We all get the blah’s from time to time ~ it’s part of being human. But being down in the dumps, as we used to say in Nebraska, is no fun and stops us from doing what we need to do.
How we respond can either pull us back to the energy and well-being levels we’re used to ~ or keep us stuck down there for days or even longer. It’s costly, and it’s no fun.
Below are 5 ways that work for me, and I decided to share them as they’ve been useful in recent days. Pick one that sounds good to you or create your own. Above all, I know this symptom goes away as long as I remember that 98% of the time I’m the source of the problem ~ so I can fix it. Martha Washington said it well.
I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.
1. Be present. When I’m living in this moment, the concepts of being up or down dissolve. To do so either shift to focusing on what you’re doing right now or take some time to be still on your desk chair or your cushion — wherever you can sit tall, breathe deeply, let your gaze soften, and your thoughts slowly quiet down. Don’t judge what happens; just do your best to be present to whatever occurs.
2. Find the source of the problem What’s giving you the blah’s? Words someone said, something you did or didn’t do, eating too much refined sugar, or taking a new medication. Yesterday I was feeling low and then I realized I’d taken a cold remedy, so last night I didn’t take it. Today I’m full of energy again. Take 5 minutes to write your responses to the question, What’s causing my bad mood?
Again be mindful of blaming others. Watch out for stories you’re weaving about your circumstance or someone else. If your story isn’t pointing you in the direction you want to go, let it go. Stop watching that movie and come back to the present!
3. Go outside Breathe deeply, go for a brisk walk, sit on a bench, look up at the sky ~ whatever leads you to ignore what’s troubling you. Moving outdoors naturally gives us a new perspective. Taking just 5 to 10 minutes to move into a fresh new environment can be enervating.
4. Go to bed earlier I find that doing so gives me a shot at 7 hours of sleep. According to recent studies reported in TIME this amount of sleep is the minimum we need to improve health and increase longevity. Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, states,
I used to suggest that sleep is the third pillar of good health, along with diet and exercise, but I don't agree with that anymore. Sleep is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body for health.
Lately I’ve been doing my best to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep, and I’m feeling much stronger and more positive.
5. Get organized I’m not suggesting you take on everything that’s not in good order the way you’d like, but try spending just an hour tidying up. It can be a file drawer, a closet, or your in-basket. It doesn’t seem to matter what you tackle, but the activity and its sense of accomplishment can wake you up. The words clear space, clear mind have always been true for me, and I’m grateful to every person who has supported me to do so.
Here’s the payoff for taking one of these steps ~ or one of your own.
Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.~ Willie Nelson
If you’ve never made a Best Year Yet plan ~ or haven’t done one for awhile ~ it’s a foolproof way to shift what’s troubling you, clear the decks, and get a new start. I have yet to meet anyone who was not only happy, but highly motivated after making their one-page plan for the next year of his or her life.
I’d enjoy hearing from you ~ a question, comment, or sharing your own experience of getting out of the dumps. Scroll down to share your question or make a comment — or write to me directly at email@example.com.
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Two ways to create your own best year yet plan: