Feeling Down? Five Ways to Lift Your Spirit
Author: Atlanta Addiction Recovery Center Editor
Recovery is a journey of healing. For many on this path, feelings of depression and sadness can sometimes be overwhelming. Even with the support of your recovery team, these feelings may creep up on you from time to time. But there are easy ways to boost your mood and lift your spirits when you’re having a tough time.
Healthy Ways to Boost Your Mood in Recovery When Feeling Down
These five easy tips will help keep you happy and healthy in recovery:
Worship and Prayer
Prayer and worship is the first step to finding inner joy and peace, especially for those in recovery. The first time prayer is mentioned in the Bible is Genesis 4:26, “To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.” The power of prayer is central to our relationship with God and Jesus. Since the dawn of time, we have been turning to God for guidance, help, and thanksgiving. This is why praying during addiction recovery is so important to ease our worries—bringing us strength and happiness in our everyday lives.
Exercise releases endorphins—which are the chemicals in the brain responsible for producing feelings of happiness and well-being. Exercise helps take your mind off worries, improves self-confidence and is beneficial for your health in many ways. When you’re feeling down, having the motivation to hit the gym or go for a run might seem difficult. Think of a hobby or sport you enjoy. Go on a relaxing bike ride, a hike, or if whether permits, go for a swim. Once you get started and incorporate exercise into your daily routine, you’ll feel much better, both mentally and physically.
Studies have shown that certain foods can actually raise dopamine levels—another one of the brain’s “feel good” chemicals. Naturally boosting your dopamine levels with a healthy balanced diet will improve both your mood and overall health. The dopamine diet emphasizes protein-rich foods, a variety of vegetables and fruits low in sugar. No processed foods allowed! And you should also eliminate white flour, added sugars and foods with little to no nutritional value. Foods such as eggs, nuts, lean meat, cheese, green leafy vegetables and whole grains are recommended.
Journaling is a form of self-expression that not only allows you to be creative, but is also incredibly therapeutic. Taking the time to sit and write down your feelings is a healthy way to cope with emotions and helps combat depression and anxiety. Journaling provides clarity and helps prioritize problems and fears that leave you feeling down. It’s a great way to track your mood on a day-to-day basis in order to identify possible triggers and negative patterns. It’s important to carve out time to write every day, write freely about whatever it is your feeling, and to write in a relaxed and soothing environment.
Listening to Music
Music soothes the soul. The healing power of music has been used since the beginning of time to help us cope with negative emotions, celebrate and connect with one another. There have been numerous studies that show the many benefits music has on the brain. Music therapy had been proven to reduce stress and tension, ease feeling of sadness, boost self-esteem and help to improve our personal relationships. If you’ve ever been feeling down and turned on your favorite song, chances are you felt much better!