Wednesday, February 24, 2016
"And Then I Don't Feel So Bad" - Finding "Happier"
Someone online asked what others do when they feel sad. The site on which I posted a reply to that question is no longer in business, so I thought I'd post it here.
I have kind of a "Three-Step Plan"
"Step 1" is that I start with just me, rather than focusing on anyone else, or including anyone else.
Whenever I've had sadness I generally try to do something to change what's causing it; and if I can't change what's causing then I think of something happier, or at least think of something that gives me a little pleasure. (Kind of like the song, "My Favorite Things" - and it's corny, but it can work.) It doesn't have to be "raindrops on roses". Strange as it may seem, it could be something like my "smoky lilac" cell phone that I just happened to love when I saw it, and that I still like. Or, it can be something that I love not just because it's my taste, but because it was a gift from someone I love. It might be something like going through a particularly favorite book, or going through my collection of fitness DVD's and finding one that makes me feel like I'm making a refreshing change in routine. I might decide to use the tea-kettle that makes me happy just to look at it, and if I don't use it I might polish it up. I may go through any photographs I have that I particularly love and maybe sort them out; or, I'll take a bunch of new ones.
Generally, I just look for ways to stay in touch, or get in touch, with the things in life that are beautiful and alive.
Something else I tend to do is find something like a television show that I know will make me laugh.
Listening to beautiful and/or powerful music isn't just relaxing (always good for times of feeling blue), but it can have the same effect as thinking about some of those beautiful and/or uplifting/bright things in life.
And other than that... I'll get out, get some fresh air, "re-build" some emotional energy.
"Step 2" is for those times when the blues or the blahs (or worse) last longer.
"Step 2" is adding some nice time with someone else. It doesn't have to be a big, fun, time - just spending some time with someone else (and not particularly talking about having the blues or the blahs, and instead talking about other things).
"Step 3" isn't always a step. Sometimes it's a step. Sometimes it would better be described as a "backdrop of thought".
"Step 3" (step or "backdrop"), is that I step back, look at my whole and overall life, and think about all the meaningful ways in which I'm so incredibly fortunate), whether that's the special people in my life or something else. Then I may think about some of the bad things that have gone on in life, and all the things I've learned from them (not the least of which are what's important in life, and why we should never not appreciate all the ways in which we're fortunate).
Sadness is usually something we just have to get through until there isn't so much of it, and doing the above stuff can make getting through a sad time a little easier (or in the case of long-term sadness like grief, until we get used to living with it, it's older and less acute, and less "all-consuming" as when it's newer).