Feeling low? It may seem obvious, but it can help to understand that your feelings are caused by what you are thinking and doing in any one moment. Knowing this means that you can then create a path for taking control of those feelings. Do you feel that your mood is lower than someone else might feel in the same circumstances? If so, here are a number of ways of changing your mood.
One instant way to improve your mood is to do something. And something means anything that you are not doing right now. This does not mean you should ignore it if there is a problem that can be solved, but it is best to solve problems once you are feeling more empowered. Doing something empowers you, even when you don’t feel like it, and even if it is not a pleasant task. Remember that doing anything is better than doing nothing.
Write down the answers to these questions:
1.What am I sad about?
(What are my thoughts?)
2. Are there other ways of looking at what I am thinking about?
3. Would someone else see it differently?
4. Am I certain there were/are only negative outcomes?
Sometimes understanding your own thoughts and seeing them in writing can help you understand if they are out of proportion. This is not always the case but when it is, then writing them down helps you to see it.
Is it possible that what is making you feel sad is a situation that is in the past? If so, look at the image above. Identify when it happened and for how long. Get to the point of the timeline where you can say:
"That was then, this is now". If you can do this, then the feelings you have now are just the memory of that emotion. They do not need to apply to the here and now, other than as memory. ldentify what stresses are in the past and what you need to carry with you now. Some things you can let go of and some things have ongoing implications for your life, that are still present, but not always. Know the difference. Draw a timeline to help identify them.
Imagine yourself in a better future. Picture one day. It could be in a month or in a year. It doesn’t matter how long ahead it is, but focussing on a better future helps to reduce stress now. It also shows you that this does not need to go on forever. That picture of a better day ahead might just be of yourself taking a walk in nice surroundings, or chatting to a friend, or carrying out some pleasant pastime. But propel your thoughts into that better future day now.
Sometimes when you are feeling low in mood you can easily forget that there is still stuff that can give you pleasure. If you want to lift your mood a little right now then start your pleasure diary now. Put in something at least once a day that you are looking forward to. It can be something very small or a major activity. Size doesn't matter! Everyone needs something to look forward to. Put in actions that you can take so that there is something positive to look forward to. What will it be today? And tomorrow?