When life gives you lemons make lemonade. Easier said than done, right?
Many times in my life I have had obstacles in my way. I have struggled and eventually climbed up and over, or I have dug deep down and somehow crawled through. Sometimes, I have dug too deep and found myself in a dark, cold and lonely place. But, I have always known, that it is me and only me, who can pull myself up and out of the darkness.
What is reassuring, is when you learn to 'own' your dark feelings, (as depressing as they may be at times) you can learn NOT to blame others, for how YOU are feeling, and, you can learn how to master the art of your mood! When you really start to empower yourself and learn that these dark feelings are normal (especially at times of stress or grief) you can learn to move them on quite quickly.
What is important to know is that you are not alone, everyone feels blue, down or depressed at times!
Here is an exercise to help when you are feeling not your usual, happy self.
Visualise your happy self, at your happiest moment in time. This may be a time when you were travelling around South East Asia... Lying in front of a warm, cosy fire reading novels with hot chocolate and marshmallows... Walking your dog along the river bank and playing fetch... When you were a child building forts or climbing trees and watching the world go by underneath you... Think of a special time and place when you feel at peace, relaxed, and your ABSOLUTE happiest! This is your 'Happy Place'. Imagine what the scenery looks like at your Happy Place. Feel the warmth from the sun on your skin. Listen, what do you hear? Can you hear birds singing or children playing? What can you smell? Be mindful of all your senses when you are at your Happy Place. Make a large glass of lemonade or hot chocolate and drink it slowly and think about how you are feeling, right here, and right now, in this moment.
If your mood has not changed after thinking about your Happy Place for at least 10 minutes, try again. Take yourself back and visualise yourself being here again. How do you feel here, What are some of the smells? What can you taste? What can you hear? What can you see? And, what can you touch? Try being in a quiet place and taking long, slow breaths.
Being mindful of your Happy Place can seem very simple and somewhat childish, but how many children do you know who have depression and low moods? We were born beautiful, fearless, and happy! We need to reconnect with our inner child sometimes and to remember and embrace these happy moments!
Next time you are feeling down or depressed, think back to your Happy Place. Bring this feeling of happiness into the NOW by reconnecting with yourself at this very
special and beautiful time in your life. And know that you deserve to be happy NOW too.