“And such a want-wit sadness makes of me,
That I have much ado to know myself.”
(The Merchant of Venice; I, i)
The problems of sorrow creeping up on your life and ruining it at least for the time being has not been something new to be worried about. It has worried poets, philosophers, scientists, common men; in short, every single human being at some point in their lives.
What does one do when sadness is such an innate part of the human condition, such an organic part of the experience of being born of man? Is there any permanent solution?
No. There are only temporary ones which one must consider.
As Sisyphus rolls the boulder up to the top of the hill, only to find it rolling back down at the end of the day, he must find some form of happiness in his labor (summarized from the works of Albert Camus). Man too must find in himself, to pretend at least, some form of imaginary joy, some insurmountable courage to face the odds against him the next day.
So talking about temporary solutions, here are eight such hacks that might be of some assistance:
1. Change your crowd
Happiness and laughter are contagious things. Make sure to change your crowd. Start hanging out with people who are naturally of a happier disposition. Their happiness can also be false at first. Appreciate the efforts they put in to make themselves and you happier. Smile without reason. Even Sisyphus had to be happy if he was to face the insurmountable odds placed against him.
2. Dress up better
Do things with your attire, apparel and general demeanor that you would not do normally. If you are a woman who is normally into blacks, greys and blues, go for the pastel shades; put on some dark lipstick and some kohl for good measure. Put on a smile and your best pair of heels to go out and face the world. Same goes for the gentlemen too. Wear your best suit, or if you are feeling whimsical, wear that t-shirt that says “what’s up doc?” and go show the world how far you can go to please them and yourself.
3. Press your calves
Our body has certain pressure points that are known to relieve stress instantly. It concerns your very nervous system itself. Your calves are one of them. Along with your temples. When you feel really worn down and out, massage both these spots. This process will increase the blood flow to your brain and especially to your pleasure centers in it. Look up other such spots on the body and repeat the process. It is an almost instantaneous process, but requires you relax completely.
4. Do not go to bed upset
Because you will end up overthinking and will not be able to sleep. Worse, if you do fall asleep, you will have dreams that will make you even more anxious. So the best thing to do is, calm down, meditate a little, listen to relaxing music and try to work out what went wrong. Also, convince yourself that the solution to the issue at hand is discussion and more importantly, a good night’s sleep.
Best thing to do, I swear. Let your foot loose and dance. Put on the kind of music you used to love as a kid but were too embarrassed to admit in front of your peers now. Let your heart pull the strings of your feet and let your inner child out. Dance, dance and dance some more. Tire yourself out with joy and fatigue. Then, sleep.
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For yourself, and for someone you love and deeply care about. It is known to release endorphins almost immediately. It can be anything, and for anyone. Shopping together especially is always a mood-booster.
Something. Anything. Learn an art and practice a craft, be it music, painting or sculpture. Make yourself calm and let your creative juices flow. Creativity bottled up can cause the saddest bouts of ennui ever and more often than ever, which remain incurable because people are too afraid to be embarrassed. Remember that even the greatest ones were once amateurs and had to be rejected again and again till they bloomed truly.
8. Hold on to your friends
“Think where man’s glory most begins and ends
And say my glory was I had such friends.” (William Butler Yeats; The Municipal Gallery Revisited)