1) Don’t Just Sit There. Move! According to many psychologists, motion creates emotion. You might notice that when you are idle, it’s easier to become depressed. Your heart rate slows down, less oxygen travels to your brain, and you are slumped somewhere in a chair blocking air from reaching your lungs.
I challenge you right now, regardless of how you are feeling, to get up and walk around at a fast tempo. Maybe you might want to go to an empty room and jump up and down a little bit.
It may sound silly but the results speak for themselves. Try it now for a few minutes. By now you should begin to feel more energetic and in a better mood. It works like magic.
2) Smell The Roses. Like my friend Jan Toles says, “Stop and smell the roses.” (Jan, I listened to your advice and went to the flower section in Kroger and literally smelled every rose. That’s what you get for not being clear to foreigners!) How do you smell the roses?
How about investing some money to go on that one trip you’ve been dreaming about? Would Paris do? There you will find lots of exotic places to jolt your imagination and spur your creativity. You can also visit the Caribbean and learn how to scuba dive.
Can you imagine swimming deep under the beautiful blue water alongside some of the most beautiful creatures you have ever seen? When my friend Lumenise Gilot described that experience to me, I thought to myself, “What an exceptional way to smell the roses!”
3) Get Some Company. If you’re like me, you have many acquaintances, but you only have a few true friends. This isn’t because I’m introverted. It is because I’m very selective about who I let enter my territory. I have worked too hard to build my house — my dream — and I won’t let anyone destroy it for me in the blink of an eye.
When you’re feeling down, call your true friends and share what it is that you’re going through. Ask for their advice or input. While their advice or suggestions may be helpful, often you’ll find that simply verbalizing your problems will help you feel better.
4) Help Others Cope With Their Problems. It is very therapeutic when you engross yourself in helping others. You will be surprised how many people’s problems are worse than those you may be facing. You can offer others assistance in countless ways.
Don’t curl up in your bed and let depression and stress take hold of you. Get out and help somebody. There are many charitable organizations that can use your help right now. My dear cousin Barbara reads to the blind. What about that? Call the National Federation of the Blind so that they can tell you how to get involved.
5) Laugh A Little. By now you’ve heard that laughter is a good internal medicine. It relieves tension and loosens the muscles. It causes blood to flow to the heart and brain.
More importantly, laughter releases a chemical that rids the body of pains. Yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Every day, researchers discover new benefits of laughter. Let me ask you this question: “Can you use a good dose of belly-shaking laughter every now and then?” Of course you can.
6) Visit Third World Countries. Nothing is more humbling than to visit a poor country and see first hand what other human beings go through just to survive. Most people who have taken such trips come back with a deep and profound sense of gratitude and appreciation.
They realize how much they’ve taken for granted without ever realizing it. I encourage you to travel whenever you can afford to do so. You’re not too busy. Do it for you. Your life will never be the same.
7) Wear Your Knees Out. If there were one sustainable remedy I could offer you when the going gets tough, it would be prayer. Many people, depending on their faith, might call it meditation. It doesn’t matter to me what you call it, as long as you have a place to run to. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Religions are crossroads converging upon the point.”
Well, I don’t often discuss religion, and I don’t know what works for you; but Christianity is the way I know. However, I am sensitive enough to respect your faith. My whole point is that when everything else fails, prayer works!