Life is, unfortunately, full of little (and big) things that test us and push us to feel negative, sad, and angry. Sometimes we’re able to sulk for an hour and forget about whatever it was that made us feel that way in the first place, but at other times that mood builds until it feels like it has taken on a life of its own.
This kind of negativity can go on to affect every aspect of your life, so it’s important that you find a way to relieve those feelings and shake off the dark cloud that has been following you. Here are three of the best ways to shake a bad mood and prioritize your mental wellness:
Figure Out the Cause (and Take Action)
Some feelings you have will have no discernible cause (as is often the case with depression and anxiety), but sometimes if you sit down and dig deep about what’s bothering you, you can discover the cause. Maybe you feel guilty or embarrassed about a situation at work, or maybe there is something out of your control that has you down.
In cases of the former, sometimes there is something you can do to take control of that situation that will start to relieve the feelings of frustration and helplessness you are experiencing. Whether that is apologizing to someone for something you said, or deciding to put your CV online so you can think about finding a role you are a better fit for, there may be something you can do to relieve some of the pressure.
Sometimes, however, you know the cause but can’t do anything about it, in which case read on.
Often, this is the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling down, but a walk outside while listening to music, a podcast, or an audiobook can be a great way to help you walk off the excess adrenaline you have in your system from your anger or anxiety, or get the blood pumping if you’re feeling lethargic and like everything is too much trouble. If this is the case, you don’t have to commit to a long walk, just start with a walk around the block and see how it feels.
On the other hand, if you’re feeling truly pent up why not step it up a notch and go out for a run? Running is a fantastic way to put your mood back on an even keel, make you feel good about yourself, and help you put the past behind you. If you don’t want to go outside or if running isn’t for you, try our next suggestion.
Punch it Out
Don your boxing gloves and walk over to the punching bag, because if you’ve never experienced the rush of relief after punching the bag even just once, it is something you need to do. Boxing is an incredible stress reliever and a great way to manage your mental health – plenty of people with anxiety and depression sing its praises, and of course, punching an inanimate object is an incredible way to release anger.
Not only do you have a chance to envision the punching bag as the source of your anger and get away with hitting it without the consequences, but it also gets the blood pumping, adrenaline flowing for all the right reasons, and gives you a healthy hit of endorphins for your efforts, which helps you feel happy, relaxed, and confident.
Another major bonus of taking up boxing as a way to manage your mental health is that you get to become a part of the boxing community, which is full of great people who you can choose to train with, or not, and discuss your shared experiences. You’ll be surprised how many people are willing to open up and talk about the reasons why they got into boxes and all the things you have in common.
Once you’ve tried one or a few of these activities you’ll start feeling better about your situation and more capable of handling it. If you’re dealing with depression or anxiety and found boxing helpful, book onto a weekly class and think of it as a form of therapy – it’s a vital part of keeping your mind and body healthy.