We all have those moments when we lose track of the good in life, of the loving relationship we have with our Father in Heaven, of the bountiful blessings He showers upon us each and every day.
Many of us may wonder: What should I do when I feel down?
Here are some tangible acts we can do to lift the fog and reconnect to our higher selves when we are in one of those low moods!
Blinking resets our nervous system, by helping to stimulate our parasympathetic nervous system (the part of the nervous system that helps us rest & digest, relax & heal). It provides moisture to the eyes, and will usually stimulate tip #2.
Hashem breathed the life force into Adam— “Va’yipach b’apo nishmas chaim”[i]. When we sigh, we reconnect to the life force that Hashem originally blew into Adam HaRishon. Rabbi Nachman teaches “When you sigh and groan over your unfulfilled yearning for holiness, it causes you to be attached to the ruach (the life-force) of holiness. This is because sighing is drawing breath – which is life itself!”[ii]
Smiling brings about some amazing biochemical changes, such as lowering blood pressure, strengthening the immune system, releasing endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers) and serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitter), and, of course, making us feel happier (even a fake smile is very effective!)
4. Drink water
It is so easy to get dehydrated. From my experience, I have found without exception, that those who allow their emotions to get the best of them ALL become dehydrated. Furthermore, dehydration creates a more acid pH in the body- a sign that our bodies are breaking down and becoming sick.
Nothing exhausts us more than losing control of our emotions. But there’s a wonderful antidote for exhaustion: The powernap! The trick is to not sleep for more than 15 minutes to a half hour. Amazingly, each 15 minutes that we sleep during the day, is worth an hour at night! But always remember to gratefully give over your soul for safekeeping to Hashem, even for just those 15 minutes.
6. Hope and never give up!
The Midrash teaches us:
“Rabbi Yitzchok said, ‘Anything is possible with hope! Suffering can be released with hope! Sanctifying the Name of Hashem can be achieved through hope! The merit of our forefathers can be tapped into to reach Hashem with hope! The spiritual pleasure of the world to come can be felt with hope! Undeserved grace is granted by Hashem with hope! One is granted forgiveness by Hashem with hope!”[iii]
By keeping these simple tips handy, whenever we find ourselves in a rut, we will have a quick and easy way to reset ourselves and reconnect to Hashem, our loving Father. As Chazal teach us: “Ein haShechina shorah elah m’toch simcha” (the Divine Presence only rests on one who is in a state of joy)[iv].
[i] Bereishis (2:7)
[ii] Likutei Moharan (1, 109).
[iii] Bereishis Rabba (98:20)
[iv] Shabbos (30B)