Day 431, How You Can Lift a Depressed Mood to Joyful Vibrance in Seven Steps!

 
“Nothing tastes as good as slender feels!”
 
How do you lift your mood to Joyful Vibrance in seven steps?  You do the steps consistently.  Here is a roadmap.  Some steps are only outlined.  Join and continue with this journey.  You will learn more.
 

I. Expressing Gratitude

 
Preparing For My Day
 
5-10 things I am grateful for:
  • weighing 52.7 kg.
  • the library just 0.5 miles (0.8 km) away.
  • beautifying Achieve 50 kg.
  • our safe trip to my husband’s doctor.
  • managing the transport chair okay with my sore knee.
 
comments, feelings, ideas, moods, and empowering questions:
When I climb one hill, instead of going down, the road goes up again, maybe more steeply.
 
mood and energy:
 
0-100
comments
mood:
80
 
energy:
80
 
 
accomplishments:
 
accomplishment
the reason it is important
next action(s)
1.
I posted an awesome blog post about my Core Code.
Values, Writing
Live by the Core Code.
2.
I beautified Achieve 50 kg and used it as a guideline for my self-care daily.
Weight loss, self-care
Access it through Morning Ritual.
3.
I reviewed the Core Code, still working on memorizing it.
Values
Live by the 20 keys daily.
4.
I have lost 5.3 kg since January 7, 2019.  My husband’s nurse practitioner noticed I had lost weight since January.
Weight loss
Continue down to 50 kg.  Use your Achieve 50 kg mind map as a guideline.
5.
I read 23 books so far this year.  Thank goodness for the library, Amazon, Hay House, and my friend Jacque!
Knowledge
Continue with the reading material you are still perusing.
 

II. Progress at Weight Loss

 
How to progress at weight loss:
  1. Eat breakfast, lunch, repast, and dinner daily, each using a quarter of your calorie budget, set in Cronometer in Settings Targets to “Maintain Weight.”
  2. Eat zero net calories daily.
  3. Fast fifteen hours between supper and breakfast, (if you cannot do it, keep trying).
  4. Consume at least a 0.6 ratio of dietary fiber to sugars.  (Earn extra points if the ratio is higher).
 
If I do all four things, I have an outstanding chance of losing weight.  I may feel a bit blue the night before, but I can delay my gratification and encounter a joyful mood after arising and getting on the scales.
 
Nothing improves my mood like progress on my weight loss goals.  I have removed 103 notches of weight.  One notch is .05 kilograms.  As a celebration gesture, I have saved $72 so far.  Saving money is also a mood lifter!  That gives me $31 more to save, which I will transfer soon to savings.  Check out my progress.
 
You can see from my weight graph above that my progress has taken months of effort.  However, my efforts so far have taught me specifics about to do to succeed.
 

III.  Stress-Proofing Yourself

 
I am currently reading Stress-Proof by Mithu Storoni, MD, Ph.D.  She suggests using video games that are connected to biofeedback equipment.  If your body stresses, it will crash your car in the video game.  By playing the game you learn how to change your breathing and thought patterns so they will not trigger the stress response, sparing your video game vehicle.
 
I do not have equipment like that, but I understand what biofeedback is.
 
The important strategy for me is to maintain my prefrontal cortex, which inhibits emotionality in the amygdala.  To obtain a detailed description of how the amygdala operates, consult Daniel Goleman’s classic book Emotional Intelligence.  Controlling your amygdala or not can make you or break you in the business world.  Emotional intelligence is having a good mood.
 
Mithu supplies seven strategies for stress-proofing:
 
1.
Improving emotional regulation.
2.
Getting stress hormones in check.
3.
Encouraging healthy activity in the rational brain.
4.
Tuning up your body clock.
5.
Taming chronic inflammation.
6.
Fighting insulin resistance.
7.
Boosting motivation (pleasure and reward).
 
To cover these strategies in depth would require a book.  I suggest you read Mithu’s book.
 

IV. Balancing Caloric Intake

 
My weight drifted down again last night.  Now it is at its lowest point all year.  My weight is closely connected to my net calorie intake, which is shown below the weight graph.  Apparently, my best strategy is to maintain my net calorie intake at exactly zero.  That takes some doing, but a net calorie intake of zero is doable.
 
I kept a complete Cronometer food diary for all of the days shown–no unrecorded cheating–without recording my exercise.  The big binge on October 30, 2019 derailed me for a few days, but now I have recovered.  I can forgive myself for that and do what I can to prevent further binging.  Though I still have 2.7 kg to lose to achieve my objective, I see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ and believe I will get there.
 
Initially, intermittent fasting, which is a tool I have used to zero out my net calories is a bit abrasive on the mood.  However, intermittent fasting can improve leptin sensitivity.  Leptin sensitivity is the brain’s ability to get the message from leptin, which the fat cells secrete, that you have had enough.  Since it is getting easier to fast intermittently, I could be developing greater leptin sensitivity.  Having my brain tell me I have had enough (on fewer calories) cannot help but improve my mood.
 
