The pocket guide to optimism

 

We all have those moments. Feeling sad and demotivated over a long period of time can be demoralizing. Here are 5 easy Steps to get out of a depressed mood.

 

  1. Find the reason for your depressions

The so called “law of learned helplessness” explains that people who feel helpless or at their own life’s mercy develop a negative mindset towards any situation. In that way, no matter what happens to them, they either feel like something bad is happening to them and they are unable to change it, or something good is happening to them but they can’t appreciate it.

So ask yourself, do you sometimes feel like the situation you are in was imposed on you and you don’t have the power to change it? If you fail at a test, do you claim that the test was way too difficult, that there was not enough process time or that you weren’t able to study because you had a cold or something?  If you feel unhappy about your own body and would like to get into shape and be fitter, do you tell yourself that you simply can’t do sports because you don’t have enough time to work out, because the gym is too far away from where you live or do you blame your “unathletic genetics” for your  lack of sportmanship? If you have been waiting for a promotion but your colleague gets it, do you say that your boss simply doesn’t like you and that you are not going to get promoted anyways because you are not congenial to the job? That’s the root of all evil, and you have to break out of that vicious circle.

At first you need to understand that change is always possible and that you have simply adapted to feeling like you’re not capable of your own life because you have made bad experiences. Maybe you had to go through a hard time, you had to stand difficult situations and couldn’t do much about it, such could be a loss of a family member or a dramatic break up.

You don’t necessarily need to figure out where your problem comes from, the most important thing is for you to realize that you can make a difference in your own life, you just need to believe in yourself andn that the best is yet to come.

 

  1. Motivation is everything

Feeling depressed can be a consequence of a lack of motivation. Motivation and passion are what drives every human. If you can’t find anything motivating or inspiring in your life at the moment, you need to pull yourself out of that black hole. It may be your job, that is full of routines and disappointments that puts you in a bad temper. Maybe you feel overstrained by your daily life, your job, your relationship, all the stuff you NEED TO GET DONE.

So if you are really unhappy with your current situation and you now that it’s not only going to last for one or two weeks, then it’s high time to make a change! Figure out what you really want! What were you’re goals before? Did you reach them and now you feel empty and need to strive for a new project? Or have you lost your way and have problems realizing your goals?

Find out what hinders you from doing what you want and eliminate it. Find something that inspires you and grow with it. Life is a process of growing further and making experiences. As soon as you give up on developing yourself and heading forward, you’ll face disorientation and dissatisfaction.

 

  1. Make yourself a priority

Being a selfless person can be hard. Always putting everybody and everybody’s needs first can make you sick. It drives you mad, because even the most generous and helpful people need time for themselves. If you feel like you are completely consumed by all the things you need to do for other people, you should definitely focus on yourself more.

Give yourself a break.

I’m not telling you to leave the country for a few months. Treating yourself is all about the small things. Leave the office a bit earlier. Take a nice bath after a long day. Go out to eat your favourite food at a restaurant. Read a book you really like. Do yoga. Just take a few moments to free your mind from all the responsibilities you have. As you can see, you don’t have to spend lots of money on a brand new hand bag to treat yourself, most of the things that can bring you stress relief and relaxation are neither expensive nor time-consuming. You know best which activities you enjoy and if you call it luxury to sleep in until noon, then do that. Do whatever floats your boat!

 

  1. Distance yourself from excessive perfectionism

If you are an overly ambitious person, you are probably never really satisfied after you have reached a goal you have been working on for a long time. Even if your results on a test or really good, you are never really happy with them because you only have an eye for the mistakes you’ve made. You probably get angry if you do something wrong or if you forget about something important. This mindset can lead you to never being fully happy.

And I know what perfectionism and ambition feels like, because I was just like that not long ago. But you have to admit that no one is perfect, nor are you. And the best thing is, that it’s totally fine to make mistakes, to fail and be sad, to be in a bad mood, to feel down. It’s ok not to give 110% all the time, because that’s not human anyways.

Learn to be proud of yourself more often. You have come a long way, you have done quite well, haven’t you? Of course everyone has something they aren’t proud of but that’s just normal! Focus on what you can do rather than on what you can’t do. One important advice I can give you is to compliment yourself. Be your own #1 fan. If you have had a hard time, if you’ve been working really hard and you are exhausted, don’t look at yourself as weak because you are at the end of your tether. You should tell yourself “Hey, I’ve been working SO HARD that’s why I feel so worn out. I’m really a doer!” Reward yourself for your achievements and others will follow your example.

 

  1. Spend time with Mother Nature

It has been scientifically proved that spending time outside in the nature can help humans cope with various illnesses. Use its positive energy for your own benefit. Go for a long walk through the forest or the fields. Go find a park nearby if you live in a big city. Absorb the calming atmosphere.

A helpful trick is to find yourself a special place where you can withdraw from all your problems and worries. For example if you go through the forest, find yourself one tree and sit down under it. This is now your place of letting go. Close your eyes and concentrate on what you hear.Listen to the birds singing. Focus on the smell of leaves and grass and wild animals around. Then after a while open your eyes again and look up to the green leaves. The blue skies and the fresh green of plants are proven to have an extremely calming effect on a stressed out mind. Just relax there, take your time. Don’t hurry up if you go for a walk, you are rushing your life anyways. In that very moment you can feel your connection to the nature and its healing power. You can repeat that as often as you want to, because nature is a free gift that was given to us.

 

How do you get out of a bad mood? Do you find some of my tricks helpful? Comment below!

 

 

Where I got some of my inspiration from: 
“Der kleine Taschenoptimist” – Bettina Lemke, dtv Verlagsgesellschaft GmbH & Co. KG, 2015, München
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