Friday, April 6, 2012

Shifting moods

I had a couple of down days recently. I just felt out of sorts, at odds with life. Not miserable but not my usual positive self either. A bit cranky. Discouraged.

It wasn't as though something had really gone wrong. There was no single issue I could address or problem I could solve to improve things.

I did what I've learned to do these past years: took out my Gratitude Journal and started writing. My hand hovered with the pen over the page quite a while before I could even begin writing. But once I started, I knew I had plenty for which to be grateful. As I wrote, I thought about each thing and savored it. Sunshine. Oh, yes, I love sunny days. My grandchildren. Ah, what joy they bring to my life. A career I love. Yes, what delight that brings! My fiancé. I am happy having a partner share my life journey.
As I listed those things for which I was thankful, something inside me shifted so I could get back on track.

Real depression is different
I am not suggesting that you can or should simply talk yourselves out of down days. Acknowledge them. See if there is some basis for them and change what you can. Just be with what's real. And then, if it's possible, refocus. If you can, look at the glass half full. Be grateful.

I am also not talking about clinical depression. I have many friends who live with depression, and I know that thinking positive thoughts isn't the answer. That's a different situation entirely. I'm referring to garden-variety bad moods and down days.

What do you do to get back on track at such times? What helps you? Please share your tips with us.

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