Sometimes, sitting down for even just 5 minutes can already be difficult–especially when you’re dealing with anxiety and stress, or are simply busy and on the go. All the same, you can still make room for your mindfulness practice. Here are 1 minute mindfulness exercises you can do:[Read more…] about 1 Minute Mindfulness Exercises
Human beings have an infinite capacity to be kind, generous, and supportive of one another. When that happens, I call it the huddle effect. It often occurs when people need support during a crisis. Suddenly, we realize how much we need each other.[Read more…] about Togetherness—not Otherness—is a Remedy for Global Healing
Millions of people suffer from sickness in the physical body, including all kinds of pain, inflammation, cysts, tumors, cancer, COVID-19, and many other sicknesses.
Millions of people suffer from sickness in the emotional body, including anger, depression, anxiety, worry, grief, fear, guilt, shame, loneliness, and more.[Read more…] about Why Do People Have Challenges in Health, Relationships, Finances, and Every Aspect of Life?
This is a special time of the year, with Spring signaling a re-start. The season evokes a sense of starting anew, feelings of life bursting everywhere you look.
I do believe that this is a good time to step back and give your life a quick checkup. If you made resolutions at the beginning of the year, this is a great time to see where you are in relation to your goals.[Read more…] about 10 Quotes About New Beginnings
Melancholy as an emotion is distinct from depression or grief. It has its own singular nature that is characterized by a certain vague sadness, an unexplainable tenuous sorrow that is baffling because you can’t quite put a finger on its cause. Changing circumstances in life allow melancholy to creep in insidiously and catch you unawares so that you experience moments of profound bleakness or intense yearning for no one or nothing in particular.
“My melancholy is the most faithful mistress I have known; what wonder, then, that I love her in return.”
A melancholic phase can actually be good for you. It increases mindfulness, raising your awareness of the present. It can also make you more intuitive and empathetic towards other people. But prolonged melancholy can have a significant negative effect on your mental and physical health. Seventeenth-century Puritan theologian Richard Baxter writes that “overmuch sorrow” can pollute one’s judgment, overthrow logical reasoning and hinder hope. Modern medicine says it leads to anhedonia, the inability to find pleasure, and eventually to clinical depression.
If you find yourself languishing in a state of chronic melancholy, it’s time to take control of your moods. Don’t ask your doctor for a Prozac prescription…yet. Here are non-medical treatments that work on both your body and your mind to distract you from your sadness and lift up your spirits, so that you can gradually return to your normal self.
Start color therapy.
Colors prompt a physiological reaction from us. The “red stimulates, blue soothes” is a basic theory. But colors can be deeply personal and evoke fond memories, so choose those that cheer you up.
Overhaul your wardrobe and redo your house. Pick clothes in happy and fun colors. A bit of orange, yellow and red can elevate your mood and give you self-confidence. Paint your living room and kitchen in brighter hues. Beige and brown with warm shades of reds and oranges can stimulate conversations and create a connection when you have guests around. Blues and greens are sedating and best used in the bedroom. If a total paint job is beyond your budget, buy new throw pillows, rugs and carpets, and other accents in cheerful colors.
Keep a journal.
A journal is different from a diary or a to-do list in that journaling is writing down your thoughts, feelings, and reflections of a certain event or meeting. When you write, whether it’s on old-fashioned paper or on a device, there is no censorship. The advantage of journaling is, in reviewing it, you see your reaction in those moments and you can reflect on them and analyze your own feelings. It’s also a great way to let off steam without getting embroiled in an unpleasant encounter.
Believe in a Higher Being.
Separate studies done by researchers at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and McLean Hospital, a psychiatric affiliate of Harvard University found that depressed people who had a strong faith in their God, regardless of religion, had about 75% better response to treatment than the nonbelievers. Their faith in a God who cares for them combined with scientific forms of treatment helped speed up their recovery.
Take vitamins and minerals.
The B-complex vitamins and Vitamins C and D help your body fight against the symptoms of melancholy, depression, and stress. The B-complex vitamins are B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12. They provide the body with energy to combat fatigue and stress and help in the production of the happy hormones serotonin and dopamine. A deficiency of some B vitamins can lead to diseases that cause depression.
Vitamin C is important for people with low levels of serotonin. Inadequate serotonin is associated with depressive mood disorders. Your body produces Vitamin D by exposing the skin to sunlight. Lack of this vitamin is linked to winter’s Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Your body needs the following minerals: magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, manganese, and potassium. Deficiency in these minerals can also cause depression.
Avoid negative lines of thought.
Melancholy can be a result of certain lines of thought that are narrow and self-focused. These unhealthy thinking patterns can become habits that will subtly sink into your mind and cause sadness and despair.
Comparing yourself to others – your friends, co-workers, and neighbors have bigger houses and better-paying jobs, are smarter and more attractive, have brighter kids, etc., etc.
The all or nothing – events and outcomes are black or white, good or bad. There is no room for mistakes. A small flaw makes the whole imperfect and a complete failure.
Not counting your blessings – dwelling on the negatives when there are so many things to be thankful for. You’re like the man who cried because he had no shoes until he met a man who had no feet.
Catastrophizing – always anticipating and thinking of the worst that can happen.
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First published in April 2016; updated March 2022
I was having one of those grumpy days recently when I’d woken up in a bad mood and was really struggling to think and act positively. I went to the supermarket and as I was queuing up, the person in front of me gestured for me to go before them. I only had a few items and they had a big shop, so this saved me having to wait around. Their kind gesture and friendly, smiley manner really lifted my mood and put a smile back on my face. In fact, it made me want to go and do something nice for someone else.
This encounter reminded me of the concept of “paying it forward,” which is a topic I’ve been meaning to write about for a while.[Read more…] about Paying it forward