The Key To Balancing Out Your Emotions When You’re Feeling Down
Feeling down? The reason you are is because of a biased perception. You have conditioned your mind to focus on the things that cause those emotions.
How we think, we feel. How we feel, we think. It’s a cycle that is constantly in motion. The easier of the two to control is our thoughts so it’s a good place to begin making changes.
Before we begin a transformation, take a moment to be honest with yourself. Do you end up feeling down quite often? Do you feel down more often than you feel good? Do you often find yourself sitting around feeling depressed or sorry for yourself?
If you do then the reason is quite simple; it’s because you’ve conditioned your mind to look at all the things that are missing in your life. It’s become your main habitual pattern of thinking.
If you could snap out of that habit and initiate the realisation that you are then you can being to break that habit and start feeling better.
When people begin the conversation by asking what you do, do you often reply with “it’s quite boring actually”? Is that how you perceive your life and all the things you do?
You may now have built up this idea in your head that it’s boring but the truth is, it could be very interesting to the person you’re speaking too. Maybe you’re just putting it across in a mundane way.
This first step will provide a clue as to the way you perceive your your own value.
The second step can be quite tough to initiate the process. It involves waking up and having a the courage to look at the real reason you might be feeling down.
It involves analysing not why, but what it is that you’ve been focussing on that is causing you to feel down.
Are you thinking about what is missing in your life? Perhaps you feel lonely and lost? In that moment, can you switch it around and start to look at what you do have?
Maybe you’re thinking about what you’re owed or what life owes you. All of these are you thinking about the lack of something in your life.
Perception has flexible traits. That means it can be moulded according to what you choose. If you’re overpowered by habitual thinking, you can feel better right now by knowing that changing those habits is within your power.
Sometimes, when you’re feeling down, the emotions can be too strong to force them to change there and then. It’s worth letting them take their natural course. When you start to feel better then you can use the powers of your perspective to return to balance.
Before I go further there’s something I need to make clear. There are times when you’re going to feel elated and equally there are times when you are going to feel down.
The objective here is not to never feel down, because that is unrealistic. It’s to minimise the time in those down periods and to prevent them from happening too often.
I like to think of emotions in a simplistic format of 3 levels. Think of a scale; on side you have negative emotions, on the other, you have positive emotions.
The middle is place of the neutral. It’s where you are in flow. In that place I am not actually emotionally aware, I am just in action. A place of unconscious competence where my natural abilities emerge.
The positive side of the emotions might occur when I first hold a baby in my arms or get my dream job. The negative might occur when I’ve been hurt or someone close to me gets hurt.
The neutral flow is where I am at right now while writing this article. I am neither happy nor sad and yet just very content and grateful in allowing these words to emerge from me with fluidity.
When I’m stuck in the place of feeling down it’s very hard for me to get to the neutral place or to the positive side. Especially when it’s become a habit to think and feel that way that it happens frequently.
The solution here is training. It takes time to train the mind to move away from the habit of focussing on the lack to it’s opposite; asking where do I have abundance.
Just like the way you would give up smoking you can break the habit and get from a place where you’re always feeling down to where you’re in the neutral and positive ends of the emotional scale.
Let me offer some keys that can aid you to return your biased perception to a balanced perception.
1. Be honest with yourself about your emotional state and how often you feel down. If that’s the case every other day then your perception is very biased towards the things missing in your life.
Only when you redress that balance will you stop feeling down on such a regular basis
2. Feeling down is always the result of focussing on lack or what is missing. Know that there is nothing missing, it is just in a form that you do not recognise. When you choose to find and see that which you think you lack it will put the brakes on you feeling down.
3. Look carefully at the way you respond to personal questions that people ask you such as, what you do. This will offer a clue to the way you value yourself and the way your perception is currently balanced.
4. Know that your perception is flexible and perhaps ask the opinion of others with regards to their perception of events you may be facing. That could also trigger change.
5. Feeling down is a part of life and you cannot eliminate it totally. Know that it will happen sometimes and then just go with it.
6. Whatever you’re feeling like right now, it doesn’t matter. Absorb this information and understand it. So that in the future, when you’re feeling down, you can use this information to trigger a new paradigm in your thinking.
When was the last time you were feeling down, was it because you were focussing on lack? Or do you think it was because of something else?
Thanks Amit – the last time I was feeling down was when my favourite team Brazil got knocked out of the world cup! Does that count?!
So often we feel down due to things we cannot control and yet we feel things should have been a different way, such as someone ending a relationship or someone saying something negative to us. Or indeed your team losing.
And we all have moments when we wish life had turned out a different way.
I do know a lot of people who are very negative when explaining what they do. As you say, it comes down to their own perception of their own value and self-worth.
Good to reconnect, buddy:-)
LOL it does count but I’m sure the effects were temporary. The world cup already seems like millennia ago!
Amit, thank you for writing about this – I rarely feel down thankfully (knock on wood :))! but I used to very often and for obvious reasons: I did not like what I did for a living, my balance lacked and I lived in a constant state of unhappiness with my work which contributed to so much stress – oh gosh, I am getting stressed thinking about it but those days are gone. I think now I have to handle the occasional blue moods that strike anyone versus the more universal feelings of down about your life – for anyone who may feel as such, I know your post helps greatly. Hope you are doing very well!
My pleasure Farnoosh and I be your yoga goes a long way towards your balanced moods. Would you describe that feeling as I mentioned somewhere in the neutral zone of moods?
Did you mean you “believe” my yoga goes a long way, Amit? You know, lately, yoga has taken a bit of backseat and I am cycling everyday and I cannot begin to describe the feeling of peace in every muscle and the feeling of happiness in your mind…..(but exhaustion is an issue at times ;))! I highly recommend an active life. You will be too busy and too happy to find time for a frown!