 

 

V.  Engaging the Rational Brain

 
Mihu Storoni recommends engaging the rational brain with a flow-producing task whenever you feel stressed, angry, or just exasperated with yourself.  This is just the opposite of what I tend to do.  I tend to sulk, eat, relax, or sleep.  However, these activities allow the emotional brain to stay active instead, which opens the door to a bad mood and possibly even a depressive mood.
 
I tried engaging my rational brain today when I was angry at myself for missing a delivery.  I worked on my Achieve 50 kg mind map, adding images of reports.  At first, it was very difficult; I got stopped by error after error.  Then I started to accomplish what I had set out to do.  The task was not too easy or too difficult, allowing a state of flow to begin.  After I completed that task, my mood was just a mild sense of accomplishment.  Just then, the delivery man called and re-scheduled the delivery.  Perhaps I thwarted an attack of depression.
 

VI. Seeing Design Elements that Produce Joy

 
Yesterday, I created a mind map based on info from Joyful by Ingrid Petell Lee.  She has analyzed design elements that produce a joyful mood, which she calls the “Aesthetics of Joy.”  My mind map displays images that represent these elements.  These design elements are all around us, and we can add more of them to our decor if we wish.  Nature has many of these joyful elements, which may explain one reason time in nature is joyful and so uplifting to the mood.
 
One of the aesthetics of joy is energy.  Vibrant color brings energy into our space.
 

Food

 
I love my photographs of the food in my cookbook, KaeLyn’s Korner Kitchen,  especially those with vibrant colors.  Humans with their color vision have a survival advantage because of their ability to select foods with vibrant colors, those bursting with nutrition.
 

Clothes

 
In 2013, I joined an entrepreneurial group.  At first, I always wore a suit, usually navy or black.  Then I bought some new clothes and wore fuchsia.  People in the room completely changed around me once I started wearing hot pink.  Their faces around me brightened, and they smiled.  Life wearing color was a completely different world for me.
 

Sunsets

 
My husband and I sometimes drove up on the bench of the Wasatch mountains and gazed at the sunset over the Oquirrhs.  The colors of nature in the sky are astounding, lifting the mood, and producing joy.
 

Flowers

 
Our wedding flowers are red and white roses, adding elegance, meaning, and a mood of joy to our special day.
 

Logos

 
I especially like my Joyful Vibrance logo, an emblem of vibrant joy with its circles, spheres, vibrant color, sparkle, expansion, bursting shapes, animation, curves, elevation, invisible forces, balance, flow, contrast, and lightness.
 

Cars

 
Think of how a coat of fresh paint brightens your mood and your life.
 
I love red cars.  My red Cadillac CTS brightened my mood when I first beheld it.
 

Mindmaps

 
Check out my Core Code for Living with its colorful backdrop with tulips.  If you missed it, check out The Aesthetics of Joy with its use of color.  I colored it with the complementary colors of purple and yellow and several shades of violet, each with a different amount of red.  The title lettering is gold-colored, symbolizing the value of these design concepts.  Only a work of art can adequately convey the story of art.
 

Dogs

 
A footprint of color shows off my already-colorful Cocker Spaniel mix named Caramel.  Designed like a caramel candy with caramel-colored fur and a white marking on her chest, she is now missing from my life.  However, the emotion of joy wells up inside as I see her darling face again.
 
According to Ingrid Fetell Lee, we can experience joy from the outside, in response to certain types of objects.  Now that I have mind mapped the design guidelines in The Aesthetics of Joy, I intend to decorate my life with joy-producing objects, virtual and real, inside and outside of the condo.  Most importantly, I have a joy-producing marriage.  My husband often commends me.  Now that I have virtually eliminated depression from my life, I intend to seek the opposite:  joy.  You are invited to join this journey.  Please come back for future blog posts.
 

VII.  Prayer

 
 
Prayer
 
Dear Lord,
 
What a joy it is to lose 5.3 kg since January 7, 2019!  I now have only 2.7 kg to reach my goal.
 
Today, I have contemplated Ingrid Fetell Lee’s analysis of what design elements in our environment make us feel joyful.
 
Lord, I have only dabbled in the subject of joy.  Let me continue to study joy and invite it in my life.  
 
I praise you, Lord, for your watchfulness over me.  You are ever alert.  Long ago, when I was undergoing trials, I felt your Protection with a capital ‘P’ and got through them.  Your Protection has since been with me.
 
Lord, we humans have moods.  According to the medical profession, I have a mood disorder.  I am not always aware that my so-
called disorder is a problem because it appears to me that mood challenges are just part of being human.  How do I even know what is normal?
 
Sometimes, I wonder if all the treatment I have submitted to has been the cause of my problems.  Certainly, being repeatedly locked away for weeks at a time did not help me professionally.
 
I cannot undo that now.  Instead, I seek joy, safe joy, not just the joy of feeling high.  I ask you, Lord, seeking and knocking, for joy, understanding that your joy is full and that you can share your joy with us.
 
Every day, I am so grateful to have a tender loving marriage and a convenient, comfortable home.  Your provision in my life is beyond what I expected.  
 
Amen.
 
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
 
 
 

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