At this time of year it seems that everybody is making them!
But the evidence suggests that a large majority of resolutions are not kept even when people have the best of intentions. And if they are feeling generally a bit down and dejected, and things haven’t been going well even the idea of a New Year’s Resolution can be too daunting or indeed very irritating and annoying! And of course a failed resolution can be quite demoralising.
If life is getting you down, and you’re not up to resolutions, try interruptions instead.
You know how you can tell just by looking at someone when they are a feeling bit down or depressed. They don’t actually have to tell you that they are feeling miserable. You can see it by their depressed body language. Their thoughts often cause them to look down or stare into space and their bodies are often a bit slumped and heavy looking.
And then the more we look downwards and let our bodies slump, the more depressed our thoughts and feelings become. It’s an example of how our minds and our bodies are continually influencing each other.
This idea is actually also reflected in our everyday language … we talk of being ‘down in the dumps’ … feeling ‘generally a bit down’ … or ‘letting things get on top of us’ … ‘downright miserable’ …
Somehow to get out of all this you have to interrupt the cycle of miserable thoughts, feelings and body language.
A few really simple interruptions can help
And of course the sooner you start, the sooner you can begin to lift your spirits. Typically, people tend to believe that it is difficult or ‘downright’ impossible to change their thoughts when they have something to be really miserable about so sometimes it’s easier to interrupt the pattern by changing the body language.
So if you are feeling down and a bit trapped in negative thought patterns, try these three simple tips.
Three simple tips to lift low mood
- Simply change your body language … Sit up, stand up, and look up NOT down.
- Move around … preferably take a bit of exercise, outdoors if possible … how about a walk in the park? Doesn’t really matter how or where … the important thing is to move!Or, if indoors is more your style, put on some loud music with a strong beat and move.
- If you are ill and not able to move your whole body just try moving any part of your body that you can manage, such as moving your hands or feet, preferably shaking them about as vigorously as you are able. If you aren’t able to do that, then move the muscles in your face, change your expressions, raise your eyebrows, pretend to smile … or even scowl! Just move!
Now of course I’m not saying that this is the end of the story by any means … you may need to make all kinds of changes in your thinking, your emotions and in your way of living but an interruption to the current pattern is what is needed to begin with!
The last, but not least, interruption is to use a thought change rather than a body change
When you go to bed at night, find and think about (ideally three) things that you are grateful that you have in your life. Could be a person, a thing an experience. If you can’t find three, begin with one! You could either ponder on the same thing or things each night or find some different ones.
*Several studies have shown the positive effect that a ‘gratitude awareness‘ has on the life of a depressed person … but of course you don’t have to be depressed to want to create more positivity and happiness in your life! Try it … I did and I can say it had a definitely positive effect on me.
It’s a very useful thing to do if you are lying awake at night for some reason … it doesn’t mean you have to deny any worries you might have. It does mean that you can also spend a few minutes consciously acknowledging that that there are certain things, events, people or even just moments that you are grateful (or just pleased!) to have in your life. Do it regularly and it tends to orient you to a generally more optimistic outlook.
If you are feeling down, dejected or mildly depressed, then listen to the free sample of ‘Come up from Depression‘ here. The full recording should prove very helpful. (MP3 only £8.95)
If you are feeling more than mildly depressed, you can find out more about a one to one session by contacting me here.