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Author Topic: Boost your mood: reach out to others  (Read 2093 times)

NinaFrusztajerMD

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Boost your mood: reach out to others
« on: December 09, 2013, 03:17:44 PM »
We all know holidays can bring on feelings of sadness, loneliness, and disappointment.  And it's easy to start thinking that everyone else has a better life than you - or even that everyone else but you has a perfect life.  This sort of thinking can spiral out of control and weigh heavily on your spirit.  What can be help to boost your mood and brighten your outlook is to bring yourself into the here and now, surround yourself with people who ideally energize you but at a minimum accept you for who you are, get a reality check on things other people struggle with, and find ways to reach out and help others.

1. Bring mindfulness into your day: rather than rate your experiences as "good" or "bad", how about "things are just the way they are" without evaluation or judgment?  With so many choices in our lives, sometimes it's a relief to just embrace your experience at this moment and not think of the next thing or what else can be.  That can bring you into reality.  And moments pass.  We're not suggesting you should pretend it's always easy to tolerate your emotions or life events, but wishing them away doesn't usually work so trust yourself that at some point the experience or emotion will pass and you will have come out at the other end.
2. You know those people who judge you or make you feel badly about yourself?  Run away from them.  Even if you can't drop them entirely from your life, remind yourself that you can find your own framework with which to assess yourself.  Do bring the people and experiences that energize you and make you feel more in harmony.
3. Watch the news, read books about other people, or be curious about what really goes on in the lives of others - it's not as rosy as you would think just by reading the things people post on facebook where they're putting their best face forward.  We're not suggesting you delight in the misery of others, but it is a reminder that other have to put in efforts to reap the rewards they enjoy and also that other peoples' lives are not as perfect as you think (and that yours is not that bad after all!)
4. Help others.  It's known doing so will also make you feel good.  Having a purpose in addition to taking care of yourself is energizing and will put you in contact with others and open your mind and eyes.  Soup kitchens, children who need toys, hospitals - these are all places to look for volunteer opportunities.  But your neighbor, friend, or family member is often easier - don't underestimate the positive effect of a phone call to just say "hi" or telling a good joke at the right moment.  It can be the little things that really make a difference.

Yes, take care of yourself but don't isolate yourself - reach out to others in all ways that you can!