Everyone has times where they feel isolated and alone even depressed, at these times life can feel a bit like lifting weights, or we can live life believing that at any moment, the axe will fall. We are told by ‘experts’ that we should ‘think positive thoughts but anyone in a real funk knows it not only doesn’t help, but can make you feel like a failure creating distance between you and others. Studies show that thinking positively even for upbeat folks only helps a little when things are going wrong, for those suffering anxiety and depression it can actually make them feel worse. A long time ago New Age professionals decided that we not only should be responsible for ourselves, but we should also take the blame for corporations going broke (redundancy is your fault). Being abused as children is the consequence of karma and past lives, which also conveniently removes any requirement for the abuser to be solely in the wrong. This is reminiscent of the original sin, which New Agers have managed to wind into their spiritual belief patterns and in general your past life gets blamed for your life sucking. For some reason we can’t just allow for mistakes, poor choices and living in the now, even though it is touted almost as a biblical text. The very nature of spiritual new age dynamics is meant to offer, not salvation, but a choice of how we interact with others in our lives right now, today and this alone affects OUR tomorrow.
So where does this leave us in the area of depression, anxiety or past trauma? The answer is almost too simple, it leaves us in the position of being able to heal. To be spiritual good people and still feel sadness, anger, depression, alone or indeed to still feel. It is an impossible, if not inhumane request, to ask that we stop feeling, it is after all what separates us from other species. To have moved beyond survival to a point where we can separate out and explore how we feel about things and discern what a positive experience is and what is not. A person without feelings is considered a sociopath, being unfeeling and uncaring? A narcissist. If unfeeling, uncaring and exploring your personal desires then likely you will be a psychopath, all of which are serious psychological conditions. In the modern world we bandy these about as if they are common, but selfishness isn’t narcissism, just as not caring what happens to someone doesn’t make you a sociopath, unfortunately wanting to rape or kill others will always make you a psychopath so let’s not go there.
Back to the blues and what to do about them. Firstly you need to decide if it is a habit, this may sound a bit trite, but if you tend to be negative geared or go into a tailspin over minor things, it is worth looking into why. If it is a habit, good news! You can undertake many programs to come past it or you can look at what your contribution is. For example if you live in a general state of anxiety and overspend or don’t earn enough to cover your bills, you know that this is probably the cause which can be alleviated by the help of a budgeting professional or by cutting up the credit card. If you aren’t happy one day and start bringing your mind to bear on all the past hurts and damages you have suffered, you are clearly giving yourself a signal that nothing today or right now is the problem, that you haven’t learned how to deal with setbacks and rejections. For the most part all you need to do in these moments is ask yourself, how much is this situation today going to affect my life really? Allow yourself to feel just that bad about it and no more. To give it balance it is helpful to think in terms of 1-10, 1 being not bad at all, 10 being, ‘OMG I am going to die!’.
For ongoing problems and difficulty managing your feelings, the benefits of talking to someone, friend, professional or a pet are renowned. There are a few reasons why talking to a friend or family isn’t always the wisest choice, they can try to, either fix the problem, or jolly you along so they feel more comfortable. Talking to someone who tends to get impatient can push you to feel even more isolated, and who knows, maybe they have heard it all before or too often.
Besides a professional there are other choices, we all have things we enjoy, but when we don’t feel good are disinclined to do these things, so try this. If you know what is causing the issue, (if you don’t seem to, it is worth asking yourself honestly) determine how long you are prepared to let it get you down. If it is a general cycle it is even more important to create a finish point. Time limits are great, they give you permission to feel, they give you an end that you, no one else, has set. This time limit could be a day or ten minutes but should never really be longer than 48 hours. (Please note we are not talking about major life disturbances here).
At the beginning of your time limit decide what thing you are going to do that you enjoy, this could be cooking, listening to a concert, visiting a friend or going out for coffee but it doesn’t have to include others. Being amongst friends can be overrated as a feel good exercise when you don’t. If it is something you want to do then do it. Dare I say exercise? While deep in your personal crisis go for a walk, it has been shown that getting out in nature and walking in particular is uplifting, if you never walk then it is a change and change is good if funks are a regular part of your life, because all habits require regular schedules to meet an expectation.
Once your allotted time is over, get back to living your life. It is even worth timing things so you have an immediate enjoyable experience post funk, this is a way to remind yourself that life can be good too and helps to maintain a memory that will click in next time. You are likely to find that you give less time to feeling down or that it doesn’t affect you quite so deeply while you have something to look forward to. Last but not least, make sure you bring those positive experiences into your life on a regular basis, go to the movies, grab a takeout or go to lunch with a friend (or by yourself if like me, you are a people watcher) Giving yourself the gift of an enjoyable time becomes part of your psyche, which helps ward off or minimize the blues. Events happen to you, but only you are responsible for your ongoing happiness. If all else fails and you just can’t get on top of it, then hypnotherapy is a great and speedy choice. Good Luck out there…