By Eric Johnson
Sometimes, you just know at the start of a day that it’s not going to go well. Other times, you seem to have a string of bad luck that leaves you feeling stuck in a rut for days. If things don’t seem to be going your way and you’re having trouble getting motivated and mustering up the resolve to think positive, here are a few ways to overcome a funk, lift your spirits, and regain control of your life.
Help Someone Else
When you’re feeling down and out and like the whole world is against you, it’s hard to feel charitable. But doing something selfless for the benefit of someone else can be one of the most powerful things you can do to lift your mood.
“I think it has something to do with tricking your mind and body (and the person you are helping) that you actually have your stuff together, so together, in fact, that you are able to offer assistance,” explains Therese J. Borchard, Associate Editor at PsychCentral.com.
Next time you’re discouraged with the way things are going in your life, extend a helping hand to someone who needs it. Pay for the person’s order in line behind you at the drive-thru. Take therapy dogs to your local nursing home or assisted living community. Help someone stranded along the side of the road change a tire, or give a friend in need a ride to a job interview. The feel-good vibes you get from making someone else’s day just might make yours, too.
Celebrate Small Wins
When you’re depressed and unmotivated, the mountain of work that may be awaiting you at the office probably seems like an insurmountable obstacle. Often, people in this position end up doing nothing because they’re so overwhelmed by the project as a whole that they don’t know where to begin.
Break down large projects into smaller, bite-sized tasks and start working on the tasks that you can cross off your list in a few minutes. Tackling these smaller tasks helps you feel more accomplished and capable, which also helps to boost your mood. Celebrate these small wins each time you cross an item off your list, and you’ll soon find yourself more motivated to tackle the more demanding tasks.
Make a Mood Board
For some people, few things are more enjoyable than browsing through glossy magazines and cutting out inspiring images that reflect your current mood and goals. If you’ve never made a vision board or mood board, give it a try. It’s a worthy activity with a variety of uses, ranging from project planning and organization to providing a creative outlet and forcing you to take time away from technology to focus on your goals for the future.
What’s more, your completed mood boards can serve as artwork and get your creative juices flowing to benefit other projects. If you have dreams floating around in your head that don’t seem concrete, creating visualizations to illustrate your ideas can make them seem more realistic and achievable, giving you the motivation you need to start taking action. Finally, mood boards can be cathartic, allowing you to express your innermost thoughts and feelings to get them off of your mind.
If mood boards aren’t your thing, try journaling or meditation. Take a relaxing walk through nature, or try your hand at painting or drawing. There are many creative outlets that provide a means to express emotions, which is an uplifting experience that helps you get negative thoughts out of your head.
Everyone gets stuck in a rut from time to time, but you don’t have to let a streak of bad luck get you down. Anytime you’re having a bad mental health day (or week), use these techniques to overcome the obstacles in front of you and start making positive progress.
Image via Pixabay by Sh1ra