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10 Ways to Fight Against Sadness

10 Ways to Fight Against Sadness

No matter how happy we are in our day to day lives, we’ll still have those days when we feel sad.

It’s unfortunate that saying you’re going to be happy and actually being happy is a lot harder than feeling sad, but it’s true. It’s easy to let things get us down: a bad day at work, a rude comment, tough criticism, or even those days when nothing seems to go right. Fortunately, though, there are things you can do to fight against sadness and increase your happiness.

Eat Spicy Food

There’s a reason so many people enjoy eating spicy food, even when it burns. The reason for that is eating spicy food like chili peppers actually releases endorphins. And the reason eating spicy food helps to release endorphins is because when you eat something that’s hot a chemical compound called capsaicin, the thing that makes chili peppers spicy, clings to your pain receptors in the mucous membrane of your mouth and nose. That sends a signal to your brain that you’re in pain, so your body releases endorphins to make you feel better.

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Use Essential Oils

Scent plays such a huge role in our emotions. For those who already use essential oil, you’ll know that there is a blend to adjust every mood. Which means there is a blend of essential oils to help make you feel happier. Those scents include orange, rose, jasmine, coriander clove bud, bergamot, lemon, geranium, cinnamon, ginger and petitgrain, ylang-ylang and lavender. Every blend has a different effect on you, so do a bit of research to find out what is best for you and take a whiff.

Listen to Music

Another sense you should use to elevate your mood is your hearing. Listening to music can help you fight against feeling sad and improve your mood, especially if you listen to fun, upbeat tunes that make you feel good. So put together a happy playlist, and the next time you find yourself feeling down simply push play.

Exercise

Everyone knows that exercising helps increase our brain’s dopamine production, which is a chemical that’s necessary to feel happy, but did you know it only takes just a few minutes for it to work? And you don’t know even need to push yourself very hard; a simple 10 minute walk around the block or a short amount of time on an exercise bike should do the trick.

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Laugh

One of the best ways to boost your mood from sad to happy in just a few minutes is to laugh. However, when you’re already feeling sad laughing is often the last thing you want to do. So if you don’t feel like laughing, try watching a special by your favorite comedian or perusing silly YouTube videos.

Eat Chocolate

Chocolate is a natural painkiller, and it releases endorphins. But, don’t go for commercial candy bars that offer more sugar and artificial ingredients; instead choose a chocolate option that is purer, preferably at least 70 per cent cocoa.

Practice Gratitude

Sometimes finding things to be grateful for is extremely difficult, but once you learn to remind yourself of all of the good things in your life you’ll notice that it’s easier to feel happy. Writing out a gratitude list each day helps make you aware of all of the things in your life that are amazing, which is surprisingly easy to forget. Even though this seems like an easy task to do, it can be a lot more difficult than you might imagine, but will also have a huge impact on your life.

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Get Outside

By just spending 20 minutes a day outside you can boost your mood. Being outside helps your body absorb Vitamin D, which has been found to help prevent depression.

Spend Time With Friends

Whenever you’re feeling sad, call a friend and make plans to get together. Having something to look forward to will give you something to feel excited about, and being around your friends will make you happy just by being able to talk and laugh with them.

Smile

Finally, make yourself smile, even when you don’t want to. It has been scientifically proven that smiling will actually make you feel happy. So even you don’t feel like it, fake it until you make it.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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