How to Keep Your Spirits Up, Even When They're Down

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Inevitably there are going to be times when our spirits dip and we find ourselves down in the dumps. It’s not something anyone is particularly happy or proud about, but it’s something even the most optimistic among us experience.

Growing up, my dad would always say that feeling down in the dumps was normal and nothing to worry about because, “You can’t have the highs without the lows.” It may sound obvious but those words really shaped the way I view things. It put things into perspective. His words of wisdom made me realize that there is nothing to dread about being a little down in the dumps. It’s just as much a part of life as having our heads in the clouds.

I know how hard it is, especially in the midst of being down, to keep a positive outlook but it’s important to recognize that these things are cyclical. How we do this is no easy task, but because I like to bite off more than I can chew, I’m here to give you some tips on how to do just that. So sit back, relax, and let’s get your spirits back up.

READ

There are thousands of written resources out there dedicated to this very topic because, well, people are more similar than we like to think. If there is something in particular that’s dragging your spirit down, the chances are there is someone out there who has experienced the same thing. And, because it’s the internet, there’s something out there for everyone. If you dig the social sciences and how environment affects success, there’s no shortage of content. If you’re looking for a blog that touches on the “real” issues and ignores the bullsh*t, they’re for you, too.

It’s nice to feel like someone out there has had familiar experiences to what you’re going through, and to feel like they’re talking directly to you. The internet, nay, the world, is full of resources that do just that.

Recommended Reading

Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers

David Brook’s The Social Animal

LISTEN

Sometimes the best way to get yourself out of the dumps is to hear someone else talk about how they got themselves out. Like with reading materials, there are seemingly infinite resources on the interweb that do this very thing.

As humans, we don’t always like to admit when we need help. This is the beauty in podcasts or online content. It puts you in the conversation without having to feel exposed. If you’re going through a bad break-up, or just lost your job, or just feel generally crappy, hearing the stories of others is, in my experience, one of the best ways to get yourself out of it. In hearing their stories, you realize that everyone has struggles, that you’re not alone, even though it may feel like you are. It may seem like you’re alone in your pain and experience, but you’re not. Find the ones that resonate and remember that you’re not alone.

Recommended Listening

You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes

This is Water - David Foster Wallace

Jim Carrey’s 2014 Commencement Speech at MUM University

REMEMBER

There are times in life that are better than others. One of the keys to getting your spirits back up is to remember just that. When you’re feeling down, remember that you’ve been there before and remember that you’ve gotten yourself back up. Remember that this is one of the cycles of life. It’s impossible for things to be great all the time. You need to experience the negatives to be able to recognize the positives.

Life isn’t always great, but the bad moments are what makes it great overall.

Until next time – “Everything’s coming up Milhouse!”

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Arye

When Arye isn't helping optimize your time, he is doing his part to ensure life is full of shenanigans.