How to Pick Your Spirits Up

· August 5, 2018

There are some days when you wake up in a good mood. Days when you have more energy to face the day, more of a desire to laugh, and more eagerness to take in everything you see. You might think that happens just because, for no real reason. But the truth is that your thoughts and neurotransmitters play a vital role in this. So how do you pick your spirits up when you’re constantly losing them?

Those grey days when you have no energy and all you want to do is shut yourself off from the world or even disappear don’t happen by accident. Being down, or generally unwell, usually happens for a reason, and it’s always something that interrupts your normal life. But the only proper way to confront that grey sheet covering you is by understanding what it is.

Normalizing, accepting, and learning from your most downhearted days is absolutely essential. All emotions and feelings are important, not just the happy ones. It’s just as bad to constantly be in a down mood as it is to be in a state of euphoria all the time. 

It is more fitting for a man to laugh at life than to lament over it.”

-Seneca-


Sad woman in low spirits watching the sunset.

Why it’s important to be in good spirits

Going off of the idea that not all days can be good, that emotions are adaptive, and that our moods fluctuate within a fixed set of rules, you can reach the conclusion that it’s impossible to be permanently in good spirits. Still, learning to keep them up is a basic part of achieving your goals. This also helps you:

  • Persevere until you reach your objectives.
  • Keep yourself healthy.
  • Avoid anxiety, stress, and depression.
  • Nurture your personal relationships.
  • Be happy and foster your personal well-being.

Like Marcus Aurelius said, “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” Although he left out the neurobiological part of that statement, neuroscience has proven him right. Every time you have a thought, there’s a biochemical reaction in your brain, releasing specific substances that send messages to the rest of your body. When your body receives the messages, it sets in motion a chain of physical reactions to align your physical state with the original thought.

One way to change your mood is to change your thoughts. Of course, that’s much easier said than done, since our unconscious mind controls most of our thoughts. In fact, trying to avoid your negative thoughts can actually backfire and make them worse. Don’t boycott yourself or feel guilty if you ever feel trapped with these kinds of thoughts. At the end of the day, it takes a lot of practice to change them.

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”

-Anne Frank-

Person thinking, with head in shape of a cloud.

How to pick your spirits up

To make a habit of the things that will help you pick your spirits up, you have to start by making sure you’re ready, and that it’s the right time for you to get out of the emotional state of mind you’re in. Once you’ve analyzed things and analyzed yourself, you can take these steps:

  • Increase your activity levels. Doing exercise, playing some kind of sport, and signing up for activities that interest you can boost your well-being.
  • Go for a walk. Some studies show that walking stimulates areas of your brain that improve your mood.
  • Get back in touch with friends. Forming deep bonds with other people helps keep people happy.
  • Listen to music. Music has the ability to awake emotions like joy, motivation, and a good mood.
  • Give yourself a break from some tasks. Organizing your to-do list and not worrying about the least important (or even pointless) things will help you get into a better state of mind.
  • Organize your time well. Good planning is the key to focusing on the most important tasks and giving yourself time to rest.

On top of that, cognitive restructuring, used in cognitive-behavioral therapies, is a great way to change your beliefs by asking yourself different questions about them. By questioning the way you see the world, you can modify your frame of mind and, in that way, you can pick up your spirits. As always, the best way to do that is by seeing a specialized professional.

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.

-William James-