From time-to-time we all get walloped by Life and become discouraged. Usually, we can pull ourselves out of these feelings but sometimes…not so much.
At times, to us, the outlook is bleak and our discouragement turns into melancholy and depression.
An important note: when you can’t seem to shake the blues–and especially if you have thoughts of self harm or harming others–then it’s time to seek professional help. Oftentimes after a few visits to a trained counselor, spiritual advisor or medical professional can help you get back into your natural swing.
For times when you can still handle the feelings on your own but you need a few new techniques, here is an excellent article that lists a few:
The 5 techniques Dr. Leahy talks about are simple enough that each of us can do them–and incorporate them into a busy schedule.
Doubt your hopelessness:
We can all look back and see other times in our lives that we were deeply discouraged: we thought we were done for; we thought there was no way to overcome that particular difficulty; we doubted ourselves. But eventually it passed. As time went on, we continued living; we figured out how to solve the problem or how to handle it enough that we could keep going; we even experienced happiness and satisfaction in at least some areas of our life.
So all wasn’t hopeless then and it probably isn’t all hopeless now.
Try something new:
We don’t have to do anything drastic to do something new. It can be something as simple as trying a new fruit or vegetable, reading a different type of book than what we usually enjoy, exploring a side street on our way home from work.
When we do something new, fully engage in the here-and-now of the experience. Savor it through as many senses as possible.
Look at what isn’t hopeless:
When we’re in the midst of a tough, tough problem, it can seem that everything is bad. But if we look a little closer at our lives, we can see that while we may have a serious financial difficulty for instance, we also have a friend who is inviting us to dinner and sending us home with leftovers. Or we may see that in spite of our troubles, we’re still good at knitting or playing music or fixing things. Engaging in these activities brings us joy but then we can increase our joy and satisfaction by sharing them with others and bring them joy, too.
Realize that no one thing is necessary for your happiness:
We all have losses that go deep and it can seem that we’ll never be happy again, especially since we won’t have that person or that thing in our life any longer. Certainly we should take time to mourn and grieve, but we also need to know that we can–and we will–have new opportunities and new joys in our lives.
Appreciate the present:
Even though it might seem to us that there is nothing in our lives that’s good, we can prove to ourselves that this isn’t completely true. When we pause and immerse ourselves in the here-and-now, we find things such as we’re alive right here and right now in this moment; we have enough air to breathe and we’ll probably continue having enough breathable air; we can think; we can choose our thoughts…. These are all things to appreciate because they are ingredients that make up hope.
Read the article by Dr. Leahy and let me know what you think. Share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!
You can do this!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,