Updated: Dec 9, 2020
With the recent suicide of celebrity Sushant Singh Rajput, it has come as a shock to almost everyone why a successful, wise & intelligent person like Sushant could take such a drastic step. We all have low phases in our life but these phases should not be so overpowering that we give up on our own Life. Here are 10 ways to deal with a low phase in your life and come out of it. Please note that if you are having suicidal thoughts or suffering from clinical depression, call suicide helplines (which is mentioned at the end of the blog post) or visit a clinical therapist. The following techniques have helped me to overcome my low phase and hopefully will help you as well:
With our sedentary lifestyle increasing day by day, we are having a lack of sunlight exposure. We barely get out of our home or offices and prefer to stay in air-conditioned cabins or rooms depriving ourselves from the required sunlight. Sunlight is essential for a body to maintain its natural rhythm. When we have lack of sunlight, the hormonal imbalance occurs in a body and the body gets the signal that something is amiss. To compensate for that, our body secretes hormones which will balance that stress. So the stress hormones are increased which try to balance the body and hence the happy hormones like the dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin are not produced much. For this, getting sunlight & having natural light in our home is extremely essential. We have abundance of sunlight on our planet. Just go and have your daily dose of it. Also waking up early in the morning will help you get maximum exposure to healthy sun rays and will also help in maintaining natural body clock.
Meditation is the go to tool to help you overcome depression. When we meditate, we still our mind. Even if you are not able to still your mind initially, we become aware of the thoughts that are going on in our head. Our mental chatter which brings us down is known as depression. This mental chatter is the first thing that we need to become aware of. Meditation helps you reflect on that and get to the root cause of it- why are we having these thoughts and gradually learning to still those thoughts and go in a deep state of bliss. Even if you are an amateur in meditation just start doing meditation for 2 to 3 minutes. At first, just focus on your breath. That itself is enough for the start. You can also play a positive affirmation audio in the background so that your mind will not divert to negative thoughts. There is a lot of free audio for meditation available online.
3. Move your Body
As I mentioned before, our sedentary lifestyle has forced us to sit for long hours. When our body doesn't move much, it becomes lethargic and blood circulation in our body decreases. You need to have good blood circulation flowing in your body in order to feel better. When oxygen reaches entire cell and soul of our body it performs better, it releases happy hormones and it regulates the balance in our body. It's very important to keep moving. Every 15-20 minutes get up and move around, walk a lot, dance, do exercise & yoga. Whatever helps you move your body just do that.
4. Eat nourishing food
Many times we feel low because of lack of essential nutrients in our body. When we have high intake of junk, oily, greased or stale food, a lot of harmful chemicals and toxins start to accumulate in our body. And, what we eat is what we are. So what we put inside we become from outside. If we eat lot of junk and unhealthy food, that is what we will become & our mind is definitely affected by the toxins in our body. Hence, it is very important to flush out these toxins. For that it is important to eat a lot of fibre, fruits, veggies and it has been found in studies that lack of vitamin B12 also can lead to low feeling or there can be some thyroid or hormonal imbalances. It is important to get yourself tested as well and understand whether you are lacking in some deficiencies.
5. Share your problem
Another mistake most of us do is, not to share a problem with anyone. We don't think that our family, siblings or friends would understand what we are going through or we might have tried it before but it would not have been so effective but talking or sharing a problem with someone might reveal a different perspective or your mental load might get lighter. Keeping problems to yourself is totally unhealthy because those feelings just keep on bottling up inside and that again leads to lot of negative thoughts. So instead of filling you up from inside take the load out and share with someone you trust. You will not only have a new perspective but you might find a solution or way out of it is well. Here is where a therapist or a coach might be of some use. Please note that in case of severe clinical depression or if you are having suicidal thoughts, it is better to go to a therapist rather than a life coach. But if you are stuck in some beliefs or issues that can be solved by talking, a Life Coach could be a better option. Go to www.mindsutra.in for more details.
