If this statement rings true for you, firstly I want to send you a big hug.
Secondly, I want to let you know that I’ve been there and back again. And that I’ve also guided others who’ve faced this numbness and sense of emptiness.
If you read this article you’ll find out some of the most important and helpful tips that I discovered along the way.
As a well-being coach, I will help you to find out ways to bring joy back into your life again, and I’ll recommend some great resources to look at.
There’s no set path that works for everyone, but I do believe that you will find at least one or more things that you can do today to encourage happiness back into your life.
1) Get outside and take a deep breath
Ok, so I realize you might be thinking that this seems pointless. Stick with me.
The truth is this: Changing our environment and taking a deep breath, are two of the quickest and easiest ways to start bringing change into our life.
So whether you do it right now, later today, or even tomorrow, this is your first seemingly small but amazingly powerful step in the right direction.
Go outside, nature is best (and we’ll talk about this next), but ultimately just leaving your room or house is the first thing.
- Take a moment to look around you,
- Notice what you see.
- Are there any sounds?
- Or smells?
- They can be things you like or things you don’t like.
- It doesn’t matter, just notice them,
- Then let them be.
- Try breathing from a deeper place,
- Take slow breaths
- With long slow exhales.
- Notice the feeling of the air filling your lungs and your body,
- And notice the feelings as you let the breath out.
Do this every day and you will notice things beginning to change for the better!
2) Take a walk
When I was at one of my lowest points, (a young student in an abusive relationship), I didn’t have much reason to go outside, as I didn’t feel any joy from anything. Just a heavy sense of overwhelming depression.
I’ll never forget when my friend encouraged me, with dogged persistence, to just take a walk with her.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it solved all my problems, but it did relieve some of the heavy feelings that were making me feel so down.
At the time I didn’t understand why it helped. I now know that exercise releases endorphins and other chemicals that are often low in depressed people.
A walk also gives us a chance to put new sights and thoughts into our brains and opens up our chance of connection.
3) Call upon the wisdom of existential counseling
Have you heard of existential well-being counseling?
The idea behind it is simple. We all have a way of relating to the world that we use to underscore our lives.
If you have ever felt happy before, (even if it seems like a long-distant memory), then the chances are that you used to have an effective way of relating to the world.
It worked for you once, and now it doesn’t.
What does that mean for you? It’s good news! Because by reassessing your relationship to certain things, you can bring yourself back into alignment with happiness.
There are key pillars to existential well-being, and it’s all about connection to nature and the physical world, other people, yourself, and your beliefs and motivations.
Read on to find out more, or if you want to dive in deeper, see this free course offered by edx. org
4) Rediscover your connection to nature
So you’re outside and taking a walk.
See if you can find some interesting things in nature. A park, beach, forest, or wildlands are ideal, but if that’s not possible, you can search for a flower, a tree, an animal, or even a bush.
Spend time looking at nature and all her wonders. If it’s safe to do so, feel the waxy or furry texture of a leaf, or stroke the mottled surface of tree bark.
Maybe you notice a butterfly or bird? Watch how they flutter or glide in the sky. Listen for any noises they may make.
Why? If you do this kind of thing regularly, science has shown that you will start to feel great improvements in your mental health.
5) Rediscover your connection to people
If you’re feeling down, this might seem like a tricky one. I know that when I’ve been at my lowest, it seems hardest to reach out to other people.
So this one might require a little push.
Call up a friend or relative that you trust and love, maybe someone you haven’t seen for a while.
Yes, maybe you are worried that you won’t be able to say anything interesting, or are afraid of burdening others. But if you have someone in your life that cares about you, they will be happy to be there for you. You just have to ask.
You don’t have to reveal what you are feeling if you don’t want to. You could focus on them and their lives, giving your mind something else to consider.
Perhaps they share something that made them feel good, and you share in that joy.
This is a small step that has a BIG impact in the long run. If there is no one, then a counselor, coach, therapist, or helpline would be a good choice.
6) Rediscover your connection to yourself
Ask yourself what do you enjoy? What fun things do you like to do? What really matters to you?
If the answers aren’t coming, don’t worry! That’s normal when you feel down. The circuitry in depressed brains actually shrinks, making it harder for us to remember what we like.
The antidote? Apart from trying other things in this article, try to cast your mind back to things that you enjoyed in the past. It could be a hobby that you had, or watching comedy, reading a book, playing with an animal, or watching a feel-good movie.
If you can, make a list of these things and add new things whenever they come to mind.
That way when you feel at your lowest you can check this list and choose one of the activities to do.
The next tip will help you with this.
7) Discover your life’s meaning and passion
This is a part of discovering your connection to yourself, and sometimes even to others and to nature.
I fell into a deep depression a few years ago, after the collapse of my business. I could have revived it but I had decided to try something new.
Money started to run low, and so did my inspiration and my health. I had previously devised plans to reinvent my business but I didn’t want to do them. It didn’t feel authentically me.
