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3 Solutions to Feeling Blue

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.

You’re a smart person. You probably already know how to set goals and that you need to take action.

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

When you feel down, you usually find your head flooded with negative thoughts, and your heart with negative feelings.

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.

Your Turn:

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.

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Mika Maddela
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.

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9 thoughts on 3 Solutions to Feeling Blue

  1. I’ve recently formed the habit of talking to myself with a mini pep-talk when I’m feeling down or sluggish. It usually starts with a smile in the mirror and a “You’re awesome, Vincent.” Then I do a bit of a recap of the week as to why I’m awesome, compare my present self to how much more awesome I was a few years ago, and I then I remind myself just how awesome I am.

    Keyword: awesome

    It helps A LOT and the goofiness of it can be amplified by a dance.

  2. What a great article. The other day I was having one of those really bad days. A colleague of mine looked at me and said in a monotone voice, “Well, shouldn’t you just not have bad days? I mean, you’re a LIFE COACH, so shouldn’t you know how to avoid those?” I could have hit him over the head right then and there. “I’M STILL HUMAN!” is what I replied. Everyone gets down and has bad days or times on life. Yes, on paper I knew exactly what I should have been doing to get myself positive and out of the rut, but I didn’t feel like it! Not at that moment anyways.
    What I usually do to get myself out is a quick shift of state. I think of a time where I had a similar problem to what I was experiencing now, but the problem was resolved. A time where the problem was over and I was happy and it didn’t seem so bad anymore. Then I stay in that place for awhile, paying attention to how it really feels in my body. That usually does the trick for me.

  3. I really like your ideas, Mika. I know they aren’t “in person” friends, but I have found some pretty amazing like-minded people on the Internet. I think that is a very good way to get out of a funk.

    I have made a Happy List that says simple things like: Hug ______ (insert someone’s name), clean a closet, step outside, lift weights. It’s just a reminder to me that I don’t have to be stuck in my own thoughts.

    My husband and I also like to change it up – eat lunch out or have an iced tea if we’re feeling the budget belt is a little tight. Just getting out of the place I’m in sometimes helps! Thank you for this thoughtful post.

  4. Awesome post. I try to incorporate gratitude into my life by focusing on the here and now, looking for what I can appreciate. Of course I can’t do it all day long, but do try to be aware of good and beautiful things.

    The other day I was kind of depressed when I saw it was raining, but then I saw a rainbow and a beautiful perfect spider web and smiled.

    It really does help to share what you’re enjoying with someone else (by that I mean not just that they’re there, but that you share your experience with them by telling them what you’re happy about).

  5. You are so right. Life is not a straight line. It has ups and downs and even loops sometimes.

    What I use as a quick pick me up is my ‘spirit lifting’ playlist. I have an odd collection of songs that never fail to lift me up.

  6. Molly

    What a great article, perfect timing! It can be so hard to pull yourself out of a funk, but these ideas are very helpful. I find that taking a nature walk/hike really boosts my mood when I feel glum.

  7. Life is about constant fighting and counting of blessings!

    Thanks for the article! :)

  8. I’m sooooo glad to read an article that acknowledges the heartbreaking, hard moments that are part and parcel of working toward our dreams. I think the more people share the hard stuff they’ve been through, the more of us will realize that we can make it through, too. Thank you for this!

  9. erin

    When we feel down with the blues, most always we are always way too stuck inside our thoughts with no room for outside input.

    So when I get gloomy, I purposefully push myself to have some other sensory input from outside. Most of us are blessed with all five senses: Sight, Smell, Hearing, Taste and Touch.

    Sight: Check out a magazine you love, have an album ready with pictures of memories that make you smile, or a collection of magazine cutouts you saved

    Smell: light a candle (save a scent just for those gloomy moments); flowers

    Hearing: music you love; home videos ( both sight and hearing)

    Taste: eat or drink something you love like iced tea or chai

    Touch: Give a hug; put on favorite sweater, or blanket.

    Those where just some examples. The times I remember to try these they have worked

    :)

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