Monday, 29 April 2013

Finding the rainbow

Do you ever have days when you just can't get it together, when everything seems way too hard?  Do you ever completely lose all motivation and have zero energy?  Do simple tasks become insurmountable and you feel as though you have so much to do but just don't know where to start?  Do you feel lethargic, miserable and if it is a dull, grey day, you feel just like the weather around you? Well I do, and lately I have been feeling like this way too often.  I have had bad starts to many days recently and it has taken me hours to find any relief.  This relief comes in the form of talking myself out of this mood, psyching myself out of it and using positive self talk to do it.  I use a little bit of mind power and over the years I have refined this process well.  Today I want to share with you how I do this and it might just help you through a tough day.

Sometimes it's not simply a case of 'the blues'.  Depression is a miserable thing and can be a serious result of chemical in balance.  I can say that I don't suffer from clinical depression as such, and I can appreciate that for those who do, nothing I can say or write here will change that.  I must also say at this point that I am not qualified to comment or counsel those who have this illness and I have the utmost respect for people that manage this condition throughout their lives.  I do not envy them and accept that this is a debilitating condition that is very powerful and all consuming.  I am, however, only human, and have many moods and emotions that at times, feel as though they get way out of control.  I am known for my bright and bubbly personality but don't let that fool you, I can get 'flat' and 'miserable' too.  I am writing today with the aim of sharing with you what is basically positive thinking strategies and techniques that work for me and I hope that they might for you too.

I might get up and start my day and at this point feel rotten.  Or something may 'set it off' and I suddenly hit rock bottom.  I can recognise this mood and not only does it feel bad, but I get annoyed that I feel this way.  I'm sure that no one likes, or enjoys, feeling down and it is not only is a mental state of mind, but your whole body reacts and it quickly becomes a very physical state also.  It seems as though your mind and body work together, and often if one is feeling off colour, the other reacts accordingly.  This is what I find the hardest part.  You can't seem to feel lousy without your body joining in.  You feel sore, your muscles and bones ache, you feel as though you weigh a ton and just can't move.  Not only is your emotional state in tatters, but your body just won't work.  After a while, it's all too much and you begin the downward spiral into what I call 'the black hole'.  If you're not careful, this gets worse and worse and after a couple of hours, all you want to do is go back to bed because at least if you're asleep, you won't 'feel it as bad'.  Sound familiar? It's at this point that I just know that I've got to 'snap myself out of it'.

What's the first thing I always do?  Turn to music!  Music has an amazing way of making you feel a certain way, and if you're like me, different types of music do different things.  For me, if I am in a 'thinking' mood, I turn to classical music.  If I want to 'speed up', I put on some kind of dance music that is fast with a good beat.  If I want to relax, I pick anything that isn't too recent, that might take me back to another time or place.  Music has a big part in my life and I have a very broad taste that covers all types.  Only music can change my way of feeling in an instant, take my mind in another direction which in turn helps to alter how I feel.  Oh, and one other thing, it usually has be loud to do this, so I pump up the volume and let it take me away.

So I've got my tunes on and I start to think about all of the things I just have to get done.  I don't know where to start.  I make a cup of coffee, sit in a sunny spot (if I'm lucky enough to have the sun shining on the day) and after I have done that, without any clear direction, just make a start.  Often that's the hardest part.......starting!  I just start chipping away at whatever it is that I have to do and once I start to get moving and see that I'm actually making progress, this spurs me on to keep going.  My mind begins to clear and I'm on the right track, I'm starting to move forwards instead of backwards.  At this point, I have a long way to go but at least I'm starting to move, I'm not just sitting there feeling sorry for myself, I'm trying.

Now for the hard part.....I've got to work on my brain.  I have to try and convince myself that every thing is all right and turn on the 'good feelings' and get rid of the 'bad' ones.  As a young girl, when I was moody and a nightmare to be around, my mum would exclaim, 'Snap out of it!!'  At the time, this would only make me more angry or stroppy but as I grew up, I began to understand that it basically comes down to just that.  You have to summons all of your might, all of your inner strength, all of your will and just DO IT.  I start to look around me and see and believe that my world really is wonderful.  I am not sick, I am alive, I can walk, I can talk.  I start to see that really, I have a lot to be grateful for.  I must find that strength from within that allows me to feel better, I must change my mind set and move away from black and find the rainbow.  It can be done and as you read this, you might say, 'But how?  I can assure you that if you have the determination to win the battle and succeed, with a little bit of practise, this will get easier and easier.

I talk about inner strength and will.  We all have it, somewhere inside us.  We all have that force within us that allows us to function, that helps us keep on keeping on.  Some days, it is easier to find than others.  But it can be done.  If you learn to look into yourself and learn what the 'triggers' are for you, it becomes easier to summons positive energy rather than negative energy.  I don't use recreational drugs or drink alcohol to change my mood either.  I most definitely only drink when I am feeling good and want to be happy and a bit silly.  There are enough chemicals floating around in our bodies naturally without confusing the issue further by adding more on a bad day.  Practise makes perfect, as the old saying go, and soon enough, you find your 'mojo' again and things are starting to look up.  You have succeeded in chasing away your demons for another day and can get on with it.

Life throws lots of rubbish at us.  It is complicated, exhausting, sometimes traumatic but often amazing and wonderful too.  There are times when it is all too much and you just can't do it.  There are times when you want to curl yourself up in a ball and roll yourself into a corner.  But somehow, you manage to break free from your misery, you find a way to smile and laugh again.  It's not always easy but it can be done and to surround yourself with positive people who bring you up rather than down helps a lot too.  At the end of the day, it all comes down to you.  No one can make you do anything, you have to want it badly enough to do it for yourself.  With a little bit of practise, you might find that you can identify what is making you feel so horrible and take action to change it.  You might find your own special way of cheering up and getting the job done. These are some thoughts and actions that work for me and I trust and hope that this has inspired you to always make the effort to find your rainbow too :) xxx