We’ve all been there. One moment we are truly motivated and productive and then eventually that feeling runs its course and you’re stuck in bed asking yourself what happened. Our mood goes up and down like a rollercoaster. It does this on a micro scale, meaning day to day, and also on a macro scale, meaning month to month or even longer. I’m sure this has happened to us all more than once during this quarantine. We pick ourselves up and say let’s do this! Then a month goes by and we’re stuck in the same routine. That routine started off excited and energized. But then after a month, that routine started to lose its luster. Why is that? What is the reason for these ups and downs? How can we make the ups last longer and the downs last quicker or less intense?
These are good questions. The simple answer to why this happens is that because we’re humans. We are emotional beings who think we have more control over our mood than we actually do. There really is no changing this part unless you turn into a cyborg. Which some people think isn’t too far away from happening.
The other part about how can we mitigate the lows and how to extend the highs is much more in our control. No one really knows why some mornings we wake up with an energized mentality and why other morning we hide from our work by pulling the bed covers over our heads. The trick is not to get too caught up with why the lows happen. Our minds are better served on what to do when this inevitably happens. Many people would agree that these lows are essential. You can’t have the lows without the highs. And that’s absolutely true. In a way we need these lows to also feel the highs. However, you can still have a low without being too self-destructive. In other words, we can make the lows feel less cumbersome on ourselves and get back into the high territory quickly .
Let’s break this down. The scene is this. We are in a low and unmotivated. How do we get motivated, in a good mood, and with natural energy? The best thing we can do this is to move our bodies. For me that’s exercise. But for many, it could be go for a short walk to the park. It could be clean your room. It could be open up a book you haven’t read in a while and read only a couple pages. The point is to get out of the sedimentary state. The sedimentary state is what’s causing these lows. When our bodies are still, so are our minds. Do something physical is Step One.
Step Two may seem conflicting of Step One, but allow me to explain. Step Two is to mediate for 10-15 minutes. I understand I just told you to do something physical and now I’m asking you to sit still with your eyes closed. You’re missing the point. The point of this is to get out of the low state. And why are we in the low state? Chances are we are stressed or bored. Stress is a huge reason for many low points we encounter. And one of the best ways to deal with this stress is to relax and mediate. Relax your body and relax your mind. Focus on your breathe and clear your head. Meditation can be like hitting the reset button whenever you start to feel stressed out. It’s great for taking a minute for yourself and calm down that monkey in your brain. This also allows you to remember what is important and what you need to get done. It allows you to think clearly about your next task and not about the next 5 tasks. Breaking down your to do list into more digestible tasks is a great method for calming your nerves. Meditation puts your mind in the optimal state to do this.
And lastly, there is step Three. And in my opinion, this step is the best one. Do something that scares you. Do something that makes you nervous. There is no other feeling than overcoming your fears. And for many people that means trying something new. Trying new things is the best way I know to get yourself out of that funk and to give yourself energy and excitement. Have you always wanted to take a dance class but felt too embarrassed to do so? This is a perfect reason to do it. If you feel nervous about taking that class, there is no better reason to do it. Getting out of your comfort zone will give you excitement and open up your mind to other things that excite you as well. Once you muscle up the strength to go to that class, I bet afterwards you will feel like a completely different person. You will feel energized, relieved, and in the best mood. Use this tool of doing something new that scares you to get yourself out of the big lows. This is truly the best pick me up I’ve ever experienced and I hope it does the same for you.
No one can tell if we’re going to be in a good mood or bad mood? But there are ways to avoid those bad moods. Follow these steps and there is no doubt you’ll not only decrease the time and intensity of the lows, but also enhance your highs too! These steps don’t necessarily need to be followed in order, but if it helps to do it that way then by all means go ahead. So, the next time you feel that you’re bored or stressed or simply in a funk, try one or more of these steps and I guarantee you’ll be feeling better afterwards.