depression

Feeling down? Try These Body Actions to Counter the Feeling

Are you feeling down? How many times have you felt down, or start to feel sad and just wanted for it to pass, to go away? I know I have.

For a lot of people when the feeling starts, they crash. They might get down and depressed. If you are constantly depressed, I urge you to look for help, you might be having chronic depression, or even  bipolar disorder. What I will show you will not counteract a full blown depression or a chronic disorder. It is meant for the average person that feels sad or down when there is a reason for it, in everyday life.

Sometimes people might get down because of what someone told them, and if this happens at work, you might be in difficult ground. Should you react? should your emotion show? Depending on your work activities, colleagues, friends, etc. you might get in trouble or not.

I am writing this today because I was feeling kind of down at work today. I have been having a rough week, and nothing seems to be going the way I expected. Although I´m always in favor of living your emotion in the moment needed, I can´t do it at work. You see, I am a psychology professor and psychotherapist, and I can´t be attending patients and showing them I´m feeling down. I could have done three things: One, become an “Iron man” or man of steel and seem to everyone as cold, using a “mask” before everyone´s eyes. Two, go to my office and close myself to the world, and stop seeing patients and students. Three, is what I usually do, use an Energy Psychology method, but takes a few minutes or Four, take a brief moment and do myself a few body actions that counteract feeling down.

Body Actions that Counteract Feeling Down

A) Walk on Tiptoes

On my last post here at Pick The Brain, I talked about grounding, and how it helps to deal with difficult emotions. A great grounding technique is to walk using the whole foot. Stepping carefully and mindful to every micro movement of the feet.

When you are feeling down, or starting to feel down, try walking tiptoeing. When you tip toe, you are lifting the weight of your body, and concentrating the weight on the tips of your toes. When you are depressed, your feet almost get glued to the floor, and taking each step is too much, therefore you drag your feet. When you tip toe, you need to lift your body… A conscious action against dragging, your feet, which is the natural action to get “down”. By Tiptoeing you get “up”.

B) Do Some Jumping Jacks

Try doing 20 Jumping Jacks. I know, for a lot of us, 20 is a lot! What I want is to: 1. Lift your body off the ground (explanation as above, like tiptoeing). 2. Exercise makes your body to pump more oxygen, blood, etc. Moves your whole body into action, and fights stasis. The thinking is that if you´re down, you don´t exercise, so if you exercise… 3. Exercise liberates Endorphins, and Endorphins make you feel good.

According to Wikipedia: “Endorphins (“endogenous morphine”) are endogenous opioid peptides that function as neurotransmitters. They are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in vertebrates during exercise, excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love and orgasm, and they resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a feeling of well-being.”

C) Expand Your Chest

When you feel sad, or down, you protect your “heart” (emotions) by closing your chest. You use your shoulders and posture to slouch. By slouching your are “protecting” your emotions.

What you need to do is actually stand up straight, and expand your chest. Let it show, and expand with a better posture. This will get more oxygen to your lungs, and when you are feeling PROUD, you use this posture. What I want you to do in this situation is to use your proud posture.

D) Elevate your arms above the head

This is just like tiptoeing. When people are sad, or down, they usually let their arms fall. They let their arms stay by their sides or trunk of the body.

I want you to raise your arms, as you do, when you´re feeling victorious. When people let the feeling of victory to show, they RAISE THEIR ARMS. So, raise your arms, and feel VICTORIOUS!

 E) Elevate your chin and SMILE!

When you slouch, you leave your chin down, and you frown, or put a sad face. I need you to expand your chest, and while you do it, elevate your chin. When you are feeling proud, you elevate your chin.

Smile

Smile, even if you don´t feel like it. When you smile, your muscles on your face act. Your muscles trigger body memory, and your brain triggers endorphins.

So remember, if you want to fight getting “down”, you must fight against gravity, and go “UP”, with your body, symbolically and literally.

Let me know what you think about these simple techniques! and if you use them, and help you please let me know, and also if they don´t!

Carlos is a Psychology Professor in a local university in El Salvador, a psychotherapist, creator of HandLink Technique (Energy Psychology), blogger, musician, and host of Sight For Sore Eyes Blog. At his blog you may download free his HandLink Technique and two videos that help you Change from The Core, and kick some … in business and in life.