We can all get in a bad mood or have days when we feel down or flat,’ says clinical psychologist Jo Lamble. But it’s important to remember that if things don’t seem to be going your way, there are simple things you can try to turn around a crummy day.
Talking to others about feeling down is a good way to alleviate stress and help you feel better. Oscar winner Sally Field recently told Closer about her battle with depression, confiding that she feared for her future as a 19-year-old trying to make it in Hollywood. For her, attending acting classes, seeing a therapist and confiding in friends helped.
So if you’re struggling to bounce back from a dodgy day, try these expert-recommended tips to help get you back to a happier place...
1. Chat to a mate
‘Confide in trusted friends or family members. Don’t try to cope alone,’ Jo recommends. Clinical psychologist Sally-Anne McCormack adds: ‘If you can keep in mind that those close to you want you to be well, it may make it easier to tell them how you’re feeling.’
2. Move it
‘Exercise is known to stimulate the endorphins in our body. So, if you’re feeling down and low without really knowing the reason, going for a brisk walk or run can help make you feel better and have a clearer head,’ explains Sally-Anne. ‘Starting or increasing exercise has been shown to help mild-moderate depression,’ Jo agrees.
3. Eat to beat it
‘Include tryptophan-rich foods such as salmon, turkey, eggs and bananas in your diet,’ nutritionist Fiona Tuck says. ‘Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps produce the feel-good chemical serotonin, a natural antidepressant. ‘Increase omega-3 essential fatty acids, such as those found in flaxseeds, walnuts and oily fish including salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines. Omega-3 fats are needed for healthy brain function and low levels have been linked to depression.’
4. Write through it
‘Start a gratitude journal by writing down positive things that happen each day. This will help you notice the good things and, if done regularly, will retrain the neurons in your brain into a more positive direction,’ Sally-Anne advises.
5. Get some sunshine
Sunlight helps us produce vitamin D, which aids in keeping our mood happy, advises Fiona. ‘When vitamin D levels drop, we can feel tearful or sad.
You might also like: