Life is not about smelling roses at all times. Inevitably, sooner or later, we will touch some thorns in our life garden. Unfortunately, we or people we love may deal with some serious events like loss of life, health issues, divorce….In those cases, professional help may be required to be able to cope with the traumatic event. Outside those events, there are also the “down” moments we inevitably feel at one point or another, in our lives or relationships.
Even if overall we may have everything to feel joyful or fulfilled, at times, there is a cloud of sadness covering us. Success, joy and fulfillment are not about living a sadness-free life. But recognizing the “down” moments and learning your way out, will allow the positive emotions to re-emerge. The faster you get back up, the happier and more successful you likely are.
A few practices I’ve learned when in a “down” moment:
- Recognize when for whatever reason, justified or not, you are feeling “down”. Qualifying it as a “temporary” condition is a declaration of hope and victory. You know you will feel excitement and joy soon enough.
- Know your triggers. In my case, I’ve come to realize that a travel with a 3h+ time change will make me more susceptible for a “down” moment. For others, news of tragic events, be it in the world or in their lives, might do it.
- Go back to your roots. Remind yourself who you are (in your good days), what and whom you are fighting for. You may be a parent, spouse, entrepreneur, … The values or aspirations associated with each of your role will help you weather the storm.
- Be grateful. Wherever you are in your life journey, and no matter what may be missing, there are still things and people you feel grateful about. Write down or mentally list what you are grateful for.
- Pamper yourself. What is that one activity or thing that would bring leisure to your day? A book, a bubble bath, catching up with an old friend,….allow your mind, soul and body to get pampered.
- Is there a lesson? As you think about your life, relationships, health, career,…is it something that bothers you? Is there a temporary or fundamental upset that hides behind your “down” moment? Calling it out would liberate any negative emotion or help you identify an area of improvement in your life. The more you are honest with yourself, the faster you will get out of the current “down” valley.
- Take action even if you don’t feel like it. Force yourself to not give up. Would you want to look back two months from now, and only show for a disengaged life? Or do you want to be proud of the progress you made, and grateful for the moments you lived? You choose.
- Spread the love. Even if you don’t feel the most lovable or loved version of yourself, there is power in hugs. Ask hugs and kisses from your loved ones, catch up with a friend, volunteer your time or skills…. Feeling connected is part of our basic human needs.
A life of joy and growth is not devoid of “down” moments. Instead of fearing or dreading them, challenge yourself to feel and embrace them to dig further into who you are and what you want in life. Something powerful -a new life lesson, a new discipline, renewed commitment or new goals- will come out of the experience. After all, why not make a gem out of a rough diamond…
3 thoughts on “The Inevitability Of A “Down” Moment”
What preserves me of of long « down » moments is this simple exercice we do loudly each night witk kids: identify 3 things for which we are greatful for the day that ends up or from the recent past. It helps us go to sleep with a smile on our face and with optimism for the next day.
Very true. Here’s a thought I often come back to: “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” (Pema Chödrön, “When things fall apart”)
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That’s such a powerful statement! Very true indeed.