News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™ 
Joy, Love, and Peace for 2022
Lexie at Carpinteria Beach photo by Lorena Estrada
March 2022
Freeing Yourself from the Blues
Feeling Down: How to Dig Yourself Up

When you feel depressed, you may despair that your life will never get better. Rather than telling yourself how terrible your feel or how hopeless your situation is and finding escapes such as food, internet surfing, television, or alcohol, remember that challenges are a normal part of life, and that there is something you can do.

There are concrete actions you can take to restore your perspective and get rolling. I know this because I've worked with people who believed their downer feelings will never end, and I've seen them take action to turn the corner and find the peace, love, and joy they'd been yearning for.

You can dig yourself out of an attitude of feeling depressed and start enjoying life, no matter the situation. You can do it. Like Tiger Woods it takes perseverance and keeping your goal in mind.

Photo of incoming storm by Tom Modugno
Here are Attitude Reconstruction's 8 suggestions to lift your spirits.

Try one or two and see if you feel different.

1. Reach out to someone safe for support. There's always someone out there--a family member, friend, hotline, counselor, or support group--ready to listen. Don't be alone with your feelings. Sometimes it's easier to seek support from a stranger, and that's exactly what community hotlines are good for. While you need to vocalize and honor your feelings, spend less time talking “pity-party” and more time focusing on the good and figuring out little steps you can take.

2. Express your emotions physically and constructively. Feeling depressed lingers because emotions of sadness, fear, and anger go unexpressed. In a safe place, let that trapped emotional energy out of your body (even if it feels like the last thing you want to do). With a specific unresolved issue in mind, emote.
If you're crying about a loss, only say "Good-bye!" to what you lost while you cry or just say "I feel sad."
For feelings of anxiety – fear – shiver, tremble, and shudder all throughout your body and out your limbs, like a dog at the vet, while saying, "I'm feeling scared." 

To acknowledge your rightful anger pound the heck out of something inanimate, like a mattress, while just making sounds (like growling, for example) or yell into a pillow "I feel soooo angry!" It feels great.

It's crucial to mobilize the energy rather than keeping it bottled up and letting it clog up your body and mind. There's nothing to lose and a lot to gain!

3. Wage battle against downer thoughts. Take control over downer thoughts, such as "There's no hope" or "Life is bleak" or “I’ll feel like this forever” by substituting constructive thoughts that are true, especially while expressing your emotions physically. They can seem so dominant but you can wage a war with your old thoughts, one second at a time.
Interrupt and replace future-oriented thoughts by repeating a statement such as, "Be right here right now. I don't know the future. What's one positive thing I can do for myself today/right now?" 

Stop comparing yourself with others. Instead, say to yourself "That's their life. I’ll never know what trials others face. What do I need to do to honor myself?" 

Interrupt thoughts about what a worthless failure you are. Self-critical thoughts indicate you need to do more crying. Replace them with thoughts such as "I'm doing the best I can. I'm a good person. I'm whole and complete. My job is to take care of myself." Practice interrupting the negative spin and stretch your brain to find a little something positive you did in every interaction.
More Suggestions to kick start loving life

4. Focus in on specifics. When we feel depressed, we have a tendency to lump all our woes together and feel like what we are feeling will never end. It’s super important to interrupt those overwhelming generalities and stay specific.
Write down specific issues you're bummed about: relationship, job, death, made a mistake, health, not having friends, having no money, etc. Then pick one and address that. Deal with one loss, hurt, regret, injustice, violation, or threat at a time. Sorting out one issue at a time makes things manageable. The progress you make in one area will breathe life into others.

5. Accept what is. In order to start feeling good rather than bummed, we need to accept whatever situations we find ourselves in. This also means we must truly accept the people in our lives. Wishing people and things were different, keeps us feeling sorry for ourselves and hopeless. After we truly accept the realities in our lives, we are then able to look within and decide what we need to do to honor ourselves and our world. "People and things are the way they are, not the way I want them to be."

6. Abandon "what ifs." Abandon unfounded hopes, waiting for others to change, or wishing someone would save you. Look reality in the face, write down everything you wish were different, then take the first item and put before it, "I give up all hope that…"For example, "I give up all hope that my parents will ever understand me," or "I give up all hope that my partner will get a job." Keep repeating the statement, constructively express any anger, fear, or sadness that arises, interrupt destructive thinking, and focus on what you are saying. Soon you'll be able to see what's true for you and what's in your control to do right now about each item.

7. Refocus on connecting to and honoring yourself and taking action. Now that you're dealing with issues that have plagued you, ask yourself: What are my goals?" What is my goal? "What's my purpose? Keep plugging away at clarifying them for yourself. Write your answers. Persist until you come up with one(s) that resonate as true. Don't take on too much.

Then translate that goal into a series of small steps you can do each day. Little steps every day. Remind yourself of your goals and purpose daily. Then you will be able to make explicit goals, set specific, reasonable deadlines and boundaries, and announce well-thought-out consequences if you need things to change.

8. Medication may help at times like this. When you're feeling really depressed and down, it's good to consult a doctor to determine if prescription medication might help you manage these intense down feelings that persist. "Drugs" can enable you regain the energy needed to find yourself, then re-engage by taking constructive action toward your goal.
Final Thoughts about feeling down

There is nothing wrong with you. Just focus on taking little doable steps and celebrate each tiny victory. Keep in touch with your support person or team regularly. They can help with guidance and celebration. Hope is not out of your reach once you learn how to channel your energy into what you want deep down, in your heart of hearts, instead of dwelling on how bad you feel. Remember, you're great. You're doing
Friends -- Thanks for reading to the very end.

I'm always happy when I hear from you, even "feedback."

With love,