Updated: Nov 24, 2019
Sounds simple really, but more and more people are feeling down or suffering from a form of depression.
Is this something new for our generation? Or is it that we now have the ability to diagnose depression more accurately that we could before?
The answer is both.
I personally believe that everyone has experienced depression, be it a feeling of loneliness or full blown mania we all to a certain extent have been there.
So how do we become happy? Well there is no real guaranteed solution to becoming happy and it will vary from person to person. But I aim to outline 7 simple and non-medicated way to boost your mood.
1. Treat your mood as a muscle
There are a lot of discussion on blogs, diet forums and even scientific reports that suggest there is a big link between regular exercise and happiness, however nothing is proven.
The key point is does exercise make you happy or do happy people exercise more?
One thing that everyone dose agree on is that by exercising regular you are getting out of the house and filling your free hours giving you less time to dwell on negativity.
2. Reward/Happiness paradox
For anybody who has ever been involved in sport or competitions of any form you will know the immense feeling of joy when you win. This is because upon victory chemicals in your brain called endorphin; oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine are secreted giving you a short but immense feeling of happiness.
Now I’m not saying we should all give up our day jobs and try and become professional football players but I am saying by setting small realistic objectives you can continue the reward/happiness paradox all day in everything you do.
I personally try and beat my living room hovering record every day.
3. Do foods that bring us pleasure, give us happiness?
Have you ever looked at a piece of cake and your mouth starts watering? Have you ever looked at a vegetable and had the same thing happen? No…
Well there’s a good reason for that, ever since the dawn of time man has been hotwired to go in search of food the more calorific the better to sustain you through the bleak winter. So upon finding the fatty food your brain issues you with a chemical reward.
Times have changed and the majority of people in the world today live amongst an abundance of food yet the primitive part of the brain still reward us for the calorific foods, this is not such a great thing if you wish to keep that nice waist line and live over 60.
Many people have said you are what you eat and as your brain is built on what you eat this is for all intense and purposes true. A bad diet can result in medical problems and weight gain which in itself can create unhappiness, so please eat a balanced diet but the occasional indulgence will make you feel great.
4. Get back to the herd
Isolation is a double edged sword, A little alone time to reflect on your life and emotions can be good and very rewarding but prolonged periods of social isolation can have a very negative effect on your physical and mental health. Humans in general are a very social animal who thrive through cooperation and communication, if you feel alone join a local club, volunteer for a local charity, and get out the house. Just by talking to someone you will achieve a sense of community, purpose, involvement and enthusiasm all resulting in a happier outlook.
5. Alone together
When we are in a relationship we often can’t understand how we can feel so alone.
Emotional isolation is one of the most common forms of depression and one of the hardest to identify. It stems from the absence of a confidant or an unwillingness to share your emotions due to the fear of conflict, so instead meaningful communication and sharing of emotions, relationships breaks down resulting in a numb and desolate feeling.
The only real way to get this one worked out is to talk, explain your feelings and confront your conflicts, a third party mediator such as a relationship counsellor is always advised to travers these personal and sometimes hostel conversations.
6. Log off
Although not proven by scientist a number of studies have found that prolonged periods of online activities especially on social media websites actually makes you feel more isolated and depressed. After all checking up on what ex-girlfriends are doing and what your friends are achieving whilst dwelling on your own short comings can never be good. So cut it out or cut it down and go and try physically interaction on the land not in the cloud.
7. Look up and smile
Now this one is my remedy!!
There is no science behind this and it’s not going to sort out any long term problems but it always makes me feel a little better when I’m feeling glum.
Try it now and see if it works.
Smile and look up to the sky for two seconds, now frown and look up for two seconds.
You will find that when you frown and look up the back of your neck hurts. (So don’t do it)
Repeat this five times, you will distress and feel better.