Discouragement and sadness are moods that are characterized by presenting in those who suffer from them a state of despondency and unhappiness that causes a deterioration in relationships with others, in leisure activities that previously caused pleasure, and in health in general.
The Word of God tells us “I am the one who commands you to have courage and firmness. Do not be afraid or discouraged because I, your Lord and God, will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1,9. The question today is there someone who is discouraged in your family, group, or community? What is it that discourages you today? If God is with you, everything is possible.
Being depressed for most of the day and having some of the following symptoms present can be an indicator of having a depressive disorder, but it does not necessarily have to be so.
Decreased interest and pleasure in almost everything
Poor appetite or overeating
Insomnia or hypersomnia
Lack of concentration or difficulty making decisions
feeling of hopelessness
Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
Recurrent thoughts of death and/or suicidal ideas
The symptoms interfere significantly in the life of the sufferer
Professionals in Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry are the only ones authorized to diagnose this type of disorder, so it would be serious for you to self-diagnose a depressive disorder because you meet some of the criteria that we have shown.
7 Tips to overcome discouragement and sadness
1. Exercise your body
Incorporating regular physical exercise into your daily life is one of the first steps you can take if you want to improve your mood.
There are many ways to exercise your physique, so finding the one you like best will only be a matter of time. Maybe you like to go to aerobics classes at a gym, run in a park, go cycling on a mountain near your house, join a league of your favorite sport a couple of days a week, etc.
If you are consistent, whatever activity you engage in will help improve your mood thanks to various sources of gratification.
First, you will see how your performance improves day after day: each time you will be able to run longer without getting tired or it will take less time to complete your bike route, for example. That will increase your motivation, your self-confidence, and your satisfaction.
Your own body will also be a source of important gratification because whatever level you are at right now, the sport will tone your muscles, and thanks to this, those small discomforts that you may have in areas such as your back will be reduced. Besides, who doesn’t get satisfaction from seeing their muscles get hard?
At the brain level, there are also changes during and after physical activity that will help you improve your mood. Thanks to exercise, the release of endorphins is stimulated, a substance generated by the body itself that produces a feeling of well-being and an analgesic effect.
2. Watch your diet
Having a balanced diet is essential if you want to have good health, both physical and psychological.
There are foods that favor the segregation of certain substances that can improve your moods such as tryptophan, magnesium, folic acid, or different vitamins, which in turn are related to other chemical substances in your own body such as serotonin, and dopamine or norepinephrine, largely responsible for your mood.
However, the objective of this article is not to carry out an analysis of the precursor foods of this type of substance, but rather to make you aware that you should try to eat a healthy and varied diet that includes fish, red meat, vegetables, nuts, and legumes and that it is as far away as possible from the junk food to which we are so exposed today.
Another reason why you should eat a healthy diet is to maintain control of your body weight. A poor diet can cause you to gain weight, which can affect your self-esteem and confidence. Also, if you get used to eating unhealthily, it will be much more difficult later on to eat a healthy diet.
3. Enjoy your hobbies
Taking time to enjoy doing things you like can really help improve your mood. Go to the movies, go out with your friends to have a good time, watch a competition in your favorite sport, etc.
It is normal that when you are in a very low mood, even doing what you like becomes overexertion because at that time you do not feel like doing anything. In this aspect, one of the many psychological tools that can help you is goal setting, explained in detail in point number 7.
At first, you may have to make an extra effort to take the step of dedicating time to one of your hobbies, but it will soon become an important source of well-being.
4. Ask for help
Many people who are going through a bad time make the mistake of not asking for help. Sometimes they do it out of fear of making their fears, insecurities, or discomfort known to other people; on other occasions, all the stigmas that still exist today in relation to mental illness do their job and prevent these people from asking for help.
If until now you have not asked for help, either for the reasons that we have given in the previous paragraph or for others, it is time for you to do so. Starting with someone close to you is a very good step, although it will not be the only one.