I can totally relate farnoosh, when I’m idle thats the opportunity for my mind to wander towards the things that make me feel down…and Idles mind makes for the devils workshop…That’s why I stay active too! 😀
Indeed life is a two ended stick – we have equal measures of pleasant and unpleasant available. How much of each end of the stick we experience is entirely up to us. When I feel down and realize I am focusing on the wrong end of the stick, I need to remind myself that my problems can be solved by thinking, “maybe my ideas are the problem.” When things are looking grim, look again.
Well said Rob. Always worth remembering that life is a sum of those two results and we can choose which to focus on.
When you know how you feel, your able to pin point how you want to feel. Your able to establish conscious re pore with yourself. Then you can start thinking on though that will elevate your understanding and destroy thought s of a regressive nature.
Well said Jonathan.
You were right…my last post is so in sync with this one 🙂 Nice..I like it!
And focus is key i think…key to our happiness. If you focus on positives, happiness will become you. ON the other hand if you focus on negatives and all things that are missing..you are not gaining anything. infact you are unnecessarily torturing yourself.
I am all for positive happy thoughts! Yay Happiness!
LOL always great to hear your cheery comments Zeenat! 😀
I think you make a really important point, that the goal is not to never feel down but to try to minimise the amount of time spent feeling that way. Feeling down is normal, and it serves a purpose, but for me that is made easier by the knowledge that when I’m feeling down there are things I can do – starting with examining the cause of what’s making me feel down and taking action if I can to address that cause, and also focusing on the positives in my life, as there is always something positve.
Thanks for Sharing Claire and it’s good to hear that you do with these issues in the same way that I do.
I find that a lot of times when I am feeling down that it is a result of my own self-talk. In other words, its not the situation, but how I interpret the situation in my own head.
By changing the script (called reframing) we can often improve our moods.
Thanks for the great post.
Thanks for adding the concept of reframing Chris. 🙂
I agree with all you say however I do believe there are people who are clinically depressed and need professional help.
Yes indeed Tess and there is no denying that. I’ve worked with many myself and they also do need regular treatment.
All of us feel down once in while, those fortunate like farnoosh are lucky to not feel down!
Whenever I feel down, I take a break and take one day at the time! Whatever that bothers us today will not matter much tomorrow or weeks from now!
Very true Preeti, people find it hard to see that in the moment when they’re feeling down but when you can understand that in time it will no longer matter then it makes it that much easier.
Hi Amit! Very helpful post, true words you are saying here. Emotions matter, and negative emotions always have a negative impact on ourselves. Thanks for sharing this!
My pleasure Roman and glad you enjoyed.
Hey Amit! Nice tips on dealing with negative emotions. When I am feeling extra down though, I try to cheer myself up. But if that doesn’t work, I just go someplace for a retreat so I can refresh my spirit. I listen to music. Meditate. Write. and just enjoy solitude.
Good suggestions there Mighty. I like the idea of meditating and listening to music. All things I do too! 🙂
Great piece on dealing with negative emotions. I often find that the company we keep plays a big part in how we feel. So it is good to surround ourselves with people who lift us up instead of bring us down.
I also find that meditation and going to the beach is a great way to feel better. It is kind of hard not to be happy when you are at the beach or meditating.
Hope all is awesome!
Hey Nadia great to hear from you and congratulations on the launch of the new website! Excellent point about the part of who you surround yourself with. I also like to go to the beach just to listen to the sound of the water, that never fails to make me feel better.
I think it’s basically impossible to think positive thoughts and feel like crap at the same time. Your post does a great job of reminding us of the connection between our thoughts and emotions.
Thanks Nea and thank you for the stumbles too, you are a star!!
Thanks Amit as someone who has suffered with a low level of depression for many years I found your post practical, true and very helpful.
I think we all, as you say, will feel a degree of depression or melancholy from time to time. Some of us more than others.
The significant thing is how you process it and where you go with it. In my own case it mostly precedes a very creative spurt, so I hold onto the upside I know comes at the end of it.
We need to love ourselves warts and all.
Thank you Stephen for sharing and I’m so happy you found the article useful. It’s an interesting point you made about spotting the pattern it follows because that too can also help you to understand and appreciate those times. Thank you so much for sharing!
Excellent article on emotions but from my perspective you missed an option that will free you from the conditioned mind. That option is the realization that thoughts are not real, they are just words we give meaning to. So we can be mindful of our thoughts as just words we can ignore or change.
Excellent blog packed with so much great stuff.
Joseph Bernard, Ph.D.
Thank you Joseph and that truly is a wonderful compliment coming from you. I really appreciate the feedback and offering your input on this post.
Thanks for this. its a helpful reminder to us singles out here who, though we may have found our calling secularly, feel a bit pained at still being single. i tend to feel a little blue when i wake up and still find the bed empty next to me, or sit down to another meal alone. I know i’ve posted before that I am generally happy and have found happyness in being single, there are still times when going solo is a little tough. and it can cause us to occasionally have a blue day. your steps toward remembering what we have to be grateful for and how what we are looking for can be fulfilled in a way we didnt expect or hadnt thought of is particularly helpful.
My pleasure Amie and thanks for Sharing!
Great blog and great comments , The way to get rid of those feeling of being down is to look at the problem you are feeling down with . look at from every different direction and you will find that you can look at it in a different way It helped me a few years ago over come depression
Hi Tony, thanks for the comment and I’m so glad you overcame your depression. 🙂
how many people do you often here people say im feeling down i admit myself i am often feeling low now i dont often see blogs that help you when your feeling down that help this one really helps you
Hey Kevin, I’m so glad you found this useful to you. All the best.