Defeating the Dismal Downers

Mayo Clinic PET scan of normal and depressed brainsWe all get them from time to time, those dreadful, dismal, dragging, despondent feelings.

What causes the Dismal Downers and what can we do to defeat or deter them?

Photographs showing differences in brain activity when people are depressed – like this from  the Mayo Clinic – may be familiar.

Reduced Brian Activity Is Associated With Depression. One of the keys to raising our spirits and defeating depression is to find ways to stimulate our brain activity.

Exercise –  Many research studies show that regular rigorous exercise improves brain function and brightens people’s moods. This may be tied to improvements in the supply of blood flow to the brain.

Our brains represent about 2% of our body mass, but they consume about 25% of our body’s supply of oxygen. Brain function declines when brain blood flow declines.  (Source: Massachusetts General Hospital “Mind, Mood & Memory” August, 2011)

Neural activity also stimulates blood flow to specific parts of the brain, but one’s heart and circulatory system must be strong enough to support the necessary increased flows.

Music – Many people also find music helps brighten their moods – the music stimulates their brains and their bodies into greater activity.

Stimulants – Other types of stimulants like alcohol, drugs or caffeine may produce the same effects but with negative consequences. They briefly raise blood pressure, alertness and mental activity but they also set us up for a reactive downer when the effects of the stimulants pass.

We can achieve many of the same things naturally without these negative consequences. This is why a brisk walk can do so much to brighten our mood and increase our mental  alertness.

We can avoid overeating and dairy products and starches that make many people sleepy and slow.

We can choose to stimulate our own minds with lots of challenging, interesting thoughts. People who continually love to learn or acquire new skills or languages are found to retain their mental acuity into old age.

Habitually Happy people continually stimulate their minds with a constant stream of interesting, exciting, creative thoughts and mental activity. They think boredom is an inability to entertain ourselves when our environmental stimulation is low.

The Best Stimulation of All Is Happiness, Fun and a Good Time. Habitually Happy People Try To Have A Good Time All of The Time. 

Why Not Try It, It’s A Great, Fun Way To Brighten Your Mood, Defeat The Dismal Downers and Sharpen Your Mind!

Copyright 1999- , Michele Moore. All Rights Reserved. Explore and for more happiness quotes. Our materials may NOT be published, broadcast, redistributed or rewritten without written permission from the authors.



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6 Responses to “Defeating the Dismal Downers”

  1. Ruth Machine says:

    I learned a lot from this post, much appreciated! :)

  2. Dee Britton says:

    Thanks Michele. What a great article. I agree totally that we need more happiness, fun and good times in our lives. And if doctors prescribed this as medication we would have much less depression. 😉

  3. Anne says:

    Workout is definately something that helps me. When I think about it, a great song on the radio also gets me in a great mood! :)

  4. Alex says:

    What a well researched and informative post. I was amused (but no surprised) at the fact that been depressed means that there is less activity taking place within the human brain.

    Having said that, liked the tips that you gave for boosting ones level of happiness, such as music, etc. I recently wrote a similar article myself a short while back on how to boost our spirits, this at:

    Hope some of these tips might help anyone else unhappy.

  5. Evan says:

    I can definitely rely on using exercise and music whenever I was down on myself sometimes, both sharing distinct qualities of relieving stress and just making me a totally happier person.

    Music got me through a lot of things because I can just flush out the surroundings around me and listen to whatever music genre that was related to the mood I was in. Whether it was slow, mellow beats on those sluggish days, or some high up-beat tunes when I exercised, music has a variety of genre’s that could relate to the color of my day. What made music my go-to activity of relieving stress was the mental ecstasy I got out of it when certain songs came on, I got goosebumps (which actually releases endorphins in the brain) on my favorite songs and they just in general brightened up my mood to make me enjoy my day.

    Exercising also helped me a lot with bad moods because it gets my mind off whatever I was dealing with. The best part about it was I could listen to music and exercise at the same time, which work very well with each other. This is because I could easily turn on some energetic music to push myself even further when I work out, and to see how far I can go on a certain routine or when I’m running on the treadmill to see how many more miles I can run . I found it very interesting that more oxygen leads to a happier life, which makes me want to exercise even harder!

    Thanks for writing this awesome post. :)

  6. Cathy says:

    Loved this article!
    Exercise is something that i definitely take for granted.. I never knew how good I could feel until i started exercising.. what a difference it really makes!

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