Your loved ones will always try to help you and their words and advice will go in that direction. However, in most cases, psychological work with a qualified professional will be necessary.
5. Let yourself be loved
Try to stay close to those people with whom you have a greater relationship. Your support and esteem are necessary to improve the state in which you find yourself.
With them you will be able to share time enjoying hobbies that you have in common, you will be able to distract yourself by having a pleasant time in their company and you will be able to relax and share your sensations and experiences when you need it.
Although it is understandable that in many moments what you want is precisely to be alone, we must encourage you to make an effort to share your time with the people who love you.
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6. Face the sources that generate discomfort
What you should get away from as much as possible is those people who make you feel bad and who do not bring you anything positive. They are generally people who have been close to you for a long time because one day they were considered friends, although now the relationship is not beneficial at all.
In other situations, it will be much more difficult to get away from this type of person, for example, in the case of having a boss who treats you with contempt and makes you feel undervalued or coworkers with whom you do not like to be with because there is a bad atmosphere and very little camaraderie.
Learning to deal with situations and people that cause you to discomfort will be very beneficial throughout your life since it is something that you can use repeatedly. A good job with your psychologist will guarantee success in this regard.
7. Set goals
All the points that we have explained so far can help you improve your mood, but it is normal that if you are going through a bad time you do not feel like playing sports or dedicating time to your passions or loved ones or other things. activities that could help you.
We know that this is one of the main difficulties you may encounter; That is why the last point of this article is intended to explain, in a very summarized way, what the goal-setting technique consists of.
Goal setting is a psychological tool that allows you to set the most appropriate goals for each situation. Setting specific goals will give you the motivation you need to do things that will help you to be better.
In addition, as you achieve the goals you set for yourself, your self-confidence will increase and you will enter into a very positive dynamic with which you will begin to function much more effectively.
As with any psychological tool (and as we have highlighted in one of the previous sections), it is very important that you use it under the guidance and supervision of a specialist. However, we leave you with 6 tips so you can start experimenting in the use of goal setting.
They must be specific
It is important that you ask yourself what your goal is, why you want to achieve it, and what you need to achieve it.
The objective “I want to be better” would not be worth it, because it would not be specific enough. An example of a specific goal that could be worth it is “I have to force myself to go to the gym a couple of times a week, because although I know that at first, I’m lazy, then I feel very good.”
They must be measurable
It is essential that the objectives you set for yourself be measurable, as this is what allows you to objectively verify whether or not they have been achieved.
For example, instead of setting yourself the goal of “exercising more” (which would not be a specific goal), you should set yourself the goal of “I am going to go to the gym 3 days a week” (which it is).
They must be attainable
If you set unattainable goals, in addition to not achieving the goal you are looking for, you will damage your self-confidence and your motivation to achieve it.
Continuing with the previous example, it would not be appropriate for you to consider doing physical exercise 5 days a week, this is very difficult for you, either because of your work, other responsibilities, or because it is too much for you. Set achievable goals and, as you go overcoming them, you will increase their difficulty.
Reaching them should depend on you
Your goals should depend exclusively on you. It would be of little use if you set out to achieve a goal that depends on other people.
A very clear example of this can be found in the field of sports, where many athletes set themselves the goal of “being a starter”, when that does not depend on them since it is the coach who decides. In this case, it would be much more appropriate to set yourself the goal of “trying my best on all the exercises that the coach gives me”.
They must be relevant to you
The goals you set for yourself must be truly relevant to you. It is not enough that you know that you should get it for your health, for example, but you must really want it.
So, it wouldn’t do any good if you wrote: “I want to quit smoking because it’s very harmful to my health” on your list of goals if you yourself know that you won’t do it because you want to keep smoking.
They must have a deadline
Setting a deadline to meet your goals will help you not procrastinate ad infinitum. Of course, you must be realistic and set your goals at the right time: neither too soon nor too late.
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