By Mike Moore
As Neil Diamond sang in his song Song Sung Blue “Me and you are subject to the blues now and then…” Awe the blues! Those feelings of joylessness, hopelessness, and blahness. They usually occur after a happy event, on the occurrence of something sad or simply for no other reason than it’s winter and we’re tired of it. They can also be brought on by a nostalgic trip down memory lane especially at Christmas or New Years. When we remember with fondness the ” good old days” and remain too long with our memories we run the risk of a bout with the blues. I always say that the past is a wonderful place to visit but a dangerous place to stay. Whenever the blues come they can suck the joy out of life and give new meaning to the word “down”.
Here are five ways to effectively combat the blues and win every time.
1. Put the blues in perspective.
It helps to remember that the blues are merely feelings – feelings that flow from our dominant thoughts and just like any other feelings, they pass. When we feel affectionate it passes. We don’t feel affectionate all the time. When we’re angry, the anger passes. The same applies to the blues. You’ll find that they pass more quickly if you don’t dwell on them. Just relax and wait for them to pass. While waiting here are a few effective strategies you can apply to ensure their quick passage.
2. Thought Replacement
If the blues come from our negative thoughts and we are able to control the thoughts we have then whenever we have a fearful, disturbing, lonely, or depressing thought visualize it leaving your mind and being replaced by a happier more enjoyable one. Create a bank of happy, pleasant thoughts to use as replacements.
3. Forget yourself in the service of others.
I think it was Tennyson who said “We must lose ourselves in action lest we wither is despair.” He was suffering the loss of a dear friend and found that serving others helped him forget his grief for awhile and helped him heal. There is nothing more effective than forgetting yourself in the service of other to banish the blues. “I had the blues because I had no shoes when upon the street I met a man who had no feet.”
4. Learn how to relax.
Frequently the blues make an appearance when we are stressed and over-extended. Physical and mental relaxation help restore calmness and peace to our frantic lives and in the process enhance our resistance to the blues.
By the way laughter is an excellent way to cut stress in half and promote healing relaxation. It is impossible to worry when we laugh and worry is one of the major stress inducers.
5. Look for the comedy in your chaos.
Funny things happen to us everyday. When they do most of us give a brief chuckle and move on with life. In my books I teach the art of “Mining the Moment” whereby I encourage my readers to extract every ounce of humor from the funny things that happen to us daily. When you do this and give yourself permission to laugh heartily and enjoy fully you reap the many therapeutic benefits laughter provides. It helps to constantly recall that life is just too serious to be taken seriously.
As the song says, the blues come to us all now and then. They are just part of the human condition. The next time you have the blues try some of these suggestions and experience how you too can combat the blues and win.
Mike Moore is an international speaker on “Humor and Stress Management”, Humor in the Workplace” and “Humor and Human Potential” His articles and cartoons have appeared in publications throughout Canada and the USA.
Mike is the author of the popular book Embracing the Mystery (Living the Life You Want) http://www.motivationalplus.com