January 17, 2016

10 Things To Do When Life Gets You Down

Everyone has their own way of getting themselves out of a bad mood. Some people visit with friends, some play with their dogs, and some sleep and sleep and sleep. However, there is a difference between a bad mood and when life gets you down. When life gets you down, it becomes hard to feel motivated or excited about anything. A nap isn’t going to change that, so it’s important to do some deeper things that help you see and react to life in a completely different way. Following are 10 things to do when life gets you down.

1. Give Yourself A Big Break From The Things That Are Getting You Down

Often times, some distance is key to seeing things in a different light. If you keep shoving something in your face that makes you feel bad, then you can’t get any relief from it. You can’t give your thoughts or body a break from it. You can’t refocus, re-energize, regroup, and re-frame the situation. You just get the same old, same old.

Therefore, if you can, take a break from what is getting you down. If work is getting you down, take a vacation. If your partner is getting you down, talk about spending a few days apart so you can focus on yourself. If everything is getting you down, then take a break from your regular routine and do something completely different for a few days. The break will help you get out of your current thought pattern and perception on life.

2. Enjoy Where You Are In Life

Often life gets us down when we want something more out of it or ourselves. But, it’s important to enjoy where you are right now and know that this is exactly where you should be, despite the nagging feeling that you shouldn’t be here. This moment is here to teach you something. It may be to teach you to be stronger. It may be to motivate you to change your life around. Who knows?

The thing to remember is that whatever is happening, and however you are feeling, is a step up towards your future, so instead of letting it beat you down, figure out how you can improve from the moment (what you can take from it) and take a step up.

3. Practice Allowing Things To Come, Stay, And Go

Resistance will make you feel bad. Allowing will make you feel happy. When you resist, you argue with what is, which doesn’t change what is, it only makes you feel bad. But when you allow, you accept what is. You don’t fight it or argue with it or wish it were different; instead, you just participate in it the best you can and let whatever is happening move through your life.

To start allowing, stop the following things:

– Stop trying to make things what they are not.
– Stop pretending that what is happening is not happening.
– Stop wanting things to be only a certain way.
– Stop thinking that this moment isn’t good enough or right.
– Stop rejecting people for who they are.
– Stop pretending that failure didn’t happen (and that you can’t overcome it).

If you can stop those things, then allowing will become a bigger part of your life, and whatever is happening right now won’t keep you down.

4. Get Control Of Your Life

When you feel out of control in life, you are going to start to feel down. But, when you feel in control of your life, you feel unstoppable and able to create the life you want. Other people’s negativity or attempts to bring you down don’t matter as much, and you are able to stop worrying so much about what other people are going to do or say because they don’t affect your life in the way that you do.

Moreover, research has shown that feeling in control benefits your health and what you do for your health, and reduces the risk of dying by up to 13 percent. [http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/02/study-feeling-in-control-prolongs-life/283657/] When you feel healthy, you feel better about your life. You have more energy to do what you want. You have more desire to take action in your life and go after your dreams. Health and happiness go hand in hand, and since being in control of your life affects both your health and your happiness, you are doing yourself a double favor.

5. Get Rid Of What Doesn’t Work

Just because you start practicing allowing, doesn’t mean you have to accept what doesn’t work into your life. An abusive lover, a job you hate, or an unhealthy body can all be changed, and when you acknowledge that they are making you unhappy, you can start to take action on eliminating them from your life.

For instance, you can break up with the abusive lover. You can start applying for new jobs. And, you can start working out and eating better. When you start taking action on getting rid of what doesn’t work, you start to feel better about your life when life gets you down, and you make room for more things that do work in your life.

6. Be Your Own Best Friend

It’s surprising how much we are our own worst enemy. We treat ourselves like nobody else would, and we beat ourselves up until we are so black and blue inside that it’s a miracle we can even get out of bed in the morning!

Imagine someone yelling at you day after day about how horrible you are. How would you feel about yourself and life in general? I imagine pretty bad. And, when that someone is a voice that you can’t escape – like the one inside your head, then eventually it is going to beat you down.

It is imperative that you treat yourself like you would a best friend. Don’t talk down to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t push yourself too hard or force yourself to do something you really don’t want to do. Encourage yourself, support yourself, talk kindly to yourself, and reassure yourself when life gets you down. You are trying to bring yourself out of a funk and see things differently, not beat yourself down further into the rabbit hole.

