A couple of days ago, I got a phone call from my cousin asking me an interesting question: "What to do when you feel down?"
"I've been feeling blue for many days," he said, with no particular reason to feel that way. "Do you believe I am getting depressed?" was his question.
"Nobody can tell you are you getting depressed or not, except you and your doctor," I replied.
"But what you can do is to ask yourself questions to clarify your current situation," I added, trying to help him to make a decision about what to do next.
Giving support when someone is sad, down, or depressed is crucial. Choose your words properly, and especially don't say words that imply guilt or make accusations. Relieving oneself or another person from feeling "low" is not an easy job to do, simply for one reason: there is no single way to escape of moody feelings! Different people are helped by different things. Indeed, each person's sadness or depression is individual.
The very first thing to do, when one feels emotionally uncomfortable, is to try to find the reason for those feelings, which is often not easy to carry out. If one can recognize problems before they become severe, then there is no reason to worry about it. Feeling sad or down after a sad experience is normal. Moods go up and down from time to time.
The problem with emotional states is when we don't know any particular reason for our feelings. What to do?
First, we need to understand that moods swing up and down for psychological reasons, and biochemical reasons, as well.
Second, what we do know is that any feeling begins with a thought. If your thoughts are "uncomfortable" to you, your feelings will be the same way. Thoughts and one's internal state are the cause of feelings, not your experience. A person's attitude contributes to emotions.
The next step to deal with any emotional problem is to recognize own mental attitude, which is actually the cause of the problem. There is no need to feel guilty or weak in a situation when your mental attitude is the cause of the problem. You do not have to blame yourself or to struggle; you only have to know what's at the root of your way of thinking. One way to do that is to take note of your early signs of getting into a low mood.
Do not blame others for the way you feel; they are not the cause of your bad mood. If you believe that others should not have treated you the way they did, then you are in a position to make yourself miserable. You create your reality, and you are the only person who is in charge to do that. If you are not able to see how it is all connected, it's your problem - it just does not mean that they are not connected. Healing comes from your beliefs, and you must find a healing force within you first. In fact healing comes from a transformed perception of yourself when you seek to understand what those emotions are trying to tell you. It's possible for people to permanently change their lives if they are ready to accept all the changing circumstances during the process of changing. You`ll discover how powerful you are just by willing to make change within you.
Never try to push away the problems or distance yourself from them - you will never solve them. Accept that you are down or depressed. Accepting something you would normally reject is the perfect way to see how it's going to influence you. Interestingly, when acceptance is part of your behavior, you will gain the ability to change anything you want, to go in the direction toward where you want to be in your life.
When someone is down, at the same time this person is too focused on his own feelings and moody thoughts. Distraction from them is one of the possible avenues toward recovery. Affirmations, which are positive thoughts, written or spoken or read, are one of the distractions. Replacing self-destructive thoughts with positive one can help a lot, if the person knows which way of thinking is causing the problem. Always choose positive words to comfort yourself; only positive words provoke positive results.
When a person is low, one possibility for getting out of a blue mood is to be involved in daily activities. Simple tasks which person is no longer doing due to low feelings, such as talking to people over the phone or writing a letter, can be very helpful.
A diary of daily activities is a useful way to take care of one's thoughts and feelings. This method was invented by Dr Aaron Beck, and after so many years, it is still very good technique. By doing that, one can learn how to work on one's thoughts by breaking up patterns of negative thinking.
Abdominal breathing, another a good distraction, is very powerful because it allows you to accept situations when your mind rejects them. It also connects you to the present time, the only time where you begin to live fully. Researchers tell us that breathing through the nose during abdominal breathing cools the part of the brain that influences mood. Change your mood through your breathing in order to help balance your brain and body for relaxation and for positive thinking.
In closing, it's very important to remember these very helpful things:
Share your feelings with person(s) whom you can trust.
Try to understand in detail what's going on with you, if you can.
Explain to your family members that you have a problem with your mood and feelings.
Never make a negative decision while feeling low.
The most important decision is to decide when to see your doctor. You cannot do everything by yourself or just with the help of your friends. There are times when it is wise to seek professional medical help as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to do so. By not doing that, you can harm yourself.
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