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What to Do and Think When You Feel Down

How to get up when you feel down How to get up when you feel down

We have all been there, at least I know I have. You come home from a stressful day at work, or maybe you felt too depressed to even get out of the door.

Everything just went wrong, your girl left you, your favourite sports team lost an important game; It doesn’t matter.

The thoughts just swirl around in your head, and you can’t really focus on anything. Even the easiest tasks seem impossible, and at least for now, you just can’t enjoy life.

When I feel down, here are some of the things I do to drag myself up:

Problem solving:

More than often, what’s getting your down roots out in some kind of problem. If it’s concrete, I advice you to follow these 5 steps:

  • Stop doing whatever you are doing, and sit down. Breathe slowly and controlled, and think about what it is that gets you down. Be as specific as you can.
  • You need to identify the problem(s). Without a problem you can’t really make a goal, and without a goal you can’t take action. In this case, no action means no mental healing. And that’s what we want, right?
  • Write it down. Make a list of what’s depressing you. Take out a paper and pen, and start writing. It’s that simple. This is done to physically get it “out of your head”. Now you can look at your problems in a more objective way.
  • Think in solutions. Once you have it out of your head and in a different perspective, start thinking about solutions or positive things about what’s bothering you.
  • Take massive action. Do whatever is necessary to solve your problem. You know what to do, now you just need to actually do it. Start now! Occupying your mind with a new hobby or learning something new can help pick your spirits up.

Be happy:

Sometimes you can’t seem to identify a problem, or there are just too many to overcome. In these cases, I advice you to focus more on being happy than anything else. This have to come first, as you will get a whole new outlook when you really feel alive. So follow these 12 tips, and you’ll be up again in no time.

  • Understand that it’s okay to feel sad. Don’t ignore it, just don’t let the feeling take over you.
  • Once you can do that, start focusing on what makes you happy. Do what you enjoy, go see a movie, walk the dog, whatever. And whenever the bad feelings start popping up, acknowledge them, clear your mind, and think about something else. Don’t ever think negative thoughts for more than a few seconds.
  • Again, lists can help you. Write down some of the things that you like to do, and hang them up on your fridge. Do at least one of these things every day. Look forward to it, and enjoy it while you do it.
  • Use fantastic words. If someone asks you how your day was, and you answer with a “fine”, that fine is going to define your day. If you instead tell him that you had a marvellous, amazing or incredible day, that is what your day was or is going to be. Keep this in mind!
  • Think in opportunities. Remember that every failure is one step closer to success.
  • Think about what you really want to do. Maybe this is a golden opportunity to try a new challenge or new direction in your life. If you really always wanted to be a stock broker, a teacher or a marketing guy, check out what you need to do or learn to get there. Enroll at the university, go to evening classes, seek out profesionals in the industry. Whatever it takes, your only limitation is your imagination.
  • Look good. While you feel a little down and depressed, remember to take good care of yourself. It’s much easier to feel sorry for that sad bum in the mirror, than it is to feel the same way about a well groomed, and well dressed young man.
  • Get out. You have probably heard this hundreds of times before, but a little exercise and some fresh air can do wonders for your mood. Be open and positive, and a trip to the park can be amazingly beautiful. Look at the birds in the trees, the couples walking around having a good time.
  • Surround yourself with happy people. Don’t hang around negative types, sooner or later their mood will affect you. Sad but true.
  • Music is medicine for the soul. We all have a favourite band or song, so don’t be afraid to play it! Play it loud, dance around, sing along. Suddenly the burdens on your shoulders seem to lighten a little. Play another wonderful song, and soon they will be far away.
  • Smile. Smiling at yourself or to other people is an instant happiness booster. You could say that you trick the body to think that you are happy, and naturally, you’ll also become happy.
  • Laugh. Just like smiling, laughing is tricking the body and mind to think that you are happier than you are. So put on your favourite show, and laugh – even if it’s not funny.

All this might seem a little too simple and maybe even a little silly, but I will challenge you to do everything described here the next time you feel down and depressed. As my guarantee, if it doesn’t help, I will personally send over a box of cookies.

Stay happy!

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27 thoughts on “What to Do and Think When You Feel Down

  1. Robert

    Hi Kay,

    Thanks for your comments in my site.
    I like this post, writing out sounds a great strategy, we can identify the problem and it may not be as complex as what we think.


  2. Pingback: Write it out! - Reason-4-Smile’s Weblog - When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.

  3. Michael

    Thank you so much for putting the article on ‘when you feel down’ on your blog. I just broke up with my girlfriend (28 hours ago !) and really needed some good advice.

    I have written down my problems, as you suggested, and then turned them into goals. Feel so much better now, really appreciate it.

  4. Mike

    Hey Alex,
    I really need something like this, however im just too down to get up. Im so confused about my life, I dont know what to do next. Exams are taking place and I cant study. My friends and I are becoming further apart, and things aren’t exactly amazing right now with my girlfriend. I love her and im pretty sure she loves me back, however theres hasnt been time for us lately. Also, speaking about time whenever we finally get a chance to be together something either comes up w/ her or she has to invite her friends. It seems like she doesnt want to spend time with me so much as she does with her friends eventhough she has told me otherwise. My friends are drifting away from me at the same time and I dont know what to do. Also, my brother is becoming more and more of a jerk towards me suddenly and I do not know why, or what I have done to deserve his attitude towards me. I dont understand all of this. At the same time, my sister seems to dislike me as well, when I dont effect her in any negative ways. We barely even converse. Everyone tells me she is such a nice person constantly while I am recieving this totally other side of her. Everyone agrees that I dont deserve her neglect yet her actions and others persist. I swear I am a nice person and I do my best to be fair to everybody in my life, so I dont understand why everybody is so neglectfull towards me. I have even considered that perhaps I am too nice and these people take advantage of me for being a nice guy. I don’t know what to do with myself, and I had to write this somewhere. I dont want to have these negative relationships with everyone but everyone seems to want to have such a relationship with me. Even my girlfriend I am unsure of. It has been dragging me down all of my life. I can’t deal with it anymore because I really don’t understand why any of this is happening. Thanks. I just needed to get this out somewhere.


  5. Alex Kay

    Hello Mike,

    I am very glad that you have shared your thoughts publicly like this. It’s a great first step!

    I am by no means a professional shrink, but I am very interested in answering your question, and I’ll use it as the base for a future post here at the blog.

    I’ll let you know!

  6. fefe

    When I feel down I go out for a run,or I will just lay down and go to sleep it help me to foucs on something else.I really enjoy this and I have learn something else to do when I start to feel down.Once again thank you.

  7. b s al Hassani

    That is just amazing. Sure most of us went through these ups and dawns in this busy life. Your tips are of great use. I like the part” laught, this tricks the body”

    Bless you

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  9. ARM


    Loved your article.

    For immediate action, any short of diversion would be best way to get out of this state like going to gym, running, watching a movie, have a dinner/lunch to nice restaurant, reading book, call or visit a friend, go to long drive, make love – whatever you love doing.


  10. Cori

    I’m already feeling better! Thanks man. I don’t know what’s been wrong with me today and yesterday. I just don’t feel like myself. So, I am dedicating this beautiful sunny homework-free Saturday to myself and and to all the tips in your article! Thanks!

  11. blair

    hey alex.

    i am feeling down today, but ive realized many things after ive read your article :)

    thanks for this simple yet very applicable article of yours. :) tnx for the lift :)

  12. Pinky

    Oh my I like your blog so much that I posted your site here to my LinkedIn page so that other people like me will learn about things to do when feeling so stressed and down at work or any place.. I hope you dont mind .. :)