Picking Yourself Up When You’re Down
It’s easy to feel motivated and inspired when things are going well. During these times you feel inspired to achieve and follow through on all the steps you’ve meticulously devised to reach your goals. But what happens when you hit a fork in the road? For example:
1) you receive an unexpected bill
2) you experience rejection
3) you notice you’ve gained weight
4) you fight with a loved one
These negative (unexpected) experiences can really bring you down and throw you off course. Further, if you’re not careful, they can quickly cause you to spiral into thoughts of helplessness and hopelessness which often lead to depression.
In order to cope with the struggles life can throw at you – in the moment – it helps to tackle your moods from the physical and then, from the emotional/psychological perspectives.
Taking the first step – tackling the Physical side of your mood:
In the midst of a negative mood, you first need to change your physical body to try to shake off the feeling of hopelessness. Unfortunately this is when many people turn to alcohol and/or medication for a quick-fix solution (later suffering from the side effects). Better options include eating foods that release serotonin – like tuna, having a coffee or going for a walk/run.
The second step – tackling the emotional and psychological side of your mood:
After you’ve shaken off the physical component, it’s important to work through the emotional and psychological components of how you are feeling. This often requires speaking to someone else who can give you a balanced perspective. This is why it’s great if therapists can make themselves available to clients in between sessions via text or email (when they are in the midst of a stressful situation or mood, rather than waiting until they have their next scheduled appointment to discuss major issues that arise). That way they can have a quick response to assist them to snap out of their negative state and feel better about moving forward – when it counts most.
The last step is taking control.
Take a moment to step back and review your feelings and the circumstances that led to your emotional and physical reactions – with a more rational and clear mindset. Then take some time to think through any immediate action you could take to get through it. For instance, if you’ve experiences rejection, take some time to think about your approach to new or current relationships and see whether perhaps any negative emotions such as insecurity and neediness are sabotaging your efforts. Then, take a new course of action to improve these feelings and move forward.
Life will often throw things at you when you least expect it. However, if you cope with the strategies noted above, you will increase your resilience and optimism and live a much happier and fulfilling life.
To speak to a professional life coach or counsellor