by guest blogger Karen Jones
On this journey of life, it’s completely normal to have times when we feel down. And while these states do pass, it sometimes feels as if they won’t. We can move through them more effectively – and even joyfully – with some tried and true practices, though, so here are some of the things I do, and recommend to others, to feel better:
Reach out to help someone else
No matter what has me down, it works for me 100% of the time to think about someone I know who could use a little attention/TLC, and reach out to them. The magical combination of: a) taking my attention off what’s bothering me, b) helping someone else and making a difference for them (usually an instant boost for the giver as well as the receiver), and c) the passing of time, really does help me to feel better, and soon!
Get your body moving
Exercise, in whatever form works for you, produces feel-good chemicals in our bodies. How handy to have a built-in factory that produces drugs that can make us feel better!
Remind yourself that you’re just having feelings
Think of them as a storm that’s passing through – and that they will pass. I usually find it helpful to remember that what I’m feeling is a result of what I’m thinking, and that I have the ability to shift my thinking…even a little bit (and even by just reminding myself that the feelings will pass!). Keep in mind that feelings are not facts.
Reach out to someone who truly cares about you, and ask them for help
Just as you feel better when you help someone, you get to give someone else that gift when you reach out and ask for help. This can be super tough to do when we’re feeling blue, but even if you just dial their number (or send an email, or text) and say “Hey, I could use a boost from you,” it’ll help to shift your mood, and maybe even boost theirs.
Go for an effective distraction
Since our mind can only really pay attention to one thing at a time, there are times when the best thing to do is get immersed in a good book or movie, and give yourself a break from the blues. There was a time in my life when the distraction I chose was shopping (right after my first husband and I split up), and I racked up a ton of credit card debt as a result. That is not something I recommend, but other distractions include getting outside for a walk, cooking something delicious, or engaging in a creative, cleaning, decorating or organizing project.
Write it out
There’s a lot to be said for just putting pen to paper and expressing everything that’s on your mind. It can not only relieve the pressure of keeping it bottled up, but, if you’re like me, you may learn something about yourself (or your situation) as words flows out of the end of your pen, and gain new insight.
Snuggle up with a teddy bear and cry it out
I think the first teddy bear I ever had was in my late 20s, and it was because a close friend basically made me buy one. I felt foolish, but he was so right. Curling up with that bear (it was big enough for that) and crying my heart out was very effective at helping me through the blues. Cuddling with a beloved pet can work, too.
These are my own tried-and-true methods. If you’ve got others that do the trick for you, I hope you will do them…and feel better soon!
Guest blogger Karen Jones is a dating and relationship coach and teacher, and founder of The Heart Matters. She also offers workshops for men and women, and group coaching experiences. Learn more at www.TheHeartMatters.com.