Do you sometimes feel blue for no explainable reason?
Perhaps the change of season has evoked an unwanted feeling of sadness that occasionally washes over you. Whether you can identify the cause or not–it hurts and the wish to make it go away or manage it more effectively is real.
Sooner or later, we all have some version of these unpleasant feelings. This is normal. It’s part of the range of emotions we feel as we navigate through life.
Here are 5 effective ways to help you get out of a funk:
1. Do something nice for someone else. The research shows that doing something kind for another being is the fastest way to happiness. Even if it doesn’t seem like a good idea, give it a go and notice how you feel afterwards.
2. Call a friend who you feel safe with. Connecting with a trusted friend or family member is a powerful way to change your state of mind. Laugh, cry, talk or just ‘be’ together. Even if that person does nothing to change your scenario, just feeling heard and understood can make a significant difference.
3. Think about someone that you’re grateful for in your life. Gratitude is not only a sign of mental health, it’s also another great way to generate positive feelings. Write a note to someone you love and tell them why. You can take this one step further and if they’re still around, call them and read them what you’ve written. Notice how you feel after that one!
4. Get active. Get off the couch. Take a walk, a yoga class, a swim, a bike ride or crank up the music and rock out in the living room—just get your body moving. Movement affects your mind and your emotional well being.
5. Dive into a project. Get engaged in whatever projects have been on your mind like cleaning a closet, clearing your desk, starting a gratitude journal, organizing your photographs… Once you immerse yourself in an activity that draws you in, your brain changes and enter “flow” mode, which is similar to a form of meditation. Once in the zone, the blues tend to fade.
Today may be one of those crappy days when you wish everyone would leave you alone—or maybe you wish someone would come along and save you.
Of all of the possibilities for turning this around, perhaps the most powerful one of all is just taking a few deep breaths and pausing and seeing what there is to be grateful for—even in the midst of difficult feelings.
And just because today might bite it doesn’t mean tomorrow will. Remember the light always pours in through the cracks.
What do you do when the blues strike?
[above image compliments of Larry Glick]