I recently talked about how depression is both a physical illness and an emotional state, and shared 5 physical changes to make to help overcome it. While it is important to validate the physical aspect of depression, it is equally important to address the emotional aspect of it. These two aspects go hand in hand, and it is incredibly important to acknowledge and make changes in both areas if you want to gain lasting victory over depression. So today, I am going to talk about 7 things you can do to alter your emotional state and overcome feelings of depression.
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1. Listen to Uplifting and/or Upbeat Music
Music has amazing power over our emotions. Listening to something peppy and upbeat with positive, uplifting lyrics when you are feeling depressed can help give you an emotional boost. There is no right or wrong musical style to listen to. Everyone interacts with music in their own way, and sometimes what works for you depends on the day. For me, listening to Christian artists such as Jesus Culture Worship and Casting Crowns is generally the most effective. However, sometimes turning on a Demi Lovato or Relient K CD is the only way to go. Regardless of your taste in music, find something that lifts up your mood.
2. Meditate on What You are Grateful For
When I am feeling depressed it is all too easy to sit and wallow in whatever negative feelings I am dealing with at the time. All this does is prolong the depressive episode. So, rather than sitting around thinking about whatever it is that is dragging you down, starting listing all the things that you are grateful for. You can do this in your head, but I find it to be much more effective if you write it down. Then, once you have formulated your list, meditate on it. Think about each item individually, and visualize yourself in that place of gratitude and joy again. As a Christian, I visualize and feel that emotion of gratitude, and then I direct it to God, and take a moment to thank and worship Him for how He has blessed me.
This one goes hand in hand with meditating on gratitude. Serving not only pulls you out of your depressive episode mentally and emotionally, but it also pulls you out of your depressive episode physically. When you serve, you are not only thinking about the needs of someone other than yourself, you are giving yourself a physical anchor to pull yourself out of the pit of your emotional wallowing.
4. Speak Affirmations of Joy Over Yourself and Your Life
Words have creative power. What you speak over yourself and your life will manifest in one way or another. This being the case, you need to make sure that the words you speak are positive and life-giving. You can form your own affirmations, or you can download my FREE affirmations printables below.
Laughing produces endorphins that make you feel happy. So, if you are in a depressive mood and you want to get out of it quick, do something that makes you laugh. Watch a funny movie or TV show. Read a funny book, short story, or comic. Call that one crazy friend who always has a funny story or anecdote to share. Go watch random comedians on YouTube. Whatever you choose to do, laughter is another fantastic way to get yourself outside of your own head and lift your mood.
6. Seek Support
Depression creates a bubble around us, telling us that we are alone in the world. This is a lie. There are literally thousands of other people in the world who have gone through something similar to what you are going through. Additionally, even if they haven’t gone through what you are going through, there are thousands of people in the world who genuinely care about encouraging and supporting others. Find a support system that works for you. This may be a friend, family member, or therapist. It could be finding a small local group of people to get together with. Or, it could be finding an online community. I personally chose to sign up for a coaching program that has an affiliated Facebook support group. If you want to learn more about what I did personally in this area, please click here or contact me directly.
7. Have Hope
Don’t give up. It is possible to overcome depression. It is possible to live a “normal” life (whatever that means). As long as you keep fighting, keep consciously making the little choices that get you closer to getting better, everything will be ok. You can and will get through this.
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