Happiness became a distant memory, something not designed for me. Everything seemed meaningless.
Luckily, I stumbled upon a news article that psychedelics were becoming legalized for mental health. This was a topic I had long been passionate about.
Not only did I begin microdosing, but I also began to train as a well-being coach and psychedelic integration guide. This started a path back to the light for me, and gave me a reason to live again, knowing that by helping myself and studying wellbeing and psychedelics, I could also bring wellness to other people’s lives.
Your path is going to look different to mine, but if you feel like you just don’t know what happiness feels like, it could be that you’re not living your life aligned with a deeper sense of purpose.
It’s difficult to feel happy when you’re not feeling in sync.
So what should you do?
I learned a new way to discover your purpose, after watching Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown’s eye-opening video. He explains that most people misunderstand how to find their purpose, using visualization and other self-help techniques.
That’s because, contrary to many self-help techniques and ‘gurus’, visualization isn’t the best way to find and achieve your purpose. Instead, there’s a powerful technique Justin learned from spending time with a shaman called Rudá Iandê from Brazil.
After watching the video, the chances are you will discover your purpose in life. Happiness can begin to flow through you again, perhaps at first a trickle, but then like a wellspring of fresh water. Give it a watch, it’s free! Click here.
8) Let go of old traumas
This one is a little more challenging, but it might be a vital piece in regaining or finding your happiness.
Trauma can lead us to bottle up our feelings as a self-protection method. While this can be a very effective strategy when we are experiencing traumatic event/s, it can leave us feeling empty and numb in the long run.
If you think that you have experienced severe trauma, then consulting a trauma-informed therapist is a good idea. They will help you to safely unpack these old wounds, then help you dress them and heal them.
A caring psychologist or therapist will hold a safe space for you, and guide you in the right direction. There are many great healing modalities. Some that I would personally look for in a counselor or psychologist would include person-centered therapy, working at relational depth, EMDR, and Focusing.
You might want different things than me though!
You can research it, but thinking about all the types of therapy might be overwhelming.
So if you don’t want to look too deeply, simply do this:
- Check a list of therapists, on PsychologyToday. com, or somewhere you trust.
- Make sure that the person you choose is qualified in trauma healing,
- Ensure that you resonate with what they say.
- Book a free call with them to see if you’re a good fit.
Even if you haven’t experienced trauma, a therapist can be a great way to rediscover your joy.
9) Consider medication
Antidepressants can be controversial, especially as they have side effects. And they don’t work for everyone. But for some, they make a huge difference.
Large-scale studies have shown that talking therapy, psychedelics, and EMDR are often more effective than traditional medication. However, for some, antidepressants will give you the little push that you need to start trying out things in this article.
Consult your medical health professional and see what they have to say.
10) Consider plant medicine
Earlier I asked you to reconnect with yourself, nature, and other people. Psychedelics have been shown to help us do exactly that.
Indigenous tribes and societies around the world have been using psychedelics for healing for thousands of years. But in the West, magic mushrooms, LSD, ketamine, MDMA, and more, are just starting to become legal for healing work.
If psychedelics are not legal where you live, and you want to try them, consider visiting a country where they are legal. Before you do that, you can learn more by reading online, joining an online psychedelic healing forum, or consulting a psychedelic guide.
Even though plant medicines are natural and have fewer side effects than prescribed medicines, they aren’t suitable for everyone. So do check with a medical professional, especially if you are taking any other medications or have health conditions.
A good psychedelic retreat or guide would also screen you for things like this, so that’s another route, if you don’t feel comfortable discussing it in your country of residence for example.
There are many scientific studies being done on psychedelics for happiness and well-being. As with everything, there are benefits and drawbacks, but for many, the benefits are far more significant.
What about microdosing? There aren’t many studies addressing the efficacy of microdosing yet, but there is a large body of anecdotal evidence.
But wait – there’s more.
Microdosing is regarded as a safer and easier way for people who are interested in the healing potential of plant medicine. There are big communities online where you can connect with others and discover their experiences.
For me personally, microdosing magic mushrooms was life-changing, and gave me the motivation and mood boost to change my life, fix my financial situation, and discover my life’s passion.
Is self-work still required? Yes! (And I did most of the things in this article). But microdosing can be where you start. For me, it was the difference between having the energy and willpower to do and care about things, and to feel happiness again.
I felt a LOT better within a matter of weeks. Three years on, my life is greatly improved. I now feel happiness again, and have direction, enthusiasm, and a passion for life.
How to feel happiness again – the takeaway
The root cause of your sadness will affect the ways that you get better, but hopefully, you will try at least one thing from this article today, and others in the future.
Need a bit of encouragement before you put down your device? Want to start now? Great!
Take a nice deep breath and then watch this really helpful video about discovering your passion from Justin Brown.
Sending you all the love and well-being!