We all have our bouts with the blues.
You know, those times you just want to sit in bed all day, covers overhead, door locked shut. We've all been there. Being miserable is, well.. no fun. The worst part? We don't talk to each other about it. That's because misery is in itself a passive activity.
When we're down we don't feel compelled to do much of anything. Especially talk. In turn, nobody really knows how to handle it or help us get through it. What follows are a few steps that will help to prevent you from falling into a rut of misery.
1. Stop Isolating Yourself
Humans don't just survive - we thrive on human contact. Every single one of us needs a support system. Family, friends, colleagues, the paper delivery boy, a waitress at our favorite diner, someone. Whoever it is, stop isolating yourself and don't reject help when it's offered.
2. Stop Being A People Pleaser
There's a good chance you're spending a lot of time trying to make sure everyone is happy around you. Don't. In fact, pissing some people off is often a good thing. It means your doing something right. Your self-worth shouldn't be dependent upon the acceptance of others.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself
You. Are. Your. Own. Person. Period. Stop viewing others as your standard of reference or, more importantly, your standard of happiness. Stop worrying about it.
4. Start Living
Everybody says this (and I know it sounds cliche) but there's still some truth to it. Most people spend their days dreaming of the future or reflecting back in nostalgia. Screw that. Enjoy yourself now. Here. Today. Don't sulk in past mistakes and poor choices. What's the point if it can't be undone? If you've learned from it, move on. If it can't be changed, drop it.
To the dreamers: don't miss out on the beauty of life in front of you because you're too busy stuck in the clouds! Go grab a whiteboard, some markers and map out a big picture strategy for yourself. Don't exclusively "live in the moment" nor stay stuck in the past. Live for yesterday, today and tomorrow.
5. Start Talking To Yourself
No, not that way (unless you're fond of big, all white, padded rooms).
Have you ever noticed how some people always seem to have a black cloud following them around? Whenever you talk, it's like another bad thing is happening to them. Ever think that's a coincidence? Well, uhm.. it is. How you talk to yourself is how you treat yourself. Talk down on yourself, you'll feel down on yourself.
Looking at things badly? Things will probably end up badly. Here's the kicker though: instead of focusing on the bad things going on around you and becoming more positive, become more accountable instead. Change the things you can change while removing yourself from the things you can't.
6. Be Bold
Don't sit around waiting for things to happen. Get active. Make noise. Take action. Be bold. People that have nothing do nothing. Don't get me wrong if that's what you want, keep doing nothing. If not, step out and speak up. Determine what it is that you want out of life and go get it.
7. Be Real
This one is very important. Don't attach yourself to any end result. Expectation leads to disappointment, disappointment leads to spotty effort, and spotty effort leads to failure. Consistency is the name of the game here. Now there's nothing wrong with have massive long term goals. Just set short-term, calculated expectations you're likely to hit (that still require a bit of stretch). This string of small victories will keep propelling forward.
8. Start Believing
If you invest your life into something fragile, don't feel destroyed once it breaks. Now I'm a realist. Most of you will read this only to continue equating your self-worth with things like your job title, salary, or other external factors. But ask yourself: what happens if/when that goes away? Now ask yourself what really matters to you? What would you die for? Put your heart in that.