This one is my favourite tool. When I was going through a low phase, gratitude is something which helped me bring calm and inner peace in my life. We take blessings in our life for granted but when we start to count our blessings everyday, seemingly small blessings like having food on our table, having a roof on our head, having family, having love and support from friends, having mobile to stay connected with your loved ones or it could be a big thing like having a secure job, getting that award, whatever it might be, it is important to list the things you are grateful for every day. When we start our day with that, it helps to centre our mind. It helps our mind to not get distracted with the everyday outside noise which makes us feel low and sad and it helps in staying connected to our inner peaceful being.
Journalling is something so powerful and has helped me so much to get clarity on my thoughts. It is nothing but writing your thoughts in a notebook. So once your thoughts are on on paper, you start to analyse it that why are you having these thoughts? From where is it coming? When you do that you are taking your thoughts less personally and you are reflecting on it. You try to understand that, why are you having a negative thought? For example, there was an incident where somebody insulted me a lot. So I was feeling sad. But my thought was, how can that person insult me? Why is he doing that? But when I wrote that down I started to understand that because of that insult, I was feeling bad about myself. So the reason I was feeling sad was because I felt that I was not good enough. Hence instead of focusing on the person, my focus shifted to, "I was feeling bad because of outside stimulation. So the problem here was that I should not feel bad about myself from external stimulation. So I need to thicken up. I need to work on my self love. If my self love would have been high I would not have felt bad about myself from outside comment". So I started working on my self love. In this way when we write down our thoughts it brings more clarity as to what is actually making us feel bad.
8. Surround yourself with positivity
There was this famous experiment done where two plants were taken and both were kept in separate rooms. Both were given the same amount of water, light & nutrients. One plant was always treated very well with lots of love while the other plant was always showered with abuses and negativity and always told that you won't do it, you won't grow, you will die and eventually what happened was the plant which was given love, thrived and the other plant died. So this experiment created a lot of impact on me when I read it because even a plant gets affected to negativity and negative vibration. After all we are humans, we definitely get affected by people who are around us whether they are uplifting or demeaning you. Hence, it's very important to surround yourself with people who are uplifting and inspire you to become better and if you are around with people who are lazy, lethargic and bring you down, demoralize you, you can get affected by it. There is a speculation that in Sushat Singh Rajput's case, nepotism in the form of boycotting & demoralizing had taken a toll on Sushant's mental health. It takes a lot of maturity to become immune to negativity and backlash. It is a better and wiser option to be around people who are uplifting & inspiring.
9. Be in nature
We have taken our mother nature for granted. Whenever we are in nature, be it on a beach, be it in a forest, just walking barefoot on grass or just enjoying the lovely breeze in a balcony, our mind and mood immediately shifts. We realise when we are with nature how it is so easy to just be in the moment and let the life flow through you but we forget this in our everyday silly tussles. It is very important from time to time to go out for a walk in nature and be with it. It will just relax your mind completely.
10. Read or listen to inspirational stuff
One of the life changing books for me was "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. That book brought lot of change to the way I think. I became aware of my own thought, how our own thoughts can be detrimental to us and if we make our mind our servent, it will function better than letting it be the master of our life. So books or inspirational videos can bring lot of change in our life. Through these, you will get inspiration that so many people have come out of depression & are a living a purposeful & joyful life. The key here is repetition. When we repeatedly train our Mind with positivity, good knowledge, transforming advice, we can rewire our mind which can lift us out from depression.
Lastly, I would like to say that depression is not something to be afraid from. It is a phase in life which can be overcomed. Always remember, that from the darkest phase we become our best self. We learn a lot about ourselves and take it as a way of Universe giving a signal to become more self aware. Do not take any drastic step when depressed. I am repeating if you are feeling suicidal or if you are suffering from clinical depression it is better to go to a clinical therapist who will work you out of it. For others, these steps can prevent you from slipping into to severe depression and keep you grounded and peaceful from inside. Comment below your experience about depression and how did you overcome it? Thank you so much for reading & hope you live your life to the fullest.