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Shifting your perspective when things get heavy

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There are days, regardless of your attempts to keep a positive mood, when things just sink. Your mood may become heavy and your outlook comes to seem dark. Instead of dwelling on this, consider extracting yourself from it. If there is opportunity for a retreat, terrific. However, if this mood strikes you in the middle of your regular daily life, up and taking a sabbatical is likely not doable. In these instances, an impromptu extraction, in the form of a change of immediate scenery, may be the next best option.

If you are at work or school and need to remain productive in the middle of a negative mood, these tips may help.

-Get up and walk outdoors for 10 or 20 minutes when your schedule permits.

-If close enough, take your lunch and go to a local garden, park, or beach—or go out to lunch (instead of sitting at your desk)—to give yourself a break in the middle of the day.

-Find a trusted coworker, or contact a friend, to discuss the situation and get it off your chest, then come back to do your work.

-Plug in earphones, or keep your music turned low enough to still be audible if earphones are not an option, and listen to music you enjoy to take you to a feel good place.

-If you have the opportunity to work away from the office, exercise that option and go somewhere else.

If you are home and feeling low, pick yourself up and head out. Avoid going out to eat or drink, or getting absorbed by the Internet, but instead try to choose something that will activate your mind and body. If you are in the mood for company, get in touch with a friend. If no one is available, go on your own. Below are a few ideas that do not require much advance planning.

-Book a massage

-Go to a museum, art studio, local fair, or exhibit

-Attend a live theatre or music event

-Go to a botanic garden, beach, hiking trail

-Go for a moderately paced walk or head for the gym

When you find yourself in an unproductive mood replaying non-beneficial thoughts, find an activity that will shift your mind and body from being still and ruminating. Become focused on where ever it is you find yourself going and distance yourself from your bothersome thoughts. Remaining in the same space to stew about a distressing issue or continue feeling low is not what needs to occur. Alter the situation by heading to a new scene to pull your mindset out of the replay of your thoughts.

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