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Strategies to Trick Yourself Out of the Blues

May 20, 2008 | 65,659 views

happy, smileNeed some help rising above life’s little letdowns? You might be able to manipulate your mood with these quick mental fake-outs.

1. Put on a blue shirt

Blue is generally relaxing, while orange is the biggest irritant.

2. Pause your mental TiVo

Stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, and quickly count to 10 while strongly pressing your right thumb and forefinger together. Now do the same with your left hand. Repeat this five times. This will clear your mind.

3. Recruit an anger buddy

Find a thick-skinned friend who’ll let you verbally assault him when the situation warrants. Make sure you’re willing to return the favor. Make sure the tirade is brief, private, and somewhat controlled.

4. Fabricate a smile

Grin. According to experts, people who are manipulated into smiling report feeling better instantly -- going through the motions can trigger the emotions.

5. Clean your room

Most people don’t realize how much clutter causes stress. Pick clothes up off the floor, remove dirty glasses from the coffee table, and make your bed.

6. Climb the stairway to heaven

Music has been shown to reduce stress and have a positive effect on health.

7. Order Chinese

According to recent research, ginger and broccoli may temporarily help relieve depression.

8. Dot your eyes

Draw two dots an inch or so apart on a piece of white paper. Stare at the space between them with an out-of-focus gaze until they merge. Release and repeat three times.

9. Sniff a lemon

Nice smells such as fresh fruit, a looming thunderstorm, or just-mowed grass can turn your beat around.

10. Chop till you drop

Cook something from scratch. You are now in touch with your primal self; destroying and creating at the same time is the ultimate mood lifter.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

There is something to be said for the phrase “Fake it till you make it.” Because, at the most basic level, happiness is really about counting your blessings instead of adding up your troubles.

Of course, if you are addressing serious depression, you will need more help than putting on a blue shirt will offer. So if you have been feeling down for two weeks or more, and have lost interest in activities you once enjoyed, I’d encourage you to consider these treatment options for healing depression.

For the rest of you facing life’s “run-of-the-mill” ups and downs, remember that there’s nothing wrong with feeling blue now and again. In fact, accepting your feelings, whatever they may be, is one of the reasons why the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) works so well.

Let me give you an example.

Let’s say I am feeling overwhelmed with projects that need my attention. I could feel angry at myself for taking on too much, or be critical of myself that I’m not able to get to everything on my plate. But this would get me nowhere, other than increasing my stress levels.

With EFT, you can use positive affirmation statements that build you up instead of beat you down.

For instance, while I’m tapping on specific energy meridians, I might say, “Even though I am feeling overwhelmed, I deeply and completely accept myself.” Or, I could say, “Even though I’ve taken on a lot of projects, I love and accept myself.”

With these statements you are doing two things:

1. Accepting your feelings (whether they’re positive or negative)

2. Tuning in to the feelings, which bring about the energy disruptions involved and allows them to be corrected using EFT

EFT truly allows you to gain emotional freedom so that you are able to feel inner peace no matter what is going on in your external life.

What ELSE Can You do to Overcome the Blues?

1. Find your life’s mission. This is the thing that makes you jump out of bed each morning with vigor and enthusiasm. What is the true passion in your life? What would you do if you had $10 million in the bank and had every guarantee that whatever you would do you would succeed? That is likely your passion and life purpose. Please take the time to identify what this is for you, and then try as much as possible to arrange your life around it.

2. Be active. Not only socially in your community but also physically. Studies show that aerobic exercise is an antidote for mild depression and anxiety.

3. Decide to be happy today. Avoid waiting until you reach a certain goal, like getting a raise or going on vacation, to start being happy.

4. Focus on gratitude. Incorporate a daily gratitude session where you identify something you are grateful for. You can express your gratitude in any number of ways: silently say “thank you,” call or e-mail the person you want to thank, or devise your own gratitude ritual -- maybe even try out “The Gratitude Dance!

5. Center your life around total health. When you are eating the right foods, sleeping well, getting out in the sunshine and de-stressing regularly, you can’t help but smile. You’ll feel too good not to.

[+] Sources and References

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