Shit happens! And most times we get over it and get back on track. There are times, however, when the little things in life start taking their toll – we’re not able to snap out of the feeling of ‘blues’ that seems to haunt us in the background. This feeling may not derail us completely but it does seem to make us a bit more tired, less energetic, not want to engage with others, irritable, anxious and so on. Our mind gets caught playing the same negative thoughts or a distressing event like a stuck record. Here are some suggestions that might help you change this melancholy ‘blues’ music and switch back to your favorite stuff.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself! Okay, things didn’t go too well, or maybe, you actually did screw up big time. It hurts! But chances are strong that you’re NOT the only person in the world who has messed up. And, you certainly are NOT the only person who will never, ever, get back on track. So, stop being so hard on yourself! If someone you love was going through what you were going through, what advice would you give him or her? Well! Follow your own advice.
- Replay the good stuff! Replay in your mind all the good stuff that you’ve done, or that has happened to you, or all the things right now that you feel blessed about. Replaying the good things in your mind will reactivate your brain circuits and memories, which are currently on standby, because of the ‘blues’ that you’re playing right now. Switch on the good ol’ stuff, even for just little bits at a time – it will help you change the unhelpful music.
- Meet and catch up with friends – even if you’re quiet company for the evening. Staying connected will help you feel supported and not so alone. If the record playing in your own mind/heart is the ‘blues’ – perhaps, for a while, you can enjoy the other music that friends bring. So, meet up with friends and contacts (in person!).
- Move your Body! – One of the best ways to change a ‘blues’ record is to move and jolt the body through exercise. Even simple things, such as going for a walk, tremendously help the brain and body chemistry to overcome the blues. Get out of your standard geography and physical location and go spend time somewhere else – perhaps chill at a coffee shop?
- Think next is what! – While the present music seems loud and pervasive, actively plan what you’d like to do once the ‘blues’ record changes. Think about what positive changes you’re going to make; the things that you are going to accomplish, to enjoy. Even if you can’t see how it will happen, plan in detail for a different future that works for you. This too will help you change the ‘blues’.
If the above ideas don’t seem to be working for you, then counseling can be helpful. Feel free to reach out in safety and confidence to firstname.lastname@example.org. More details on http://www.thewellnesstrust.com
Reference: O’Hanlon, B. (2014). Out of the blue: Six non-medication ways to relieve depression (First ed.). New York: W. W. Norton & Company.