5 Little Things To Do To Improve Your Mood When You're Depressed

Symptoms of depression can be severe, or they can occur as one-time episodes caused by traumatic life events such as a death or illness in the family. No matter how long you're struggling to pull through your depression, understand that you are not alone.

Being depressed feels like a heavy object is pinning you down. Although we have responsibilities, depression does not care for our daily to-do lists. Trying to manage or cope with your depression can become frustrating because you can feel the lack of motivation depleting from your body like an old balloon.

These Things Are Normal

Yes, it is normal to have a decrease in energy. Something like getting out of bed sounds easy, but when you're depressed, it's one of the hardest tasks of the day.

+ Concentration seems unattainable when you're depressed. It can be challenging to pay attention to your favorite tv show, do your daily job tasks, or even read a text.

+ Feelings of guilt emerge because you feel horrible that you are depressed. You don't want to talk to people about it because you don't want to seem like you're complaining, and not being able to perform your daily tasks adds more guilt as well.

+ Being depressed is not your fault. Depression is a common mental disorder. It's estimated that 16.2 million adults in the United States experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2016.

5 Little Things To Do To Improve Your Mood

There are so many things you can do to help boost your energy through your depression. Below are five ways to improve your mood.

Sniff A Lemon

Science says that sniffing a lemon can decrease stress. The citrus acts as a Xanax and calms you down. Business Insider shares that "when participants in a recent study spent as little as ten minutes inhaling yuzu (the super-tart and citrusy Japanese fruit), they saw a significant decrease in their overall mood disturbance, a global measure that looks at tension, anxiety, depression, confusion, fatigue, and anger."

Talk It Out

Have you ever held something in for some time, and when you finally talked about it, you felt the tension decreasing? Talking about how your depression can help validate your feelings. Make sure you engage in conversation with someone that supports you and you trust.

Smile At Yourself

Smiling is contagious. When you smile at someone, they usually will smile back. Just like smiling can make a stranger's day, smiling at yourself can make your day.

Dr. Murray Grossan, an ENT-otolaryngologist in Los Angeles, shows examples through the science of psychoneuroimmunology (the study of how the brain is connected to the immune system), sharing that depression weakens your immune system. In contrast, happiness has been shown to boost our body's resistance. "What's crazy is that just the physical act of smiling can make a difference in building your immunity," Dr. Grossan shares with NBC News. She adds that "When you smile, the brain sees the muscle [activity] and assumes that humor is happening." "A study performed by a group at the University of Cardiff in Wales found that people who could not frown due to botox injections were happier on average than those who could frown."

Indulge In Some Humor

Adding onto the conversation of how smiling makes you feel better, being around humor will do the same thing. What makes you laugh? Go to where the fun is.

Do Stuff That Makes You Move

Do things that make you get up and have fun. Not only will this be a distraction, but it will improve your mood. Here are some suggestions:

  • Yoga

  • Dancing

  • Cooking/Baking

  • Exercising

  • Cleaning

  • DIY projects

  • Invite friends over for a game night

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