Pulling Yourself Up When Feeling Down
Despite our best efforts to maintain stable positivity in our lives, we will inevitably find ourselves feeling down at some point in our lives. Whether this is a feeling of sadness or just feeling overall “blah”, we all know what it’s like to feel stuck in a funk we just can’t get out of. This feeling can be caused by negative events happening in your life, feeling overwhelmed, or the feeling can just come out of nowhere. Regardless of the cause, there are ways to pull yourself up and out of the funk you’re in.
The first step in getting out of a persistent funk is attempting to determine the cause and explore the feelings that are present. Trying to identify specific feelings you’re having can help to shed light on the internal narrative taking place. It’s important to then begin shifting your perspective on the narrative you’ve created. Whether we’re telling ourselves we’re not good enough, placing blame, externalizing our anger to the world/others, etc. it’s incredibly beneficial to consciously take control of the narrative. In doing so, we can create a more positive outlook where we have the ability to positively change the situation, we’ve found ourselves in.
We have the ability to choose how we view a situation and, thus, the role we play in the narrative. If you’ve found yourself in the role of victim, it is possible to consciously choose a different role you’d like to play. By mentally making the decision that you are strong and in control, your feelings will soon follow those thoughts.
Being outdoors and bringing awareness to your surroundings can be extremely grounding. Taking a walk, while paying attention to your heels and toes touching the ground one after another, can be incredibly meditative. Pausing to smell the fresh air around you, taking deep slow breaths will calm your mind and body. While doing so, focus on what you can hear, maybe it’s birds, wind, or just your breath. Focusing on what you smell, hear, and feel brings you centered in the present moment and slows the ruminating thoughts that typically arise when feeling down.
Remembering Good Times
Taking time to conjure up positive memories is a great way to boost your serotonin levels. To do this, take a moment to write down 10 of the happiest memories you can come up with followed by 10 things you’re grateful for. After doing this, it can be incredibly fun and enjoyable to go through old photos and videos whether on your phone or in an album. While scrolling through photos, consciously repeat positive affirmations in your mind. The combination of visually seeing happy times and positive affirmations will flood your system will serotonin, immediately boosting your mood.
Foster Your Dreams
Writing a bucket list of things you’d like to do in your lifetime is a great way to begin visualizing a happy and positive future. After writing your bucket list, pick a couple of items off of the list you feel are more realistic for the near future. Once you’ve done this, write a few actionable steps that will help move you towards being able to cross each thing off your bucket list. Including steps is a great way to motivate you forward as it allows you to view each item as attainable and realistic.
Reach Out for Hugs
While many of us try to make ourselves feel better alone, it’s hard to replicate the comfort that comes from reaching out to others for support. Calling someone you love, who loves you, presents the opportunity for physical touch. While this may sound odd, hugging, kissing, holding hands and other forms of physical affection are quick and easy ways to release oxytocin, also known as the hormone of love and wellbeing. Physical contact reaffirms connections while flooding your body with happy hormones.
There are many resources we can rely on in order to pull ourselves up from feeling down. It’s important to make the effort to reach out to our support systems and put our bodies in the position to flood our system with chemicals and hormones that can instantly lift our moods.
If you’ve found yourself struggling feeling down, unable to get out of a funk, it may be useful to try counseling. Contact Symmetry Counseling at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment with one of our very skilled Chicago therapists today!
Written by Kara Thompson-Miller, Licensed Clinical Social Worker: January 2023 “Why is it so hard to like my body?”: A unassumingly complex question that has been asked by many clients in many different variations, but one that, nonetheless, tends…Read More
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