7. Practice Hope

Christopher Reeve once said, “Once you choose hope, anything is possible.” What a beautiful thing to remember when life gets you down. Hope is a belief that something more is coming. It is a belief that everything is working out the way it should and you are not doomed to suffer forever.

To get hope, I recommend prayer. Hope requires that you believe something else or someone else is on your side. Prayer can help you connect with that something or someone, even if you believe it is all in your mind. It gives you an outlet to ask for what you want, focus on what you want, and feel as if you have been heard in some way.

8. Connect With Others

While it is tempting to curl up in a ball on the couch, you have to connect with positive people when you are feeling like life has gotten you down. Just make sure you connect with positive people or even neutral people during this time, because negative people will likely drain you of any energy that you have left and make you feel worse about life.

Why connect with other people? Talking things out, sharing a good laugh, sharing a fun experience, and listening to other people talking about their life can all be very therapeutic and shift your mood. Moreover, just sitting beside someone else watching a movie can make you feel not alone, which motivates you to be less sulky and upset and helps boost your outlook and mood.

9. Practice Essential Daily Habits

What do you do when life beats you down? Do you stop working, playing, and doing good things for yourself? Do you sit in front of the TV and eat tons of junk food all day? If you do, then you are setting yourself up to stay stuck there for longer than you need to. The way you set yourself up for the day and move through the day can help you pull yourself out of a funk or beat you down even further.

Good daily habits will give you energy, hope, and help you feel better about yourself, even when life gets you down. Make a commitment to practice some good daily habits, and always include the following.

– Moving: Commit to moving your body at least 20 minutes in the morning. Doing this helps you to relieve tension and stress, and energize your body. This can be as simple as a morning walk, which may be all you can muster when life gets you down.

– Planning: Take a few minutes in the morning to sit down and plan your day. Even if you don’t feel like doing anything, plan out what you need to do for the day so that you have a clear vision of what is coming up. This will help you feel more in control of your day, which will eliminate the worry and anxiety that can come from being out of control.

– Journaling: Get yourself a journal that speaks to you (color, design, interior) and take it with you wherever you go. Journaling is a proven tool for reducing stress, coping with depression, managing anxiety, prioritizing your life, and figuring out solutions to problems you are having. It gives you a way to talk to someone, without actually having to talk to someone! You can lay it all out in your journal – the good, the bad, and the ugly, which will help you get out the thoughts that you need to get out.

Laughing: Even if you don’t feel like laughing, put on something funny and watch it. It is much better to watch something funny than to watch the news or something scary or dwell in a negative state. The funny show may not make you laugh, but at least it won’t make you feel horrible. And if it does make you laugh, it can boost your mood instantly. The more you laugh, the better you will feel. Negative thoughts will minimize, energy will return, and you will be more likely to get up and do what you need to do for the day.

Cleaning: When life gets you down, keep cleaning! Don’t stop keeping your house, car, office, or anywhere else clean. If you can’t clean, get someone else to. Research has shown that when your environment is clean, you have lower levels of cortisol – the stress hormone.

The saying a tidy home, a tidy mind also applies here. It’s just easier to think and sort through things when your home is clean.

And lastly, a dirty home could be making you sick and contributing to lower energy, which could be affecting the way you interact with and look at life.

10. Just Keep Swimming

As Dory from Finding Nemo says, “When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming.” And if you are not a fish, just keep moving.

Don’t ever stop living. The best way to get through a bad time in life is to keep busy and keep moving so that you can move from the state you are in to a new state, a better state, where life is much more fun.

Don’t try to take leaps and bounds when life is getting you down. Take baby steps. Put one foot in front of the other and force yourself to keep moving forward. Because life is a constant state of motion, you need to stay in motion too. You will find that you can ride out the feeling of doom and gloom and get on a new wave where more happiness and fun can be found.

I know this may be hard to do and believe when life has gotten you down, but it’s true. Life is a process, and getting through the tough times is a process too. You have to process your way through negative circumstances, negative thoughts, negative emotions, and negative behaviors, and the only way to do that is to keep moving. The longer you stay stuck, the longer it will take you to process all those things and feel better.

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