Have you ever feeling down and then you suddenly realize that you don’t want to feel like that and you really want to get out of it? I have that kind of emotional state many many times and I learn that it has the power to waste my day, my evening or even my holidays by making me sitting there and being grumpy or depressed. What an unproductive thing to do?
Of course, I do not talk about the real depression that is a kind of illness. That kind should be treated properly by the doctors I believe. It is way serious beyond a bad day that I mentioned. I talk about when someone upset you with his/her words or behaviors. It could be a moment that you heard an unfortunate story or news which can happen on a hourly minutely basis according to our digital/internet/social media world we are living. What to do? I always ask myself…while thinking …gosh…this just ruined my morning. Normally I will wait until I forget about it or talk it out with someone but I realize why not having a proper strategy. So I observe what it is that can quickly fix my mood and here I am sharing with you what I tried and it did work.
- Dish washing, Cleaning things, Purse organizing. I will call this action in summary as ‘Clean the space to clear your head’. This one works when I don’t know what I want to do, lack of focus or feel lazy but I know it’s not a lazy time. The strategy is get up and walk to the kitchen. Clear out the dish from the sink. I mean hand washing not machine. Either put the clean dish on the rack or wipe them dry and put them back in place is good. I assure you will feel better than the moment before. Clean dish and clear sink glare at you like an achievement of the day. It tells you that you are not lazy anymore you just finish one task and it is the beginning. Other cleaning works just fine too. If no dish to wash, how about clear a busy table, reorganize your books. The one I also like is to organizing my purse and my wallet. This one makes me feel lighter, I mean throwing rubbish away, doesn’t that sound good? The key is picking an easy cleaning that you can finish in 10 minutes. After this you will be in a better shape to start new thing.
- Read an inspiration book or blog. With a phone or tablet in your hand, this works right away wherever you are. Keep the list of books that motivate or inspire you. I think everyone has writers that you feel like he/she speaks your mind. Their books inspire and spring out good energy from your inside. When I’m feeling down and start to think the world is not a loving place. I read a chapter in those books that promise to light me up. One of them is What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey. She shares her entrancing experiences in various life situations and her words speaks to me amazingly to look at life in a better way. This book is kind of a medicine to me. Another source that could help is your favorite blogs. Someone who always share stories that spread positivity. Just checking out what they are up to and there is a chance that their word could lift up your mood just mere a short reading.
- Turn to your good friend but carefully not to abuse them with your problem. Yes, talk it out is a sure way to relief yourself but it does not mean just anyone. It should be a trusted friend or a group of friend that actually ‘Know’ you. The last thing you want is to be judged and feel even worst. I am sure you have one good friend who you know is there for you and ready to calm you down. The one I turn to is able to explain the situation on the bright side, well I just need that right now. When we are down, the bright side is sometimes hard to be self discovered so let them help. One thing to be super careful is to not abuse them with your problem. Hold yourself a bit, your friend is not a bin that you can dump anything and leave and remember everyone has their own problems. If you felt better, take turn to genuinely hear them out is what a good friend would do otherwise there is a good chance that they might not return your call next time.
- Take a walk, Move and Breath. This category is about physically move. According to many research, move is so important to our mental status. From the bestseller ‘Brain Rules : 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School’, the author suggest “ to improve your thinking skill, Move”. Lately the benefits of exercise shift more from physical to improve state of mind. Exercise can also cure a minor depression. Faster act than starting to walk is to breath, I mean deep deep breath for 20 times. When breathing is focused, the brain will shift attention to the part that control movement so the emotional part is less activated, interesting, right? So next time you feel like you cannot take it anymore, suppress the scream and take a walk and start to breath.
- Put on Music. I am sure you heard of ‘Music Therapy’. Music is proven in many research to relieve anxiety and discomfort. Have you also heard that surgeons play music during their operation to calm patients and increase efficiency of the doctors? If it can relieve some stress in the operating room, it sure can easily relieve us during our down moment. When I am really tired at the end of a long working day plus in the middle of riding a packed train home, pop in favorite music is always helpful. It is at your fingertips, just pick one from your app on the phone. Music can be various kinds. I sometimes listen to bossa nova while driving home because it make me feel like I’m driving off to the beach. One day, I just put a French cafe music on while taking showers, just a 5-10 minutes shower with the song in the background does make it feel so much different from a plain hurry shower I usually have. So next time you want to cheer up yourself, let’s try put on some music in background of your day.
- Journaling and writing what is good in your life. We all learn about how we should be positive and optimistic living our life. Now it is about time to put into action. Let’s say today life is miserable and you think you are about to cry or you already started tearing up. Grab a pen and a piece of paper or pick up your phone and open the note app. Start to list out what is good in your life right now. The first time I did this is when I felt down about my job. I remember sitting in the cafe staring out of the window and feeling the pain and the growing of emptiness in my heart (yes, I tend to exaggerate during a time like this) Then I decided to open my diary app and start typing ’Gratitude Note of this year’. I wrote all the good things that I’m having or going to have in my life ranging from my upcoming vacation, how lucky I am to have a supportive mother, my loving husband, my beautiful house, my healthy kids and even my new purse got into the list. You know what when I finish it felt good, so good. Suddenly life does not seem so bad. I mean when you look at the list, it is kind of ungrateful to continue feeling bad while you have tons of thing other might trade to be you (I also tend to exaggerate when I’m happy too). After all, happiness is about how you look at your life and I know sometimes we forget that.
In the end, do not let a small thing that ruins the moment to ruin your day. Let’s believe that we are better than that and keep strive forward.
Thank you for reading and cheers to a good day.