Getting Up When You're Feeling Down

Jim Donovan Well, it’s that time of year again, at least here in the US, when everyone starts talking about being thankful and grateful. Personally, I think that’s great, especially since “like attracts like,” so feeling thankful is a great way to attract more situations and experiences to feel thankful for. But . . . what if . . . you don’t feel particularly thankful right now? What if, like so many people, you’re having a difficult time and are feeling a bit of self pity? Now, along comes Thanksgiving with all if its added pressures and family obligations and you’re faced with all those “grateful” people telling you to count your blessings.

“Bah, humbug!” you say, if you felt like I do, you wouldn’t be so darned smiley.

So just how can you change how you feel even when you’re feeling down and would rather just sit and have a pity party?

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there at one time or another and will probably be there again. We’ve all experienced times when we just did not feel very thankful. I know I have. We have all experienced times when life just seemed to be singling us out for difficulties. What do we do then?

The fastest and most effective way I know to change how you’re feeling about yourself is to get out of yourself. Get out of your own problems and concerns. Go out and do something for someone else. I guarantee you will feel better after doing this.

You could do anything from volunteering to help feed the homeless at a soup kitchen, delivering a bag of groceries to someone in need, donating some of your unwanted, good condition, clothing, visiting someone in a hospital or nursing home, or any number of things that will enable you to step out of yourself long enough for your perspective to change. You’ll be amazed how much your “problems” have changed when you’re finished.

Following are a couple of other things you can do to make this a happier, more enjoyable holiday season:

  • Write a list of everything that is good in your life. What’s working? What are you grateful for? Be sure to list every little thing you can think of, the more the better. It’s a fact that a person cannot feel gratitude and be in self pity at the same time.

  • Refuse to take part in gossip Gossip serves no one. Remember what you give out comes back. Besides who do you think the gossips are talking about when you’re not there? If you want to be happier and more at peace, choose not to partake. A great practice for family gatherings.

  • Relax and enjoy your holiday

    Contrary to what retailers would like you to believe, there’s still lots of time to shop before Christmas. You don’t have to rush to the stores at 5:00 am the day after Thanksgiving just because some companies choose to open at that time.

    Jim's Jems Newsletter is copyright 1991-2004 by Jim Donovan. All rights reserved. No part of this newsletter may be reproduced without written permission from the author. If you wish to use my articles in your newsletter or publication, please e-mail me and I'll do what I can to accommodate your request - jim@jimdonovan.com

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