I’ve talked about this before, but I’m going to talk about it some more. One of the most effective antidotes to a crummy mood is to intentionally turn ones thoughts of woe into thoughts of gratitude. We call this developing an “Attitude of Gratitude.” How catchy.
Anyway, I realize I make it sound so simple. That said it is usually much easier to reflect on that which we are grateful for when we are feeling good, and not too too difficult when we are feeling mildly blue. However, NOT so easy when we are feeling all together down in the dumps.
Often times, one of the worst things about feeling our worst is getting upset with ourselves for feeling upset. I’m not sure what use this even serves other than making us feel worse than we already feel. I, for one, am a big proponent of acceptance. Instead of saying “Oh what’s wrong with me, I just shouldn’t feel this way, I’m such a weak, pathetic, loser!” Or whatever words of choice you have for yourself in these unfortunate situations. Sometimes what’s actually useful to hear from ourselves when we are feeling less-than-our-best is something to the effect of “Well, I feel sad, mad, bad, or angry, and that’s just where I’m at right now. That’s how I’m feeling, and as a feeling being I have a right to feel less than sparkles and sunshine from time to time.” I think it’s really important that we just let ourselves feel how we’re feeling sometimes. We need to learn to be at least half as compassionate and understanding with ourselves as we often are with our dear friends. Those feelings sometimes need to have their say and stay for a little while before doing everything possible to try and make them disappear.
Of course, no one wants to stay feeling terrible forever, and most of us won’t. You will find, though, that if you give those dark and miserable feelings a little time to rear their thorny heads, more often than not they will soon begin to wane. Sometimes they just want a little attention in it all, and once they feel like they won’t be shooed out at the slightest chirp, their protest will likely not last too long. They will also be less likely to scream and yell in order to be heard. Then it might start to feel a little easier to focus on a couple things to be grateful for. But if not, that’s okay too!