toll on health if poorly managed. It, therefore, becomes essential to deal with it immediately.
An interesting article that talks about negative emotions and how it impacts us is worth reading.
"I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between."
― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath