“The word ‘happiness’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.” – Carl Jung
When I think of the blues, I think of music. Not because of the musical genre, but because music is medicine to cure the blues. It’s one outlet I use to feel better when I’m down. As I was driving yesterday I heard a song that inspired this post. It’s not a song I would listen to for a happiness boost but is a song that really resonates with the experience of the blues. It was Jeff Buckley’s rendition of the song Hallelujah. It was originally written by Leonard Cohen in 1984, but I think Buckley’s version is far more nostalgic. It’s a poignant expression of the feeling tone behind the blues. There is yearning, despair, and heartache. “It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.” By the way, Cohen overcame the blues, Jeff Buckley didn’t. The darker life gets the harder it becomes to brighten things up. That’s why we need a way to deal with the blues before it gets too dark. Here are a few ideas besides music that can help you survive the blues.
1. Get structured
Having a routine and structure helps us feel invigorated. A routine gets us back in the batter’s box and ready to swing. No matter how bad we feel, we have to keep participating in life. So, create a routine that offers some inspiration and brings you in contact with what is important to you.
2. Be Active
There is nothing more depressing than inaction. If you are living a sedentary life style your contentment is in jeopardy. Think about how depressing it is to mope around and wait for something good to happen. We have to take action and in doing so will feel more alive. Do anything to get moving. Go for a walk outside, play a sport, dance around! Check out this Dance Party video by Sean Stephenson to understand why we need to get moving.
3. Refuse to give-up
Make a commitment to yourself that you will never give-up! No matter what you go through, determine right now that you will continue to be a seeker. You will persist and not perish. The fact is, nothing can kill your spirit. Learn the lessons you are meant to learn, find the value within your challenges, and wake up to a new day.
4. Get things under control
There is nothing more stressful than feeling overwhelmed by life. If you feel like everything is falling apart shift your focus to what you have control over. There is always something within our control. Accept what you can’t change and learn from your mistakes. Do what you can and don’t worry about the rest.
5. Find support
We all need support in life, particularly when we are feeling down. This may be emotional support, financial support, or advice about what decision to make. The point is there are resources out there to help you. Talk to a friend or professional. Get informed about your community and where you can get support. Be courageous and reach out when you are in need of help.
We get so focused on our own disappointments and failures we can lose perspective on life. It is hard to be grateful when we are focusing on own misfortune. There is someone else who has it worse off than you. Transcend your worries and concerns by volunteering your skills, time, and resources to those in need.
“I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.” – Denis Waitley
We can bounce back from the blues. We can fill life with greater joy and appreciation. Take control of your situation, recognize how strong you are, and reach out to the world around you. Oh yeah, and put on an inspiring song.