Turning the Blues into Inspiration

We all know what having "the blues" feels like, but do you know that there are coping techniques that you can slowly incorporate into your day-to-day routine to turn those blues into inspiration for a happier, healthier life?

No matter who you are or what your circumstances are, there will always be periods in our lives where we feel sadness or find ourselves in a hardship.  Writer Leo Carver of the Chopra Center gives us some tips on how to transform what can be considered the blues into something that looks more like inspiration.  Sometimes we need to feel how we do, and other times we'd rather take that lemon and make it into lemonade (if we can).

  1. Stay Grounded: This author recommends meditation as a way to get to know and hold on to your true self.  If meditation doesn't speak to you, find other ways to seek out peace and stillness in your life.  Getting plenty of R&R is just as important as crossing those "to-dos" off your list.  The relaxation and quiet time can help you act from a place of peace instead of chaos when you do feel upset.
  2. Don't Give In to the Emotion: When you are experiencing "the blues," it can seem like everything is tainted by negativity.  In these times, it is important to try to accept your feelings, but still move forward and find balance in your life.  We want to be compassionate with our feelings, but not let negativity color every aspect of our world.
  3. This one is so huge!  Spend Time with Positive People: Sometimes we can feel annoyed being surrounded by others who have such a zest for life when we feel that ours is in such disarray.  Yet often times it can actually be helpful to leave your issues at home and soak up some positive vibes.  Perhaps get involved in an activity with a supportive friend who can help you take your mind off of your problems.
  4. Get Active: Physical activity, nature, and sports are mentioned so often in the mind/body connection articles because it is now well known to us that physical activity can act as a kind of therapy.  Exercise releases those natural endorphins which can help us feel better internally.  This could mean playing a fun sport, taking a walk in nature, going to a yoga class, riding a bike, going to the gym, swimming, dancing, taking your dog for a walk--anything that gets your body moving, gets those endorphins released, and clears your mind.  It's not about escaping your problems--it's about feeling like you have both the mental and physical energy in order to move forward in better balance to be able to better handle your circumstances.
  5. Connect with Nature: Even just a little time in nature can go a long way, studies are showing.  It has been observed that the natural beauty around us can have a unique way of bringing you back to a place of simplicity, and therefore a place where you can gain some clarity and acceptance around whatever it is that you may be going through.  Find a nice walking or hiking trail, a place to picnic, a body of water to surround yourself with, a garden, or anywhere else that feels soothing and nurturing.
  6. Laugh!: They say that laughter is the best medicine for a reason.  Humor and laughter can be powerful healers.  Find a funny comedian to watch in person or on TV, play a favorite funny movie, or spend time with good friends who you can relax and have fun with.  You may have to make an effort to seek this out when you're feeling down, but the benefits are well worth it.
  7. Affirm Yourself: When you need a little extra inspiration, turn to positive affirmations.  Post quotes that elicit thought and love; treat yourself as you would a beloved family member or friend going through a hard time.  Leave yourself notes to be reminded of how wonderful you are, or, despite tough times, you can still meet your potential.
  8. Witness Your Thoughts: Try to be a silent witness to what you may be thinking and feeling.  Looking at these things objectively can sometimes give you clarity as you do some reality-checking to see just how true these thoughts really are.
  9. Keep Perspective: Things come and go.  You are allowed to feel however you feel--feelings can't be wrong.  There will be dark moments in your life where you may feel pain, grief, anger and sadness.  However, by keeping your heart and your mind open, you are leaving the possibility of joy open as well.  Your life isn't over, but your openness to these new thoughts and feelings may just be the beginning.

To learn more about how to let go of struggle and achieve more by doing less, check out Deepak Chopra's website to discover their health & wellness spiritual retreats, books, articles, and meditations.  Check out more here: http://www.chopra.com/about/the-chopra-center.

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