By Mika Maddela
“The most glorious moments in your life
are not the so-called days of success,
but rather those days when out of dejection and despair
you feel rise in you a challenge to life,
and the promise of future accomplishments.”
~ Gustave Flaubert
I sat in bed sobbing myself to sleep.
How had things gotten this bad? How could it be that all the personal development I had worked on for the past two years had all come undone?
Everyone always talks about self-improvement like it’s some kind of constant and steady progression in a positive direction, but they often gloss over those moments of hopelessness when it all seems to come crumbling down on you.
And that’s how I felt. My partner was there next to me, but he couldn’t have felt further away.
All the stresses of life had just been too much.
My positive attitude was destroyed. My optimism was in shambles. My acceptance and inner peace had spiraled into a quagmire of judgment and resentment.
And when you reach this point after reaping so many benefits from changing your beliefs and mindset, it really makes you wonder if it’s worth it at all… when it can just be undone again, leaving you right back in the place you were when you started.
The Problem Isn’t That You Have Setbacks…
But the path is rarely straight and linear. The problem isn’t that you sometimes encounter challenges that get the best of you. The challenges are inevitable. The true problem is how most people deal with those challenges.
Everyone talks about that kind of stuff.
But few people tell you how to pick yourself up when you get knocked down.
And today, I’d like to share 3 things that really helped me when I was feeling blue, miserable and helpless.
1. Surround Yourself with Likeminded People
You’ve probably read about this before, but it seems few people actually do this.
If you decide to quit your job and make a living from a hobby or passion that you love, you may quickly lose motivation if you constantly spend time with friends who are climbing the corporate ladder.
This doesn’t mean that you should push your ladder-climbing friends out of your life. You can (and should) maintain those friendships if they benefit you.
What I’m suggesting is that you find a group of people you can meet with on a regular basis who understand what you’re working toward. People who will offer you encouragement when you’re feeling down from others telling you to “be realistic” or to “play by the rules.”
Trying to achieve anything can be a lonely task, especially if it’s outside the realm of “normal.” Not only do you have to struggle with your own doubts and uncertainties, but you also have to keep your chin up when you receive less-than-encouraging feedback from others.
Having a close-knit group of people you can meet with will help you stay grounded in your goal, keep you accountable, and (most importantly) help you feel as though you’re not completely crazy for wanting something that’s a little “out there.”
2. Create a Daily Ritual to Uplift Yourself
We can sometimes be so cruel to ourselves… quick to attribute every failure to some intrinsic personal flaw, believing that we are fundamentally broken.
To pick yourself up, it helps to have a personal daily ritual to fill yourself up with self-love and prove to yourself that you are worthy of love.
This helps to undo all the cruel self-talk and the poisonous words that your inner critic tells you.
Your daily ritual can literally be anything that you genuinely enjoy. The most important thing is that it is something for you. It’s a time when you can reconnect with who you are by doing things you enjoy and treating yourself kindly.
For me, I love spending time writing in a journal writing about what I want for my life, drawing in a sketchbook, or doing some stretches on a yoga mat.
3. Shift Your Focus with Gratitude
For over a year now, my partner and I have had the habit of telling each other what we are grateful for at the end of every day before we go to sleep.
This simple exercise may seem insignificant, but it has really played a huge role in helping me remember what I have going for me when I feel down.
Life isn’t perfect. There certainly isn’t a shortage of things to complain about.
“If only I could lose 10 pounds…”
“Why won’t he ever clean up after himself?”
“How am I going to pay off all this debt?”
And you can focus on this all you want. Chances are, the more you focus on it, the worse you’ll feel.
But you can just as easily focus on what is working in your life. What you may soon discover is that there is no shortage of things to be grateful for either, once you start looking.
“I’m grateful I have enough to eat today.”
“I’m grateful I have someone to share my life with.”
“I’m grateful I have dreams and aspirations.”
And the more you focus on these sorts of things, the better you will start to feel.
You don’t have to say your “evening gratefuls” before bed. You can incorporate more gratitude into your life in any way that you want.
Another popular way of doing this is to keep a gratitude journal and fill a page every day with things you are thankful for. This is fun because you can look back over everything you’ve written weeks, months, or even years later and relive all the big and small moments in your life that lifted your heart and made you feel gratitude.
These are three things that have helped me pick myself up when I’m feeling blue. This of course, isn’t an exhaustive list, but hopefully it will get you started in the right direction or give you some ideas.
What things have you done to pick yourself up when you feel down? I’d love it if you could share your own ideas in the comments below.
About the Author
Mika Maddela writes for the relationship advice blog, The Path to Passion. She is passionate about helping people create space for them to be unselfishly committed to the success and vitality of their relationship through self-awareness and emotional responsibility. For Think Simple Now readers, she’s hooking you up with a free copy of the Total Life Turn Around Course.
Related Articles on Feeling Blue:
- 5 Lessons from Hitting Rock Bottom
- How to Let Go of the Past
- How to Overcome a Bad Day
- 9 Ways to Overcome Negative Emotions
- How to Surrender to Emotional Pain
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