This is not medical advice. If you’ve recently had an accident, go see a doctor.
You Must Want It
When I was at my lowest point of depression, I wasn’t doing anything to get better because I was depressed. If you don’t want to get better, nothing is going to work. The first step is you must want to improve your life, and if you have that you’re already halfway there!
Short Term “Hacks”
You can do every hack in the world to feel better, but if you feel like your life has no meaning, getting some good endorphins probably isn’t going to change that.
However, when we feel good it’s easier to take action, so here are some body language tips I’ve learned to give you short term confidence that you can translate into action and long term results.
Take up more space - spread out your arms and legs and move because this releases more good endorphins in your body than if you sit in a small space with a timid posture.
Smile - there have been several studies that show putting a pencil in between your teeth for a few minutes leads to a happier demeanor and outlook on life. Smiling makes you feel better!
There are some hacks - take up space and smile - and if you do them for 5 minutes they definitely work, but it might not feel like that at first. Try it and see if you can hold a genuine smile for 5 minutes with your arms out and open because you’ll feel better!
Exercise & Sun
You will feel better if you move. I’ve done thousands of workouts and I’ve never regretted a single one. Exercise makes you feel better, that’s a fact. Try to find something that you enjoy doing, and it’s ok if you start with just a long walk because any movement is going to get your body working better.
In New York in the winter we have seasonal depression, which is really caused by a lack of sun and movement. At every chance you can, try to get at least 15% of your skin exposed to the sun to fill up your vitamin D reserves. You will feel better when you have regular sun exposure.
Since 2017 every day I’ve written one thing I’m grateful for in my gratitude journal. If you’re alive it’s because someone took care of you when you were just a baby. If you’re reading this you’re using technology you didn’t invent. If you can read it means someone taught you.
You’re surrounded by blessings every day and recognizing some of the basics that other people don’t have can wake you the fuck up!
Clean drinking water, food to eat, a warm bed, a safe home, someone who loves you, eyes that can see, ears that can hear, the list is endless. Write something you’re grateful for and you’ll feel better!
Think of Others
Depression is self-imposed and most is a form of self-obsession and selfishness. The world is so much more important than you - WAKE THE FUCK UP! If you can find a cause or some demographic of the person who you want to help it gives meaning to your life.
For example, most of my childhood I lacked guidance, and although I wanted more, I felt powerless to change my life. Now my purpose in life is to empower others through education and this is a primary reason why I’m a coach!
Your purpose in life probably connects with your childhood - so think about the most intense emotions you have from your childhood and consider how you could help the younger you.
Hope this helps! -Tom