A Few Thoughts on Combating the Blues
Life can be difficult enough to deal with sometimes. But when we are feeling down even the most ordinary of tasks can seem twice as hard to do.
There are many reasons why people get the blues, lack of satisfaction in a job or personal life, money problems, something that happened in the past or even something mundane like the weather. With winter fast approaching many people will feel affected by the change in season.
The blues are a manifestation of the minds warning signals that tell us when something in wrong. Feeling down is like the minds call for help. We need to listen to this call and act upon it in a timely fashion.
A lot of people worry about getting the blues which is understandable. But feeling down sometimes is just part of getting along with life.
There is nothing wrong with feeling sad from time to time; however, if the blues are lasting for long periods of time they need combating.
There are various things you can do to beat the blues and feel good about yourself.
Some of this involves actual physical activity while others involve changing your perspective on things.
Being active is good for all of us, but especially important for people who are down and those at risk of it. Research shows that physical activity and exercise can reduce symptoms of depression and contribute to positive feelings of wellbeing.
Building more physical activity into your lifestyle is one way to beat the blues. You don't need to run marathons - there are gentler ways of increasing activity levels, such as walking, dancing, or climbing two or three floors of the stairs at work every day.
Alternatively you can try incorporating another great mood booster – being social – with exercise to enhance the experience even more.
There are plenty of opportunities to socialise with other people while exercising.
Pop down to your local leisure centre and you will see a host of different clubs, societies and exercise classes you can join. Alternatively, if you want to save a bit of money, just find a friend to go running or walking with. Never underestimate the power of being around others to help you through the blues, even when you don’t feel like talking to people.
This brings us to our next point about networks. Maintaining a network of reliable people in the good times is an excellent resource to draw strength from in the bad times.
Your friends are family are there to help you in the same way you are there to help them. Make sure you do not fall into the trap of feeling too proud to ask for help or even just to talk.
The quicker you use your friends the quicker you find a solution to your blues. Who wants to feel down when they could feel good? Exactly! No one.
One distinguishing feature about the blues is that it can be difficult to put a finger on the cause sometimes. There may be many things wrong or sometimes nothing at all.
Learning about what is causing our negative feelings is a process of self appraisal; learning more about ourselves reveals our problems and solutions. You may feel that you know all there is to know about yourself; however, unless you have developed intense introspection, the chances are there is a lot for you still to learn.
Self-awareness is the key to understanding yourself and the problems you face in your life. Self-awareness has the unique ability to help you gain a bit of perspective on a problem.
Coping effectively with life's problems and failures requires realistic expectations. Psychologists call these expectations and judgements 'appraisals'. Life events (such as traffic jams or the boss's attitude) aren't a problem unless we appraise them as such. If our appraisals are realistic, we're better able to react to day-to-day life events with a sense of proportion.
The appraisals we make are a product of our belief system. If we hold unrealistic, inflexible beliefs then our appraisals may not be the most appropriate for the situation.
Irrational beliefs often include 'musts' and 'shoulds', with an emphasis on perfection. 'I must be liked by everyone' and 'I must be competent and perfect all the time' are all irrational beliefs. They're difficult - if not impossible - to achieve.
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