When you believe you have little to be cheerful about, holding back from thinking depressive thoughts is plain hard. That is exactly where the role of psychological pick-me-ups starts.
What are pick-me-ups?
Sometimes when we feel drained by mid-morning, having an energy bar pulls us through the next few hours till lunch. The energy bar is your pick-me-up—saviour if you will—as it boosts your physical energy! Pick-me-ups of the mind work likewise.
Why use pick-me-ups?
It is one thing to have a bad start to the day, but it is quite another to have the bad start precipitate a series of unpleasant events. And yet, that is what so often happens. Veena Chakravarthy, psychotherapist, neuropsychologist and counsellor, points out that if you can’t get a grip over your thoughts, particularly, the first negative thought, you can spark off a chain reaction of events with negative connotations, which go on to spoil your entire day [sometimes, even the next couple of days].
Pick-me-ups work over your thoughts to directly influence your emotions and spare you from dwelling in negativity. They thus prevent the mood swing that would have ensued as a result of your thinking unconstructive thoughts.
“What you think determines what you feel and how you behave,” says Parul Tank, psychiatrist at Fortis Hospitals, Mumbai. Pick-me-ups help you reassume a positive stance in a jiffy. As such, it helps you rise to a difficult occasion by changing your emotional state, bringing you back from the depth of moody blues. Then, once you’re feeling stronger in mind, you are in a better position to work on your thoughts.
Here are a few pick-me-ups to provide you an instant lift:
Take a walk
A brief walk calms a disturbed mind. As you walk, pay attention to objects that catch your fancy; it will take your mind off darker thoughts.
Take some rest
Fatigue can have a dampening effect on your outlook to life. Take a nap to restore your spirits; a healthy mind lives in a well cared for body. It is easier to keep your spirits up when you are well-rested.
Colour your life, literally!
A healthy lifestyle is a great way to colour your life. Another more literal way is to decorate your home and work space with shades that please you, so that you can beat the blues when the weather is gloomy or you think that you have nothing to cheer about.
Hug a friend
Human touch enhances the production of hormones associated with feeling good, growth and immunity. So, the next time you feel let down, find a friend to hug.
Tease your mind into thinking of the wonderful lunch or dinner you’ll soon be eating. Eating can be a very satisfying and calming experience, and an instant mood changer.
Let aroma do the trick
According to experts, certain essential oils help alter your mood. Try jasmine, eucalyptus, grapefruit essential oils. Dab your temples or your nape with these oils.
The right kind of flowers combines the dual wonders of colour and fragrance. That’s why they are the traditional get-well gift; keep a small bouquet in a vase near you.
Listen to music
Music can restore one’s sense of purpose and happiness. Keep your all-time favourite tracks handy—play them whenever you feel the blues coming on.
Would a new book, movie, or garment perk you up? Get out there and buy whatever works for you.
Make positive statements, always
Affirmations enhance faith in your abilities and wellbeing. Tank suggests repeating positive statements to yourself even if you don’t entirely believe in their veracity. Chakravarthy also emphasises the value in complimenting others when it is due. After all, it is in giving that we receive.
Start off from a higher note
Instead of just being there, happy one minute and sad the next, pump up your feel good factor so that trivial matters don’t get your down. A healthy lifestyle encompassing a nutritious diet, exercise, positive social interactions, and prayer or meditation to manage stress, will boost you.<?p>
Be in good company
Cheerful, enthusiastic people add value to your life. Associate with people you feel comfortable with and in whose company who feel yourself opening up and real.
Share a joke with a friend. Read a comic, watch your favourite sitcom—feel yourself de-stressing.
Enjoy your success
Chakravarthy suggests setting small achievable goals every day so that you frequently experience a sense of accomplishment. Enjoy your success and share it with your family and friends.
Get the better of your mood swings
Moods come and go, fickle as they are. However, some overly-sensitive individuals are more prone to mood swings. Even a certain noise, lighting or colour can upset them. If you also find yourself experiencing too frequent mood swings, try to pin-point the reason.
Does your mood change at a particular time of the day? Are your mood swings related to a sense of feeling inferior to a person around you? Do sad headlines affect you adversely? Does a certain person put you off?
Once you have identified the reason, try to avoid the cause. If that’s not possible, keep pick-me-ups around you to protect you when you are most vulnerable. You should aim to stabilise your emotional state and overall wellbeing. As you gain control over your emotions, you will get the sparkle back in your life.