Do you beat your blues or do you let your blues beat you?
That is a question people who are down in the dumps need to take a look at early on in order to disrupt the process of basic blues traveling much further along the depression continuum.
By patting attention to the initial feelings that accompany the blues, we can start to explore the things we’re doing or not doing that can help us feel better and nourish self-worth.
The idea of depression existing on a spectrum is something Diane Tucker, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has written about.
When you reach the end of the spectrum, you are dealing with full-on depression, which impacts appetite, sleep, concentration and overall thinking processes. Acknowledging and “treating” the blues early on is critical to assuring that they don’t grow into something much more difficult to deal with.
“When people feel down, they’re less likely to be doing things that help them feel centered and personally efficacious,” Tucker said.
She also spoke about how important it is to reach out to a support system of good friends and contacts that help validate our strengths. They help provide feedback that can help us see things through a different lens and remind us of what is good in ourselves and that we are not alone.
Although people are not the same biologically and everybody’s brains work differently, the overall issue with depression is getting stuck psychologically. We tend to review the things that make us unhappy over and over again and lose perspective of all the things we have going for us in our lives.
Journaling is a wonderful way to help beat the blues because it presents us with a place to dump the repetitive negative thoughts that block our perspective.
Finding what floats our boat and provides us with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction and spending time doing that activity is also a great natural pick-me-up.
And pumping the ‘feel-good’ hormones that run through our brain when we exercise is also a great way to say ‘bye-bye blue.’
Yes, we all get the blues sometime but we need to recognize them and do what we can while they are in the early stage of development in order to avoid having them become damaging to our overall sense of well-being.
The good news is that even if it becomes more than just a mild case of the blues, most depression can be helped by medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two.