The Winter doldrums can try to dim the brightest hearts. But Winter doesn’t have to be a somber time of sadness.
Here are five or six things I do when I’m feeling a little down. Of course, I do them without shoes on. So, the first step to feeling good is to take off your shoes! It’s the only way to feel the world.
- I Gobble Grateful-Fruits:
I force myself to think of good things in my life–those are the grateful fruits. Sometimes, I think about this blog. Lately, I’ve been getting more visitors and more visitors. Knowing that other people value my thoughts, dumb jokes, and rants makes me smile. Other times, I think about how wonderful it is be healthy enough to run and hike barefoot in the Northwest.
I hunt for anything in my life that I can be grateful for. When I do this, my mind automatically focuses on other things that make me feel good. It takes a little effort, but it works. And it sets my thoughts on the path to happiness.
- Project my Personal Powerhouse
Over the years, I’ve realized that some people are miserable. For whatever reason, they have chosen dark over light. Unfortunately, when chronically miserable people enter a room, all the plants and my heart seems to wither. It can be draining to be around such people. Whenever possible, I remove myself from their presence, but if that is not feasible, I simply don’t take anything they say to heart. They are miserable. They want everyone else to be miserable. I don’t partake in misery. I hate feeling miserable.
In general, I make it habit not to take ANYTHING personally. I fob off criticism onto bad behaviors. Behaviors change. Yes, some of my behaviors suck, but I AM MORE THAN MY BEHAVIORS. Whenever someone says, “You always….” or “You are….” I ignore what follows. They are simply describing my bad behaviors. Sometimes, the person is right about the negative behavior, but I don’t bind my identity to it. True, I can be mean, cruel, and even a little evil at times, but I’m NOT and will never be a MEAN,CRUEL, or EVIL PERSON. Those behaviors aren’t my true nature. So, I NEVER attribute negative comments or behaviors to my nature. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and absolutely perfect in my own way.
- Overpowering Optimism
This one takes practice and effort, but it’s worth it. Basically, I eliminate negative pervasive explanations. Negatively pervasive explanations steal my power. As soon I start attributing behaviors to deep personal flaws, I lose all control. It becomes an excuse to stagnate. For example, if I miss a deadline, I don’t beat myself up about it. I admit my shortcoming, but focus on all of the other times when I did make the deadline. I also focus on the end result, the client wants quality work; so, rather put inferior work on time, I had to delay to put out something worthwhile. Don’t get me wrong, missed deadlines are NOT something I’m proud of, but I don’t allow them to chip away at my self-esteem. I don’t let flukes or even patterns of behavior for that matter parade as my chemical make-up. When I’m the world’s most optimistic person, I put a positive spin on EVERYTHING; then, it becomes impossible to frown.
- Shower & Shave
This is very important, I used to neglect my personal appearance when I was depressed; now, it’s the first I tend to when I’m feeling down. There’s something invigorating about taking the time to look good. The cleansing ritual also serves as a distraction, it’s difficult to think negative thoughts when you’re proactively making yourself look better.
- Positive Pictures
This is another one that takes effort, but it works. I visualize myself smiling and happy. I also force a smile–sometimes its painful, but it gets easier the longer it’s there. I also see myself on the beach or surrounded by wealth and beauty. If I’m really feeling down, I’ll go ahead and Google images for “wealth” “happiness” “joy”, etc. I also make sure that I have the “strict” image search filter on; otherwise, I usually end up viewing porn. OK, that last two words of the previous is Secret Number Six 😉